Arsenal’s second-place finish in the Premier League defies BBC pundits’ predictions. Explore what they all predicted before the season started.

  • Against all odds, Arsenal have managed to secure second place in the 2022-23 Premier League season, contrary to BBC pundits’ predictions.
  • While most pundits were betting on Manchester City, Liverpool, and even Tottenham for top positions, Arsenal’s performance was underestimated, with only a few expecting them to make it to the top four.
  • Despite Arsenal being 24 points ahead, Tottenham, who were expected to outperform Arsenal, failed to live up to the predictions.

BBC pundits’ predictions debunked as Arsenal secures second place in Premier League 2022-23

Mikel Arteta ponders Arsenal's defeat vs Brighton and Gabriel Martinell's injury that left him in a protective boot. Martin Odegard is in the background
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 14: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, looks dejected following the team’s defeat during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on May 14, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Regardless of the fact that they won’t win the Premier League, the 2022/23 Premier League season has been nothing short of a revelation for Arsenal, who managed to defy expectations and finish second, a feat that has left BBC pundits looking a bit stupid.

Before the season’s start, the vast majority of BBC Sport pundits, including the likes of Rob Green, Jonathan Woodgate, and Pat Nevin, hadn’t given the Gunners a chance of securing a top-four spot, let alone finishing second.

The initial forecasts saw defending champions Manchester City, Liverpool, and even Tottenham Hotspur as the likely contenders for the Premier League title. Arsenal were generally overlooked, with the club’s previous season’s struggles and a lack of ‘significant’ summer signings providing a rather grim outlook.

Arsenal's Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 1, 2023. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 1, 2023. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

However, Arsenal’s performance has shown that football isn’t won on paper, but on the pitch. With a solid team effort and a number of standout individual performances, Arsenal made a mockery of the pundits’ predictions, especially when considering Tottenham’s dismal season, currently a staggering 24 points behind the Gunners and unlikely to even qualify for Europe.

“Defying the odds” might be the best way to describe Arsenal’s performance this season. Not only did they outperform their North London rivals Tottenham, but they also gave the reigning champions Manchester City a run for their money. Despite finishing second, the Gunners were in the chase for the title until the very end, a result no pundit saw coming.

Arsenal’s rise to the top was a testament to the squad’s resilience and determination. The Gunners showed grit and character, often grinding out results against tough opposition. Their unexpected Premier League success has won them many plaudits, with fans and critics alike praising the team’s fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude.

In hindsight, the predictions from the start of the season seem laughable. Despite other pundits such as Chris Sutton and Jermaine Jenas placing Arsenal outside the top four, the Gunners have proven their mettle. The Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint, and Arsenal have shown that patience, consistency, and a never-give-up attitude can bring success. Yes, they fell slightly short at the end to the Lance Armstrong of football, but when that dust settles, fans will see the season for what it really was.

Looking forward, the key for Arsenal will be to build on this season’s performance. The Gunners have a young, talented squad that has proven capable of competing with the best. With the right additions in the summer, Arsenal could be a force to reckon with next season.

This unexpected Premier League success story may just be the beginning of a new era for Arsenal.

As for the BBC pundits, one can only hope that they have learned their lesson. Arsenal’s performance this season has proven that football is unpredictable, and underestimating a team like the Gunners can lead to a serious case of foot-in-mouth syndrome.

Arsenal’s unexpected Premier League success is a reminder to all of us that in football, anything is possible.

BBC pundits who predicted Arsenal would finish in the top 3:


BBC pundits who predicted Arsenal would finish in 4th place (8)

Micah Richards, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Martin Keown, Sue Smith, Glenn Murray, Jermaine Beckford, Matt Upson, Stephen Warnock.

BBC pundits who didn’t mention Arsenal in their top 4 (15)

Rob Green, Jonathan Woodgate, Leon Osman, Pat Nevin, Ashley Williams, Michael Brown, Izzy Christiansen, Danny Murphy, Lindsay Johnson, Dion Dublin, Jermaine Jenas, Fara Williams, Chris Sutton, Clinton Morrison, Nedum Onuoha

BBC’s overall ranking saw them claim Arsenal would finish 5th:

  1. Manchester City
  2. Liverpool
  3. Tottenham
  4. Chelsea
  5. Arsenal
  6. Man United