Arsenal 2023/24 - Born to be runner up

Theonas

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City didn't show their supremacy in every game since. They only took maximum points against Forest and Spurs because Woods and Son didn't have their shooting boots on. Woods especially missed not one, but two, chances from mere yards out.

But, for argument's sake, lets say that City were mentally invincible in the run-in. Are we really saying that this mythical self-belief that "they are the best team in league" came from being held to a draw at home by Arsenal? Or maybe, just maybe, such belief would come from the fact they won the league for the last three seasons and are reigning European Champions?
It's not either or though is it. You and some other Arsenal fans are really coming across very obtuse about how abstract psychological power dynamics work. I mentioned it on another post but it's like saying "do Real have an unmatched pedigree in the CL or did Neuer just drop a clanger?" or if we go back to Fergie time and pick out any late winner we scored "do United have a mental edge when it comes to getting late wins or did -insert example of whoever's fault was for that specific goal-"

Man City already do have a mental belief that they are the best. It comes as you say from winning so much and dominating for so long. Their run as someone pointed out was actually similar to Arsenal when they played and yet, the narrative was that Arsenal was the team in form. I am not saying Arsenal lost the title at the Etihad because they didn't win. They still could have won it despite that draw, many other factors play into a title run in. Injuries, specific moments that could go either way like Arsenal's first half chances vs Villa or Son's miss vs City. There are so many factors at play that it's impossible to point out to one single event.

What I am trying to say though, is that Arsenal had a big chance to shake off that City's mental resilience and confidence they built over the years. Their aura of invincibility and that they are the best in the land was there to be dented. I and many believe so because Arsenal looked to be good enough for the first time in many years. I never thought Arsenal were good enough last year but this year, they looked like they could go to City and make City feel they're no longer sure they are the best team in the league. I am not talking about winning or losing here and as in a one off game, anything can happen. I am talking about the feeling you get after a game that one team played you like equal as opposed to one team changed everything they've been doing to accomodate because they are afraid of you. That message consolidated to City that they are still the main team everyone else has hope and pray to manage. Was that what won them the league and why Arsenal lost it? No. But it was in my view a huge chance to gain momentum from Arsenal's point of view that could have been enough to make the difference at critical moments.
 

Daydreamer

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It's not either or though is it. You and some other Arsenal fans are really coming across very obtuse about how abstract psychological power dynamics work. I mentioned it on another post but it's like saying "do Real have an unmatched pedigree in the CL or did Neuer just drop a clanger?" or if we go back to Fergie time and pick out any late winner we scored "do United have a mental edge when it comes to getting late wins or did -insert example of whoever's fault was for that specific goal-"

Man City already do have a mental belief that they are the best. It comes as you say from winning so much and dominating for so long. Their run as someone pointed out was actually similar to Arsenal when they played and yet, the narrative was that Arsenal was the team in form. I am not saying Arsenal lost the title at the Etihad because they didn't win. They still could have won it despite that draw, many other factors play into a title run in. Injuries, specific moments that could go either way like Arsenal's first half chances vs Villa or Son's miss vs City. There are so many factors at play that it's impossible to point out to one single event.

What I am trying to say though, is that Arsenal had a big chance to shake off that City's mental resilience and confidence they built over the years. Their aura of invincibility and that they are the best in the land was there to be dented. I and many believe so because Arsenal looked to be good enough for the first time in many years. I never thought Arsenal were good enough last year but this year, they looked like they could go to City and make City feel they're no longer sure they are the best team in the league. I am not talking about winning or losing here and as in a one off game, anything can happen. I am talking about the feeling you get after a game that one team played you like equal as opposed to one team changed everything they've been doing to accomodate because they are afraid of you. That message consolidated to City that they are still the main team everyone else has hope and pray to manage. Was that what won them the league and why Arsenal lost it? No. But it was in my view a huge chance to gain momentum from Arsenal's point of view that could have been enough to make the difference at critical moments.
I don’t think it’s being obtuse. I just genuinely think the psychological impact of drawing away to City has been hugely overstated. Would it have been good to have beaten City? Of course. But even then, the psychological impact would been a distant afterthought compared to the points differential a win would have brought.

Put simply, if you offered me either:

1) A draw where we completely dominated City but they were saved by a VAR malfunction and all viewers were left in no doubt that Arsenal were the superior team, or…
2) A completely undeserved win where Arsenal scored a goal against the run of play and hung on for dear life as the clearly inferior team…

I’m taking option 2. 100 times out of 100.

I’m not saying psychology isn’t important. I agree with you that it is. United and Real are great examples of that. I’m just saying for a team that’s won the last three titles, the effect of being held at home has been taken out of all proportion.

It’s funny, I honestly think that if you didn’t know the results from this season and read through this thread and were asked which of the two teams in head to head games:

1) Lost the Charity Shield
2) Only took 1 point from a possible 6
3) Didn’t score a single league goal

You’d assume it must be Arsenal.
 

Irwin99

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if City drew with West Ham, would they be bottling it?
Well they didn't but, given the ease of the game and the fact WH had nothing to play for, then perhaps you could make an argument for a single game if they had. I still think that Arsenal losing one game to a very good Aston Villa side or Liverpool drawing one game vs Spurs all those years ago is not a case to be made for an insecure mentality, especially when they kept winning so many other games. Newcastle in 96 by contrast was a monumental feck up from late February onward with constant dropped points.