Mikel Arteta has given his view on Arsenal’s 2022/23 campaign ahead of the last game of the season this weekend against Wolves.
Despite leading the race at the top of the Premier League for over 250 days this season, Arsenal missed out on being champions after a disappointing few weeks towards the end of the season.
The Gunners have only won two of their last eight games in the league which handed Manchester City the advantage in the title race and in the end crowned them as Premier League champions for the third season in a row.
However the Arsenal boss has chosen to focus on the positives and that is that Arsenal have qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in seven years. It’s easy to forget but that was the initial aim at the beginning of the season.
Mikel Arteta on Arsenal’s season in 2022/23: “We have achieved reaching the Champions League with five or six games to go and we’ve finished second. I think we have developed a lot of players and taken them to a very different stage of their careers and they have contributed to the team exceptionally well. We have created and developed a huge relationship with our fanbase and created something special around the team.
“So if I look at it that way, there are a lot of positives to take from the season, probably more than was expected with the capacity, ability and resources the team had. But, as well we spent 248 days on top of the Premier League, and at the end, we didn’t have enough, or show enough, to win it.
“We tried our best, and we made some mistakes that have cost us, but the reality is there’s a team that you have to congratulate, and that’s Manchester City as well as Pep and the coaching staff. Throughout 38 games they’ve been more consistent and when that happens, you have to shake hands, say congratulations, take a lot of the things that you’ve done well over the season, keep them and learn from the others that need to change or improve to get to another level.”
Mikel Arteta on where Arsenal lost the league title: “When you are 2-0 up at Anfield and you draw the game in the 90th minute, and then you got West Ham and you’re 2-0 up after 20 minutes, enjoying complete domination and miss a penalty – you have to win that game. Then you have Southampton and you basically give them two goals and you have to climb a mountain. We could have won it at the end but drew 3–3, so the fourth game against City becomes crucial.
“To be fair, they were much better than us. They raised the level like they did against Real Madrid the other day, and when they play at that level, it’s like ‘wow’. We could not reach it. That psychologically paid a big price on the team.
“Looking back, even if we’d won at Anfield and against West Ham and Southampton, we could still have finished second. In the end, you have to beat them when you go toe-to-toe with them because that’s 12 points – six more that we would have than them, and they’d have six less.”
Mikel Arteta on what needs to happen this summer for Arsenal to be even better next season: “I think we are in a moment of our journey where we have built a lot. We have a great foundation and we have become really competitive, but now I think it is time to press the reset button, and go again.
“We have to be faster, more determined and ruthless because the dimension that opens up now is bigger but the margins are really small so we have to be really smart.”