The story behind Arsenal’s resurgence in 2022/23?
You would have got extremely long odds ahead of this season on Arsenal winning the Premier League. Even now, five points clear and with a game in hand on Manchester City, plenty of bettors will be putting their 1xbet bonus code to use by backing the defending champions to overhaul the Gunners in the remaining four months of football. They may well be right to do so, but one thing that is becoming clear is that anyone waiting for Arsenal to crack will need to be extremely patient. It’s something that doesn’t look like happening any time soon.
While champions are not crowned halfway through a season, you can definitely get a feel for what a club is doing right and wrong, and a last-minute 3-2 win over a much-improved Manchester United has done Arsenal’s title hopes no harm at all. Mikel Arteta may not have been instantly popular or successful in the Emirates dugout, but he’s continuing to prove doubters wrong. Even if Arsenal don’t hold on to win the title, it’s clear they’re a different proposition than they have been since the later stages of Arsene Wenger’s tenure – so what’s changed?
After leading Arsenal to eighth place in his first season in charge, there was a sense that winning the FA Cup in that Covid-disrupted season had bought Arteta some time. A lack of immediate and obvious improvement, though, led to many fans mockingly talking of the need to “trust the plan” while the Gunners struggled to put together a recognisable style of play or a pattern of improving results. That’s what stability looks like, though, and before a team can get better it often needs to steady the ship. Arteta needed to imprint his wishes upon the squad, which often meant decisions were made that looked odd from the outside. The Arsenal board waited for this to take effect, and the results are starting to show.
All too often in the past, Arsenal’s “statement signings” have been players who can stand out from the team with a virtuoso performance before putting in three very average ones. The most significant signing of Arteta’s stint at the Emirates has been Martin Odegaard. Signed by Real Madrid as “one for the future”, Odegaard initially came to the Emirates on loan. With Madrid in constant “win now” mode, they never really made room for a player they’d signed to much fanfare at the age of 15, a long series of loans finally ended with a permanent move to London. Now aged 24, the intelligent midfielder is captain and playmaker of an Arsenal side that looks capable of winning trophies.
The cliche about Arsenal is that they always want to score the “perfect goal”, and they got pretty close on regular occasions while they were flitting around on the edge of European qualification. Against Manchester United, the winning goal scored by Eddie Nketiah – himself a youth-team product who was talked about as being too inconsistent to succeed – was far from perfect, but it was the product of persistence in a game Arsenal were dominating. It was the kind of situation that all too often in the past has seen Arsenal grind to a draw or, worse, lose a late goal on the counter. The self-belief they are showing right now is something any title-winning side needs, and it’s encouraging to see it on show.