Positives for Arsenal despite missing top four
- Credit: PA
The 2021/22 season drew to a close for Arsenal with the Gunners cruising to a 5-1 victory over Everton at the Emirates on the final day of the campaign.
With North London rivals Tottenham winning away to relegated Norwich, Mikel Arteta's side secured fifth place in the Premier League and qualify for next season’s UEFA Europa League.
It was a season of mixed emotions, overachieving the pre-season predictions with the youngest squad in the league, but ultimately falling short of a return to the Champions League.
At their best, Arsenal demonstrated great progress this season, capable of dominating games with free-flowing football akin to champions Manchester City.
But through inexperience, injuries and a thin squad, Arsenal’s best was not seen often enough, with costly performances and losses preventing a return to Europe’s elite competition.
One of the greatest improvements this season was the bond formed between the manager, players and fans.
After the struggles of the Unai Emery era followed by the disruption of Covid-19, Arsenal fans returned with their full support, lifting the team home and away regardless of result.
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With that, a new anthem has also been born for the Gunners as choruses of Louis Dunford’s ‘The Angel’ rung around the Emirates at the final home games of the season, highlighting the unity at the club this season.
Ultimately, despite missing out on the Champions League, it was a positive season for the Gunners who now head into the summer in a good place.
A strong foundation has been built both on and off the pitch for Arsenal to kick on, with sights firmly set on the top four.
Through expiring contracts and player sales we will undoubtedly see yet another churn of players, and with that comes the hope of new signings.
Regardless of league position, Arteta's project at Arsenal should be an attractive proposition for most and expenditure is expected to be similar to last season’s spend of over £100 million.
With no World Cup or European Championships to contend with, Arsenal players will have a largely free summer to recuperate before next season kicks off in early August.