Updated:Mar 28, 2023 6:46 pm
Eight points clear with 10 games to go, can life be any sweeter for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at the top of the Premier League?
But with Guardiola’s Manchester City lurking behind them with a game in hand, do the Gunners have enough to fend them off?
Gunners Have A Spine
One of the more impressive things about the Gunners this season has been their ability to stay in closely fought games and to get themselves out of difficult situations. Take the Bournemouth game as an example, 2-0 down at home with just over half an hour remaining, would be almost an impossible task for the Arsenal of previous seasons under Arteta, but this season, it seems as if the Gunners have revived the title-winning mentality of 2003-04.
Of course, it helps when you buy players i.e Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who already have experience in winning four League Titles with City, but for the team to have the tenacity to sustain their surge towards becoming champions, shows an incredible job that Arteta has done at rebuilding the squad into a potential powerhouse in club football, especially having felt the pain of missing out on a top-four spot last season.
Patience Is Reeping Its RewardsEmbed from eGetty Images
Trying to emulate your predecessor is never easy, particularly if you’ve played under him for five years. In the dying stages of the Arsene Wenger era, Arsenal was far from a team who could challenge for the top four, let alone win the League.
But kudos to Chairman Stan Kroenke and Edu Gaspar(Technical Director) for having patience, allowing the Spaniard to grow as a manager, and building a team that is now competing for trophies. Perhaps a lesson for more clubs to try and emulate and give young and up-and-coming Managers, the foundation to succeed by giving them time and support.
Prior to taking the job, Arteta was assistant to Pep Guardiola from 2016 to 2019, and to have worked alongside one of the greatest managers of all time, whatever he has learned from Guardiola, he has now instilled in this young and talented squad of players.
Jorginho is a Perfect foil for ParteyEmbed from Getty Images
From the start of the season, the Ghanaian was and has been the heart of Arsenal’s midfield, but it was clear that they needed more depth in that particular area of the pitch. Given the fact that the Gunners and Chelsea have a peculiar habit of nicking players from each other in Ashley Cole for William Gallas, or Olivier Giroud for David Luiz, etc, taking the Italian from Stamford Bridge, seems to have worked wonders for Arteta, as he now has some reasonable backup options if somebody gets injured.
Eddie Nketiah and Reece Nelson popped up with some important goals while Jesus was out with an injury, and Saka has also chipped in quite a few times.
That’s the other impressive thing about Arteta’s side this season, the fact that they have shown that they aren’t just reliant on individuals, they’re in this as a team.
If you look at the top scorers for Arsenal this season, 35 of those 73 goals have come from Saka(12), Gabriel Martinelli(13), and Martian Odegaard(10). Gabriel Jesus, who was brought in to do the bulk of the goal-scoring, only has five in 13 appearances. This shows that the depth of attacking prowess in this team has enabled them continuously put pressure on City who are also in pursuit of the Title.
Trossard The Pass MasterEmbed from Getty Images
Whilst the Gunners were playing their ‘tippy-tappy’, passing football, the one thing they were missing, was a player like Robert Pires or Cesc Fabregas, who could unlock a well-organized defense with one pass or cross out of nothing.
Since the Belgian arrived at the club for £ 20 million, he has had eight goals, and eight assists for the club, and is proving to be a top songster for Arteta this season.
Currently, the third-highest assist maker with eight assists, Trossard is becoming more than a useful asset to the Gunners. Not only can he assist, but he can also score goals with both feet.
Arsenal will need his resourcefulness as they attempt to make one last push for Premier League glory.
So, with 30 points still left to play for, can Arsenal end their 19-year wait for a Premier League Title?
Find out by keeping in touch with World in Sport.