It’s different this time… ‘Average age 24’ Will Arsenal win the EPL in 19 years?
The last time Arsenal won the English Premier League (EPL) was the 2003-2004 season, which wrote the history of ‘undefeated championship’. The so-called ‘Benger Ball’ dominated the league based on the almost flawless performance of Arsene Wenger’s football philosophy. At the time, ‘EPL King’ Thierry Henry (France) was put in front. Arsenal seemed to be in a long slump without winning a championship for 19 years.
Arsenal, once called ‘Four (4) Snail’. It’s a nickname for ‘funny (funny and sad)’. This is because they entered the top 4 teams in the ‘Big 4’, which can advance to the European Champions League every year, but failed to record more than that. Although he is a Champions official, he was far from competing to win the league. It was a mocking joke from the fans of other teams that they were not at the level of winning the league.
It wasn’t even called ‘Sasnal’ in recent years. It’s because of the results that were worse than 4th place. From the 2016-17 season, it has not been able to keep the 4th place. The sluggishness continued as the rankings went down to the 5th to 8th places. Last season, Arsenal finished fifth behind Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Now Arsenal fans’ long wait is seeing the light. Fans are cheering for the team more than ever. This is because half of this season is running at the top of the league overwhelmingly. At the beginning of the season, not many fans expected it to go so well. Predictions that the uptrend would end after ‘Boxing Day’ were dominant, but that is not the case. Even when other rivals such as Man City and Liverpool slip, Arsenal is showing a solid appearance by ‘kkuyeokseung’.
So far, Arsenal are running first with 47 points (15 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss). The gap with second place Manchester City (42), who played one more game, is also 5 points.
‘Teta Ball’. This is the football philosophy of Arsenal, the number one player in the league. Average age 24.1 years. It is the youngest among all 20 EPL clubs. There is quite a gap with Manchester City (26.5 years old), Manchester United (26.5 years old), Tottenham (27.1 years old), Newcastle United (27.2 years old) and Liverpool (27 years old), who are competing for the ranking.
‘Young Leader’ Mikel Arteta (41, Spain) showed his leadership skills. The young players created a ‘one team’ that came together in fantastic harmony. Director Arteta, who took over as Arsenal manager in 2019, has embarked on a full-scale improvement to achieve his own ‘Teta Ball’.
He sent away players in their 30s, such as Aubameyang, Willian, and David Luis, and infused young blood. Led by “genius” Martin Ödegaard (25), talented people in their 20s such as Eddy Nketia (24), Bukayo Saka (23), Gabriel Martinelli (23), and Gabriel Jejus (25) were put forward.
Coach Arteta has a lot of experience from his playing days to his transformation into a coach. He hails from the youth team of Barcelona (Spain), and has the DNA of organic ‘Ticataca (possession soccer with short and quick passes). During his active career, he played as a midfielder for Arsenal and made a big impact. Arsenal is the club that best embodies the Barcelona-style ‘pass game’ in the EPL. Arsenal’s football charm was recognized by fans as ‘art soccer’. In such a team, coach Arteta took on a key back role during his playing days.
After retiring, Arteta worked as an assistant coach at Manchester City under manager Pep Guardiola. Guardiola is the founder of Spain’s tiki-taka, which was the trend of world football in the 2010s. Arteta went further than Tiki-Taka and created his own ‘Teta Ball (Tiki-Taka + Counterattack)’. Even while playing possession football, he creates a counterattack situation with a momentary long pass. When the opponent presses hard, it catches the opponent off guard. Manchester United legend Gary Neville said, “It is not easy for a young coach to surpass star coaches such as Antonio Conte (Tottenham), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) and Guardiola, but Arteta’s football is fantastic. What awaits him now is the championship cup,” he praised coach Arteta.
Arsenal players are showing off their outstanding skills in repaying Arteta’s trust. Odegaard has 8 goals, Martinelli has 7 goals and Saka has 6 goals. All 11 Arsenal players are perfectly adapted to the teta ball and show tremendous organizational power.
In particular, Oedegor’s performance is dazzling. He signed a contract with Real Madrid at the age of 17 in 2015 and drew attention as one of the world’s best prospects. However, Odegaard only played 8 games in three seasons and had to live a wandering life as a loan student in the Dutch league and Spain’s Real Sociedad. Then, he was noticed by Arsenal and moved to the EPL during the 2020-2021 season, succeeding in a complete transfer after his first season. Odegaard has already scored eight goals in 17 matches this season. He plays a key linking role in Arsenal’s attack. He wears the captain’s armband and even shows leadership. For this kind of performance, he was voted MVP of the match (Man of the Match) five times.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright said: “Real Madrid lacked patience. Arsenal are benefiting from that. He leads the team with amazing leadership and initiative,” he praised Oedegor. Football commentator Rio Ferdinand from Manchester United expressed his opinion on his podcast, saying, “From the moment you look at it, Odegaard is probably the Player of the Year (in the Premier League).”
Arsenal are also determined not to miss the championship this season. We are also stepping up efforts to reinforce players this winter. Arsenal officially announced on its official website on the 21st that “Trossar, a Belgian national team member, has joined from Brighton on a long-term contract.” Torsar plays 121 games in Brighton in the same league and is active as the team’s key striker. He made 16 appearances in the league this season, scoring 7 goals, including a hat-trick against Liverpool. Arsenal are also strengthening the center back position. The contract has been completed with Jakub Kibior, who is active in the Polish national team. Kibior is a left-footed and tall defender. He was responsible for Poland’s defense at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Arsenal will play a home game against Manchester United in the 21st round of the EPL held at the Emirates Stadium in London, England at 1:30 am (Korean time) on the 23rd. Currently, United are in 3rd place in the league with 39 points, and they have been on a huge rise lately. Arsenal is also expected to be a difficult match. The team that gave Arsenal their only league defeat was also Manchester United. If Arsenal wins this game, it will be able to stand on a higher edge in the championship competition.
Attention is focusing on whether Arsenal’s ‘young guns’, which have been in full bloom under the ‘teta ball’, will win the EPL in 19 years.