Mikel Arteta is confident in Arsenal’s title chances: ‘My brain tells me we are lifting the Premier League’

8 Min Read

The odds, the fixture list and the sheer weight of Manchester City’s recent history may be telling him the opposite, but Mikel Arteta’s mastermind insists his Arsenal side will “take the Premier League to the next level” in nine days’ time. With two games left in their season, they need to beat Everton on the final day and before that Manchester United at Old Trafford, a ground where they have not achieved a victory in front of the supporters for nine years.

That in itself is not an easy task, but it is not even half the battle for Arsenal. They will also rely on Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham to take points from City. That’s three teams that have each achieved one win in their last five league games. It would be a stretch to say that Fulham are already on the beach, but when the time comes for Marco Silva’s men to leave camp at the end of the season, they will likely be flying kites along the beaches of Dubai and the Maldives tow.

Still, Arteta believes. “When I talk to the players, my brain tells me we are taking the Premier League to the next level,” he said ahead of Arsenal’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday. “That’s what my brain is doing right now and I want to follow my brain and my feelings. This is the way I want everyone to think too. Hopefully we can achieve that.”

“I’m telling you how I feel, the thoughts that come into my head and what drives my energy and purpose right now. It’s that ambition, that purpose that is so good.”

See also  NFL Draft 2024 Round 1 grades: Falcons, Broncos get C’s for Penix, Nix; Bears earn two A’s

Manchester United’s struggle

Perhaps he sees a title victory so clearly because he knows there is little to fear from his next opponent. Arsenal may have a terrible record at Old Trafford, but in all their recent visits there they have not faced a team as despicable as the one beaten 4-0 by Crystal Palace on Monday. The unstoppable force of the Premier League’s highest scoring attack flies at an object that is happy to get out of the way if they hinder Arsenal in any way.

In 2024, Manchester United have allowed 317 shots on target, the most in the Premier League by a not insignificant margin. That’s remarkable when most of the top flight has played 16 or 17 games. In two games less, United are giving up their chances of a frightening volume. Erik ten Hag often points to a defense that is constantly hit by injuries.

There will be no relief from the defensive crisis from Arsenal’s visit, even though Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay are back in training. Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof all remain sidelined until perhaps the FA Cup final. The availability of fellow center back Willy Kambwala is unclear. Luke Shaw has suffered a setback in his recovery, while there is no prospect of Tyrell Malacia returning this season. Lisandro Martinez’s pleas to take action against the leader fell on deaf ears.

Fernandes’ presence could test Arsenal. He tends to shine through in these games, dropping deep, evading the press and pinging passes into space that will leave William Saliba and Gabriel behind. Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho may not offer as much as they should without the ball, but they are relishing the opportunity to cut in behind the backline. Had the latter left half a second later during his visit to the Emirates Stadium, he might well have scored the winner on that crazy September afternoon where Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus struck at the death.

See also  The Caitlin Clark Effect and the Inconvenient Truth Behind It

“We know they are one of the best teams, or probably the best team,” said Arsenal’s Ten Hag. “You can argue about this. Is City the best team or is Arsenal the best team at the moment? Very sure of the ball, so very good structures and we know that we absolutely have to play at our maximum level to get a result. But that we are.” capable of doing so.”

Don’t miss CBS Sports Golazo Network’s Morning Footy, now in podcast form! Our crew brings you all the news, opinions, highlights and humor you need to follow The Beautiful Game in every corner of the world, every Monday to Friday, all year round.

Arsenal’s title chase needs help

Meanwhile, Arteta’s visualizations extend to “a very positive context” for his side to take on United, but he knows, even if he is reluctant to elaborate, that Arsenal’s fate this week is linked to that of Fulham as they take on City. Even though Marco Silva’s side have long secured survival, they have been quietly impressive since the start of the year. They took twenty points from sixteen games and at the same time achieved the sixth best expected goal difference in the Premier League. They earned a break after training to fly a kite.

“The power of team bonding,” Arteta said when asked about the jokes. “Nobody knows what it is, but sometimes you get great results from it. I’ve been on teams that have struggled to win a match and we go out to dinner and then you go on an incredible run. I’m sure That’s what’s going to happen.” happens with Fulham.”

See also  Borussia Dortmund vs PSG picks, Champions League predictions, schedule: experts see Mbappe pulling it off

It is easy to understand why Arteta is so confident that his statements will become reality. This was the man who predicted a bright future for Arsenal when many wondered if he was about to lose his job before Christmas in 2020. His side have responded to last season’s collapse with a few obstacles still to go by pushing City further and harder, even in a more challenging Premier League. Now he finds himself in a spot where he would have been more than willing to settle at the start of the season.

“I would pick up that pen and sign it,” he said when asked what he would have thought of this scenario if it had been presented to him at the start of the season. His confidence that the breaks will go in Arsenal’s favor appears unwavering. He is perhaps the only Arsenal supporter who is not hoping for a misstep from City. He seems to know it’s coming.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *