Jamie Carragher has told Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal squad to ‘chill out’ as they risk ‘self-sabotaging’ their dreams of beating Manchester City to the Premier League title.

The Liverpool hero is adamant that the Emirates Stadium team must ‘unload the baggage’ of falling short last season. Manchester City edged Arsenal to the 2022/23 Premier League title by five points after launching a late comeback. The Gunners even spent 248 days at the top.

Arsenal opened a route for Manchester City to usurp them in the closing stages of the term. While Pep Guardiola’s team won 12-in-a-row from February 25 to May 21, Arsenal only won eight of their 14 matches in the same run. They also ended the term with three wins in nine.

Arsenal players react at Nottingham Forest as Manchester City crowned 2022/23 Premier League title race champions
Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

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Arsenal blew the 2022/23 Premier League title race

Arteta could only watch on as Arsenal dropped points at Liverpool and West Ham United in April, as well. The Gunners led 2-1 until the 87th minute at Anfield and led 2-0 after only 10 at London Stadium. Yet they drew both games 2-2 before drawing 3-3 with Southampton.

Manchester City then beat Arsenal 4-1 at Etihad Stadium and Arteta’s side would drop more points with a 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion and their 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest. The City Ground affair confirmed Man City as champions with three fixtures to spare.

Carragher sees the angst is still strong at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal players react after dropping points in 2023/24 Premier League title race to Fulham
Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Carragher feels Arsenal’s pain of their collapse has carried into the 2023/24 Premier League title race now. He sees the angst among the Gunners’ fanbase, their players and with Arteta after a tricky start. The north Londoners have won two and drawn one of their three games.

Arsenal have not been entirely convincing in either of their opening games, too. Nottingham Forest nearly came back from 2-0 down but would only pull one back. Crystal Palace applied immense pressure against 10 men as Arsenal won 1-0, too. While Fulham caused real panic.

Carragher fears early ‘self-sabotaging’ could cost Arsenal a title shot

Andreas Pereira intercepted Bukayo Saka’s pass and caught Aaron Ramsdale out of position to give Fulham a 1-0 lead. Joao Palhinha also drew the Cottagers back level to draw 2-2 with 10 men. And Carragher fears all at Arsenal are overacting and it could cost them a title shot.

“For Arsenal to maintain their position as the most likely title challengers to Manchester City, they must unload the baggage of last year’s near miss,” he wrote for The Telegraph.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts after dropping points in 2023/24 Premier League title race to Fulham
Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images

“They can start by taking some free advice: There are ten months of the Premier League season remaining, so stop acting like we are down to the final ten games.

“Mikel Arteta’s side approach to the opening fixtures has been more reminiscent of the title run-in, where every mistake is amplified and dropped points are considered catastrophic to hopes of winning the championship.

“Everyone – and I include supporters, players and the manager – seems far too intense, too soon. It feels like the club needs to chill out and stop panicking. The team is in a good place.

“But treating so-so performances or early home draws, like last week’s against Fulham, as a serious title setback is a sure-fire way of self-sabotaging aspirations before the campaign has truly got underway.”

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