Drawing a game is not an option any more if Arsenal hope to topple Man City

A Draw is the new Loss By Ahnaf Islam

Picture this: you are a Manchester United fan in the early 2000s and just witnessed your club draw against your local rivals Manchester City at your home ground early into the season.

Would you be disappointed? Sure. Would you consider your team at a severe disadvantage in the title race already just on the basis of these 2 dropped points? Not really.

Fast forward 20 odd years and the latter question would be met with a resounding yes. Arsenal drew against Tottenham Hotspurs at the Emirates in what looks to be an early stumble in the Gunners’ title aspirations. It is baffling that a draw or two, while the season is still in its infancy, is enough to discredit your ability as a title contender.

Of course, Arsenal fans know that the battle with Manchester City is far from over. However, it is impossible to deny the psychological effect of the 4-point gap with City seeming to not even find their top gear yet. The two games drawn so far really do feel like losses, despite one of them being against a resurgent Spurs side.

The margin of error, if you want to win a Premier League title, is slimmer than ever, to the point where a draw can be the difference between 1st and 2nd place- just ask the Liverpool team a few seasons back, or the Arsenal team that suffered consecutive draws against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton last season.

Whereas draws for title-chasing teams a few decades ago seemed like a point gained, it almost always feels like 2 points dropped when you are competing against the ruthless juggernaut that is Manchester City. Anything short of perfection will be punished; worryingly for the league, only the defending champions possess a squad capable of achieving such theoretical “perfection,” both in terms of quality and mentality of the players.

If you want to snatch the title from them, you better produce something remarkable like the near-invincible, near-centurion season Liverpool had in 2019-20. Winning the Premier League is never meant to be easy, but it has never been this unfathomably difficult.

So where does that leave Mikel Arteta’s men? Although City were said to have started the last season slowly, they racked up an impressive 89 points- which arguably could have been well over 90 had the Gunners pushed them until the very last matchday.

Interestingly, last season, City had 14 points from their first 6 games (4 wins and 2 draws), the same as Arsenal this season. You can
view this in two different ways. Either you can conclude that indeed, Manchester City is the only team capable of drawing 2 games early into the season and still go on to lift the title, thus the ‘drawing equals to loss’ hypothesis does not apply to them.

Or you can see it as an opportunity for Arsenal to take inspiration from City themselves and try to achieve something extraordinary – the new prerequisite to winning the Premier League where drawing games is simply not an option..

Ahnaf Islam

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Tags Arsenal v Tottenham Man City


  1. Very well written article about the realities we are facing, nice to see someone that can see the bigger picture over the whole season.

  2. Yes. I’m afraid we’ll have to beat Man City home and away, if we want to win EPL

    They’re extremely stable and almost flawless

      1. Agree, we need to face a tough Pool, away was tough, home is tougher without Xhaka & Partey (who will be played RB, I presume when fit) in the middle and midget twins Havs or Viera on the left. We need to face BHA and TH away. The players seem jaded after 6 games! 200M spent and the only satisfactory player is Rice. Wake up MA or walk out MA.

    1. @gotanidea. Don’t forget Arsenal playing at Anfield (Liverpool), Old Trafford (Manchester United). Arsenal also seem to have a physiological problem also with Brighton as well. Southampton was another bogus club. Nottingham Forest away recently has been a problem as well. At least Arsenal got the monkey off their back in beating Everton at Goodism Park earlier in the season. I’m expecting a good showing in all all Cup Competitions. No Silverware = no successful season, as simple as that. And the Community Shield is not Silverware. Some fans seem to have a very low ceiling for this club. Top Four isn’t a Trophy. Some seem to think it is. I’m expecting a big showing for Arsenal against Brentford tomorrow morning. If we lose that I’ll be pretty well pissed off

      1. Arsenal are still the best EPL team in away games since last season, so I expect Arsenal to beat the mid-table and smaller teams in their turfs

        Top four isn’t a trophy, but I don’t think any EPL team can topple Man City’s dominance in the next three years, as long as Guardiola and the sheikh still manage the club

        As for Brentford, I wouldn’t mind a defeat from them because it could make Arsenal more focused on EPL and UCL

        1. @gotanidea. If you seriously think it’s in Arsenal’s best interest to lose against Brentford, well you are deluded. You’re one of these fans that don’t have a ceiling for this club you say you support. Going deep into a cup competition even with a weaker 11, and winning builds up confidence and competition throughout the entire squad. How do you think your beloved Man City got to where they are today. Winning Silverware is always a good start to having a winning mentality. Even if it’s winning the lowly rated League Cup. No one is remembered for coming 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th place. No one forgets who have won trophies. That’s etched into the history books. If your goal is to get just top 5 in the English Premier League, and only getting as far as the Quarter Finals of the Champions League,,, well my friend, that’s a pretty dismal season and a total failure

          1. I’m sorry, but I don’t really rate Carabao Cup. We could still win EPL and UCL, despite the slim chances

            1. @gotanidea,,, with that attitude towards the Carabao Cup, how are fringe players meant to receive decent game time. Don’t be surprised to see Ramsdale, Smith Rowe, Nelson and Tomiyasu leave next summer. That will be on the cards. I suppose you haven’t heard Charles Watts and his comments regarding Mikel Arteta’s press conference earlier. It was good to hear Watts call Arteta out in regards to what he said about Smith Rowe. Basically Arteta has been caught out for talking utter nonsense, and contradicting himself in regarding Smith Rowe. I thought it was ridiculous as well

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