Good old Arsene. He never lets you down. Well, not very often anyway. OK, quite a few times in recent years. But give the guy a break, after all he keeps having to play teams like Bayern Munich in the Champion’s League. Quite why this appears to faze both him and his players so much is a mystery. He can come up with tactics to beat the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea in knockout tournaments, he just can’t seem to do it when it’s a foreign team, (or Manchester United in Europe).

Actually he also appears to have let down quite a few Arsenal supporters just by agreeing a new contract! Obviously he still thinks he can mix it with the best. The problem is that the best are now the new kids on the block, (José Mourinho partially excepted), and he is in danger of being left behind.

Wenger is now up against Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp, all of whom he managed to finish behind this season. In fact, had Mourinho not decided that his best route into Europe was by winning the Europa League then he would probably have also finished ahead of Wenger.

What happens next will be interesting. Wenger’s time has been and gone and he risks taking Arsenal even further down the Premier League pecking order. Like an old gunslinger who refuses to admit that he can’t shoot straight any more, he will hang around until, having taken enough bullets, he will fade into the distance still adamant that he was the best man for the job. As we said, it will be interesting.

Antonio Conte will stay at Chelsea. That’s good news for Chelsea fans because he isn’t as old or as stubborn as Arsene Wenger. When he is he will no longer be at Stamford Bridge anyway. Conte can now show the world outside of West London what a good manager he really is. To do so he has to compete in the Champion’s League whilst mounting another challenge for the title.

His detractors point to the fact that, on an uneven playing field he was undoubtedly the master, but with the same amount of games as the rest he may struggle. It will be interesting.

Pep Guardiola has started to spend some money. In fact he is going about it as though he wants to spend every penny in the Manchester City piggy bank! Bernardo Silva has already been signed and there are more to come.

Having decided that Claudio Bravo was impersonated by a goalkeeper in the scouting video, he is now looking for a real goalkeeper and Ederson seems to fit the bill, but only at a record fee for a keeper. (well, it wouldn’t be City if it wasn’t a record, would it?)

Even the chairman has felt it necessary to place on record his support for the manager, although with the underlying, almost subliminal message, that a treble would not go amiss. It will be interesting.

Jürgen Klopp is quickly earning the “perpetual bridesmaid” tag. Having lost in two major cup finals and just about scraped into Europe thanks to a fourth place finish he needs to win something next season. The fact that he is so popular in Liverpool means that he can probably get away with another top four finish as long as he has a decent run in the Champion’s League and wins one of the domestic trophies. He will be assisted in these quests by a donation of a few million pounds to his transfer fund.

Consequently, ending the season trophyless again may try the patience of the Liverpool board just a little too much and see the club look elsewhere for success.

Tottenham need only hang on to their better players and they will probably mount another serious title challenge. This, however, may be easier said than done. Already there is talk of Danny Rose and Kyle Walker leaving the club. Eric Dier has been linked with a move away and there is a rumour that Real Madrid, now that Champion’s League business has been taken care of, will move for Dele Alli.

Should those departures occur then Mauricio Pochettino will be targeting top four again rather than first.

José Mourinho, on trophies alone, has been the most successful of the top six managers, even though he finished in sixth place. Three trophies in his first season also make him a record breaking manager at Old Trafford for all the right reasons, unlike Moyes and van Gaal who managed to break all the wrong records between them.

Next season though will see Mourinho expected to make a more concerted attempt on the title and, with a few additions to his squad, this should not be beyond him.

It will be interesting, more so than this last season anyway.


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