Returning to the fore this summer, Arsenal, who face Crystal Palace this Friday at the start of the 2022/2023 Premier League season, will have high expectations this season. If the club’s last exercises had been punctuated by many air holes and upheavals, several indicators suggest that this season could be the right one. To the point of being cut to win a TOP 4?
An English club accumulating unrivaled silverware, or almost, Arsenal has often found itself in recent seasons against all odds, sometimes even being at odds with itself. No longer present in the Champions League for 6 years, the London club was close to clinching 4th place in the league last season, before finally collapsing at the end of the exercise and seeing its eternal rival Tottenham slip away before their eyes.
But this season the Gunners could well return to ambitions to match their pedigree on the continental stage – the club played 15 round of 16 of C1 in the XXI e century – especially after registering weight reinforcements this summer.
A successful transfer window… but perhaps not over
Pro-active since the start of the summer transfer window, Arsenal have already recorded 5 arrivals. Headlining: Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, poached respectively from Manchester City for 52M€ and 35M€. For the Brazilian international (56 caps, 19 goals), the task will be to compensate for the free departure of Alexandre Lacazette. A reinforcement of weight according to Loïc, media manager of the page @ArsenalFansFR (71,000 followers) on Twitter: “I am delighted with the arrival of Gabriel Jesus. From what we have seen on the preparation, he has already adapted very well and displays a good complementarity with Ødegaard. At Arsenal, he will have the opportunity to take on another dimension with a team that will now play for him, which was not the case at City. »
As for the Ukrainian Zinchenko (25), his mission will be to solidify Arsenal’s left lane, where failures have piled up in recent seasons: “Arsenal have strengthened in positions where it was fishing. On the left, the arrival of Zinchenko is very good news. Tierney was injured too often and Tavares needed to be loaned out to prepare for the Premier League challenge. » Judge Loic.
Two reinforcements to combine with the return of William Saliba (21 years old) and the signing of the Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira (22 years old). French, back with a new international status and already greatly appreciated by Mikel Arteta, will be an added value in the defense of the Gunners, especially after the departure of Konstantínos Mavropános and soon that of the Spaniard Pablo Marí. Regarding Fábio Vieira, recruited from Port for €35m and author of 6 goals and 14 assists in La Liga Bwin last season he arrived with the idea of strengthening the London midfield – Matteo Guendouzi has definitely joined OM and Lucas Torreira was sold to Galatasaray – sorely lacking bench depth last season. Less certainty, however, about the added value that the young Brazilian winger will bring in the short term Marquinhos (19 years old) and the goalkeeper Matt Turner (28) arrived from São Paulo and MLS franchise New England Revolution respectively.
An eventful transfer window but perhaps not finished as implied by the words of Mikel Arteta: “ We are still active, both on departures and on arrivals. Everything is still possible, the market is still far from closed. We have already done an incredible job but we don’t intend to stop there. » Among the names recently mentioned in the press: Youri Tielemans or Lucas Paquetafor whom Arsenal have not yet made the slightest offer.
Convincing preparation and in-form recruits
While Arsenal have made a name for themselves on the transfer market this summer, they have also made a strong impression on the pitch. Perked up, Mikel Arteta’s men recorded 6 wins in 7 games during their pre-season. We will always try to repeat mechanically that highlighting these meetings is essential, but they nevertheless remain a reliable indicator of the state of form of the players, and more broadly of the teams. In the space of 7 games, Arsenal have scored 26 goals. And the new auriverde recruit Gabriel Jesus (24 years old) adapted in the blink of an eye to her new eco-system by marking 7. On the 7, we will remember the subtle dive during the victory 4-0 against Chelsea – whose eleven strongly resembled the one which should be aligned by Thomas Tuchel this season – or his hat-trick during the slap inflicted on the Sevilla FC (6-0).
A preparation where all the lights were green and which allowed new recruits to quickly get in working order. Against Sevilla FC, Oleksandr Zinchenko played 45 minutes, enough to see his coach give him Chimene’s eyes. “He understands everything I want, he already understands the process and I think he had a very good game… I know him really well, he’s an exceptional player. » told Mikel Arteta about him after the meeting. Same story for the ghost William Salibaintractable during the preparation matches, and whose compilations have made Arsenal fans salivate on social networks: ” I’m really happy to see how he’s playing, how he’s adapted to the team, the maturity he’s showing at 21. We will continue to develop him, he has huge potential, he is already a top player and we need to make him even better. “delivered the former player of the barca and PSG.
For Loïc, media manager of the page @ArsenalFansFRArsenal’s preparation has been convincing and is a continuation of what Arsenal wanted to set up Mikel Artetaespecially in its precepts of play. “Even if the context is very different from that of the Premier League, the preparation is in line with what Arteta wanted. He was able to put in place his intense pressing, especially against Chelsea, and continue with his hybrid positions. We feel that there is a soul in this team, that the group is ultra concerned and behind the coach. » Vary the patterns of play to surprise the opponent, this is clearly the idea of Mikel Arteta, expressed during the preparation: “We can adapt structures, formations, rotations in the team and play with the same players in a different way. It’s important to be unpredictable and that’s why we have these players. » A wish that found an echo in the Gunners group, visibly invested and mobilized behind the Spanish technician.
A group still young and sometimes mentally chilly
If Arsenal did not manage to keep their 4th place until the end of last season, it is largely due to their irregularity displayed throughout the season. Capable of knocking down championship big heads like Tottenham, Chelsea or Manchester Unitedthe Gunners had taken the annoying habit of losing points against the most modest teams of the championship.
Last September after the resounding 3-1 victory against rival Tottenham, Mikel Arteta’s men were hooked in stride by Crystal Palace then Brighton. In May, in the same spirit, they chained prestigious success against Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham before collapsing against Tottenham then Newcastleand to say goodbye to the Champions League once and for all.
A phenomenon which is also certainly explained by the youth of the group led by Mikel Arteta, youngest squad in the Premier League last season with an average age of 24.9. If the group displayed a certain freshness, several players from the starting eleven played for the first time in a club with European ambitions (Ramsdale, Ben White, Tomiyasu, etc.). This season, with the experience and quality of the group he has at his disposal, Arteta will have to learn lessons in order to, why not, overturn the established order of the TOP 4 in the Premier League in recent years, synonymous with qualification in the League Champions.