By John Dillon | | 7 mins
Will Tottenham or Arsenal Win Any Trophies This Season?
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Four days last Spring could have changed it all. Arsenal could have won a trophy on May 29 after Unai Emery’s first season in charge. And he was the specialist in the Europa League after lifting it three times with Sevilla.
Then, on June 1, Tottenham Hotspur could have ended their 11-year wait for some silverware and manager Mauricio Pochettino could have delivered the biggest pot of them all to finally vindicate five years of rich but unfulfilled promise under his command – the Champions League.
Instead, it all turned to dust. North London succumbed in the all-English shoot-out.
Arsenal ended up being hammered by Chelsea 4-1 in the Europa League final. Spurs lost 2-0 against Liverpool in a damp squib of a Champions League final which, when we think about it now, could never have matched the understandable frenzy of hype which preceded it.
It was Jurgen Klopp who got the vindication with his first triumph in nearly four years in charge – and now Liverpool are driving full tilt at the Premier League title again.
Spool forward nearly five months and the picture looks decidedly different for both Emery and Pochettino.
The first serious rumblings of discontent with Emery amongst Gunners fans surfaced after the 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United. The team lacks spirit, identity and purpose, some said. It is all a bit vague.
Following their 1-0 loss to Sheffield United last night, a LOT of bets were placed on Emery to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked!— Bookies UK (@bookies_uk) October 22, 2019
? So much in fact that some bookies have shortened his odds from 40/1 to 16/1 to be the next to go#EmeryOut #AFC
Has there been any real progress since the departure of Arsene Wenger, others wondered? Is the prolific goal-scoring of Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang – nine in the Premier League this season – providing a get-out for the boss?
Pochettino, meanwhile, earned some respite from criticism with his side’s 5-0 hammering of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday. But still, they have won only four times in 13 fixtures this season.
Red Star were much weaker opposition than the Bayern Munich team which thrashed Tottenham 7-2 in London in the previous gameweek.
A fortunate and lack-lustre 1-1 Premier League draw at home against Watford last weekend had followed a harmful 3-0 defeat at Brighton.
Tottenham Trophy Odds 2019-20
|Tottenham to win any major trophy||+700|
|Tottenham not to win any trophy||-1600|
Pochettino’s intense management and style of play was showing signs of exhaustion. The idea among the speculators that it was time for him to consider moving on to Real Madrid or Manchester United raised its head again.
The question now – particularly about Spurs who have won nothing since 2008 – is; will either of these teams ever win anything under these coaches?
It certainly won’t be in the Premier League this season, with fifth-placed Arsenal already 10 points behind leaders Liverpool and Spurs, in ninth, 13 points adrift.
With the prize more or less out of reach already, Arsenal are fifth-favourites for the title across the board, behind fourth-placed Leicester City.
The Gunners are rated at +275000 by Betfair, which says it all. Tottenham, sixth across the board, are priced at +32500 by the same sportsbook. Obviously, it ain’t happening.
In Tottenham’s case, any prize will do, to be honest. Everything is in place now at a glittering new stadium and Spurs have threatened to do something big for some time now.
There are rumblings of discontent and suggestions that key players such as Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld may move on.
On paper, as it stands now, the squad is Spurs’ most powerful for a long time.
Yet their last triumph was in the League Cup more than a decade ago. And there will be no repeat this season. Their weakened side was eliminated by League Two Colchester United at the first hurdle last month.
Meanwhile, Arsenal – who came from behind to earn a late 3-2 home win over Vitória in the Europa League on Thursday – have a tough away draw in the EFL Cup fourth round against Liverpool next week.
That means they are well down the analysts’ assessment as eighth favourites across the board to win the trophy – behind Leicester, Everton and Wolves among others.
Arsenal are +1600 with Bet365 in this competition and +1400 with several other sportsbooks.
Arsenal Trophy Odds 2019-20
|Arsenal to win any major trophy||+200|
|Arsenal not to win a trophy||-275|
England is now a land where for the first time last season, the might and wealth of Manchester City delivered the first-ever Treble of domestic prizes.
With Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all diminished, a repeat Treble by Liverpool this season isn’t completely unfeasible – although unlike City last season, they have the Club World Cup to contend with, too.
Certainly, the range of opportunity for Arsenal and Spurs seems limited to the domestic cups.
The FA Cup landed at the Emirates three times in Wenger’s later years – in 2014, 2015 and 2017. At the time, many supporters did not believe this was enough. Despite the ever-increasing power of City and Liverpool, there were Gunners followers dissatisfied with this haul.
Yet compared to Tottenham’s harvest of trophies, even these later successes of Wenger’s look like a torrent of riches.
Spurs haven’t won the FA Cup since 1991. They haven’t won the title since 1961. This is why there has been so much focus on Pochettino’s inability to bring home any prizes.
Because he looks to have built the team and the approach most capable of ending the drought, the frustration has become all the more acute.
The old adage used to be that Tottenham were a good cup team. The relevance of that statement now is contained in the phrase; “used to be.”
Even so, they are fourth across the board with the bookies to win the FA Cup at +1000. Arsenal, meanwhile, are around +1200 with most sportsbooks.
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Spurs and Arsenal's European Hopes
In Europe, Tottenham are 10th across the board to win the Champions League (+3300). It is unlikely Pochettino’s first trophy will arrive at the Istanbul final next May.
They could end up in the Europa League, of course – and would be serious contenders. If Spurs dropped down, how about another all-London final against Arsenal?
The Europa League is where Emery might eventually prove himself with the Gunners. His team are favourites to win the competition +500.
A daunting Premier League trip to Liverpool now follows on Sunday for Spurs, where they’re as big as +550 to win.
This will be the true test of whether Pochettino’s squad have recovered and whether they might properly challenge for honours this season.
Arsenal, meanwhile, welcome Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the Eagles a best price of +600 to come away with three points.
Roy Hodgson’s team are stubborn and have the eighth best away record in the Premier League with two wins and two defeats.
To the surprise of many, they are holding steady in sixth place, one below Arsenal. It is the kind of game which will again test the resolve of Emery’s team as well as their ability.
Another performance like the one against Sheffield United and the Emirates fans may conclude that they are best off hoping for success in Europe rather than at home this season.
It is, after all, where the manager has done his best work.