Arsenal is feeling confident after defeating Manchester City in the Premier League.
However, Mikel Arteta reminds his squad of one factor that could derail their championship mission.
Yes, Arsenal is prohibited from being overly confident after defeating Man City.
The Gunners should remember the bitter memories of last season despite starting the Premier League with an even crazier record.
Arsenal welcomed the international break with a positive result in the 8th week of the Premier League.
The Gunners silenced defending champions Manchester City at the Emirates on Sunday (October 8, 2023).
Gabriel Martinelli’s lone goal just before the end of the match produced various positive records for Mikel Arteta’s men.
One of them is ending the curse of never winning against The Citizens in the league since 2015.
Specifically for Arteta, the result is also his first victory over his mentor, Pep Guardiola, in the same arena.
In the standings, Arsenal is in a higher position than Erling Haaland and his teammates.
The Gunners are in second place, just behind their city rivals, Tottenham, in terms of goal difference.
Both North London clubs have collected 20 points from 8 games.
Meanwhile, Man City closely follows them with 18 points, just two behind.
A victory over their fiercest rivals in the title race is an incredibly important asset for Arsenal.
This is what prevented their championship mission last season.
Arsenal lost in both meetings with Man City, contributing to a 5-point deficit in the final standings.
However, no matter how important this victory is, The Gunners should not become too arrogant.
The new competition is only entering its first three months.
The experience of failure last season should be a reflection for them.
Moreover, Arsenal’s start in the 2022-2023 Premier League season was even more impressive than now.
In the first 8 games of last season, Martin Odegaard and his teammates collected 21 points, one more than they have now.
At that time, Arsenal had an almost perfect record: 7 wins, 0 draws, 1 loss.
The Gunners also sat at the top of the standings with a one-point advantage over Man City.
Interestingly, Tottenham was also in the top three with 17 points.
However, Pep Guardiola’s team rose in the final stages and took advantage of Arsenal’s setbacks in crucial weeks.
As a result, the Red Londoners had to give up their 284-day reign at the top of the table.
Arteta must instill lessons to his squad to remain grounded.
“This result sends a message to our team to keep doing what we’re doing and stay humble,” said the former right-hand man of Pep, as quoted by BolaSport.com from BBC.
In the next match, Arsenal will play a derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (October 21, 2023).
Man City will also face a tough match when they host Brighton at the Etihad on the same day.
Arsenal is considered the favorite to win the Premier League this season after finishing as runners-up last season, just five points behind Manchester City. Mikel Arteta’s team currently sits in the top two positions with 20 points, only behind Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference at the top of the table.
Most recently, Arsenal ended their winless streak against Man City, which had lasted for six years, with a narrow 1-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium in the 8th week of the Premier League. This result also continued their impressive unbeaten streak since the start of the season.
On the other hand, Man City’s defeat to Arsenal marks the second consecutive loss they’ve experienced in the Premier League this season. This is a concerning development because the last time The Citizens suffered two consecutive defeats in the league was back in December 2018.
Reflecting on this, Paul Merson, a former Arsenal player who now works as a pundit, knows well how challenging it is to compete with Guardiola’s Man City. Arsenal experienced it last season when they sat at the top of the table for 27 weeks but ultimately failed to clinch the title.
If Man City can find their rhythm, then any team will find it very difficult to stop them. Paul Merson believes that Guardiola, as the world’s best manager, and Man City’s status as European champions, make him doubtful that Arsenal can snatch the title away from Manchester City, who have won it for three consecutive seasons.
“No, Man City is the favorite. They have won at least 32 matches in two consecutive seasons, and last season they won a total of 44 matches,” said Merson, as quoted from Talksport.
“This is an extraordinary team, and Pep said, quite calmly, that we will take care of this and put together results. But, I also wonder if the players will believe it.”
“We’re not talking about an ordinary team; we’re talking about a team that currently dominates Europe,” Merson emphasized.