Xakha, Van Persie, others who won league titles after Arsenal exit

 May 24, 2024

Xakha, Van Persie, others who won league titles after Arsenal exit

The 2023/24 Premier League season went down to the wire and ended with heartbreak for Arsenal who ticked all boxes but forgot to add ‘don’t dash City the league’ to the list.

Mikel Arteta’s side who ended last season with 84 points, five behind defending champions, Manchester City, went all out in the 2023/24 football season by matching Pep Guardiola’s side’s league-winning 89 points from the previous season. 

The Gunners ended the 23/24 season at par with Guardiola’s side on goal difference with 65 goals after scoring 91 goals, conceding 29 to claim the best defence after conceding five fewer goals than Man City (34) who had the next-best defence. Arsenal’s 18 clean sheets beat Everton and City on 13. City’s keepers let in 34 goals despite 96 goals from Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Phile Foden, and others.

Arsenal won 28 out of 38 matches, one more than an average title winner needs. Their 89 points beat the 88 points average needed to win the league. With 91 goals (2.9 per game), an average EPL winner needs as little as 83 goals(2.2 per game).

With the third-youngest squad in the division, OptaJoe analysts argue that Arsenal were the best EPL team this season but with nothing to show for it in the Premier League(2nd), FA Cup where they crashed out in the 3rd Round, the Carabao Cup after they suffered a 4th round elimination and the UEFA Champions League as Bayern Munich eliminated them in the quarter-finals.

A double over United, four points apiece(win and draw each ) against the likes of City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea crowned Arsenal champions of the ‘big six’ mini-league 22 points in their 10 games against the big six (W6 D4).

In 20 out of the 31 seasons preceding 2023-24 which had the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, and Guardiola himself(judging from last season), tallying 89 points would have secured the Premier League for Arsenal but unfortunately, the home defeat to Aston Villa handed City a 2-point lead and ultimately the title.

Securing the runner-up position behind City underscores Arsenal’s prolonged trophy drought which has spanned two decades, earning them the nickname “bottlers FC.” In light of this, Punch Metro examines footballers who departed Arsenal and subsequently won domestic and European trophies outside the North London club.

  1. Granit Xhaka: Left Arsenal in 2023, and won the league with Bayer Leverkusen in 2024.
  2. Cesc Fabregas: Left Arsenal in 2011 and won the Laliga with Barcelona(2012–13) and two EPL with Chelsea in 2014–15, and 2016–17.
  3. Robin Van Persie: Left Emirates in 2012 and won the EPL title with Manchester United in his first season (2013) as well as his second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot.
  4. Mathieu Flamini: Left Arsenal in 2008 for AC Milan where he won the Serie A title in the 2010/11 season.
  5. Samir Nasri: Left the Emirates for the Etihad in 2011 and won two EPL trophies with Manchester City(2011/12 and 2013/14).
  6. Gael Clichy: Like Nasri, Clichy won two EPL titles with City (2011/12 and 2013/14) after he departed in 2011. However, Clichy was a member of Arsenal’s Invincibles squad of 2003/04 where he won his first EPL title.
  7. Patrick Vieira: Captained Arsenal’s 2003-04 Invincibles squad under Arsene Wenger, at Highbury. Viera was the last Arsenal captain to lift the EPL. Before joining Arsenal, he won the Scudetto with AC Milan in  1995–96, the EPL with Arsenal in 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04. After leaving Arsenal, he later won four Serie A titles in a row with Inter Milan from 2006–07 – 2009–10.
  8. Ashley Cole: A member of Arsenal’s Invincibles, Cole won two EPL trophies with Wenger’s side(2001/02 & 03/04) before adding one more after he left them for London rivals Chelsea (2009/10).  
  9. Thierry Henry: Arsenal legend and two-time EPL Champion(2001/02 &2003/04), Henry left England in 2007 for Barcelona where he won two La Liga titles(2008–09, 2009–10). Including the Champions League.
  10. Aleksander Hleb: The highly-rated midfielder left Arsenal in 2008 and won La Liga with Barcelona in the 2008–09 season. Notably, he was part of the Birmingham side that defeated Arsenal in the 2010–11 League Cup final.
  11. Kolo Toure: Another member of the Invincibles who left Arsenal after winning the league in 2003/04. He won his second EPL title with Manchester City in the 2011/2012 season before winning the Scottish Premiership in 2016–17 with Celtic.

Other players like Emmanuel Adebayor won the Copa Del Rey with Real Madrid and Saed Kolasinac won the Europa League with Atalanta on Wednesday.


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