Arsenal may have collapsed in the Premier League title race, but they have still enjoyed a brilliant season – and the stats prove it.
The Gunners will end the campaign in second spot behind Manchester City having suffered back-to-back defeats in the top-flight.
Mikel Arteta’s side topped the table for 248 days, but began to drop points regularly since the start of April.
The north Londoners’ let slip two-goal leads against Liverpool and West Ham, drew to Southampton, lost to City, before being beaten by Brighton and Nottingham Forest.
It has led to Arsenal being dubbed as ‘bottlers’, but that is far from the truth, with the club showing huge amounts of progression this campaign.
For starters, they have secured a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2017.
Their achievement is even more impressive considering they missed out on the top four on the final day of last season, with Arteta backed to get sacked if they finished fifth or below this term.
Even though there is some doom and gloom amongst the club’s fanbase, Arsenal can still finish the season with their joint-record amount of Premier League wins.
Should they beat Wolves at the Emirates on Sunday, they will be on 26 victories – the same amount they managed in their title-winning 2001/02 and 2003/04 campaigns.
And if they manage to score four past the Midlands outfit, they will bring up 87 league goals, which again would equal their record set in the 2004/05 season.
Incredibly, they have scored ten more goals than their legendary Invincibles side, where Thierry Henry scored 30 times in the league.
Victory would also bring up 14 home wins out of 19, which would be their second highest tally in front of their fans.
Arsenal have already notched up 12 away wins – their second highest amount – only behind their double-winning season in 2002.
And what fans seem to forget is that Arsenal boast the second youngest squad in the division – only behind Southampton who have been relegated to the Championship.
Their average starting XI has been 25 years and 38 days, with just last season’s squad and the club’s 2008/09 team having a younger side.
Arteta’s side are also the only team in Europe’s top five leagues to have four players score ten or more league goals [Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus].
The Spaniard admitted responsibility for the club’s inconsistent form after last week’s defeat at the City Ground.
And while his tactical set-up for the match could be questioned, his high-press system for the majority of the season has worked wonders.
Only City and Brighton have played them off the park, with the results coinciding with a dip in performances and the loss of William Saliba through injury.
Despite their obvious improvement, Arsenal cannot afford to stand still in the summer market and show loyalty to the players that have got them in this position.
Changes are still needed if they wish to mount another title tilt -especially with former skipper Granit Xhaka set to depart.
But if Arsenal were to secure their top targets – which includes Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo – there is no reason to suggest why they cannot win their first league championship since 2004.