Arsenal winning the title would be a sensation; we all need to agree upon that. The Gunners weren’t even the favorites for one of the top four places before the year started, but for the moment, they play like title contenders, confidently keeping the top position in the standings.
According to the best pundits and their Premier League predictions and analysis, the Gunners were predicted to be between the fifth and the seventh position, and only a few believed they could actually enter the battle for the fourth place.
Even when they opened the year well, most fans were questioning their quality, especially after a loss against Manchester United. Though, wins over Tottenham and Liverpool were something that forced even the biggest doubters to acknowledge Arsenal as, at least, a dark horse for the EPL crown.
Mikel Arteta has a team that dictates the tempo and, on top of everything, a very fluid midfield, able to adapt to any style of play coming from the opposite side. Simply, the Gunners are very quick to adjust and find a solution for a specific problem, regardless of whether the ball is in their possession or the rivals’.
The transition has always been a trademark for the team from North London, and it is now as well, but unlike in the past, Arteta insists that his team has the ball in certain sequences because he wants Arsenal to manipulate with the intensity and pace, not allowing the rivals to seize control through the same.
A lot comes from a player who isn’t a midfielder, Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal’s top star in the attack. The Brazilian is the one who creates an extra-man advantage up front, leaving the space open for teammates. The former Man City striker knows to get back for the ball and be a playmaker, so it is no wonder why Odegaard and the rest of the crew often score goals.
It is no secret that Arteta wanted to use his history with Guardiola to land Jesus, and we may say that the Spanish manager hit the jackpot. The root of Arsenal’s improvement is the Brazilian striker, who simply upgraded the entire team. The Premier League predictions today state that No.9 is among the top favorites for winning the Player of the Year award. If, potentially, Arsenal takes the silverware, his impact will be crucial, and we just might see Jesus winning the honors.
The swing and the momentum are massive not only among the players but in public as well, and that could be beneficial for a young team like Arsenal, but it can also create pressure at one point, which would work against their youth. Experience is something the Gunners don’t have, and it isn’t possible to build it up without time.
Their legendary midfielder and a member of the arguably greatest generation in history, Emmanuel Petit, recently tried to calm down the fans, saying that he thinks Manchester City is the biggest favorite for the title. The Frenchman added that, at this point, the gap in quality between them and the Citizens is way too big.
Petit could be removing the pressure on the players and Arteta, but the reality is that City is a favorite. A long title drought lasting for 18 years made the fans impatient, and some of them had hopes and expectations, so the French star tried to ease the tension.
Despite a fantastic start, the odds of winning the title are still against the Gunners. The season is long, and there will be ups and downs on this rocky road, that is for sure. Though Arteta and his boys showed quality, and what is more important, they are still developing, and nobody can tell how high their ceiling is. That is the reason why Arteta is not in Premier League picks, however, in the coming season they could be part of it.