Young Arsenal impress in title race but must strengthen squad for the next season - Season review and verdict
|Arsenal impressed for much of the season but narrowly missed out on the league title. How will it go for Arsenal in the coming season? (Photo credit: Arsenal.com)|
Arsenal narrowly missed out on Champions League football in the 2021/2022 season, and that was down to a rough patch at the tail end of the season where they lost to Tottenham and Newcastle successively. In a way, you look at their 2022/2023 season and feel a sense of déjà vu.
Arsenal led the Premier League table for almost the entirety of the season and ended up coming in second to Manchester City.
The Gunners were in the title race until game week 35, but it was after the loss to Nottingham Forest in game week 36 that City were crowned champions.
Back in August, when fans were setting standards and benchmarks, no one would have placed Arsenal in the title race.
Champions League qualification was the biggest ask, and maybe Europa triumph and some decent showings in domestic competitions
Arsenal failed as far as the League Cup and the FA Cup are concerned and didn’t really impress in Europe after losing in the round of 16 on penalties to Sporting Lisbon.
City eliminated Arsenal early in the FA Cup, and Brighton ousted Arsenal way back in October from the Carabao Cup.
On the transfer front, Arsenal signed Gabriel Jesus and Oleg Zinchenko early in the window.
The duo from City joined the preseason, and that helped Arsenal prepare for the season opener. Both players hit the ground running, and that contributed to the Gunners leading the table early.
Most pundits predicted Arsenal to fall off despite their brilliant start to the season; many even predicted Arsenal to miss out on the Champions League despite the run they were on.
Week in and week out, Arsenal kept winning, and for a long time, it felt like it was their year.
For the first time in a very long time, Arsenal beat Liverpool.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to the Emirates with Chelsea, but Arsenal humbled him despite his pre-match warning video.
The North London derby came, and Arsenal won again; the feeling was strange.
The World Cup interrupted the momentum, but Arsenal didn’t stop when the season resumed.
The Gunners beat Brighton 4-2 at the Amex, and United were also beaten at the Emirates.
Every new standard set by naysayers met Arsenal’s strong response, and pundits became afraid as the team waxed stronger.
Failure to land Moises Caicedo and Mhkalo Mudryk in the January window set the fans apart, but Edu Gaspar managed to seal deals for Chelsea’s Jorginho and Leandro Trossard from Brighton.
The Belgian settled in quickly, but it took a while for Jorginho to gain the fans’ acceptance.
William Saliba had a fine shout for player of the season, but his injury since early March meant he wouldn’t kick the ball again for Arsenal, and Thomas Partey’s form dwindled too.
Arsenal began to struggle, and a run of three straight draws, including two games where they led 2-0, ended their run.
Finishing second behind City would have been a great one to accept way back in the summer, but considering how long the Gunners led the table, fans found it hard to swallow the results.
But the Gunners achieved Champions League football for the first time in seven seasons, and it’s a big one.
Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Saliba, and Gabriel Jesus all stood out as the big performers for the Gunners, and good business in the transfer window will help Arsenal do it again, and this time successfully, in the new season.
Martin Odegaard is Arsenal’s player of the season.
The Norwegian nearly led them to a league title, but Arsenal must strengthen in the summer.
It's been a successful season considering how it ended for Liverpool, Chelsea, and Spurs, all of which many predicted would finish above Arsenal, but this summer will tell what the Gunners want from next season.
Season verdict: B
A: Excellent season
B+: Very good and successful season
B: Very good season
C: Average season
D: Poor season
E: Bad season
F: Failed season