It has been almost a decade since Arsenal FC tasted Premier League glory. Since the 2003-2004 invincible season, Arsenal have found it very hard to reach the summit of the Premier League. But this season the Gunners have been in fine form since day one and have mounted a serious title challenge. They seem to be heading in the right direction, as far as claiming the Premier League glory is concerned. But the recent set of results have raised a few questions about their title credentials.
Arsenal currently leads the Premier League table with 54 points, 2 points ahead of the defending champions Manchester City, with a game in hand over their rivals. Up till February, the Gunners had only lost once in the Premier League. And it seemed that they would go on to lift the Premier League title, but recent performances by them have not been convincing at all. They have dropped 8 points in their last 4 Premier League games.
This included a shock 1-0 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park. This was followed by a disappointing 1-1 draw against Brentford at the Emirates Stadium. But the most damaging blow to their title hopes was the 3-1 defeat against their title rivals Manchester City. This reduced their lead at the top to just 2 points. And since then, the title race has been alive again. Let’s assess whether Arsenal can go all the way or not.
The core members of the Arsenal squad are aged 25 or under, with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka being the two exceptions. As a matter of fact, the average age for Arsenal this season has been 24.2. Young players bring an extra bit of energy and creativity to the team, but at the same time, they are susceptible to faltering under pressure.
And there is no bigger pressure than being involved in a title chase with Manchester City, who have without a doubt been one of the most successful clubs in Europe in recent times. But Mikel Arteta has been spot-on with his management. His faith in his players has propelled Arsenal to the top of the Premier League. And he would be hoping that his young squad is able to thwart pressure from Manchester City for the remainder of the season as well.
Arsenal fans must be hoping that the signing of Leandro Trossard and Jorginho are the final pieces of the jigsaw, as the Gunners eye Premier League glory. Both are proven Premier League players with Jorginho being the more experienced of the two. Although they have only been involved in a handful of games for the Gunners so far, they have already shown how vital they are to Arsenal’s title hopes.
For instance, Trossard’s goal helped in scoring a point against Brentford. Whereas Jorginho’s 93rd-minute strike from outside the box against Aston Villa, in their previous game, was vital in securing 3 points for the gunners and it also ended their 3-match winless streak in the Premier League. The Italian would be determined to guide his new club to Premier League, after signing from London rivals Chelsea.
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Manchester City’s Struggles
Manchester City have set up high standards for themselves under the management of Pep Guardiola. But they have not been having the best of seasons and have looked a bit off-color this season. Guardiola’s men have already lost more Premier Leagues than they lost during the entirety of last season. As usual, City have been very potent in the attack led by their new signing, Erling Haaland, who has been firing on all cylinders since match one.
But their defense has let them down this season. They have conceded the same number of goals this season as they conceded last season. Arsenal fans must be hoping that their side can take advantage of City’s fragility and claim that much-awaited Premier League glory. But one can never write off Manchester City and Arteta would be wary of the threat that Guardiola’s men pose to his side’s title ambitions.
The run-in fixtures leading up to the Premier League glory
This season it has been a 2 horse race for the Premier League title between Arsenal and Manchester City. But Manchester United can make a late surge for the title given their recent form under manager Erik ten Hag. Both Arsenal and Manchester City are evenly placed as far as the run-in fixtures for the Premier League are concerned. The Gunners face 8 of the 10 current bottom-half teams whereas Manchester City still have to play against 7 of them. Furthermore, both have still got fixtures against Chelsea and Liverpool. But both sets of fans would be eagerly waiting for 26th April, when Manchester City host Arsenal. It could well be said that the winner of this fixture would probably go on to lift the Premier League title.
The title race is starting to heat up as we approach the business end of the Premier League season. We might not know who will be rejoicing at the end of the season. But one thing is for sure as things stand, Gunners are in the driving seat and the title is theirs to lose. If Arteta’s men keep on performing the way they have performed up till now, it won’t be long before they claim that much-awaited Premier League glory.