The Huge Title Battles from Opposite Ends of the English Footballing Pyramid
The 2022/23 English football season has had no end of talking points. Right through the top five divisions of the footballing pyramid, there has been plenty to sieve through. And in this article, we will attempt to do exactly that.
Before the current campaign got underway, several of England’s divisions looked as though they had plenty of formalities. Manchester City and Liverpool were surely going to battle it out for Premier League glory once again. Big-spending Sheffield Wednesday were all but guaranteed to be promoted back to the Championship at the second time of asking. So, let’s start our round-up in the Premier League, and honestly, where else is there to start but at the Emirates?
Arsenal’s Stunning Title Challenge
The powers that were at the Emirates Stadium took a huge risk when they decided to appoint Mikel Arteta as the successor to fellow Spaniard Unai Emery back in December 2019. The former Arsenal captain had never been the manager of a club before, although he had worked as an understudy to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City for a few years. But for a while, it looked as though that risk wouldn’t pay off.
As those that like to play on online gambling websites will tell you, occasionally you can hit the jackpot when gambling. And this term, that is exactly what Stan Kroenke, owner of the North London club and the man who decided to bring in Arteta, has done. As the season reaches its apex, Arteta’s side are still top of the Premier League, with the heavily favored Manchester City some eight points adrift with just ten games remaining this season.
Heading into the current season, no one could have predicted that Arsenal would be contenders once again. Last season, they threatened to return to the top four for the first time since the departure of Arsene Wenger. However, two defeats in their final three games saw that elusive Champions League spot slip away, and to make matters worse, it went to their archrivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
This term, however, the Gunners hit the ground running, and they never looked back. They have beaten the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur. A defeat at home to Manchester City over the festive period looked as though it could derail them however, The Gunners bounced back in some style.
In recent weeks, the North London outfit has shown plenty of fight, something they have been criticized for not doing over the last decade or so. They twice battled back away at Aston Villa to eventually secure a 4-2-win courtesy of Jorginho’s last-gasp blockbuster. They then fought back from 2-0 down at home to Bournemouth to secure a 3-2 victory thanks to another last-gasp thunderbolt, this time hammered home by Reiss Nelson.
It remains to be seen whether the Gunners will be able to hold off a rampaging Manchester City. Both fans of the club and neutrals alike will be hoping they can though, and they will never have a better chance of ending their almost two-decade-long English top-flight drought.
Wrexham and Notts County’s Near-Perfect Attempts to Secure Their Spot in the Football League
Fifth-tier Wrexham has been thrust into the limelight over the last two years or so courtesy of their money-spinning takeover by Hollywood sensation Ryan Reynolds and his buddy, Rob McElhenney. The previously undesirable club from North Wales had endured more than its fair share of turmoil over the last two decades. However, they have now gone from undesirable to undeniable.
Their first season under their new American owners was turned into a hit docuseries by the streaming service Disney Plus. Their newfound popularity has also opened the club up to new revenue streams. The Red Dragons have a wealth of new supporters from all corners of the planet, and they have managed to secure several big-name sponsorships such as Chinese social media giant TikTok as well as Aviatior Gin, which is owned by Ryan Reynolds also.
As such, many would expect them to romp to the title this term, and they very well might have had it not been for Notts County. The Magpies are one of the oldest clubs in the history of English football, and despite their budget is much, much more modest than that of Wrexham, they have managed to go toe-to-toe with non-league football’s newest big boys. With just a handful of games remaining, both sides are currently locked together on 100 points,
In the National League, only one team gains automatic promotion, so whoever comes out on top between the two will secure their spot in the English football league. The loser, meanwhile, will have to settle for a spot in the playoffs, where both teams eventually missed out on promotion last term.