Arsenal changed managers for the first time since 1996.
Chelsea’s flipped bosses for the 13th time in that time span.
Both are hoping for similar results.
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The London giants sat outside the Top Four when the dust settled on the Premier League season, Chelsea one year removed from the league throne and Arsenal staring up at four or more clubs for the second time in-a-row.
So which one has a better look at finding a way back to the Top Four?
The Chelsea argument is pretty straight-forward: Their temperamental players bailing on a manager then rebounding to win the Premier League with another has happened before, and it was just two seasons ago.
Maurizio Sarri has brought in Jorginho to help instill his system and team up with N'Golo Kante to make the midfield a no-pass zone. The defense is back, and both Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko now have a year’s worth of PL experience. The young studs, perhaps with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu atop the list, are also prepared to break into the fold if given a chance.
As for Arsenal, the club needed to sort its back line in a big way, and have taken great steps to do so with Stephane Lichtsteiner and Sokratis. Granit Xhaka was maligned for his mistakes but had more good performances than bad. The Gunners have a terrific pair of forwards in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, and no shortage of playmakers to pull the strings (including an inspired and supported Mesut Ozil and industrious but unheralded Aaron Ramsey).
The hope for Arsenal is that life really was stale on Arsene Wenger, that the great man was genuinely holding them back over the past two seasons.
Both clubs have better hope to challenge the best clubs in the league this season, but Chelsea’s record of spinning poor seasons into good ones keeps them a head above the Gunners in our book.