Are Arsenal Genuine Title Contenders This Season? 

Are Arsenal Genuine Title Contenders This Season? 

Arsenal continued their 100% start to the new Premier League campaign with a resounding 3-0 victory over newly promoted Bournemouth. Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners look like a force to be reckoned with already this season. After three games of the new term, the North London club have looked imperious, scoring goals for fun and already securing a spot at the English top-flights summit. Oddschecker, which compares odds and provides free tips on Premier League football currently have Manchester City as the favourites for the division, retaining the trophy they won in dramatic fashion on the final day of last season. But with more displays like this, Arsenal may find themselves as genuine contenders for a first Premier League crown since 2004.

 

Toward the end of last season, it was evident to all watching that Mikel Arteta had finally built a side capable of challenging the Premier League’s elite. Eight wins in ten games throughout the new year left the Spaniard’s side odds-on for Champions League football for the first time since the days of Arsene Wenger. We all know how that ended – with away defeats at Newcastle United and archrivals Tottenham Hotspur scuppering those European ambitions – but it was clear that they weren’t a million miles away from where their fans expect them to be.

 

The Best Arsenal Team Since Wenger

When Arsene Wenger left Arsenal at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, the Gunners faithful couldn’t imagine that it would take another four years until they had a competitive team. During that time, Unai Emery tried and failed to take the club back to the promised land. He did manage to reach a Europa League final – a game in which they were thumped 4-1 by an Eden Hazard-inspired Chelsea – but they were never close to sealing a spot in the top four.

 

It looked as though Mikel Arteta’s spell in charge of the club was also going to end in failure. Following their snoozefest of a 0-0 draw at home to Burnley at the end of January fans were clamouring for the former Manchester City coache’s head. The controversial Piers Morgan was leading the witchhunt. And to be fair to Morgan – which is not something anyone should ever do – his slander of Arteta was probably justified.

 

In his first campaign as manager, he could only manage to muster up a lowly eighth-place finish. Admittedly he was only in charge from Boxing Day onwards, but that doesn’t change the fact that he looked out of his depth at times. What maybe saved his job was the FA Cup. He led the Gunners to a semifinal victory over Manchester City before a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double sank Chelsea in the final.

But in the Spaniard’s second season in charge, improvements were nowhere to be found. He once again led the club to another eight-place finish but that year, he was to find no solace in the domestic cup competitions.

 

But last season, the club came on leaps and bounds. The expensive signings of English starlets Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale were initially ridiculed, but they proved to be masterful additions. Arsenal had the youngest average age in the Premier League last season, but they still almost – and probably should have – cracked the top four.

 

How Far Can They Go This Season? 

The addition of former Manchester City man Gabriel Jesus was a statement of intent from Arteta and co. The Brazilian international was in fine form during pre-season, bagging six times in just four games – and he has carried that form into the new season. He already bagged twice against Leicester City at the Emirates, and it looks like he may well be the difference maker for the Gunners.

 

Whether they can go on to be genuine contenders remains to be seen, but on this form, the top four should be an absolute minimum. And with domestic and Europa League silverware also on the table, who knows how the Arsenal rollercoaster will go between now and May?

 

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