Is 2023/4 this Arsenal’s last chance of a Premier League title?


Much has been made of Arsenal’s collapse last season, and indeed we have dwelt on it many times because it was such a defining moment.  For on 12 April 2023 the table top read Arsenal played 30, 73 points, Manchester City played 29, 67 points.  Arsenal then won two of the next eight.

And of course Arsenal are not alone in such matters.   Tottenham were top of the league on 26 October 2023 not only two points ahead of Arsenal and Manchester City on points but also with a better goal difference than Arsenal.

Now they are 20 points and 42 goals behind Arsenal and their solace (at least among those who write to Untold) is that they have a stadium that earns more money than Arsenal’s does.

I’ve been disputing the veracity of that claim in recent articles, but even if it were true, it would be quite an odd assertion: “we’ve got a better stadium than yours, and that’s more important than the 20 points and 42 goals, and quite possibly a Champions League place,” (mathematically assured of course for Arsenal, and still just possible for Tottenahm but only if Aston Villa kindly oblige.)

But much of the media is with Tottenham although some of the commentary is getting desperate ( see Does Tottenham have the most profitable stadium).

And now Jamie Carragher has “warned” that Arteta and his players cannot afford to let opportunity drift past,

That is an interesting point taking for it suggests Arsenal’s  progress since 2019/20 is now at an end.   And that’s interesting because it contradicts the clear improvement Arsenal has made season on season.

These are all signs of progress, along with the increasing impossibility for Arsenal’s red members of getting tickets for any game this season – an interesting thought when the Telegraph is running the headline  “Tottenham’s empty seats show north London balance of power has definitively shifted.”

They also add, “Even die-hard Spurs fans seem to have little faith in their floundering team – and may hope they lose to Man City to deny Arsenal the title,”even noting the arrival of “St Totteringham’s Day” very appropriately being celebrated at the new stadium.  

Elsewhere the Telegraph also says, “Liverpool will have a new manager next season, and major decisions to be made on three of their biggest players entering the last 12 months of contracts. Manchester United may have a new manager too, and PSR issues,” which is an interesting thought.   The league turning its attention to the way Manchester United have spent money… fancy that!

That would mean they would join Chelsea and Manchester City in that regard.  Hopefully Arsenal’s executive vice-chairman Tim Lewis, whose background in the city focussed on mergers and acquisitions, is ensuring Arsenal are not caught in that trap.

There is also talk of having much stronger associated party rules, aimed specifically to stop the City Group from moving players from one of their clubs to another.    That’s important since the Group currently have control over the club second in the Premier League (Man C) and third in the Spanish League (Girona).   Being able to move players between those two leagues gives the group (still being investigated over 110 alleged misdemeanours in the Premier League) a huge advantage.

And yet despite all this background in Arsenal’s favour, old tales still exist, as with in the same Telegraph article the notion that for Arsenal the “obvious deficit of a goalscorer a difficult problem to solve with PSR so tight.”

But just look at the league table written in the order of goals scored….

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 35 25 5 5 85 28 57 80
2 Manchester City 34 24 7 3 82 32 50 79
3 Liverpool 35 22 9 4 77 36 41 75
7 Newcastle United 34 16 5 13 74 55 19 53
4 Aston Villa 35 20 7 8 73 52 21 67
5 Tottenham Hotspur 33 18 6 9 67 52 15 60


Surely if anyone has an  “obvious deficit of a goalscorer” in that group of the top six clubs organised by goals scored, it is…  Tottenham H.

The article is also wrong when it says “The simmering unrest among the fanbase has dissipated in recent years.”    The walk out at the Villa game, followed by the ludicrous claims that Arteta won’t rotate the squad, when his rotation policies are very similar to those of Manchester City and Liverpool, showed how untrue that is.  Much of the fan base is still manipulated by the media.

But by this stage of the Telegraph article we are in fantasy land.   Take for example, “The club estimates the value of the squad at £1 billion which would not be enough to build the Emirates these days.”   So what?   No one is talking of Arsenal building a new stadium.   £1bn is also not enough to put a man on Mars, but that seems equally irrelevant.

Still, that’s football journalism for you.  At least in England.

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