Arsenal are now where Man C was one year ago. Can we overtake?

By Tony Attwood

A headline from the New York Times / The Athletic website reads, Whichever way you cut it, Arsenal are now elite – here are the numbers to prove it

The article does what quite a few articles have done lately and look at the positions Arsenal take up, and the way they use tactics to outmanoeuvre the opposition.  They also comment on the improvement in every department on the pitch., as we did recently by looking at the progress in terms of scoring more season on season, and conceding fewer season on season.

And to summarise the whole approach in the Athletic, the headline is, “Arsenal are no longer just contenders — they are now genuinely elite.”

This is indeed our argument based on the progress year on year in terms of goals scored and also in terms of defence  and of course in terms of points gained.

Untold’s conclusion was that by improving both attack and defence year by year everything is bound to get better.   And in a roundabout way the Athletic is agreeing saying, “The interesting thing about Arsenal’s rise is that, broadly speaking, their football didn’t change all that much.   

Although to be fair they do highlight one point: “Manager Mikel Arteta’s decision two summers ago to move central defender Ben White out to right-back, where he could push up in support of Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka, was a turning point.”

What’s more, as they note, “Arsenal’s average age this season, weighted by minutes played, was just 25, making them the seventh-youngest team in Europe’s top five leagues.”

And let’s be clear about that.  Not the seventh youngest in the Premier League but in Europe’s top five leagues.  Which is to say seventh out of 100 clubs.  Only Trossard and Raya out of the regulars are over 26 years old.

So the question is what happens next?

One of the prime factors that we have noted is the way points per season have grown year on year, going up by 46% over the last four years.  Manchester City however have varied only by seven points, compared with Arsenal’s development by 28 points.

Of course this can be explained by the fact that Manchester City have been doing very well year after year so there is a limit to how much better they can get.

But we can also note that Arsenal finished this past sesaon on 89 points which was enough points for Manchester City to win the league with in 2022/23.

Indeed the similarity between Manchester City’s final tally in 2022/3 and Arsenal’s in 2023/24 is remarkable.

Both teams (Manc City 202/3, Arsenal 2023/4 won 28, drew five and lost five.  Arsenal scored three goals fewer in 2024 than Manchester City in 2023, but conceded four goals fewer, giving Arsenal a one goal better difference.


Team/Season P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 2023 38 28 5 5 94 33 61 89
2 Arsenal 2024 38 28 5 5 91 29 62 89


And of course Arsenal did this without incurring 115 charges against them from the rest of the Premier League in any previous season, which makes it all the more remarkable an achievement.

It is a shame that the media has chosen not to mention this – although to be fair I might have missed it as I don’t have the time to look at every newspaper every day.  But if it was mentioned I suspect it wasn’t with very big headlines (but do correct me if I am wrong.)

However in thinking about whether Arsenal can now overtake Manchester City there is a problem, since Manchester City have a team that is used to winning the title and I am sure have built up more strength in depth than Arsenal.

But the fact is that the difference between the top two in the season just ended was not that great.  Both clubs won 28 games, but of the rest Manchester City drew seven and Arsenal drew 5.

Now of course if Arsenal had drawn two more that would only have given Arsenal the same points as Manchester C.   But both would have to have been 3-3 draws for Arsenal to have scored more goals.  That’s unlikely so maybe we should admit we were three points behind.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 38 28 7 3 96 34 62 91
2 Arsenal 38 28 5 5 91 29 62 89


Certainly if any punishment comes Manchester City’s way as a result of the 115 charges, and any of that punishment is expressed in 2023/24 in terms of point deductions then it is bound to be three points at least which gives Arsenal the title.

But I am not holding my breath.

Last season TransferMarkt’s table of transfers had Manchester City spending Total market value of arrivals: €325.50m on purchases and receiving €243.60m on sales – a total outlay of €81.9m.

Arsenal by comparison spent €234.94m and received in €69.20m – a total outlay of €165.74m.   If Manchester City continue to be cautious in their spending, with half an eye on the FFP dispute still ongoing, Arsenal could outspend Manchester City again, and get the final push  to the top of the league.

2 Replies to “Arsenal are now where Man C was one year ago. Can we overtake?”

  1. Arsenal must sign the best and nothing short of world class. The striker they need to over take man city is “Wirtz”, The German player of the year. He is gifted and unbelievable talent. Check him out on YouTube.

  2. @daveg,

    considering the fact that Alonso has refused all offers and stays at Leverkusen, I’d expect him to have ascertained that Wirz stays in his team…. would you not think ?

    Furthermore, as Untold has shown time after time, a new scorer is not the issue….

    IMHO Arsenal need depth at the back, and a 10+ scoring midfielder. No idea if there are youth players able to be integrated. I’d love to see ESR back on the left side as pivot to another trifecta to balance White-Odegaard-Saka. But maybe I’m just being romantic here and not an expert… thing is he comes at no cost and has credentials.

Leave a Reply

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