Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Former Man City man feels ‘psychological edge’ aids title chances as Arsenal asked questions

Micah Richards, August 2022

Micah Richards feels Manchester City could have the “psychological edge” over Arsenal in the title race due to experience the Gunners don’t have.

The Citizens have formed a dynasty in the Premier League over the past few seasons. Indeed, in the last five, they’ve won the league four times, finishing second the one time they didn’t win the league in that run.

This season, though, Arsenal have presented an unexpected challenge.

The Gunners finished fifth last season, and were 24 points behind City’s points tally of 93. However, Mikel Arteta has built a squad and a culture of players that want to win.

Some of the best players in the league this season play for Arsenal. Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard are fair additions to that list.

Indeed, the Gunners are currently in first place, with City in second – which is how the top two has looked for most of the season.

If things stay as they are, this Arsenal side would be the first to win the Premier League since the 2003/04 campaign.

However, former City defender Richards feels that the club are clinging to the league leaders could get into their heads.

City clinging to Arsenal could be ‘demoralising’

Indeed, he recalled his own experiences of a title race, which he feels are similar to what Arsenal will be feeling now.

“Man City have not been at their best but they’re managing to win games,” he said on Sky Sports.

“If I go back to the time I was in a title race, you would watch the other games, Arsenal would have watched that tonight. City not playing at their best but still getting the three points through a late penalty, that’s demoralising at times.

“Our title race was against Man United and that psychological battle going around in your head is really tough.”

Richards feels City have ‘psychological edge’

That psychological battle is one he feels City are more well prepared for. Indeed, they’ve been in title races often enough in the past few years to know how to deal with things, whereas Arsenal haven’t, which could limit them.

“What Man City have that Arsenal don’t is the experience of being there and doing it. They know the level they are and how far they can go,” Richards added.

“Arsenal don’t have that at the moment. I thought Arsenal would challenge this season because of the fresh ideas and the passion.

“But Man City may have a psychological edge so it’s about whether Arsenal can focus on what they need to do. They’ve been in good form too so it will be interesting.”

The pressure doesn’t seem to have gotten to Arsenal yet. City have clung to them for some time and they’ve found ways to stay ahead for most of the campaign.

It remains to be seen, come crunch time in the season, if they slip up. However, on the results that they have produced so far with City breathing down their necks, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they came out on top.

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