Five reasons why Arsenal lost the Premier League title race

Arsenal lost the Premier League not because of their fault but because there were factors that may have seen them fall short of the big prize.

Arsenal fans at the Emirates did not lose hope until the final minute of their win over Everton on Sunday. This was despite the fact that Manchester City had taken a second-minute lead in their encounter with West Ham United. But the Emirates crowd remained well behind their players and manager.

In truth, Arsenal deserved more than their second-place finish at the end, but did they deserve the title? For long parts of the season, they had been the most prolific team, and right until the end, they were the most defensively tight side in the division. They had also kept the most clean sheets, and only Manchester City, in the end, pipped them for goals scored, as the final figures stood at 96-91.

Arsenal finished second only two points behind Manchester City, who created history with a four-peat of Premier League titles. The fact that the Gunners were given the title of ‘Bottlers’ for their charge last season, this time, they were nowhere close to being that.

This time around, Mikel Arteta clearly showed signs he had learned from his previous mistakes and made the necessary changes. His transfer decisions, the controversial call to spend big on David Raya and Kai Havertz paying off, and the ruthless decision with some of his first-team stars showed the Spaniard was ready to challenge for the title.

However, here we look at where Arsenal lost the Premier League titles. One cannot pinpoint major drawbacks in their squad or strategy, but again, the title was lost on marginal errors.

Specific player availability

Arteta strangely went into the season when he decided to bench Gabriel Magalhaes due to speculation surrounding Saudi bids and the Brazilian defender. At least, the manager put him back, but when that happened, he had already lost Thomas Partey for the long haul.

The Ghanaian briefly returned to play his part in the win over Manchester City in October, but he would only arrive again in April. Arteta had planned the season with Partey and Declan Rice as his first-choice midfield options. However, he had to make changes to that aspect, and that may have had an overall effect on how the season panned out.

Secondly, he also lacked a clear left-back option throughout the season. While he must have been thankful for the constant availability of William Saliba, Gabriel, and Ben White, he might have liked Takehiro Tomiyasu to have stayed fit for large parts of the campaign. The Japanese defender did probably play a lot of games, but not as many as Arteta would have liked.

Then again, fans might point to how things would have panned out had Jurrien Timber not sustained a season-ending injury on the opening day of the season. That is instead a case of what-if. But Arteta had signed the Dutchman as his starting left-back after how things panned out in the pre-season.

Strange defeats in winnable games

This has been a rather strange season for Arsenal fans, who might not have seen their team win so many games on the run since the turn of the year. In any case, the Gunners lost once and drew one other game in 2024 while winning the rest, which is tremendous by their standards.

However, during the campaign, Arsenal did suffer some strange defeats. The losses in London derbies against West Ham United and Fulham played a big part, as this is when the title may have been lost. Some might point at the draw with Fulham and losses to Newcastle United and Aston Villa away. But those London Derby losses may have potentially cost them the title.

Meanwhile, most Arsenal fans are thinking about the loss to Aston Villa in that incredible run in 2024. However, such moments might happen even with the best of teams, and it did happen to Arsenal in their title run-in.

The pressure of Europe and Premier League race

While Arsenal had an incredible run in 2024, there was a period where they faltered, which might have ended up costing them the title. The loss to Aston Villa at the Emirates is seen as a significant factor by Arsenal fans in the title chase. Had they taken the three points, then the title would have been theirs, considering how things panned out.

However, it is important to point out that this loss to Aston Villa came in a crunch period for Arsenal when they were juggling between domestic and Premier League commitments. They welcomed Unai Emery’s side between those two crunch games with Bayern Munich.

The Gunners should have to managed this period better, and hence, this should be a lesson for them ahead of next season to manage these commitments like any big club and get things rolling.


This is one of the controversial takes, but X (formerly Twitter) has been rife with suggestions that Arsenal could have won the title had some of the VAR decisions gone their way. There have been some controversial decisions in games involving the Gunners, and Arteta made a telling statement at the end of one.

The game against Newcastle United stood out, as Arsenal were in a period when they went to tough away grounds to get a result rather than a win. They did fall prey to a controversial VAR decision to allow Anthony Gordon’s goal at St James Park.

Then again, there were some errors made in the Aston Villa clash and Villa Park, where a controversial final decision handball ruled out a late Havertz equaliser. Overall, Arsenal fans will feel VAR might have done more damage to their title challenges than some of the losses mentioned above.


As Rodri mentioned in his post-celebrations, Arsenal may have lacked the mentality a bit in their attempts to win the title. This might be partially true. The Gunners did go to the Etihad to get a draw. But that result enabled them to have the impetus of the challenge on their hands.

However, these are also games where Arteta should have gambled a bit on his principles and strategy and gone for a win. Had the result gone against them that night, then things might have been different, which might have even changed the course for Liverpool in the hunt.

In hindsight, Arsenal fans should not question this team’s mentality. They have shown throughout the year that they have the right frame to get into the the title race, and next season, they will be much better than this one.

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