After years of battling to earn a top-four finish, Arsenal found themselves back in a long-awaited Premier League title race last season.
Although the Gunners fell short in their battle to overcome the dominant force of Manchester City, manager Mikel Arteta and his squad did set a standard that needs to be surpassed this season if they plan to win any major silverware.
Positive Signs This Season
Under Arteta, the Gunners have clearly been on an upward trajectory in recent years. Arsenal, who are 4/1 in the betting on football to win the league title this season, finished in fifth place in the 2021/22 campaign. At 1/7 to finish in the top four this term, many football tips have highlighted the progress the North London outfit have made since that disappointing finish to the 2021/22 season. Last term was a great opportunity to finally get their hands on the trophy, but the Gunners once again ran out of steam at the business end of the campaign.
There was plenty of recruitment over the summer and the squad now appears to display more strength in depth, especially in midfield. That should stand Arteta’s men in good stead when injuries and fatigue do start to hit as the season approaches the final months. The depth of the squad has also helped with the Gunners being back in the Champions League, a competition they have sorely missed in recent years. Winning three of their first four games of the group stages, it would be hard to know by watching them that the Gunners had not previously been in the Champions League since the 2016/17 season. The Gunners’ performances in Europe this term are just another sign of how this squad are improving under Arteta.
City Still The Team To Conquer
There’s little doubt that Manchester City are still the team to beat if the Gunners are to lift the PL trophy for the first time in 20 years. Pep Guardiola’s side completed the treble of the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup last season and already they are showing signs they will be tough to stop this term. Meanwhile, Liverpool have looked resurgent after what was an underwhelming campaign last season for Jürgen Klopp’s side. The Reds appear to be back to their former selves and they too will have realistic ambitions to deny City what would be an unpredicted fourth consecutive league title.
They will also face competition from much closer to home, with rivals Tottenham Hotspur making themselves outsiders for the English crown this season. Manager Ange Postecoglou has been earning rave reviews following his move from Celtic over the summer and it will be interesting to see if Spurs can keep the pace, or fall away as they have tended to do in the past.
The end of last season will have hurt Arteta and his squad but they have shown they can learn from disappointment – they will be hoping that it stands them in good stead for the challenges to come.