Arsene believes Arteta’s Arsenal Can Be the Surprise Package to Win the League: What Do You Think?

Let’s have discussion.

Arsene believes Arsenal can win the league as we have ‘every ingredient and no real weakness’. This was his advice to Arteta:

“To continue to have a grip on the team, as he has at the moment. And to go to the end of his beliefs. I think there is a good team spirit and they have a good chance to do well. I believe it will not be very difficult to improve on the number of points they got last season. But I’m convinced Arsenal can be in the top four, if not more. Why not more? They can be the surprise package for me this year: they bought well, they strengthened the defence well. And they kept the players who were already there. In my last year I bought [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, they kept him. They have every ingredient and no real weakness.”

The above quote is from this fabulous Guardian interview with Wenger:

This could be unwelcome pressure on Mikel who is clearly rebuilding the team to his vision of beautiful/winning football, or it could be the sort of encouragement the team needs right now. What do you think?

But more importantly, do you believe we have a realistic chance to win the league this season?

Pool and Citeh have shown vulnerability – and the Merseyside derby next weekend may expose more of the Champion’s weaknesses – Manchester United are doubting whether OGS can take them to the next level, Spuds blow hot and cold under Mourinho and the Chavs are an impatient bunch and will need time to embed those expensive toys they bought during the C19 summer.

There is no doubt that Arsenal are in transition but could Wenger have a point that we now have ‘every ingredient and no real weakness’, and therefore can be the ‘surprise package’ this season?

By TotalArsenal.

33 thoughts on “Arsene believes Arteta’s Arsenal Can Be the Surprise Package to Win the League: What Do You Think?

  • Hi Guys It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada and I’m cooking our Roast Turkey dinner – so I apologize Total but I will not have time to comment today.

    Bur here are my selections for this weekends competition.
    Everton v Liverpool
    Chelsea v Southampton
    Man C v Arsenal
    Newcastle v Man U
    Leicester v Aston Villa
    Granada v Sevilla

    Good Luck and don’t forget to make your selections.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to N5, enjoy your feast.

    Total, from all my reading and following, most people including Arsenal fans see us as a long shot to achieve top 4. I look at the teams most often mentioned in the race and it is daunting. But I look at this league another way, which I don’t hear from many people. Im not just impressed by the top 6 or 7 teams, which are stronger than any other league.

    I’m looking at our league from top to bottom, and that’s what really impresses me. Look at the schedule, when do we really have an easy game? Even a newly promoted Leeds with Bielsa already giving top teams fits….. And that’s my point. Many of the top four contenders will be struggling and dropping points more than ever to the rest of the league. Many pundits are intellectually lazy when they make the unrepentant financial cheaters Man City nailed on 2nd spot after last years doninant Liverpool. Even the amazing Klopp’s teams tend to become mentally and physically exhausted from years of intense pressure.

    I’m saying Peps team looks a good possibility to underachieve. I see it in the performances and on Guardiolas face. They’ll have their brilliant 5-1 wins, but many disappointing results. Aside from that I see all contenders getting beat up on, by each other, and the rest of the league equally. I see the greatest level of parity in the league since I’ve been following. So why can’t we be one of the surprise teams that navigates this challenging schedule? I think we can be a strong top 4 finisher if Arteta can work his tactical magic.

  • Thanks for the link to the great interview, TA.
    It was joy reading it; Wenger is the perfect gentleman.

    On his claim about the squad can win the Premier League I share it in a small extent. I agree with him that Arteta is doing a wonderful job (preparing the players mentally as well as bringing the best out of them), the transfer window was a success, and our defense has indeed hugely improved.
    However I don’t agree with the Master that Arsenal has no weakness. In fact, I think we have two weaknesses:
    – the lack of cohesion/shakedown in the team, which is obviously temporary, however Willian, Gabriel, Elneny, Soares or Partey have no experience playing together with the others, but Leno or Holding weren’t part of the success streak either. It will take some time – possibly a season – to have the team really get to know each other, we have to be patient with our expectations till that point.
    – the other (and more serious) weakness is the eternal concern of mine: the low number of chances created and the correlated (quantifiable) key passes. In their last 3 PL and 1 (last) Carabao cup games Everton players provided 12+5+12+11 key passes, in the same 4 games Aston Villa generated 18+11+14+13 key passes while Arsenal’s same statistics are 6+3+5+6. And I wasn’t comparing our club with Liverpool or Manchester City. (Chelsea’s numbers are 9+16+3+13, but I replaced a game when they played with 10 men with their their previous fixture.) And OK we played twice against Liverpool (Aston Villa did once too), but our numbers weren’t better against Sheffield or West Ham. This is an alarming weakness as Arsenal are getting predictable, and when the opponent defends properly our players struggle creatively to create even half chances…

    Yet we may win the PL as other teams have their own fair share of weaknesses, but I wouldn’t count on them. Let’s use this season to get back to the Champions League, experiment with 2-3 formations, build the team (in every meaning of the phrase) and retire Luiz, Sokratis and Ozil, and have our improved ambitions a year later.

  • GN5, here are my predictions:

    Everton v Liverpool A
    Chelsea v Southampton H
    Man C v Arsenal D
    Newcastle v Man U A
    Leicester v Aston Villa D
    Granada v Sevilla A

  • Great comment, J. I think you are right re Man City and Pep possibly struggling this year. Pep is not a stayer and he lost a few key players recently. No doubt the return of Aguero will give them wings for a while and KdB can inspire them too, but it will be a fight for them in most games and they have shown to be vulnerable this season.

  • Great comment too, PB.

    I guess the beauty is that Arteta has got a new player in every line, which should not unsettle too much. Gabriel needs to fit in with Tierney, Luiz and Holding/Mustafi…. I cannot see too many issues there. Partey with Xhaka…. I have a feeling that they will connect very quickly as they are both very intelligent players and of the same age. Willian is finding his feet but sooner or later he will connect with Auba and Laca, Pepe and Eddie.

    Your second point is hard to argue against. You never show the reduction in chances given away by us, or the goal comparisons, but I get your point and it is unquestionably an area for improvement.

  • So we scored 8 goals in the PL, two on average. Not that much compared to the teams around us but an improvement compared to last season’s average. Will it be enough, though…

  • Happy Thanksgiving, GN5. Enjoy!

    As for Arsene’s thoughts about our chances of winning the title, he is a season too early, methinks.
    And it won’t be the first time he was a season too early. Remember when he suggested his side could go unbeaten (20th September) during the 2002/2003 season, and the entire league and media had a good laugh at him as Arsenal lost a game not long after (19th October)? Turned out they did just that (go unbeaten) the next season.

    I’d look forward to the win next season, after a strong challenge for it this season.

  • GN5, my predictions:

    Everton v Liverpool H
    Chelsea v Southampton H
    Man C v Arsenal D.
    Newcastle v Man U D
    Leicester v Aston Villa H
    Granada v Sevilla A

  • So, I guess from the very few who commented, that we don’t think it is inconceivable for Arsenal to win the league, but most of us are not expecting us to actually to do it.

  • Really nice dilemma to discuss about. 🙂

    Personally, I don’t see us challenging for the title this season. Whilst I’m huge fan of Arteta, in order to make a sustainable title challenge, a PL team has to win at least 30 games (that trend was set by Chelsea in 2016-17) and I am afraid this team is some way off. Ever since Wenger’s last years, it’s our results against teams between 7th and 10th place that cost us of reaching 80-point mark, never mind 90.

    Next season, however…

  • I agree, TA. Not inconceivable (I love that word), but it’s too early to bet money on that.

    For the ‘reduced chances created against Arsenal’ topic, I don’t know the baseline (the statistics from the Wenger and Emery era), but I can bring the figures from those 4 games where we provided 6+3+5+6 key passes. The opponents in these games delivered 9+15+13+4 key passes respectively.
    If you imply that “we don’t have to win the key-pass duel to grab the 3 points” you are certainly right. However if we really want to challenge the title I think we should aim higher than hard fought 2:1 victories. For example we can start winning by 6:1 or 7:2 🙂
    But we have to – at least – double our key passes per game. Maybe Partey will add some to that (if not himself then by liberating his fellow midfielders and wingbacks), but I don’t expect do double our alarming low figures all by himself.

  • Everton vs Liverpool.. D
    Chelsea vs Solon….. H
    ManC vs Arsenal….. A
    Newcastle vs ManU. A
    Leicester vs Villa….. D
    Granada vs Sevilla.. A

  • Arsene was roundly chastised by many in the media, not least the Ogre of OT when he claimed that Arsenal could go through a League campaign unbeaten, but he was correct in his assumption and it’s rankled with so many since because it was Liverpool or Man Utd who were preordained by the sports media swamp to achieve that feat not the Gunners.

    So yes, Arsene is correct, Arsenal can indeed win the Premier League this season and so could Everton if the stars alight and the white smoke come out of the chimney. We are living through huge times of change so despite our normal attitude of keeping a lid on things and not getting ahead of ourselves so that the disappointment is too huge I cannot help but a sneaking suspicion that we have a manager who can work miracles.

  • My predictions:

    Everton v Liverpool: D
    Chelsea v Southampton: H
    Man C v Arsenal: D
    Newcastle v Man U: A
    Leicester v Aston Villa: H
    Granada v Sevilla: D

  • Regarding Liverpool derby, Ancelotti has been one of rare managers that has got better of Klopp as his Napoli beat Liverpool at home in both Champions League campaigns while only Alisson’s save kept them out Ro16 at Liverpool expense in 2018-19 (Liverpool went on to win the competition). Last season Napoli drew at Anfield (1-1).

    I reckon a draw is a good call. Liverpool have won 62 od 76 games in the last two seasons yet they didn’t win either of league games at Goodison (both games ended 0-0).

    Every game looks like a feast. Newcastle with their ability to score with virtually every shot on target and United with their ability to concede plenty of shots on target yet somehow get a penalty so that Dumbo Fernandes can score. Leicester and Villa capable to produce an eight-goal thriller without a winner. Chelsea with their super-expensive new toys but also with the glass jaw that Ings can exploit. And then we go to Etihad to cut the tradition.

  • Hey, pbarany! 🙂 Well, if Vardy gets three penalties again… 🙂 I reckon this stupid, stupid, stupid international break has done better for Leicester than for Villa. Leicester have recruited smartly last summer but so have Villa.

  • As a singer I sing at many funerals & I was recently asked by a funeral director to play & sing at a graveside service for a homeless man.
    He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery out in the country.
    As I was not familiar with the area, I got lost.
    I finally arrived an hour late and saw that the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
    There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.
    I felt bad and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place.
    I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to sing.
    The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I sang from my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends.
    As I sang “Amazing Grace”, the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together.
    When I finished, I packed up my keyboard and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.
    As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I’ve never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”
    Apparently, I’m still lost….

  • I like Arsène’s mention of the “grip” Mikel has had on the team, so far
    Will it be enough to win the PL again? I’d be very happy if we made it to the CL again (and I think we will), but the title??
    We have a strong squad, there is this new “tactical flexibility” of ours which is bound to make things difficult for many PL teams against us.
    The creative side of our game is an issue, a worrying one: I hope Thomas will be as good as we all expect him to be, so Mick will be able to reshuffle the team, which is unbalanced at the moment, in favor of our defense
    As for the rivals …
    I have a feeling the Manchester side are a (relative) mess – we’ll know soon enough if that is true about City
    We shouldn’t pay too much attention to Liverpool’s thrashing in Birmingham, imo; the number of deflected shots ending up at the back of their nets just begged belief, not to mention Adrian’s howler, or the offside goal that ref and VAR just didn’t take notice of. With Alisson, Henderson, Mané, and Thiago back, they’ll soon be as rampant as ever
    Lampard has three PL teams at his disposal, it is bound to pay off sooner or later
    But my greatest concern is located in North London; I fear José might be doing a great job you-know-where. He’s always been so controversial that nobody seems to care about what he’s really been doing since he turned up at WHL. I don’t think one single study of the way he’s transformed the team is available. And yet he has – the rebirth of the Kane-Song partnership (better than it ever was), the use of Dier as a CB, the way he has bent Ndombele to his will, or Aurier having gone back to being the great marauding fullback he was in France, not to mention Bale, who is going to be available soon… I think he has been working very hard, and very well: I, for one, won’t say much about the emptiness of their trophy cabinet. This season, I’m afraid the joke might be on us, eventually.
    So … we have a great coach, a great squad, there’s no question about it, but we’ll have to be tremendously consistent to end up ahead of that pack, and at the moment, well … I just don’t know about that, we’ll know much more two weeks from now, after the “United” game.

  • Yes, I’m impressed about Villa acquiring Martinez, Watkins and Barkley.
    Leicester did good to get Ünder on loan, but I’m less convinced about Fofana. Castagne is a goods player, but I’m not sure that they needed another right back besides (the currently injured) Ricardo Pereira.
    They improved in depth, but with Chilwell leaving their first team might be a bit weaker. We’ll see if they need such a large squad, as they will have 8-10 EL games and a couple of FA Cup ties…

  • Interesting stats, PB. So we beat Fulham and WH and yet they both had more key passes than us. Maybe there is something wrong with the definition/administration of key passes? Should we also conclude that we have a very efficient/deadly attack?

  • Cheers Le Gall, very analytical as always. The Spuds could have a good run but I saw them play poorly and uninspired v Everton and I dont think the manager has the team fully behind him. They were impressive v Manure but then everything worked out for them, as it sometimes happens in a game.

    Good shout that we will know more in two, three weeks time.

  • TA, I must have presented the numbers in a confusing way.
    The Fulham game was not of the scope of my analysis, as (due to the purpose of involving Aston Villa in the comparison); I took only the last 3 PL game and the last league cup tie into the scope.
    So indeed, we beat West Ham (1st of the 4 numbers) by losing the key pass “minigame” by 9:6, but we won against Sheffield United (last of the 4 figures) by winning the key-pass challenge by 6:4.
    My point – as always – is: irrespective of the 3 points 6 key passes at home (especially against such opponents) are unworthy of the Arsenal culture as well as Wenger’s legacy. And no matter how clinically the boys convert those, that’s obviously not enough to fight for the title.

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