It seems like it was only yesterday when Manchester City were crowned BPL champions for the second year in a row, an eighth title for the Citizens. The Community Shield final between City and Liverpool will be decided very soon, after which the first match of the 2022/2023 English Premier League season will be mere days away.
The first whistle of this season will sound on August 5 as Crystal Palace welcomes Arsenal. The Gunners have not won the trophy since their heroics in 2003–04 when they triumphed in the Premier League under Arsene Wenger without a single defeat that season. Since then, the club has won the FA Cup five times and lifted the Community Shield four times, but the ultimate domestic title has eluded them, with the team failing to finish in the top four for the past six seasons. Will this season prove more optimistic for the Gunners?
Close Call in 2021/2022
Mikel Arteta’s team had a very real chance of finishing among the first four of the EPL last season but missed the mark. As of May, the Londoners had recorded a four-match winning streak, including a 3-1 win against Manchester United, before losing 3-0 to city rivals Tottenham. Another loss followed, this time to Newcastle, which generally put in strong doubt Arsenal’s chances of qualifying in a position to play for the Champions League. In their last game, the Gunners cruised past Everton 5-1 but ultimately failed to finish in the top four.
Overall, last season for the Gunners was accompanied by a number of ups and downs. The team started poorly, recording three consecutive defeats in their first three matches. In the end, the London side finished fifth, out of the Champions League places, but enough to earn a spot in the Europa League groups and far better than a disappointing eighth in 2020-21.
Wenger Set the Bar High
After the Wenger era, the team’s regular participation in the Champions League is no longer part of Arsenal’s legacy, which is sure to frustrate the team and its fans. The last time the Gunners took part in the Champions League was during Wenger’s penultimate season in 2016-2017.
Even before the final standings for last season’s Premier League were decided, Mikel Arteta said it would be disappointing if Arsenal failed to finish in the top four, given the statistical chances they had until almost the very end of the championship.
Better Times Ahead?
All that is now in the past, and the question of whether Arsenal will be able to enter the top four in the upcoming season is on the agenda. It will certainly not be an easy year for any of the top teams, given the fierce competition at the top and the extra workload some players will experience alongside the World Cup. There is a promise for great football spectacles by the end of the year, and fans looking to watch Arsenal live can click here to conveniently buy their tickets for any of Gunner’s games this season.
If the team’s performance in recent years is any indicator, it will be a herculean effort for them to finish in the top four of the Premier League, but not at all unachievable. More than once, the Londoners have proven that they are a tough team and can withstand periods of crisis. The Gunners’ squad is still in the process of being formed and growing, but it’s entirely possible that it won’t take much longer for the team to reach the high bar that Wenger had set after 19 years at the helm.