Arsenal enjoyed a very good season in 2022/23, even though we were ultimately, and sadly, pipped to the Premier League title by clear favourites that year, Manchester City, Gunners fans should still feel incredibly proud as to the turnaround in fortunes we have seen since manager Mikel Arteta walked through the door.
After all, at the beginning of last season there would not have been many in the fanbase who thought we would have the season we then went on to have. A top four spot would certainly have been an attainable gain, but losing out on top spot having built up the advantage we did, smarted for everyone.
It will however drive the players and Arteta on further next season to at least consolidate our challenge, even if we cannot quite better it, but if we are to better it, our Spanish gaffer knows that we need to improve the over all quality, and depth, of the squad for the year ahead, so transfer links to the likes of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz show we are serious about taking that next step.
Speaking to the BBC this weekend, the gaffer explained.
“Next season is going to be the toughest league in Premier League history. Why? It already was last year. I’ve been here for 22 years and I’ve never seen a competitive level like that. So much quality, so much organisation, so many resources, so many good coaches. That’s the level and to win the Premier League you have to be the best. That’s why you have to strengthen.”
Many will point to the fact that our title ambitions derailed massively upon the loss of key centre half William Saliba, who really came to the fore last year despite having arrived initially back in the 2019/20 campaign.
Reflecting more on the ‘hurt’ of losing out as we did last season, Arteta went on to say.
“To this day, it still hurts me deep inside not to have won the Premier League after 10 months of fighting with City. There were three or four injuries to important players and from then on, everything got complicated. When we had the full team, we were consistent. As soon as problems came, it wasn’t enough for us. Our opponent was the best team in the world, the best squad in the world, the best coach in the world. We had no choice but to accept it and shake hands with the champion.”
We will have to hope disappointment does not feature next season, but that may well depend on who we bring in.
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