“We failed to reach our target last year, so this year we are very hungry and we want to show our qualities. » This is what Martin Ødegaard, new Arsenal captain, told Foot Mercato a few days ago, as part of the release of the documentary series All or Nothing: Arsenal. Simple words, in appearance, which nevertheless perfectly sum up the situation of the Gunners and their state of mind, when it comes to attacking the new Premier League season, which they will launch this Friday (9 p.m.) on the lawn of Crystal Palace.
After a frustrating but promising 2021-2022 season marked by a disastrous start, Mikel Arteta’s players are determined not to repeat past mistakes. “We learned a lot from last season.testifies to us besides in this direction Martin Ødegaard. We were a young group, there were a lot of young players. We’re all a year older now, we’ve all gained experience. We were really disappointed at the end of last season. We will use it positively. What happened was not good, but we learned from what we did to make the team stronger.”. An analysis that we find in the mouth of Cédric Soares. “I hope that this year, we will have learned from our past mistakes and that we will be more ready to achieve our objectives. We improved a lot, the team became more mature, we had good series. Everyone has more experience for this season.”explains the Portuguese side.
A beautiful transfer window and perfect preparation
As a direct consequence or not of having the youngest squad in the league last year, Arsenal have shown a lot of irregularity throughout the season. To remedy this, the London sports management offered 5 recruits to Mikel Arteta. Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City), but also Fabio Vieira (Porto), Matt Turner (New England) and Marquinhos (São Paulo) landed at the Emirates Stadium this summer, not to mention that William Saliba returned from his loan to OM to consolidate a rearguard that has already shown great promise for the future. An interesting transfer window, especially since no major element, apart from Alexandre Lacazette (end of contract, OL), has left the group. The Gunners will in any case arrive at Selhurst Park with full confidence.
They remain on a convincing preparation (7 wins in 7 games), during which they beat Ipswich, Nuremberg, Everton, Orlando City, Chelsea and finally Sevilla in the Emirates Cup. Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal’s new n°9, made a name for himself by scoring no less than 7 goals this summer. The Brazilian put in solid performances, like the whole team, which sent many positive signals. What prove that the team is ready to be regular over an entire season? “Yes, I think we prepared very well. We had a good pre-season. Everyone was disappointed and frustrated at the end of the season. We all want to tap into that hate and disappointment to do something good this year and show that we’ve improved. We want to give the club, the fans and everyone here what we deserve.”proclaims in any case the n°8 of the Gunners.
Objective Top 4… and more if you like?
It remains to be seen what will happen on the ground. Especially since Mikel Arteta and his troupe will have to reacquaint themselves with Europe, they who will be competing in the Europa League. A competition in which the Gunners do not intend to make up the numbers. We obviously want to lift a trophy this season, be it the Europa League, the FA Cup or the Carabao Cup, insists Emile Smith Rowe, before going further on the objectives for the coming season. We want to compete with the best teams. If we are ready to fight for the title in PL? This is of course a goal for us.
A more temperate discourse with Martin Ødegaard, who aims “obviously the Top 4” and prefers to press the importance of playing the Champions League. “When you play at this club, you have to fight for trophies. We want to fight to win titles too. All games are tough in the Premier League, there is no rest. » And ESR, which reveals that the team has forged even stronger bonds, concludes with simplicity. “With the new players we have, we are really excited to start this new season. » The supporters have in any case good reasons to believe in the Top 4, while it may be the year or never for Mikel Arteta.