Navigating Challenges: Arsenal’s Journey Through the 2023/24 EPL Season

By on February 26, 2024

Arsenal celebrations

Last season, Arsenal stunned the football world with brilliant performances that almost got them the EPL title after decades of trying. However, they were denied this chance by Manchester City, who won the league five points clear of Arsenal. This season, Mikel Arteta’s first moves were to strengthen certain positions in the team by bringing in new players. The first was to reinforce the defensive midfield, so a Declan Rice signing from West Ham.

Changes were expected in the attacking midfield, too, prompting the signing of Kai Havertz from Chelsea. To balance the team’s dynamics, Mikel Arteta bought Jurien Timber from Ajax as a defender for the team. However, with these changes came their own challenges and more unforeseen ones for the club. You can find here our EPL predictions for Arsenal fixtures, as provided by our professional sports analysts. In the following paragraphs, we’ll detail the challenges they’ve faced so far and how they’ve navigated them.

What are the challenges Arsenal has faced in the EPL 2023/24 season?

This season has been all about Arsenal fighting to redeem themselves after last season’s almost-successful run. While they’re in the top three spots this season, the competition is even tougher than last season’s, with very few points separating them from the top contender, Liverpool. They’d probably be at the top if not for a few hindrances the team has faced for the past twenty-five game weeks. At the top of the list of challenges are players’ injuries.


This season’s biggest challenge for Arsenal has been the injuries players sustain. At least five of the prominent members of the team have sustained an injury once or twice, keeping the team from reaching their full potential. Fabio Vieira plays as an attacking midfielder for the team and has sustained an injury since November. The player was said to have had surgery on a groin problem, keeping him away from the season’s action for some weeks. So far, Mikel Arteta has said he’s not expected to play till after the winter break, but from the latest news, he’s still recovering and isn’t expected to play in coming matches.

Thomas Partey, the club’s defensive midfield, has been out of action the whole season. He suffered a thigh injury in the 2022/23 season and has undergone surgery. However, during his recovery last month, he suffered another setback. Mikel Arteta, in a press conference, said that Arteta was close to recovery and should be back in the squad soon.

The same goes for Gabriel Jesus, who tore his ACL in the 2022 World Cup. He has been in and out of surgeries in the past year but still hasn’t fully recovered. In interviews, Arteta has commented that he’s close to recovery and should be back in the team soon. The injuries continued with Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had a calf problem. He’s supposedly farther away from recovery compared to Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey. The same applies to Takehiro Tomiyasu, who’s been said to be far away from full recovery following a calf problem in December.

Jurrien Timber’s Injury

The new signee, who was supposed to be a reinforcement for an already weakening defense, sustained an ACL injury in his debut match for the club. He was supposed to be a vital part of the team’s season campaign but has sat most of the matches out to recover fully. Compared to other players whose recovery times are unknown, Jurrien Timber is expected to return before the end of the season.

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Conversion Rate

Before the return of the team from the training camp in Dubai, we witnessed them create lots of chances in their games without proper conversion rates. They had narrow goal margins, which most teams thought they could take advantage of, and sometimes succeeded. We saw this in the 2 – 2 draw against Fulham in the third week, then again in the 2 – 2 draw against Tottenham in the sixth week, and in the 2 – 2 draw against Chelsea in the ninth week.

This is largely due to their attacking midfield and forward, with Bukayo Saka as the only beacon of light in their matches. Kai Havertz has been playing decently but is only starting to get into form with the rest of the team. Then again, the absence of Gabriel Jesus in the team’s forwards can be felt in the team’s low conversion rates.

Brief Period Of Inconsistent Wins 

From November to early January, we experienced Arsenal in a subpar form. This period held wins, draws, and losses to unexpected teams. The team recorded its first loss during this period to Newcastle in a 1 – 0 defeat. Four games after that, they recorded another  1 – 0 loss to Aston Villa, followed by a 1 – 1 draw to Liverpool after their Brighton game, and then a 2 – 1 loss to Fulham. At these times of losses and draws, their top competitors, Liverpool and Manchester City, were gathering points and staying ahead of the team. However, Arsenal are catching up, with a point difference between them and Manchester City in second position and a two-point difference between them and Liverpool in first position.

How Has Arsenal Navigated These Challenges?

Jorginho Arsenal

In the aspect of players’ injuries, Arsenal has had to use the remaining fit players to fill the gap. In the defense section, we’ve seen Mikel Arteta use Ben White frequently for games, and his performances have been pretty decent. He’s been functioning well with Saliba, Zichenko, and Cedric to help Raya keep the most clean sheets this season. 

In the midfield, Declan Rice has been playing quite well, giving us decent performances for his worth. Kai Havertz has also been turning up, giving enough good performances to earn a spot in the starting eleven of recent matches. Both of them have been in sync with Odegaard to provide a formidable midfield. The forwards are compensating for the absence of Gabriel Jesus, especially with the presence of Bukayo Saka.

Bukayo Saka has been such an essential component of the team, creating chances and scoring goals for the team. He works with other forwards, including Martinelli and Trossard, to present a formidable and intimidating frontline for Arsenal. This whole team works in unison, delivering tactical and brilliant performances, evident from their last few games.

Their poor conversion rate and the brief period of losses and draws were overcome after the team took a trip to the Dubai training camp. This training camp ran for a week, getting the players’ fitness levels up and working on better tactics to win the league. We saw some of the injured stars on this trip, including Gabriel Jesus, Zichenko, Vieira, Thomas Partey, and Jurrien Timber.

As of their return from the training camp, the team has won 5 – 0 against Crystal Palace, 2 – 1 against Nottingham Forest, 3 – 1 against Liverpool, 6 – 0 against West Ham, and 5 – 0 against Burnley. Undoubtedly, their conversion rate has been better, and they’re on a winning streak to seal their position in the top three of the league.


Arsenal has improved greatly from their last few seasons, gradually registering themselves as a threat to overcome in the EPL. Currently, the title race is as tight as ever, with less than a five-point gap between the top three teams. This includes Arsenal, and fans are hoping they retain a winning streak and get a miracle that takes them to the top spot of the table. We’ll continue to give you football predictions on Arsenal and every other team in the EPL, so be sure to follow closely!