The 2022–2023 Premier League season has been disappointing for banter lovers. The club most frequently mentioned by fans, journalists, and ex-players is competing for the Premier League title. Before this season, Arsenal had fallen off at a competitive level. They haven't qualified for the Champions League since the 2015–2016 edition. They last won the league 18 years ago and stopped competing a long time ago. Admittedly, Arsenal had become comical with the way they lost big matches. Their fans didn't help matters with their constant whining and insults of the club, their players, and the in-game officiating.
Judging by how Arsenal ended the 2021–22 season, you'll excuse most media outlets and journalists for not tipping them for a top-four finish. Surprisingly, Arsenal is top of the Premier League with eight games left. Out of the 30 matches played, they have lost 3, drawn 4, and won 23.
Throughout the season, there has been disbelief from the media. Most journalists argued that Arsenal’s momentum was a fluke. When it proved not to be a fluke, they started targeting Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta, for his passion and antics. Since that didn’t make many headlines, the same media that couldn’t predict Arsenal's challenge for the title is now predicting they will lose the league to Manchester City because of their 2-2 draw against Liverpool ‑ a game of two halves where Arsenal dominated the first half and Liverpool the second. Considering the game was at Anfield, a stadium where Arsenal has been humiliated in recent seasons and where their last victory dates back to the 2012–13 season.
There is no doubt that Arsenal’s remaining eight fixtures are going to be tough, with away trips to Newcastle and Manchester City still to come. Unlike previous years, Arsenal won't be going into those games as the underdog. Arsenal might not be favorites, but judging by how they have played this season, their fans will fancy their chances against these teams.
Arsenal's inexperience may work against them, as Manchester City has more winners and experienced heads but is also active in three competitions. The mental resilience might prove too tough for Manchester City, especially if their Champions League campaign ends in heartbreak like in previous seasons.
The summer recruitment of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City has been a game-changer for Arsenal. If Arsenal is going to go all the way, both are going to be instrumental, not just on the pitch but psychologically as well. Both have won trophies and understand how to manage the pressure during games. Arsenal will need their star boy Bukayo Saka and club captain Martin Odegaard to continue to rally the team positively, as they have done all season.
Whether Arsenal can win the Premier League remains to be seen. They can only play one match at a time. If Arsenal has proven anything this season, it's their resilience and competitiveness. One thing is for sure: the Premier League title is theirs to lose, and they are not going down without a fight.
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