Sky Sports presenter Jamie Carragher has called for raised expectations when it comes to Arsenal’s ambitions for next season.

The Gunners surprised everyone when they went on a somewhat unexpected title challenge for the majority of last season, finishing in second place for the first time since 2016.

With one of the youngest squads in the league, this was an incredible achievement from Mikel Arteta, but Carragher has now claimed that this Arsenal side needs to be held to higher standards following their rapid improvement in the last two seasons.

Speaking on The Overlap, Carragher claimed that he wants the perception of Arsenal to be that of a top team, and not a plucky young side punching above their weight.

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“I think last season, they were seen as this young up-and-coming team. Most people probably felt that City will do it towards the end, with their experience, things like that. In the main most people thought, what a great season Arsenal have had,” he stated.

“What Arsenal have done in the summer makes them better, but I think this idea now that that keeps getting put out there, that young Arsenal team, don’t spend the money that City do – Arsenal have spent an unbelievable amount of money in the last two or three years, so I think we’ve got to come away from that.

“There should be a lot expected on them, not that they should win the league, but they should be going for every trophy, and it should be that if they don’t quite get over the line in the league like last season, or that big cup final, they should be criticised for that, because I think we should expect a lot more from Arsenal this season.”

Raising expectations

Arsenal’s unexpected rise last season, and subsequent fall, came down to squad depth. When Arsenal were at their best, with their first-choice XI continually winning, there was enough quality to win the league.

Injuries to William Saliba, Thomas Partey and Gabriel Jesus, without the depth to cope, hindered Arsenal’s remarkable progress, but this has now been resolved in the last two windows.

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Jakub Kiwior, Jurrien Timber, Jorginho, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard have all been added to the squad since January, and the squad now looks complete with quality depth all over the pitch.

Arsenal’s poor performance in the cup competitions last season can be attributed to a lack of depth. Now that there are many more quality options within the squad, the expectations should be raised as Arsenal can compete at the very top level as one of the best sides in the country, as opposed to being a young side punching above their weight before another late collapse.

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