Do Arsenal really have the mentality to win the title yet?

Arsenal to win the League? by Dan Smith

Arsenal are top of the League, the only top-flight side to have a 100 percent record so far.

The positive from last season is we have very likable players, which has helped the fans feel closer to those who represent them.

Jesus is excelling now that he’s the main man, something he never was at the Etihad. Zinchenko’s tactical understanding is world class and Saliba looks so composed on the ball. The hope in general is we have such a young squad that, in theory, they should only get better and that one day everything might just click.

I really enjoyed Saturday, I was proud to be a gooner, finally Arteta’s ethos was coming together.

Yet the moment I wrote let’s not get carried away by predicting a title win this campaign, I was again accused of being negative.

This is what I faced last year when my point of view was that we lacked the leadership to finish 4th and would eventually choke. Whisper it quietly but I was proven correct. The manner of our performances at the Lane and Saint James Park, I couldn’t have been more correct.

I have zero problem admitting that when Arsenal FC are finishing 5th, I’m negative about that. That’s simply not what we were promised when we left Highbury.

That’s why I have no issues being called out for not being positive. I will point out the irony though. You can’t demand positivity but then single out a Mr Wenger, Mustafi, Giroud, Bellerin, Xhaka, etc.

So that’s where we are currently at. A talented group who need to prove that when the stakes are really high, they have the mentality to get over the line. That never was a criticism. If you build the youngest squad in the division, it’s likely that at times you will be short of experience?

Unless you buy that from the outside, that knowledge can only come from within. The moment this group wins a cup or qualifies for the Champions League will make it so much easier for them in the future to cope with ‘ Squeaky Bum Time.’

That’s the aim in 2022-23, to win the Europa League or finish above 5th.

What I’m not going to do while I’m enjoying this run is waste my energy in a pointless debate about a fictional title race. I have learnt there are Gooners who think that the definition of a supporter is to say that everything is perfect about their club.

That reflects the society we live in, a world where everyone preaches free speech unless it’s an opinion they disagree with.

My best friend used to debate that Heskey was a superior striker to Thierry Henry simply because he supported Liverpool ……. we were at School!

Unless you’re under the age of 15 you should be able to have the sporting knowledge to understand why It’s unrealistic to say that the Gunners will be Champions in 2023.

A lack of knowledge or pure arrogance.

Say it out loud, beating Crystal Palace, Leicester and Bournemouth!

That’s enough?


That’s enough to convince yourself that we have closed a 24-point gap between us and Man City?

Those three wins are enough to convince yourself that a team, mentally not able to handle the pressure of a race for 4 th place, could now handle the pressure of a title race and get over the line?

You either lack understanding of football or are arrogant or both.

You’re a huge problem at our club because you’re the customers that the Kroenke Family listen to and its music to their ears. Why would our owners invest in the next two weeks when they have people claiming we have enough to win the title?

There of course is the Leicester theory …. if they could win the Prem out of nowhere anyone can.

Again, we were promised when we moved to the Emirates that we would be competing with the likes of Bayern Munich, not that our only hope of a title is a miracle. That your only supporting argument in 2022 of Arsenal being champions is a play on words is depressing.

Yes, using the English Language correctly of course Arsenal CAN win the title. Spurs CAN, Aston Villa CAN, Wolves CAN, Fulham CAN. If your philosophy is that nothing is impossible then fine, Arsenal CAN win the title, but simply WON’T this season.

What they haven’t learnt from the Foxes title win was how humble they were. Claudio Ranieri always stressed about taking one game at a time. He or their fans certainly didn’t chat about lifting the title after three games.

Let’s be honest most base their predictions on the reality of what they see in front of them. If you asked an athletic expert to forecast a 100 m sprint, before retirement they would pick USAIN Bolt to win every time, they wouldn’t call you negative for not picking the 5th fastest man in the world. You would need a better argument then, it’s not impossible.

Those same readers calling me negative writing off a title challenge, let’s see if they are humble enough to admit they were wrong when it doesn’t happen.

I bet they would call 5th progress even though they are now saying we are superior to City and Liverpool.

You can understand why rivals want us to fall flat on our face.

8th, 8th and 5th but saying we can win the League because we beat Palace, Leicester and Bournemouth. If the Spurs were saying the same thing, we would mock them.

Be humble Gooners

Dan Smith

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  1. No and talking like that is silly and makes you sound silly, We are still building saying stuff like this is no good for the club team players manager and fans. We are not title contenders yet and not by a far way !! 3 games in means nothing and people like you should SHUT UP and leave the subject alone and just enjoy the season ahead ! Instead of pushing this sort of rubbish to unsettle the fans team etc !! GROW UP !!

      1. To be fair the entire article is arguing against a strawman that very few are seriously saying right now. Exact same as last year where we were not in the top 4 race at all for the 1st half of the season according to Dan (he wrote articles in this exact same tone then) and that changed after we were clearly in the race into how right Dan was we finished 5th (having predicted 6th before the season started.)

        No harm in wishfully hoping for a challenge right now until it’s impossible but guarantee even those who have mentioned a title race on here would still predict top 4 not title when pushed to give an answer on where they believe we will most likely finish. Dan is just arguing against a ridiculously inflated strawman as if people are running claiming the title is ours to lose.

          1. Sad that you had to comment to tell us that TBH
            Maybe read the article rather than the name who posted it

            1. Yes DK, i just cant believe what i am reading from some above. The article was nothing to do with what they are insinuating.

    1. If we can stay at the top till Xmas, then we may have chance that ‘s my goal. I mean the top four still would be good enough till Xmas.

  2. I just know that Jesus and Zinchenko have that mentality, since they came from a more competitive environment. I hope they can infect their teammates with the same mentality and work ethics

    Rodgers said Jesus and Zinchenko must’ve been training like dogs at Man City

    If Rodgers was right, the Gunners should’ve been pumped up to train as hard as those serial EPL winners. Otherwise the lazy ones will lose their places in the starting line-up

  3. Who knows, LC won the league and if you have a smart and passionate manager, anything is possible. Ranieri managed to win it. Kenny Dalglish won it with BR in 1994-95. Anything is possible in football as long as we stay humble, prepare well for the next match, learn from your mistakes and improve. Just that the competition has got much much tougher now, we are in 2022, not 2012 or 2002. Lucky for us we have Mikel, the man with the Midas touch. We can and we could win if he had a solid back up for Partey and Saka.

    1. Backups aren’t our problems. Our problem is inconsistency. As long as we’re still inconsistent, we will not win the league

    2. More cash is being spent too which is what people do not add. Just look at a team liek Nottingham Forest and their spending. All those good coaches given the same money could still have done just as well and that is why an above average manager like Ole can finish in top 4.

  4. Your opinion and theirs count for nothing in the long run with respect to what Arsenal do. Having said that, I understand why you’d be annoyed when they want to hammer you for also sharing your opinion. From what I’m seeing this season it seems Arsenal’s effcient pressing and possesion tactics has surprised a lot of teams. I expect the other teams to adapt to us so that will be another challenge we would have to face. I tipped us for a surprise place finish whether in or out of the top 4 before the season begun. Arteta may well come to regret letting some one or two players be starters in the team come the end of the season. There is improvement tactically and I feel if we sign the right players, then player wise we can be title contenders. I hope we take advantage of the shock value and go all the way. More power to Arteta and the team.

  5. We’ve seen before we ride the wave of momentum very well but when we lose then we struggle to bounce back to form quickly. We rarely have a quick dip and then straight back to winning consistently.

    Long may this run continue but we’ll see the mentality after a loss.

  6. Without another two players, top players, we are relying on an injury and fatigue free season to win the Premier League. Just not possible. With two more top signings we could be close. We need a large, but quality, squad for the probable 50+ games we will play. Man City and Liverpool have that depth, but even Liverpool with a few injuries are finding it difficult. So Edu… complacency please and complete the transfer window.

  7. The law of average dictates any of the top six team from last season can win the league.

    But Arsenal fans have right to be more optimistic this season, as this season doesn’t seem to be like recent seasons.
    Watching the team at the Camping arena, you could tell somthing was different the way they went about the game, I said then as am saying now a lot of team we play is going to be on the receiving ends of some heavy defeats this season.

    Chelsea could have gotten a six nil beating and the score line would not have flattered us,
    Now we could make a major scare this year without actually winning the league and that would be significant progress with us ending up in the top four for me.

    Think Hull City lead a great deal one season and almost got relegated if my memory correct, so am under no delusion of winning the league, but the way the gunners are playing some mighty assemble team are taking note.

  8. About the Heskey thing we in Algeria use to think that Mahrez is better than Aguiro …. When someone is biased it’s deficult to have a reasonable argument with him….We don’t have the QUALITY and especially EXPERIENCE to even challenge for the title……We need to match City spending power in order to be able to compete…Yes the Kroenkes made some investement lately and ,i must say ,astutes ones but we’r nowhere near the likes of Liverpool and MC….

  9. “That reflects the society we live in, a world where everyone preaches free speech unless it’s an opinion they disagree with.”
    100% agree with this assessment.

    Anyway, you’re right that to be thinking of winning titles is silly this season – I hope there aren’t many who think like that. I will, however, be looking forward to our first big game – I believe that will tell us a lot about where our squad mentality is, because I do think we’ve improved, but we have to demonstrate that when it really counts.

  10. How many on here are actually saying, they think we will win the league, this year?
    I haven’t seen many.
    Nearly all here are just saying we seem better than last season, and of course everybody(?) hope we will win the title. But that is different.
    Of course it could happen, whether one wants to put money on it….
    Anyway, you started out by saying we couldn’t finish in top 4, now you have moved up to saying we won’t win.
    We must be going in the right direction, then.

    1. Well I am putting my money on it. Three games are enough to see that the only team that will be challenging us but come short in the end is Man City.

      1. Seconded
        This is on the back of the fact that for the past 13yrs , arsenal have not had the quality of defence which used to betray us season in season out. Imagine that saliba was the man of the match against a palace team who beat us 3-0 in the same venue last April.
        We also have a viable attack with every one trying to step up to Jesus level of play.

    2. Lol!!! As evident below…quite a number of fans feel like they’ve seen enough over the past 3 games to think we’re strong contenders to win the league.

      I agree with the writer however a part of me wants to stay in dreamland…

      Just stay humble Gunners

  11. Tbh Arteta and the players are humble and they have come out on the matter clearly. Fans can chant whatever they want to create an atmosphere and have fun in games . For now we CAN! dream winning the league.

  12. I disagree with you Dan for using last year as a reference point as if everything has remained the same. It is unrealistic to talk of a gap of an 24 points as if everything remained static. Last year Liverpool overran Man U twice but what happened last night? Crystal Palace beat us twice but is it still the case now?
    When you use defective analysis you get defective results. The problem is that you have taken a position that is not only unscientific but also unpalatable to most people on this platform. However I take exception to the insults directed at you because they are uncalled for. We can disagree without being abusive. Disagreement is not hostility.

    1. The reference point though is as the gap between us and City closed ?
      Eg how many of our players get into City’s 11?

      1. Mr Dan, I enjoy reading a lot of your articles here. And its quiet obvious that you support Arsenal from the perspective of caution pessimism. But we can also accept others that support from the view point of uptimism right? Its no big deal.
        I also understand that you are stereotyped about your impression of some players no matter what. I love Nketiah and I also love Martinelli. At the moment the post potent channels of our attack are Martinelli and Jesus. You seem to be of the opinion that Martinelli is over hyped and not good enough when clearly the lad has been on fire for us.
        As for the issue of the title, the algorithm is a complex one, even the best of sport analyst can only give a guess work. How do you explain 95 of pundits predicting Man U will loose to Liverpool, and then Man U went ahead to win.
        So we can’t tell for sure if we have closed the gap between us and Man City, neither can you tell if Man City are up to there last season standard too. We don’t even know if they have improved or not. Arsenal players may not enter Man City team on face value, that doesn’t mean, their performance level may not be better. How else do you explain a player who is playing for a small club all of a sudden grow within the season that bigger clubs come looking for him?
        Lastly and my personal opinion, Arsenal are going to be contended for the league title this year. If we don’t win it, we are likely to finish second or third. This is still only a prediction base on gut feeling, we shouldn’t feel offended by it. I listen to other club fans making analysis of the Top 4 and Arsenal is not even mentioned. Such level of disrespect is exactly the reason we shall shock everyone.

  13. The fact this question is being asked shows how much progress has been made in the past couple of years.

    Who would have asked such question 1, 2 or 3 years ago?

    Like Dan I think Arsenal are ready yet to win the title this season. It’s still a very young team and the gap with very top teams is too big though reducing.

    Top 3 would be a good target imo

  14. What pleases me the most about Arteta and Edu is they seems to have a plan:Quality players of a certain age,certains positions needing strengthening ….Gradually they’r building a very good team….By the way it looks like they have learned a lesson with the likes of William and David Luiz…We need experience but you could have a backclash with ageing players who are not motivantes anymore….Jésus and Zin offers expérience motivation and youth….

  15. I think so.

    We have a great balance of youth and experience. But the youth seem to be mentally strong looking by the first 3 matches. But there’s a long way to go and we will see whether they are strong mentally as the season progresses

  16. I am not sure what this article is meant to achieve. All it it really does is highlight the arrogance of the author. Most fans are simply enjoying the fact that Arsenal are top of the league right now. There are very few fans who have talked of a title challenge. We all know there is a long way to go and that we are by no means favourites. However, if the team and supporters all take the attitude that we won’t win anything we might as well simply hand over the trophies at the beginning of the season.
    I have yet to see any comments suggesting that everything is perfect and that we do not need improvements. The players and the manager have also clearly indicated that they are aware we have a long way to go. All they can do is take each game as it comes and give each one their best shot. Then we will see where we are at the end of the season.
    Last season, we lost our first three games and there were fans who were suggesting we could be stuck in a relegation dogfight. I don’t recall any articles calling out the fans who took this position.

  17. Random first thoughts about DANS piece. Firstly, there is a lot of sense IMO,in how he carefully phrased the
    difference between “can win” but “won’t win”. I agree with both the necessary pedantic point about English language AND with his opinion that we will not win the title.

    Secondly, it is profoundly obvious to me that the concensus of Gooners regularly calling DAN “negative” ,has hurt him deeply and he is , rightly , a little defensive about that widely used slur(and used a lot by ME, btw!).
    Thirdly, though relevant to my second point, I for one, am now firmly resolved not to ever again call DAN “NEGATIVE”.

    Although I still think he HAS been negative , there is a marked shift in his rhetoric NOW, as oposed to a while ago, and I am keen, ,even eager, to start mending bridges with DAN, and with OTHERS too, who have taken his view, til now.

    I wish to be inclusive and I freely admit having been DIVISIVE instead, esp though not only, about this matter.

    For me, those days are gone, never to be repeated . Simply put, I am too old, too weary and worn out to fight those who take a fundamentally different tack to my own. ALL are entitled to write as they think and I have had a DAMASCUN conversion about this.
    Plainly, I have NOT changed my own opinion that MA is NOW – after a long and tortuous learning period, now behind him – the best and also available man to lead our own beloved club back to the heights it should and IMO will attain.

    Those who take a polar different view are, it seems to me , dwindling inboth number and ferocity, and it is long past time that we GOONERS, all of us , should remember are are ALL supporters and ALL crave the same thing.

    So I offer an olive branch to ALL who have tasted my sometimes FAR TOO acidic rhetoric, and hope they will receive that olive branch in the spirit with which it is offered.

    1. Delighted to read this Jon.
      We’ve had some back and forths but I don’t think you’ve ever been particularly acidic with me. I will tell you, though, that I’ve regretted some of the things I’ve said to you on this site. I will be happy to go forward agreeing and disagreeing with you with respect.

  18. Dan, your question is really one that cannot be answered until the end of the season, but I think we have a group of players capable of doing just that, as long as they are consistent.

    Are you negative just for the sake of it? Of course not.
    You put forward your opinions clearly and the reason you get abused is because it is difficult to argue with your assessment at any given time.

    The assumption that one supports MA means loyalty, while questioning him means being disloyal to the club, is the same load of BS as saying anyone puts a player before the club.

    You carry on with your viewpoints and analysis, some I agree with and others I don’t….. isn’t that what Just Arsenal is all about?

    1. Generally, putting the support for any player or manager first before the club is pathetic. That is why there are fans and then fanboys. Arteta has his fanboys like Ozil also had. It is ok to not even like the style of management or play put out by the manager and still be happy when the club is winning. That is where I feel some people are but then they aren’t saying it directly so I understand when someone may seem negative but actually isn’t.

      1. Sorry kev, but I don’t agree.
        I have questioned Mikel and I have supported him, just as I questioned the clubs treatment of Ozil and other players.

        That doesn’t mean I’m a “fanboy” (what a ridiculous terminology for any adult to use… in my opinion) nor does it mean I support or don’t support anyone…. it’s putting forward my personal opinion on a certain subject , why is that so hard to understand?

        1. I was agreeing with you but I don’t think you understood me. A fanboy refuses to see any wrong and will defend the indefensible. In this context a fan supports the team and can admit when there are wrong when the facts support it or glaring obvious. Anyone going at lengths to defend a coach or player on a particular matter even when it shouldn’t be so is a fanboy. Standing up for a player e.g Ozil when the facts back him isn’t being a fanboy. That term isn’t describing you, its a general take. It is even more childish and pathetic for anyone especially adults to support blindly or at the expense of the team because of their favorite than the fanboy term itself.

          1. Kev as a point about some Arteta fans ,they fall into the “Wenger not so Fan club “and want to be proven right that he should have gone (which he should have ),but the constant abuse and mentioning of his names shows those said fans up .
            Obviously there are genuine Arteta fans that see the good in him but some try way to hard to hide there agenda .

            1. I understand you and tbh all those jibs at him are unnecessary but its their opinion. I feel he should’ve left in 2008. I also believe Wenger would’ve gotten top 4 every season since he left and that is my opinion. He would’ve even got UCL football in 2017 and 2018 if not for Cazorla’s injury and Sanchez’s departure. Emery and Arteta had to adjust because of several reasons so they couldn’t have outperformed Wenger initially. Now Arteta is the one at the helm so the focus should be on him more than Wenger. Wenger is a top manager and I can back him with any team because he gets the best out of players and can work with them even when not good enough.

    2. Awesome opinion @ken1945 am with you on this consistency part if arsenal are consistent with this mentality they will definitely do so

  19. Very childish talk.
    Talking about a title challenge this season when we have not even started crawling?

    Come on now..

  20. Everyone is saying the same – early days, let’s not get carried away. And that’s right of course. But…

    The key point that’s underlying the excitement is not just that we won 3 games against teams who will probably not be top 6 contenders, but the margins we won by and the style of play, the dominance on display (apart from the last hour at Palace, but it was very hot that day).

    When you’re scraping wins by a goal it’s different to scoring 4 and 3 in your last 2 matches. And all 3 games were won by 2 or 3 goals, often striking twice early-ish and putting the game to bed before tenacious opps can start digging in. And 2 were away matches too.

    I think that’s the underlying reason for the frisson of excitement around the supporters atm – not only the wins, but the *manner* of the wins – and against a couple of teams that tried to get under our skin.

    Palace had some success at that – or maybe it was just a hot day and hard to press for 90 mins, dunno – but the goal difference suggests good things which we’ve not seen in quite a long time, if ever. Those are the reasons for my optimism, tempered by concern over the fact that it’s probably mostly due to one player: Jesus – and that can change, as we know.

  21. On our day we ARE good enough, but reality will be injuries and fatigue over nearly 60 games. We WILL need a stronger squad than we have at the moment as this team cannot play every game. The factual logic is not about positivism or negativism, as a supporter, but about having the whole jigsaw puzzle. At the moment we are two top players light of making a title challenge. If Arteta/Edu don’t lose their focus, and sign another two TOP players….we could challenge or even win the title. We definitely need two top players because an injury to Gabriel Jesus or an injury in our midfield could set us back a lot. The next week will tell us if we have the whole jigsaw puzzle.

  22. Wow.. is this article or books.? I only read some but cannot finish it .trauma by the clickbite title ’ where is this couple now after meeting hundred years ago’.. but honestly you are a honest osyk.. I feel,I’m very feel..

  23. We’ll see where we stand on how we deal with gritty teams like Leeds, Fulham or Brentford and even Newcastle. We show up focused for top 4/5 teams, but fail to against mid table teams. IJS…

  24. There is no law against believing that we can be at the top come May 2023. All that is needed is consistency on the part of the entire team and massive support from the fan base. Anything is Possible.

  25. Surely one must be humble but its not wrong to be ambitious and set goals. The higher the goals we set in life, the better we become as a person and the same goes for a football team. So its not wrong or criminal to set a goal such as winning the PL. Whether we achieve it or not will surely depend on our performances, our consistency, hard work, talent and determination but surely it is not wrong to set a goal or a target. If the team stays united, have a strong focus and have a winning mentality than I am not counting out anything.

  26. What is wrong with being positive? It beats being the opposite. Arsenal are at least a club than can compete due it’s level of support.
    What I didn’t like in this article was an I told you so element that you knew we would choke.
    By your assertion that we will yet again finish 5th means we will choke again as the team’s mentality will fall short even with the additions of players who know what winning is all about
    I don’t know how you can be sure that the teams who finished above us last season will do so again.
    I’m not getting ahead of myself in the slightest but I’d rather be top of the league with goals scored than where we were a year ago.
    Maybe the word hope should be used rather than hopeless.

    1. people are right to call the author’s mentality negative, after the additions made in the summer talking of 5th is total negativity….as far as the title push is concerned even the legendary Patrick Viera said , we played two teams going for the title, its a fact Arsenal are currently in a position to be included in the title conversations..The only worry for me is that we haven’t nailed a replacement for Partey yet . he is the heart of the team and once he gets injured confusion will start…

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