Can Arsenal actually win the Premier League?

Arsenal’s 2022-23 Premier League campaign has been somewhat perfect.

Although there have been bumps in the road, the Gunners currently sit atop the table with a five-point cushion, having only lost once. Arsenal’s current position certainly is one few would have predicted going into the season. 

Last season was quite frustrating for Mikel Arteta’s team. His squad played well for a majority of the season, yet fell short towards the conclusion, and missed out on the Champions League by just a point. The Gunners finished fifth, to the disappointment of many. 

Fortunately for Arsenal fans, including myself, things this season have been drastically different. Arsenal kicked off its campaign with a bang and has continued to impress with its star-studded youthful squad, the youngest out of all teams this season. The Gunners have picked up three points against difficult opponents such as Liverpool, Tottenham, and Chelsea, and currently are a force to be reckoned with. Now, many are asking the question: can Arsenal actually walk away with the title? 

Mikel Arteta served as Arsenal’s captain from 2014-2016. Now, the young manager is attempting to win the Gunners its first title in years. (Photo by Prime Video AU & NZ via Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The Gunners last won the Premier League in the 2003/2004 season, under the iconic Arsène Wenger. Since then, the club has witnessed many changes, and for so long, it has failed to live up to expectations. Now, years later, Arsenal is actually the favorite to win the title.

Although the Gunners have struggled for the past few years, the current team certainly is capable of finishing the season top of the league. 

Arsenal is captained by Martin Ødegaard, who has been a full-fledged Gunner since 2021, after spending a season from Real Madrid on loan. Ødegaard, regardless of his young age, has proven to be a natural leader. His technical abilities also are spectacular. He appears completely comfortable in the midfield and has demonstrated some of the best passing and dribbling abilities seen so far this season.

Moving on from the Norwegian, Arsenal’s offense is incredibly exciting. On the left wing is Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli, whose speed has been quite effective. On the right is young talent Bukayo Saka, who possesses wonderful dribbling abilities. Saka and Martinelli currently are the joint-top-scorers for Arsenal this season. 

However, there is one problem for the Gunners up-top. During the World Cup in Qatar, their striker, Gabriel Jesus, was injured, certainly a cause of concern for Arteta. Since arriving from Manchester City this summer, Jesus has been impressive, netting five goals in Premier League matches prior to the World Cup. Even when he wasn’t scoring, Jesus helped to create many goal-scoring opportunities.

Unfortunately, Jesus is only set to return in March, leaving Arsenal without a designated striker. Currently, 23-year-old Eddie Nketiah has played in his place, but there is speculation over whether or not Nketiah can fill Jesus’ shoes. This is a problem that may plague the Gunners for the remainder of the season and threaten their title hopes. 

Arsenal’s midfield is a dynamic link between Ødegaard, Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey, who share great chemistry. Xhaka, a veteran of the club, has undergone spectacular improvement and has proved vital in both offense and defense. Partey, on the other hand, truly holds the team together. He is a great technical player, and as soon as he is taken off the pitch, the midfield, and the team as a whole, is far less effective. 

In the back, Arsenal’s defense is strong and disciplined. Typically a back four of Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and either Oleksander Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu or Kieran Tierney, the Gunners have excelled in playing out from the back. In goal is the flamboyant Aaron Ramsdale, who is perhaps the closest thing to an English Emi Martinez.

Antics aside, Ramsdale has performed excellently in goal. However, the Gunners have often failed to close out games defensively, most recently in the Brighton game, where Arsenal had a comfortable 3-0 lead, but conceded two late goals, and the scoreline ended 4-2. It will be critical that Arsenal resolve this issue if it wishes to win the title. 

The main issue that will threaten the team’s title hopes is the same that haunted it last season: depth. Unlike teams such as Manchester City and Liverpool, Arsenal’s backups certainly are a drop in quality compared to their starters. So, just a simple injury could prove disastrous for the young team. That is why it is crucial that Arteta makes the most out of the winter transfer window.

Arsenal most definitely can win the title. Although the team shows some warning signs, if the Gunners continue to play the way they have been for the remainder of the season, Mikel Arteta’s team most definitely will deliver Arsenal fans their first title in years. 

Watch out, Man City.