How Mikel Arteta Closed The Gap To The Premier League Title

Published by Chris Jenkins
29th Sep 2023

In the 2022/23 season, Mikel Arteta managed to do the seemingly impossible for Arsenal Football club after a number of years of hurt in the Premier League and bring them within inches of the Premier League title, only losing out to an incredible treble-winning Manchester City side.

But among the great success that Arteta has brought since he came through the doors, many people still wonder how exactly he managed to do this. Throughout this blog post, we are going to be discussing the genius of Arteta and how he has got the Gunners back to their brilliant best.


Arsenal Post-Wenger

After some years of hurt under Arsene Wenger, despite the success he had previously brought the club, it was decided that it was his time to leave after 22 years at the club so that the Gunners could move on to pastures new.

During this period, it took some time for the club to find its feet under managers such as Unai Emery before it found its way to Arteta in December 2019. There was some controversy ahead of his appointment as he had not yet proved himself as a stand-alone manager, only acting as number 2 behind Pep Guardiola at Man City.


Arteta’s Introduction

While much of the Arsenal fanbase was still unsure of the appointment, Arteta was given exactly the treatment he needed by receiving time to unstick the club from the rut it had gotten itself into, with many fans accepting certain losses to teams like Liverpool and Manchester City and simply being excited by the brand of football the team was playing under his rule.

While there had been much wrong with the Gunners before Arteta’s arrival, the fanbase and club had both banded together to give Arteta the time he needed to implement the strategies that he believed would bring the club to Premier League glory once again.

This later came to be one of the most important decisions in the club’s recent history as it has led to some of its greatest moments in recent years.


First Season FA Cup Win

In his first season at the club, Arteta already gave the fans something to chant about with an exquisite FA Cup win after 9 months in charge. The squad was already beginning to show signs of significant change in attitude and the result was shown on the pitch.

After several seasons of finishing outside of the Champions League places, this was one of the signs that Arsenal fans would be able to cling to moving forward as the future looked promising.

While the promise was much appreciated, this was also occurring at the height of the Manchester City and Liverpool rivalry, with Liverpool winning the league that season with a whopping 99 points.

This meant that Arsenal would need to overcome a lot of obstacles and become almost perfect in as little time as possible if they were to dethrone these two unstoppable forces, a feat that seemed almost impossible when the task was put to him.

Despite this, Arteta worked away and slowly but surely Arsenal greatly improved over time, going on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions in 2021 only to be beaten 4-0 by Liverpool in November, displaying the gulf in quality that remained between the two sides despite Many of the Arsenal 21 22 results.


Developing Young Stars

During his time at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta has put much of his focus into developing young stars in the team such as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe while purchasing young talents such as Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Gabriel Martinelli and many others.

These players would become vital to the success that Arsenal would experience in the 2022/23 season and would pay Arteta back for the faith he showed in them throughout his tenure.

This would prove to be one of the most important decisions that Arteta ever made in his career as this meant that players could get the experience of the Premier League and develop their skills much faster than they would have if they had simply bought ready-made talent.

This meant that when they did eventually close the gap on Manchester City and just came short, there was still much more to give from the Arsenal team and fans could relax in thinking that there are many more years of success to come from this young and exciting team.

While Arsenal had been in first place for 248 days and still came up short, there have been plenty of comforts brought to fans from the fact that this same Manchester City team went on to win the treble and was virtually unplayable throughout the season.


A Tactical Approach

Mikel Arteta has placed much emphasis on his tactical systems since he became Arsenal manager and has become one of the phrases accompanied by his name when Premier League managers are mentioned.

Mikel Arteta deployed a system during the 2022/23 season in which Zinchenko, playing on the left side of a back four, would invert and play more like a midfielder when the Gunners had possession. This is a tactic that would be implemented by managers across the country such as Jurgen Klopp with Trent Alexander Arnold and Pep Guardiola with John Stones.


The 2022/23 Season Round-Up

Overall, during his time at the helm of Arsenal Football Club, Arteta’s greatest achievement so far has been how he has tackled a dominant Manchester City team to give them a challenge for the Premier League trophy.

Arsenal managed to remain on top of the Premier League table for 248 days, at one point holding an 8-point lead over their title rivals, before eventually being knocked off the top spot by City in the final few weeks of the season, a place they would not return to for the remainder of the title race.

While the season ultimately ended in disappointment for the Arsenal faithful, dropping points to teams like Nottingham Forest and West Ham towards the latter stages of the season, there was still plenty to be optimistic about.

The club had finally found its feet in the Premier League and made its way back into the Champions League spots for the first time since Arsene Wenger’s departure in 2018. If you are interested in purchasing tickets for the upcoming season, you can purchase tickets here!