Economic (and not mental) strength is the key factor in the title run in

I am seeing as lot of chatter about how Arsenal “need to show mental strength if we wish to win the title”. I find this offensive.

In our last 11 games, we have won 8, drawn 3. That is 27 points from 33. An average of 2.45 points a game.

Over a 38 game season, that would take us to 93 points.

So according to those saying we need to show mental strength, us being on an incredible run and improving of our points per game over a 9 game average is not showing mental strength.

The truth is, those that are saying “Arsenal need to show mental strength” are just looking to use this to write a narrative further down the line if we do not win the league. That narrative will be “Arsenal lacked mental strength to win the title”.

Instead of saying Manchester City were fantastic, and showed record breaking form to keep up with Arsenal, it will be written that Arsenal did not have the mental strength to win it. And therefore we bottled it.

Mental strength is not the key factor in this title run in. Economic strength will be the difference maker.

Manchester City reportedly have a wage bill that is twice Arsenal’s. And the equation is simple – the more you spend on players wages, the better players you likely have.

There squad has also cost them £850m to assemble, against Arsenal’s £470m. We simply can not compete financially.

And this is shown in no better place than central defence.

Nathan Ake (£41m) picked up a thigh injury mid-week that will potentially rule him out for the rest of the season. In his place, Pep Guardiola can call on John Stones (£47.5m), Aymeric Laporte (£57m), Ruben Dias (£60m) and Manuel Akanji (£15m).

Meanwhile, William Saliba has a back injury that does not look like clearing up anytime soon. Mikel Arteta’s options are Rob Holding (£2m) and newly signed Jakub Kiwior (£20m).

As it is the right hand side of our defence, the boy signed from Bolton got the nod.

Now is it mental strength that the drop off from Saliba to Holding is larger than the drop off from Ake to Laporte? Or is it economic strength?

The naysayers will say “we need to spend more money” ignoring the fact that it does not matter how much money we spend, City will always be able to spend more. Anyone that expects us to compete financially with City needs to give their head a wobble.

I am confident in saying that if we had Dias as our 3rd choice central defender rather than Holding, we would have beaten both Liverpool and West Ham. This is not a slight on Holding. He is what he is. And he is not a £60m centreback.

Is being able to call on 2 of the most expensive defenders in Premier League history (Laporte and Dias), a show of mental strength? No. It is a show of economic strength.

Likewise, is having to play a £2m lad signed from Bolton a lack of mental strength? Or a lack of economic strength?

It is not Holding’s fault that he is not as good as Dias; it is not Arsenal’s fault that we can not afford to have mutiple £50m central defenders warming our bench.

Manchester City could go on to become the 2nd English team in history to win the trebele. They could also end up with the 4th highest winning points total in English top flight football history.

The narrative being preped is that Arsenal are bottling the title. But should it actually be that this potentially all-conquering Manchester City side is one of the greatest (and most expensively assembled) teams in football history?

My final thought is 1999.

Did Arsenal bottle the league? And the double? We were top of the league with two games to go, and had a penalty to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final? did we show we did not have the mental strength to win?

Or is it celebrated that the Manchester United team that became heroes in Barcelona were just a great team? And up there as one of the best of all time in English football?



1 thought on “Economic (and not mental) strength is the key factor in the title run in

  1. Pingback: Economic (rather than mental) strength is the key factor in winning a title - Manchester News Today

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