The Premier League season has once again come to an end, and it was another year filled with incredible drama and competition. As a huge fan of the Premier League, David Shilkitus, was especially intrigued by this year’s Arsenal squad. Arsenal was not widely considered a potential title contender when the season kicked off in August, and yet they found themselves spending 248 days at the top of the Premier League – only to have Manchester City pass them in the final two weeks to take their place as Premier League Champs.
David Shilkitus understands that Arsenal supporters are heartbroken by the team’s failure to close the deal on a title, but he also believes that this Arsenal squad deserves to be praised for their accomplishments and future outlook. Having read many headlines that paint this season as a disappointment, David Shilkitus wanted to use this article to recap Arsenal’s season and look forward to next year’s quest for a title. Losing to Manchester City is not something that is new for teams in the Premier League. Manchester City is now celebrating their fifth league win in the last six years.
What will be important for Arsenal next season is to learn from their experience and find the poise that Manchester City possesses. Man City, for instance, would not lose 1-0 at Nottingham Forest to give another team the title. Arsenal has too much firepower to go down 1-0 in a game that meant so much to their title aspirations. One of the reasons Man City has been so dominant over the years is their ability to sub out stars and replace them with elite-level talent. Arsenal’s captain, Martin Odegaard showed signs of wearing down later in the season. In the first 21 games, Odegaard was asked to play major minutes in all but one contest. This type of wear and tear is not sustainable in a league as competitive as the Premier League.
Consider that the physical demands of Manchester City are not even close to what is asked of Saka, Odegaard, Gabriel and other key contributors. Man City simply rotates Bernado Silva, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, and Haaland on a weekly basis. This has allowed City to charge late as other teams simply can’t keep up on the pitch with the fresh legs of these incredibly talented players.
David Shilkitus believes the only way Arsenal can finish the season as champions in 2024 is to make a statement via the transfer portal. Harry Kane is a 29-year-old striker with one of the greatest scoring pedigrees in the entire league. After a disappointing year at Tottenham, Kane has been linked heavily to Manchester United. David Shilkitus believes Arsenal should swoop in and provide Kane with the money it will take to draw him over. Having a player of Kane’s caliber join is not only a significant gain heading into next season, but it also keeps him away from a squad that is also looking to compete for a title next season.
Adding Kane would provide championship experience from one of England’s greatest players of all-time, but his addition will only lead to a championship if Arsenal can improve on the defensive side of the pitch. David Shilkitus notes that the Gunners struggled to keep clean sheets throughout the season. Things got worse as players grew more tired as the season progressed. With one game to play, Arsenal conceded 43 goals. The last team to concede that many goals and still win the league was Man U in 2012, but they gave up five goals in a meaningless game to conclude their season. Only three teams in all of Premier League history have conceded more than 40 goals and gone on to hoist the championship trophy.
David Shilkitus does believe a lot of the late-season injuries and problems with fatigue led to defensive leaks later in the year. What Arsenal fans should expect their team to do in the year ahead is add additional talent that can at least provide solid minutes while their star players get the rest they need to perform well throughout the entirety of the season. What they should also expect is this year’s stars to learn from the late season losses of 2023 and better understand what it takes to finish strong. The rest of the Premier League will not be getting worse any time soon, so it is imperative that Arsenal continue to add talent in order to knock off Manchester City.