Arsenal's Season: Premier League title hopes dashed, lessons learned & squad improvement plans for the future
|Over and out! Arsenal's title dreams ended emphatically at home to Brighton but where does the team go from here? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
The rest of Arsenal’s title hopes went up in thick smoke at home to Brighton on Sunday following an embarrassing 3-0 loss, but in hindsight, is it a failed season?
Martin Odegaard crashed to the ground, Aaron Ramsdale was inconsolable, and the fans were left in tears.
But they knew the day would come since the three straight draws against Liverpool, West Ham, and Southampton ushered them into the 4-1 loss against Manchester City.
At the start of the season, Arsenal’s target couldn’t have been to win the title, but when they found themselves in the driving seat, they probably didn’t know how to behave, and their naiveté has gotten the best of them.
A strong showing in the Europa League, maybe one of the domestic cups, and a top-four push would have been the target back then in August, considering how they missed out on the Champions League narrowly last season.
There are indeed positives for the Gunners.
Arsenal performed woefully in cup competitions; losing to Sporting Lisbon on penalties in the round of 16 confirmed how woeful they were in Europe.
Losing to City for the first time at asking in the FA Cup and a home loss to Brighton in the League Cup even before it got to a serious stage says a lot.
The Sporting game ruined Arsenal’s season. It took the wind out of their winning sails and also robbed them of William Saliba.
At that point, the cookie started crumbling, and Arsenal never recovered, showing where they should be looking for the new season.
Lessons for squad improvement
Arsenal got underway in the last summer window quite early, sealing deals for Gabriel Jesus and Alex Zinchenko before others could wake up.
Their participation in the preseason games helped Arsenal take off well, and they must do that again.
Dwelling on players that will never join them should not be a thing this coming window.
Identify the gaps, identify the right players, and go in for them early.
By now, you know where the problem lies; plugging it early is key.
There’s no point in going in with a ridiculous bid.
Every selling club has an evaluation of their players; if they name a price, pay up and get your man.
The Mudryk and Raphinha stories should teach Edu real lessons, and he can’t afford to repeat old mistakes.
It’s a shame that it has come to nothing in the end, but improving on this season’s successes should be Arsenal’s plan for next season.
Go all out in the window and improve on the squad depth; maybe, just maybe, the elephant will climb again.