Arsenal has found out Jürgen Klopp was spot on with light-hearted title warning

Managers Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool and Mikel Arteta of Arsenal before the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on February 04, 2024 in London, England.
Jürgen Klopp's warning might have been a joke, but it's come horribly true for Arsenal and indeed Liverpool. -Credit:Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool won't be involved, but the title race has technically come down to the last day of the season. Arsenal must beat Everton to give itself a chance, but Manchester City is the overwhelming favorite to claim an unprecedented fourth Premier League title in a row.

For a long time, it was shaping up to be a title battle for the ages. Spurred on by the desire to give Jürgen Klopp a fitting send-off, a Liverpool side still in a rebuilding phase was elevated to greater heights, but just could not quite sustain it over the final weeks. A three-horse race was cut down to two.

Triumph for Arsenal would nonetheless have at least represented something interesting, a refreshing change from the monotony of Pep Guardiola's side lifting the trophy. But while that could yet happen, it looks as though the almost default winner of the Premier League will once again claiming victory for the house — while the house charges it with 115 counts of breaking the rules.

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It's a messy situation. But while Klopp would be the last person to judge Arsenal for falling just short of beating this behemoth of a Manchester City team, having been in much the same situation with Liverpool, his light-hearted warning to Mikel Arteta does now look spot on.

"Last week — it feels like a few hours ago — Arsenal were running away with it," Klopp said in early January, after Arteta's advantage at Christmas was promptly turned on its head. "If you speak today about it then you will say, ‘That’s it for them’.

"Kevin De Bruyne is warming up. The whole country is starting to shake."

Clearly, Klopp was not actually suggesting it was all over for Arsenal at that point. He was making a point about the ebbs and flows of the title race, playing down the advantage that Liverpool had gained. But the warning about Manchester City rings unfortunately true.

Arsenal has done well to go almost toe-to-toe with Manchester City since the turn of the year, but like Liverpool, the reality is that this side has not quite reached those same levels of relentlessness. Once De Bruyne was back in the side, a flick switched, and Guardiola began his own inevitable run-in.

De Bruyne turned zero points into three in a frankly absurd cameo from the bench in a 3-2 win over Newcastle. He would register an assist in each of his next three games.

The flow has been relatively steady ever since, and De Bruyne has now provided the joint second-most assists in the division. That's despite missing half a season.

He has not been involved in a defeat since his return. There have been just three draws, and two of those were against Liverpool and Arsenal.

Unfortunately for Arsenal and Liverpool too, Klopp was on the money. The country was right to shake. says: Kevin De Bruyne is just a phenomenal footballer. Even at 32, the only thing remotely failing him is his body; when he is fit, he is as devastatingly effective as ever, and he has almost single-handedly decided the title race.

Per StatsBomb, De Bruyne is responsible for the four best individual seasons (and six of the top eight) when it comes to expected assists per 90, with his 2023/24 numbers leading the way. Remarkable talent compared with remarkable consistency is the same recipe that has made Mohamed Salah so incredible for Liverpool, and it's little wonder Klopp knew to be wary.

This time, it's Arsenal who looks as though it will narrowly miss out to Manchester City's frustrating brilliance. Unlucky, but come back when you've broken the 90-point barrier twice and still been thwarted.