“This, For Sure, Is Its Best Team Since Those Invincibles," Said Arteta After Arsenal's Title Setback -

“This, for sure, is its best team since those Invincibles,” said Arteta after Arsenal’s title setback

Arsenal under Mikel Arteta have been a title contender for two consecutive seasons, and unlike last season, they fought till the end.

This season, Arsenal players took the mentality up a notch, taking the title race to the final day.

But, this team fought till the end.

Regrets are few, as Mikel Arteta’s squad finished second to arguably the best-ever team in the history of English football on Sunday. Despite defeating Everton 2-1 on the final day of the campaign, City held on to their two-point cushion, winning 3-1 at home against West Ham to clinch the title.

In fact, there should be talk in the club that Arsenal players have the ability to go toe-to-toe with City.

However, there could be a contract next season.

It was a time-defying task for Liverpool to finally dethrone Manchester City’s dominance in the season interrupted by COVID to end their 30-year wait for a league championship. Similar situations could arise for Arsenal, whose top-flight title wait has reached its third decade since lifting it in 2004.

“All this is happening because you started believing,” Arteta said, addressing the crowd after the Everton game at Emirates Stadium. “You started to be patient and started to understand what we tried to do. All the credit has to go to the players and the staff.”

“Don’t be satisfied. We want much more than that, and we’re going to get it.”

This, for sure, is its best team since those “Invincibles.”

Arsenal’s Premier League Season Breakdown

Mikel Arteta
Credit: The Independent

Conceding 29 goals and reviving memories Arsenal’s defence was quite stingy compared to the George Graham “1-0 to the Arsenal” years with its structured and well-drilled backline of Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Tony Adams, and Nigel Winterburn.

Arsenal might have the world’s most sought-after centre back William Saliba, who is only 23.

The midfield was more flexible this season and controlled games better. Arsenal had to shell out $138 million for off-season signing Declan Rice at just 25 years old, who is going to get better with time. One of the league’s classiest players has to be Martin Odegaard. Thomas Partey and Jorginho had an impact when they played, although the deep-lying midfield position is one Arteta may be looking to seek out in the upcoming transfer window.

Arsenal’s early-season fears up front, with no out-and-out striker, ultimately proved unfounded, as Kai Havertz revived himself as the equivalent to Roberto Firmino in Liverpool’s best years under Jurgen Klopp, with the German’s clever movement and constant work ethic laying a foundation for others to benefit.

Arsenal scored 91 goals, behind only City with 96 in the Premier League.

The period before and after Christmas is where the Gunners will look back — losing to Aston Villa, West Ham, and Fulham — as the time the league slipped from their hands. Yet, when the pressure was at its peak, in the second half of the season, they went head-on to face it.

Out of 18 league games in 2024, Arsenal lost just once, and that was to a top-four chasing Villa team that came in between Champions League quarter-final legs against Bayern Munich.

Arteta believes his class of 2024 has the makings of a future league champion, even though they lack the edge of that prime Arsenal, ending the season with a win at fierce rival Tottenham and casually seeing off Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Pep Guardiola leaving City is the only way to open up England’s top division. Or maybe City was heavily punished for its hundreds of alleged breaches of financial rules in a case that looks set to be heard midway through next season.

If that is the scenario, Arsenal would be best placed to take advantage.

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