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Can Arsenal End Liverpool and Manchester City’s Premier League Duopoly?

The last time Arsenal won the English top flight league was in the 2003-2004 season, which means fans have been waiting for 19 years to see their team lift the…

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 20th January 2023
Arsenal

A Christian saying goes thus “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning“. This is the tale of Arsenal fans this season as The Gunners are on  a fairytale run in the Premier League. The North London club were once title contenders in the early 2000’s but things began to change as the era of the 2010’s came in. The last time Arsenal won the English top flight league was in the 2003-2004 season, which means fans have been waiting for 19 years to see their team lift the trophy.

 

Rebuild

 

Following Arsene Wenger’s departure in 2018, the hierarchy at Arsenal brought in Spanish manager, Unai Emery as head coach to usher in a new era and change the fortunes of the club. However, the club decided to let him go after eighteen months in charge of the English giants.

 

After a brief stint by Freddie Ljunberg as interim manager, former club captain Mikel Arteta came in as his replacement in December 2019, signing a three and a half years contract. The revolution at the club began, but it was far from rosy for both the players and fans as they suffered humiliation from rival fans who made fun of their misfortunes at any given opportunity.

 

It was initially a bittersweet start for Arteta as he led the club to the Emirates FA Cup and FA Community Shield wins in 2020. The club would however go on to have back to back eight place finishes in the Premier League (2019/2020 and 2020/2021). Last season (2021/2022), Mikel Arteta’s rebuild began to show signs of maturity as they came close to making the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the 2015-2016 season where they came second behind Leicester City.

 

Manchester City And Liverpool’s Dominance

 

Since the 2017/2018 season, the Premier League title has been won by Manchester City and Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp is the only manager to prevent Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side from winning the English top flight league title every season since his success in the league began. Pep Guardiola has successfully steered his side to four Premier League titles (2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022). Klopp on the other hand has only won the league title with Liverpool on one occasion (2019/2020).

 

Image of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

 

Arsenal’s Run

 

The rebuild and change of culture at Arsenal has finally been installed, with Mikel Arteta having a squad that’s majorly his own signings. The efforts have begun to pay off, with it showing in their style of play and results. One interesting fact to note is that after 18 games, the Invisibles Squad had 42 points while this current Arsenal side have  47 points after 18 games.

 

The Gunners have won 15, drawn two and lost one of the 18 games played, currently five points clear of second placed Manchester City. Despite their scintillating performances, Manchester United legend turned pundit Gary Neville still believes that the youthful Gunners aren’t going to end up as champions of the Premier League.

 

At some point, there will be a very difficult period for Arsenal this season. Is it conceivable that Arsenal are going to continue as they are? I don’t think it is. Could they draw two and lose one in a three-game period, and if they did that, their lead is gone, and the pack is up with them? That’s what I think is going to happen, we’ll see a traditional Premier League season where a team goes out, the pacemaker, and then they’ll get drawn back in a little bit. But I still think that this season is going to be far better for Arsenal than I ever imagined it would be.

 

“I know Arsenal fans will batter me, as they have been doing for the last four months, I hope you win it! I think for Mikel Arteta, it’s so difficult for young managers to break that [Antonio] Conte, [Jurgen] Klopp, [Carlo] Ancelotti, [Pep] Guardiola, [Jose] Mourinho mould and become one of those super managers. You can’t break them.”  

 

Key Stats

 

Arsenal have played eight home Premier League games in the ongoing season and have remained unbeaten on their turf (played 8, won seven and drawn 1). However, they’ve eleven more games to play at the Emirates, if they win all that could be massive. As for the away record, the Gunners have played 10 away games and have only suffered just one loss and a draw. Is this their year of success ? Will they end City’s winning run ? These are the questions that the London giants have to answer.

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