In the title race and a long way clear of Arsenal, Tottenham threw it all away by ending the season with two points from four games.
A 5-1 lost at Newcastle United on Sunday helped Arsenal leapfrog their north London rivals, keeping up a record of finishing above them in every season since 1995.
After all that, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry had some harsh words for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
“We were all praising them at the beginning of the season, saying they were mentally strong and technically and physically great,” started the Frenchman. “But they showed in the last few games something that you have when you have a team of a lot of youngsters; sometimes you can be mentally weak.
“Hopefully they can learn from that and come back better next season,” he added.
It’s pretty ridiculous, though, isn’t it? All season long they’re mentally strong, they have a couple of bad games and they’re mentally weak.
Arsenal have been accused of being mentally weak for a long time yet came back to finish above Spurs – does that make the team mentally strong?
Has Henry considered that players are sometimes out of form? That having injuries and suspensions weakens teams? The luck can play a part and that questioning a player’s mentality is just a meaningless soundbite?
Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-0 brilliantly in October and beat Manchester City in December. The team also twice beat Leicester City, once in the final minute of a game, this season and came from 2-1 down with 10 men to equalise in a north London derby.
There were also pathetic, embarrassing displays and horrible moments: Southampton away, Liverpool away, Chelsea at home.
We all need to stop defining the mentality of a team off the back of their last two or three results. Arsenal’s players have the same mentality as they will have next season but, should we win the title, everyone will say we’re psychologically stronger. It’s nonsense.
Spurs were very good for a lot of the season and lost their tempers at Chelsea, they lost key players thanks to that and it has clearly affected their form. I’m delighted, but let’s finally stop throwing around terms like ‘mentally weak’ when all they really mean is ‘they lost’.
Thierry Henry never scored in a cup final for Arsenal. Is he mentally weak? He probably wouldn’t say so.