Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has suggested he will not be match fit for the beginning of their Premier League campaign, stoking fears of another slow start to a post-tournament season for the club as they seek to land title odds of 6/1.
The Welshman, due to return to training on August 1st following taking three-and-a-half weeks off to recuperate after his exertions at Euro 2016, is one of a quartet Gunners who reached the last four in France, alongside Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud.
As a result, the Guardian report that he (and by extension his three named teammates, four if transfer target Julian Draxler duly arrives) are unlikely to be match fit for the club’s first game of the season against Liverpool.
Arsenal are just 11/10 to see off Jurgen Klopp’s men at the Emirates, but their tepid commencement of the campaign that followed the 2014 World Cup suggests it’d be a brave punter who backs them for victory, both against the Reds and throughout the early months of the campaign.
Three Gunners, Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski went all the way in Brazil, winning the tournament with Germany.
An inconsistent beginning to the 2014/15 season ensued, with the club sixth in the Premier League, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea, ten behind second-placed Manchester City and having played a game more than Southampton, Manchester United and West Ham above them.
Mertesacker was to blame “a kind of post-World-Cup trauma” for the dip in performance levels experienced by himself and his Die Mannschaft colleagues later that term.
“The first months, in particular, were quite difficult to come back and to come down and to forget that, forget that feeling of being World Cup champion,” the centre-half confessed in May 2015.
With first-team mainstays Giroud and Koscielny one match away from a similarly-momentous achievement and Alexis Sanchez having already won the Copa America with Chile this summer, Arsenal already look destined for a slow start to 2016/17.