Comparing Arsenal’s record and stats to the same stage last season
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are one of the stories of the 2022-23 season.
The Gunners have been nothing short of sensational, a third of the way through the campaign, having dropped points just twice in their opening 13 outings.
Only one side in Premier League history – Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United in 1995-96 – have failed to win the title after picking up as many points at this stage of the season.
After leading Arsenal to a 1-0 win away to Chelsea, Arteta has admitted he feels that Arsenal are challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title this season.
“We are today,” Arteta said. “But in football, today and tomorrow is very different. So let’s enjoy the time.”
That’s a far cry from where his Gunners side were at this stage last year. It’s crazy to think it now, but there was great pressure on Arteta a year ago, with some questioning whether the Arsenal board should sack Arteta.
“I doubted myself, I questioned myself,” Arteta told Sky Sports, regarding the three successive defeats that Arsenal suffered at the beginning of the 2021-22
“This is part of a journey where – if you want to get better – you have to be self-critical.
“You have to have other people around you to tell you the truth and also have the humbleness to always be willing to get better, improve and explore other opinions and ways to do your job.”
In the main, the famous ‘trust the process’ maxim was vindicated, with Arteta’s Gunners in strong form for the vast majority of the 2021-22 campaign. However, the slow start and wobbles during the run-in (four defeats in five from March to April, two defeats from the last three) ultimately cost Arsenal a top-four finish at the expense of their north London rivals Tottenham.
One man that’s particularly impressed with how Arteta has improved Arsenal is Steven Gerrard.
“A lot of managers have shown that sometimes you’ve got to have tough periods, setbacks, and show that you can cope in them moments. Show that you can come through them, build on them,” the former Aston Villa boss said back in September.
“You’ve got to be patient and try and get to the stage where the building process continues. You’re looking at Mikel Arteta, obviously flying high now at the top of the Premier League now. I bet if you spoke to him, it wasn’t all about ups and fantastic times and enjoying it all.
“But what he did do in the tough moments, he stepped forward. I think that’s what we have to do as managers in these situations is show your players and supporters and internal staff that you’re all-in and ready for the demands, responsibilities and pressures and you’re going to try to perform to get your team through them.”
Gerrard was unable to get through that difficult period himself, losing his job, but Arteta has certainly achieved that at the Emirates.
So far this season, Arsenal have done well to avoid any major blips, having instantly bounced back from their disappointing results to date, responding superbly to the defeat against Manchester United and draw away to Southampton.
We’ve taken a look at the results after 13 games last season in direct comparison to those of 2022-23 so far to see how far Arteta’s Arsenal have come over the past 12 months. We’ve also taken a look at the expected goals metrics (via FBref) to see if the underlying numbers beyond the results have shown a similar level of improvement.
Goal difference: +20
Clean sheets: 6
xG Difference: +12.9
Goal difference: -2
Clean sheets: 6
xG difference: -3.8