Jamie Carragher has recalled a moment involving Mikel Arteta in the Community Shield that convinced him Arsenal wouldn’t be able to beat Manchester City to the Premier League title.
Arsenal won the Community Shield, claiming a 4-1 penalty shootout victory, and yet there was a moment on the touchline from “lunatic” Arteta that “stuck” with Carragher for being “too intense” a reaction when the season hadn’t yet started.
The Gunners are already four points behind Manchester City, who have put their slow-starters tag behind them this season with a perfect record of six wins from six to start the 2023-24 campaign.
Given Pep Guardiola’s side tend to improve as the season goes on, Carragher believes Arsenal will struggle to keep pace with their rivals, particularly if Arteta’s intensity increases along the way.
“I noticed in the Community Shield – and something stuck with me – and I said that I felt like I was watching Arsenal in the run in and it’s only the start of the season with the celebrations, or it feels like every game is going to the wire.
“I’ve been there with Liverpool. Arsenal fans will feel like they can’t win the league now because they’ve dropped points in two home games.
“That’s what [Manchester] City do to you, and we are probably looking at one of the best teams the Premier League has ever seen, maybe the best if they win it again.
“I remember [Mikel] Arteta on the touchline after about 20 minutes, he was like a lunatic to the referee because he hadn’t booked a City player.
“I know there’s a big rivalry, but I almost thought that it was too intense for the stage. You’ve got another 10 months of this!
“With Arsenal, because of last season being in such a good position – and they’re not going to be in that position again in terms of winning around 50 points out of the first 57 or something mad – I think it’s that much of missing out last season, and they’re that intense now.”