The Arsenal's Season of Overcoming and a Runner-Up Finish with a Taste of Victory

Despite another runner-up finish in the Premier League, Arsenal and Gabriel Martinelli demonstrate that the fight for the top is just beginning
Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League
Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Gabriel Martinelli's recent interview with ESPN, following Arsenal's victory over Everton, revealed much more than just the outcome of another Premier League season. The young Brazilian forward's speech reflected a mature and optimistic stance amidst a campaign marked by ups and downs, showcasing a sense of resilience and pride, even without the coveted title.

Arsenal ended the 2023/24 season as the Premier League runners-up, once again seeing the trophy slip away to Manchester City. Additionally, the London club exited in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the 4th round of the FA Cup, and the 3rd round of the English League Cup. The only trophy secured was the Community Shield at the start of the season.

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In his words, he didn't shy away from the disappointment of not clinching the Premier League title but made sure to highlight the excellence of the season. "I want to thank our fans (for the support at the end of the Everton game). Thank everyone who supported, sent messages, who managed to go to the stadiums. We are proud of this support," said Martinelli. This gratitude and acknowledgment for the fans' support demonstrate genuine commitment and a strong connection with the fan base.

Martinelli also emphasized the difficulty of competing with teams of Manchester City and Liverpool's caliber. He argued that dropping points in crucial games made the difference in the end, but still, the team has much to be proud of. "We can't discard the year, we can't say it wasn't good, because it was excellent. After years out of the Champions League, we played, went head-to-head with Bayern Munich (in the quarters). Maybe we lacked a bit of luck in some games," he reflected.

The Brazilian forward touched on essential points that should be considered when evaluating Arsenal's season. First, the team's recovery in the Champions League after years of absence is a significant achievement. Facing giants like Bayern Munich and competing on equal footing shows the team's evolution. Second, the individual and collective growth of the players indicates that Arsenal is on the right path to achieve great successes soon.

Another relevant aspect mentioned by Martinelli was the team's resilience during the season. The ability to stage comebacks in difficult games, such as against Everton, and the ability to maintain focus despite news from other matches, reveal a mentally strong and focused team. "We tried to focus on our game. It wouldn't help if we didn't win here. We did our best. But we heard the fans," he said, showing how the fans' energy positively influences performance on the field.

Martinelli concluded with a note of optimism when talking about his call-up to the Brazilian national team and the expectation for the Copa America. "I am very happy for the call-up, we have a very good team. I am very anxious. We won't have rest, but that's the price to pay. I hope we can have an excellent Copa America and bring that title," he concluded. This enthusiasm and ambition are exactly what Arsenal needs to turn present challenges into future achievements.