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Don’t be fooled by Arsenal’s 5-point lead over Man City: 5 reasons why it may not be enough

Don’t be fooled by Arsenal’s 5-point lead over Man City: 5 reasons why it may not be enough

When it comes to Arsenal chances of winning the Premiership, it’s a battle between logic and emotions. 

On one hand, I have been let down by the team too many times in the past, and so my head tells me that I shouldn’t believe they can win the title until it is mathematically impossible for them to be caught. On the other hand, my heart wants to believe that this team has what it takes to go all the way.

My head tells me that mental strength is crucial in any sport. Talent can take you a long way, but to win, you need a strong mentality.

 When you take emotions out of the equation, it’s clear that Manchester City is still the favorite to win the title because they have players who know how to handle pressure during the crucial months of March and April. They have shown for years that they can handle playing multiple must-win games in a short period of time and putting together winning streaks.

However, while we know that Manchester City can handle pressure, we don’t yet know if Arsenal can. 

This is not a criticism, but simply an acknowledgement that Arsenal has the youngest squad in the division and dealing with the expectations and dreams of fans around the world may be too much for them to handle.

It’s why I think it’s more likely that Arsenal will win the title by a big margin rather than a small one.

 If Manchester City doesn’t put up much of a fight and Arsenal maintains their 5-point lead at the top of the table, it’s possible that Arsenal will win the title. 

But if the margin is smaller with 10 games to go, Pep Guardiola will be acutely aware that he has a team of winners who know how to handle the occasion, and this could be a problem for Arsenal.

There’s still a lot of football to be played, and history shows us that a 5-point lead in January is not impossible to catch.

1995-1996 Season

At the end of January, Newcastle had a 12-point lead over Man United, and the Geordies’ attacking style of football was praised all over the country.

From February on, though, it was clear that the Toon Army couldn’t do anything because they were afraid of failing. It was almost like they wanted the title too much.

Every week, Kevin Keegan tried to downplay the fact that Man United was getting closer to catching up. “It’s still 9 points,” “We would have been ahead by 7 points,” etc.

Sir Alex Ferguson started playing mind games when he saw that his opponents didn’t know how to turn the tide after United won at Saint James Park and closed the gap to just one point.

Many people thought that with such a big lead, Keegan didn’t need to be as offensive as he usually is, and if he had played a more conservative style, they wouldn’t have lost silly points.

In reality, Keegan had no idea how to make them feel better.


After a bad Christmas, the Gunners went into the new year 12 points behind Man United, and some famous bookies had already paid out.

Everyone knew that Arsenal still had a few games to play, but the defending champions already had points.

When they lost at Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham, though, Arsenal had a clear path to the title.

Sir Alex Ferguson knew that Arsenal still had to win  their remaining games and get a win at Old Trafford, which  they  had never done in the Premier League.

Arsene Wenger wasn’t fooled by the tricks that worked on Kevin Keegan. Gunners   fate was in their  own hands after a famous 1-0 win in Manchester. They had to win their next 8 games to become champions.


After Arsenal went 8 points ahead of the rest of the league in March, bookmakers started giving odds on them keeping the title (Man Utd had a game in hand).

After winning the Double the year before, the Gunners broke a lot of records and their  style of play was praised all over the world.

It made Arsene Wenger famously say that he wouldn’t lose a league game for a whole season. He was right, but his prediction was a year early.

Arsenal didn’t handle being chased very well, and they lost points at Blackburn and Villa.

A 2-2 draw with United kept their  fate in their own hands, but they  threw away a 2-0 lead at Bolton and, with it, the title.


Some Gooners should pay attention to the fact that a young Arsenal team was 8 points clear at the top of the table and ahead of Birmingham 2-1 in February.

They  gave up a late penalty because Clichy made a mistake.

At the end of the game, instead of their  captain putting his arm around the young players, Gallas, one of the few older players Wenger  had, sat down as a protest.

A young team may have been affected by Eduardo breaking his leg that day.

Arsenal  drew their  next four games, which let Chelsea and Manchester United catch up.

When they  lost at both, they were no longer in the running.

In retrospect, it would have helped if Mr. Wenger had brought in some experienced players in January.

So far this month, Arteta has been doing that.


Some people think that Man City can’t catch up with a five-point lead and one game left to play. With only six games left, they made up an 8-point gap to win their first Premiership.

In a funny twist, Gunners future manager scored the Everton goal that gave the red side of Manchester the lead at the time.

After losing at Wigan and giving Everton a late equalizer at home, it was up to both teams to win the Manchester Derby.

City won the Derby, so they were ahead on the last day because they had scored more goals than the other team. This set up the classic Aguero moment.

People, there’s still a lot of football to be played.

Don’t be fooled by Arsenal’s 5-point lead over Man City: 5 reasons why it may not be enough

Don’t be fooled by Arsenal’s 5-point lead over Man City: 5 reasons why it may not be enough

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