Arsenal led the Premier League for 248 days last season – the most by any side not to win the title; Gunners begin season against Man City at Wembley; follow the Community Shield between Arsenal and Man City across Sky Sports on Sunday with our live blog; kick-off 4pm
Mikel Arteta has admitted he questioned whether he was the right person to continue to lead Arsenal after their disappointing end to last season.
The Gunners were beaten to the Premier League title despite leading the table for 248 days – the most by any side not to claim the trophy in the competition’s history.
A run of just two wins from eight league games across April and May – combined with a 12-match winning streak from City – saw Pep Guardiola’s side overhaul their rivals’ healthy lead atop the table.
Arsenal also failed to come close to success in either the Europa League, FA Cup or Carabao Cup, meaning Arteta’s side ended what had looked a highly promising campaign empty-handed.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield, when Arsenal will renew acquaintances with City at Wembley, Arteta reflected on his reaction to events at the end of last season, saying: “The first few weeks, very tough.
“The first thing you have to do is look in the mirror and understand – is there something that you should have done better or differently? If that is the case then learn from it.
“Judge yourself. Are you still the right person to drive the club, the team, forwards in the way that you want and do you have that energy and that belief that you want to do it?
“It took a big reflection, but the answer is yes and I feel with a lot of energy and positiveness.”
Arsenal were eight points clear of City at the start of April but threw away two-goal leads in successive games against West Ham and Liverpool, allowing both sides to come back and claim draws.
The Gunners’ next match saw them held to a 3-3 home draw by lowly Southampton – who were relegated weeks later – before they were thrashed 4-1 at the Etihad by a rampant City.
That run of results saw Arsenal’s title hopes evaporate and, looking back on those games, Arteta knows his side should have turned the three consecutive draws into wins.
“We had games that we didn’t win, especially the three draws that we had when momentum shifted,” he said. “We should have won those games and we had enough to win those games – it was in our hands.
“They were key moments when we just weren’t ruthless enough, clinical enough, didn’t have the luck or we made certain mistakes that allowed that to happen. We have to recognise that as well.”
Arteta: Arsenal must improve to challenge City
Looking ahead to Arsenal’s latest encounter with City, Arteta admitted his side must improve this season to challenge for major silverware.
Asked if the Community Shield – the curtain-raiser for the new campaign – marks the start of a new era for the club, Arteta said: “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’re very excited to play a final and have the opportunity to win a trophy.
“We’re playing against a team that is the team to beat, the best team in Europe last season and we know what the standards are.”
Follow the Community Shield between Arsenal and Man City across Sky Sports on Sunday with our live blog; kick-off 4pm.
Arsenal’s first five fixtures
- August 6: Arsenal vs Manchester City (Community Shield, Wembley), kick-off 4pm
- August 12: Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest, kick-off 12.30pm
- August 21: Crystal Palace vs Arsenal, kick-off 8pm – live on Sky Sports
- August 26: Arsenal vs Fulham, kick-off 3pm
- September 3: Arsenal vs Manchester United, kick-off 4.30pm – live on Sky Sports
Arsenal’s pre-season fixtures and results
Arsenal start season against Nottingham Forest
Arsenal will start their 2023/24 Premier League season at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday August 12.
The Gunners then face two London derbies against Crystal Palace and Fulham before hosting Manchester United in their first ‘Big Six’ match of the season on September 3, live on Sky Sports.
The first north London derby of the season takes place at the Emirates Stadium on September 24, live on Sky Sports, with the return fixture on April 27 – the fourth-last game of the campaign.