How Arsenal Can Shatter The Bottle And Lift The Premier League Title Next Year

The Gunners look unlikely to win the league this year. But next year is another matter...
16:00, 27 Apr 2023

Social media was always going to have fun with Arsenal’s sobering 4-1 defeat to serial Premier League champions Manchester City. Schadenfreude is never in short supply when it comes to the frenzied news feeds of English football fans. Talk of the Gunners “bottling” the title race was rife when they registered three consecutive draws against an out-of-sorts Liverpool and relegation-battlers West Ham United and Southampton. Those shouts have grown all the more cacophonous in the wake of the City destruction.

Morale is likely at rock bottom in the red half of north London. Understandably so, considering the Gunners have led the Premier League for almost the entire season. Mikel Arteta’s men have come closer to lifting the trophy than any Arsenal side since the 2003/04 Invincibles. While they could still theoretically lift a 14th top tier title come the end of the season, the chances now feel remote given City’s ascendance.


Such agonising failure can do one of two things to a team unaccustomed to its sting. The anguish can become all-consuming, steamrollering a team’s long-term chance of survival. Or it can galvanise them, building a determination within the group never to feel such pain again. Arsenal risk the former but are actually well-equipped for the latter response.

This season has provided one element this title-chasing Arsenal team did not have before. The 2023 Gunners vintage now have experience of a title race. Liverpool came oh-so-close to dethroning Manchester City in the 2018/19 season, finishing on 97 points, just one behind their rivals and a record total in any other campaign. Rather than be discouraged by their near-miss, Liverpool went one better the following year to lift a first league title in three decades. Arsenal now have first-hand experience of a true title behind them. As Liverpool proved, this can be invaluable.

Arsenal are also structured for future success. This is a team awash with young talent who have bought into what Arteta is selling. Players like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli are all under 23. The likes of Martin Odegaard, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ben White and Gabriel Jesus are in or approaching their primes aged between 24 and 26. This is a team that feels like it is at the start of its cycle.

A young team that has gained valuable experience of what it takes at the top is one thing. But a team of that nature needs a manager to marry it all together. In Mikel Arteta, the Gunners have an anomaly among Premier League coaches. A manager who was given time to establish a style and an identity even as the team floundered on the pitch. Numerous chairman speak of long-term planning but Arsenal have actually followed through. 

Back to back eighth-place finishes were forgiven, admittedly with an FA Cup win smoothing over the first one. But when Arsenal worryingly capitulated last season and sacrificed a top four slot, the writing was truly on the wall. But the owners kept the faith, backed their manager and have benefited. After the relatively quick collapse of the Unai Emery era, there has been an acknowledgment at Arsenal that chopping and changing too much would be detrimental. A look at the vastly-contrasting philosophies Manchester United have tried on for size post-Sir Alex Ferguson should tell you that.

Arteta has repaid the faith, no matter what happens this season. He has developed an identifiable Arsenal style of play. The former midfielder has set a standard within his team that must be met. Arteta emphasised this with his ruthless handling of those he felt didn’t meet it, either on the pitch or off it. Look at his calculated and efficient binning of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for evidence of that. 

The experience, the players and the manager. Arsenal are in a position where you could argue they have everything but the trophy itself. It isn’t that simple of course. City are still perhaps the most driven, expertly efficient title-hoovering side ever assembled. Meanwhile, there will be renewed challenges old and new next term. For every slumbering giant like Liverpool or Chelsea there will be a new contender, like Newcastle United or even Aston Villa. But Arsenal arguably have an advantage over these emerging clubs. Now they must find and impose an advantage over City.

arsenal to win the 22/23 pl title: 7/1*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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