Mikel Arteta names one thing Arsenal players must feel to win Premier League

  • Arsenal fell short to Manchester City in 2023/24 Premier League title race
  • The Gunners were first for a large part of the season before a late collapse
  • Arteta plans to use that pain to inspire success next season
Arteta looks back on the season
Arteta looks back on the season / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal's players must use the pain of their Premier League title heartbreak to fulfil their ambitions and insists his side deserved to beat Manchester City last season.

Arsenal sat atop the Premier League table for a large part of last season but ultimately ended the campaign two points behind Manchester City, who went on a 23-game unbeaten run to pip Arsenal to the title.

The Gunners will head into the 2024/25 campaign as one of the favourites to lift the title, and speaking to ESPN, Arteta confessed that "small margins" were to blame for Arsenal's late slip-up during 2023/24.

"When you are analytical and you gather all the stats and everything the team has done over the past 11 months in the Premier League, we should have won it," Arteta argued. "That's what the stats say. The reality is that we didn't so there is something that is there that we haven't managed as well as Man City or other clubs in the past.

"I think we understand where those margins are. I think we have come very far. We have been really consistent now in the past 24 months in terms of performance and the levels that we want to hit. But those margins are super small. One thing is to get the 90% that we want and actually the 10%, 5%, 1% is what defines success and winning major trophies.

"Now we have to continue to do all the right things that we are doing and just make those small margins that are going to be able to win the tournaments.

Mikel Arteta
Arteta vows to find the solution / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

"The small margins, we have the game against Villa [a crucial defeat late in the season] and when you look at the expected goals of what we generate just throughout the game, we should win it, but we don't. So efficiency in the box was a dictator of success when we are so dominant like we are right now in many games.

"You have decisions as well. They are not in your hands and they can take a point or two points or three points away from you and that can decide the title. At the end, we are going to have to be that good that our worst version is going to have to be much better than the best version of the opponent. This is what we are going to try to do and in order to do that we are going to have to dominate a lot of things that are going to be difficult to identify with your eyes when you watch a football match. I'll leave it there."

Arteta went on to admit that he has not yet come to terms with Arsenal's failure to win the title but stressed the importance of using that pain to inspire future success.

"I don't want to get over it," the Arsenal boss added. "I am really satisfied with the way the team is performing, the way the players are evolving, what the team transmits, the momentum we have as a football club. In all departments, not only on the men's side, but the women's side, what we are doing with the academy, the prospects that we have there.

"But we need that pain and that hunger to achieve what we want to achieve because the competition is unbelievable and we are going to need everybody feeling that way to achieve it."