A fantastic midweek match that could decide the Premier League! Arsenal visit Manchester City and we have the perfect preparation for you.
We talked with Nathan Reynolds from SB Nation’s Short Fuse for a primer on Arsenal fans thoughts after bad results, injuries and more.
Let’s dive right in!
1) Given Arsenal’s last three results, can you give us the temperature among the fanbase?
A: I’m sure if you look long enough you’ll find the full range of reactions out there on the internet. Disappointment, sadness, frustration, and acceptance. Clearly, the loss of William Saliba for those three matches has played a big factor, as was Xhaka’s absence against Southampton. They were capable of much more control in those three matches, but with the second-youngest team in the league, it’s not surprising to see moments like that. Perhaps all in a row. However, the draw against Southampton means Arsenal will finish ahead of Tottenham this year and are within a point or two of clinching a Champions League spot.
2) What is the key point you are looking for going into the City next midweek?
A: Squad health. Will Granit Xhaka be back from illness? Is William Saliba fit enough to start or at least make the bench? Playing against this City side is difficult, at home even more so, but it’s quite another thing without two key players missing from the spine of the team.
3) If Arsenal don’t end up winners of the PL, would you call this a successful season or a capitulation of something special?
A: A success 100%, no hesitation. There are some hyper-reaction fans that might disagree, but when you zoom out you see how far this club has come in short order. In the past two years, Mikel Arteta and Edu have transformed the squad, bringing in young, talented, and fan-friendly players. It’s re-energized the crowd at the Emirates and they are an entertaining side of a neutral to watch. And even without the title, Arsenal will go from back-to-back 8th-place finishes up to a top-two finish (most likely) in just two years. While some may have pegged Arsenal to challenge for a spot in the top four, no one had them as true title contenders. No one expected them to still be in the race against this City side come the end of April, let alone leading for the majority of the season. Regardless of how it ends, 2022-23 was a successful and enjoyable season.
Thank you to Nathan and the Short Fuse.