Manchester City ambassador Shaun Wright-Phillips has now claimed how the Citizens view Arsenal for the Premier League title race ahead of the start of the 2023/24 term.
The Gunners ran the Etihad Stadium outfit closest for the crown in 2022/23. But Manchester City ultimately had the edge on Arsenal and beat Mikel Arteta’s squad to the title with three games to spare. It would have been the north Londoners’ first since the 2003/04 Invincibles.
Arsenal even enjoyed 248 days sat atop the table, as well, after embarking on a surprise title challenge last season. The Gunners’ main aim for the campaign was only to secure the club’s return to the Champions League. They again failed to finish in the top-four spots in 2021/22.
Manchester City beat Arsenal to the Premier League title in 22/23
A top-four berth was Arsenal’s to lose as the 21/22 season wore down. Yet rivals Tottenham Hotspur pipped the Gunners at the last after Arteta’s side suffered a late collapse. Defeats to Spurs and Newcastle United saw the Emirates Stadium side finish in fifth by only two points.
Yet signing Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City, plus the long-awaited debut of William Saliba, made Arsenal a much-improved side. But Saliba’s injury and possible burnout saw the Gunners collapse and win three of their final nine games in 22/23.
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Manchester City, on the other hand, ran away to win their third consecutive Premier League title and a fifth in six seasons. Pep Guardiola’s side won 12 games in a row from February 25 for the crown. A draw with Brighton and a final-day loss to Brentford would not stop them.
What has Shaun Wright-Phillips said about the 23/24 title race?
Arteta and sporting director Edu moved fast to reinforce the Arsenal first-team squad in the summer transfer market in the hopes of contending another Premier League title race in the 23/24 season. The Gunners sealed deals for Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice.
But Wright-Phillips is confident that Arsenal still do not strike great fear into Manchester City when it comes to the title race. Instead, the former Citizens forward and club ambassador is expecting the title to return to the Etihad again, even if their other rivals have strengthened.
“We’re not worried about Arsenal next season because there are so many other teams who have got stronger during the summer,” he said, via quotes by the Mirror. “I think there will be more opportunities for other teams to try to claw back at both City and Arsenal.
“But I think City are unbelievable. They are so good that people are starting to run out of words to describe some of these players.
“Everyone talks about [Erling] Haaland or Kevin De Bruyne. But if you think about the team as a defensive unit, playing with four centre-backs, it’s a tactic that’s never been seen before in the world of football. Pep just sees what others don’t see.”