Arsenal fans weren’t even done celebrating the FA Cup trophy their club won last season, and it was already the turn of the Community Shield, a game that traditionally marks the start of a new Premier League season. The Community Shield win grabbed by Arsenal against Liverpool fueled the hope of the Gunners’ faithful. The hope that, by beginning the new season with a piece of silver, Arsenal have more chance of ending the season with an even more valuable trophy at the hands of their favorite players.
Arsenal had even less time than Liverpool to celebrate the FA Cup win. The Reds secured the Premier League, ending a 30-year wait for the title, 39 days before the Community Shield game. On the other hand, the North London team raised the FA Cup trophy on August 1, again at Wembley, following a 2-1 victory over Chelsea. Another gloomy season for the Gunners ended on a different note. A trophy is a trophy, and the FA Cup is certainly priceless.
Only in his first season, in just eight months, Mikel Arteta steered Arsenal to a Cup win and won the first trophy of his managerial career. The back-to-back trophy wins by Arteta certainly proves that the Gunners have found the right man in the dugout, who can lead them to similar heights and successes of the first half of the Arsene Wenger era. The chance of winning the Premier League trophy once again seems more believable for Arsenal.
The Gunners as Historical Game-Changers in the Title Battle:
Nevertheless, as much as football fans around the world were looking forward to it, the Community Shield match against Liverpool came in an awkward moment, but not just for Arsenal. A serious competitive match after only two weeks of preparation isn’t the happiest solution to kick-off their Premier League season.
There’s a study pinpointing what Arsenal needs to do to truly have a chance of winning the PL trophy battle next season – a fast start to the season. It is of great essence, not only for Arsenal but for any team’s ambitions, for any chance of success at the 2020/21 Premier League title.
The extent of change in the top division over the last three decades has been so huge that now, after just 10 league games, rational assumptions about how the top of the table will look can be made.
By studying historical Premier League data, the average points tally of eventual champions after 10 games in the first 11 years of Premier League was slightly above 20. That’s when Arsenal stepped in! Wenger’s Invincibles led from the front in the 2003/04 season, having a points tally of 24 after 10 games, while their final points tally was 90, both being the second-highest in Premier League history at the time.
Jose Mourinho followed suit the next season at Chelsea, grabbing 23 points in the first 10 games. Next year, Mourinho again led the Blues to the title, with a points tally of 28 after 10 games, with 9 wins and a draw. The new way of winning the title, the emphasis on the performance in the first 10 rounds, was established.
Furthermore, examining the data showed that the average league position of PL champions after 10 matches has moved from 2.45 (in the period from 1992 to 2003) to 2 (in the period afterward). Also, the average points after 10 games of the future champions have increased from 20.8 to 24 in the above observed periods.
The good thing is that Arteta didn’t change the lineup much for the first league game against Fulham and got a big boost in the form of Willian, who joined as a free agent from Chelsea. There’s no doubt that the eyes of Arsenal fans will be on him during the season. It will be interesting to see how the other newcomer, Gabriel Magalhaes, fits into Arteta’s philosophy of the game, having already excelled in his first game.
Moreover, it has rarely happened that the Gunners have played so few pre-season games like this year. Is it a good sign? Only time will tell.