Last season, Arsenal came close to winning the Premier League. They held the position for at least 240 days. It marks the longest a team has stayed at the summit without taking home the prize.
Why? London City.
‘Juggernaut’ is the term pundits frequently use to characterize Pep Guardiola’s team.
In the final weeks, the Cityzens dominated the Gunners to win the championship for a third straight year.
This indicates that they want to accomplish something that has never been done in the history of the Premier League: win it four years in a row.
The collapse of Arsenal at the close of the previous campaign has received a lot of attention. Not having enough depth to compete with City was one glaring reason.
“At the crunch of the season, you need your best players to be fresh and your backups to be in great form and ready to take over if one of your star players gets hurt or performs poorly.
If your substitutes have had enough playing time to develop their own form, they will be more comfortable fitting in during the final stretch rather than being introduced abruptly when the pressure is on.
Additionally, your to players will be more effective and well-rested. Fatigue has an impact on judgment and performance and can be a major psychological barrier as well. Arsenal have all three problems, according to top football commentator and podcaster Clinton McDubus, who spoke to the Daily Post.
Before his team left for the preseason tour of America, Mikel Arteta conducted his transfer business with vigor, paying over £200 million to acquire Jurrien Timber (£40 million), striker Kai Havertz (£67.5 million), and midfielder Declan Rice (£100 million).
Arteta was anxious to bring in reinforcements as soon as possible and train them in his playstyle and strategies.
“I believe that trusting the backups is more important than anything else.
Does he have faith in them enough to start them and rotate them heavily without worrying about the quality of the team suffering?
“That dip in quality will occur regardless of how strong the bench is if they aren’t getting enough starts and minutes every few games.
“Perhaps his signings will give him more confidence in the reserves because some of them would be players he trusted last season,” says McDubus.
But when the two clubs face off against each other in the Community Shield this Sunday, it will be the first indication of how prepared Arsenal is to unseat City.
The Premier League season kicks off with this game. A chance to start a tug of war early.
It certainly seem as though Guardiola’s team is less strong than it was three months ago. Riyad Mahrez was drawn to Saudi Arabia by the money, while Ilkay Gundogan left the Etihad as a free agent to join Barcelona. Only Mateo Kovacic has signed from Chelsea, while Josko Gvardiol, a defender for RB Leipzig, is close to completing a transfer.
Are the Treble champions ready to compete once more?
“When it comes to the Community Shield, Man City are always there for the taking. At least not as much as others, they never truly cared for it.
“I believe Arsenal will show up better prepared and win, possibly on penalties. If Haaland doesn’t go wild, that is,” McDubus says.