Mikel Arteta, the boss of Arsenal, thought about his future in the Premier League after the team didn’t win the title.
The Gunners were five points ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League before they drew with Liverpool, West Ham, and Southampton in a row.
The next game Arsenal played was at City, where they lost badly. City went on to win the title by five points over Arsenal.
When Arteta thought back on his summer, he said, “The first few weeks were very hard.”
“The first thing you have to do is look in the mirror and figure out what you could have done better or differently. If so, you should learn from it.
“Ask yourself if you’re still the right person to lead the club or team in the direction you want, and if you still have the energy and belief that you want to do it.
“It took me a lot of thought, but the answer is yes, and I feel really good about it.”
During the last few games for the title, Arsenal were up 2-0 at both Liverpool and West Ham but ended up drawing. Winger Bukayo Saka missed a chance when his team was up 2-1 against the Hammers.
Then, Arsenal needed two late goals to get a 3-3 draw against Southampton, which went on to be relegated, and then they lost 4-1 at City, which was a big sign.
When asked what set City apart from his team, Arteta said, “Momentum.” At the most important times, when things should have gone one way — and many times during the season, they did — they didn’t.
“It went one, two, three, and then we lost steam, and they picked it up.
“You’re talking about a team that could win 25 games in a row if they had to, so the last thing they needed was confidence and momentum, which we gave them.
“We didn’t win some games, especially the three draws we had when the game turned.
“We should have won those games, and we had enough to win them; it was in our hands.
“They were important times when we either weren’t harsh or careful enough, didn’t have enough luck, or made some mistakes that let that happen. We have to take that into account as well.”
Choose your mix. Arsenal plays Manchester City.
In the Community Shield on Sunday, Arsenal will play City. Even though Pep Guardiola’s team lost Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez this summer, Arteta said it would be a mistake to think that City have reached the end of a cycle.
“I’ve heard that a few times in the last seven years, and they have won five titles,” said Arteta, who was a teacher at City under Guardiola before taking over at Arsenal in December 2019.
“Based on what I know about the manager and the people at the club, I don’t think that will happen.”