How Arsenal respond to last season’s runner-up Premier League finish will be one of the 2023-24 season’s most interesting storylines.
Last season, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners played some sensational football as they led the way for months on end, only to eventually fall away in the final weeks. They’ve since spent over £200million on a number of high-profile additions to bolster Arteta’s squad.
But can they go one better this year? The bookies think not, with Manchester City favourites to win a fourth straight Premier League title, but we’ve rounded up how nine high-profile pundits have predicted the Gunners to do this season.
“I don’t think Arsenal could have done any more to close the gap,” the former Manchester United right-back said on The Overlap.
“They’ve shown real intent with the signings they’ve made. My concern is they are the only team that I think could actually win the league. With the three signings they’ve made they’re going to be better.
“I look at the other teams and think, who is going to be better than last season? Chelsea will be naturally better with the manager coming in – and they couldn’t get any worse. I don’t look at Liverpool and think, ‘Wow they’re going to be challenging for the league’, I don’t look at United with what they’ve done so far.
“Unless United, Liverpool or Chelsea do something miraculous in the transfer window, Arsenal are the only team that could challenge City at this moment in time.
“I think they could get very close to them but I would still go City, just.”
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“I’m going for Manchester City, then Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham,” Carragher responded, also speaking on The Overlap.
“When I looked at City in the Shield as well, there’s been a myth around them that they have a massive squad – they’ve never had a massive squad, always 15 or 16 players who are top class. They always have a few kids on the bench as well. If they have a few injuries, how would they cope with that?
“Arsenal look a lot stronger, as do Chelsea and Liverpool. But – it’s Pep Guardiola, he’s set the bar that high, and his teams never really get lower than 90 points. It’s a big ask for anyone.”
“Arsenal came a long way after a fifth-place finish the season before,” Keys wrote in his infamous blog, which was predictably preceded by a long tirade about Mikel Arteta’s touchline antics.
“With Rice – who is a top player – they should be stronger, but I still don’t fancy them to win the title.”
“Of course I really want Arsenal to win the Premier League – as a pundit I am impartial, but as a former Arsenal player I am excited because last season was the first time in many years that we felt we were back in the fight and the team was competitive. It was a hell of a ride for the 248 days we were top of the table, and I don’t expect that form to disappear,” Keown told the BBC.
“Arsenal have had a fantastic transfer window, too. I am not sure how Kai Havertz fits in, but I really like the look of Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice is one of England’s best players. I still think City will be too strong for Arsenal to overcome but I see the Gunners finishing a close second.”
“I was close to picking Arsenal to win the title, because no team has ever won it four years in a row, but they are without Gabriel Jesus at the start of the season and I think that is just going to kill them,” Richards told the BBC.
“I’m not reading much into the Community Shield, which sparked Arsenal’s wild celebrations – I got a lot of abuse on Twitter for asking if they had won the World Cup,” added Sutton in the BBC’s pre-season pundit predictions.
“I have them down to finish second but I’m not as convinced by them as some people are. They fell away badly at the end of last season and they still don’t have enough quality to topple City.”
“Manchester United and Arsenal, two challengers. If anyone’s going to get close to them [Man City], it’ll be those two,” the former Manchester United centre-back told TNT Sports.
“I still think there’s a difference between Manchester United and Manchester City: on the pitch and off the pitch. But I think Manchester United are going in the right direction. I think you can see how they have approached the transfer window, it’s been very decisive and forthright.
“They have executed on three very good players who are going to improve the squad no doubt, potentially another one coming in after that, we’ll have to wait and see.
“And I think Arsenal have done the same. They have recruited superbly well in this window. Three very good players who are not only going to improve the squad but the starting XI.
“They’ll go close this season but as for City, I don’t think anyone is going to pip them to the title.”
“It’s between Arsenal and Liverpool [for who misses out on top four]. Arsenal have improved as well,” Savage told Star Sports.
The big one for me is Liverpool, especially if they continue to play that high line. They were beatable last year and didn’t have a great season. If you’re looking at it now, I’d say Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.”
“Arsenal will finish first. Second, Manchester United,” Silvestre told BettingExpert.com.
“Third is Manchester City and fourth will be Liverpool.
“The fact that Arsenal were challenging last season was a surprise to everyone and even to themselves. Now that they’ve done that with consistency, being in the first spot for so long, they clearly are title challengers this season. They’ll go for it and they should.”