We set the pace in the Premier League last season. We were top of the league for 248 days, while Manchester City and other Premier League clubs chased us. While we were in the lead at one point, all we had to do was match Man City’s results, but when it mattered, we didn’t, and we failed to win the league.
That being said, we are on another title charge, unlike last season. We are the ones on the hunt this time. We have no choice except to win every game we play, beat every league opponent, and most importantly, beat Manchester City, whom we failed to overcome last season.A
head of the Community Shield, Mikel Arteta didn’t mince his words when he said Manchester City are the team to beat. “Very excited to play a final to win a trophy; we are playing against the team to beat,” said Arteta.
“This is what we want — fighting for every trophy. We have to prove that. What we did last year was not enough to win the big trophy, and we have to be better.
“We have to try and maintain the level and improve it for the fans.”
The Citizens have gone unbeaten in the league and appear eager to defend their crown. Nathan Ake has confessed that they are only concerned about winning.
He said, “The manager demands a lot from us, and we demand a lot from each other in every game.
“It doesn’t matter what game it is; we want to perform, and you have to perform at the highest level always.
“The club demands that of you; the manager demands it, and that is why our mentality is always to try and win every game.
“I think last season we could really feel that we were on to something. To be honest, at the start of this season, I don’t feel any different.
“I think maybe people thought from the outside, ‘They’ve won the Treble, and now they are going to relax now’, but I don’t have that feeling at all.
“Straight away from the first game of the season, we wanted to go again, and we won. It is not enough; we want to keep winning and winning.
“I think that is just a nice mentality to have as a club, as the manager pushes us as players as well.”
Ake’s proclamation just emphasises how difficult this season will be for us as we attempt to win the league. The task is clear. We must be a “better chaser” than they were last season because we cannot rely on them dropping points. We must also beat them because they cannot beat us this season since those fine margins may cost us the league.
As long as Manchester City is focused on winning, we must force ourselves to win in any circumstance, as Arteta admitted in his press conference before the Brentford game. Via Arsenal.com, he said, “We have to continue to do that, and that’s the mindset that we want in every single game, win in any context, and we had very different contexts throughout this season already.”
The message is very clear from both teams, neither will accept anything less than winning, so when we meet Man City home and away, these could easily be the games that decide the fate of the Premier League trophy.
We simply must take Pep’s side down a peg or two, or face the consequences….
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