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How Arsenal can win the Premier League this Season

How Arsenal Can Win the Premier League This Season

By Bootoomee

The only competition of the four that Arsenal will be competing in this season that is least dependent on luck is the Premier league. Luck, especially with the Cup competition draws play a very big role in how far a team, any team can go in the FA and League cups.

The same can be said for the Champions League (and its poor sibling, the Europa cup). You can also be lucky all the way to victory. The Chelsea team that finished below Newcastle United in the EPL won the damn trophy for goodness sake! That is why I rated luck as the number one factor responsible for Arsenal not winning any trophy in 8 years.

The EPL is much less dependent on luck because of its structure. There are enough matches, all set months ahead, to prevent surprises and minimise uncertainties. There are no advantages or disadvantages of the draw as all teams must play each other. This is why the EPL is also the competition that is most predicted on by pundits. It is generally believed that the stronger your team, the better you are going to do. The team with the most depth and versatility is typically expected to win. The factors used to measure depth vary from observer to observer but it is generally believed that the more players, the stronger the team and therefore the better the chances of becoming champions.

But this is not always correct. There may not be a consensus about who has the more depth between Man United and Man City in the last campaign but I think honest people everywhere can agree that United’s team was not 11 points better than City’s depth-wise. So much has been made (and not incorrectly, I must admit) of RvP’s role but look at City’s strike force again. They had depth and versatility in attack and they still came short. Perhaps, strength in depth may not be the all in all about winning the premiership; although it undoubtedly helps.

Manchester United went into last season with some nuanced advantages which unfortunately, were not as sexy and newsworthy as purchasing the services of the best striker in the league. United went in with a virtually unchanged team from the one that lost the league on goals difference the previous season. Actually City did more business in that season’s transfer window than United. The point that I am trying to make here is that it is not how many additions that matters. It is what needs they are meeting in the team and how effectively they can meet the needs as RvP’s role in United’s victory clearly demonstrates.

Manchester United had huge advantage of experience, history and pedigree. Man City is made up of basically money grabbing mercenaries and, in my opinion, a mediocre manager in Roberto Mancini. That is where the 11 points difference came from!

I am a student of football history and statistics but not of its tactics. I can hold my own fairly well against anyone on stats and I am not exactly clueless on tactics. It is just not my strong suit. My belief that Arsenal can win the EPL the season is borne out of my knowledge of premiership history and stats from the last 10 to 20 years. The topical question for this article is: what does it take to win the English Premier League? I think you will find the statistical answer very interesting.

Since the current league format started in 1992/3 season, Manchester United have won 13 out of the 21 seasons. Man United is a phenomenal team, even though I type this grudgingly as a Gooner; facts are facts!

Going by this fact, we could conclude that United won the league all those times because they were better than ALL the teams. But this is where things begin to require nuance. For instance, if United won the league but lost both legs of their games against a particular team in the season, can we say that they were better than that team? Isn’t it more factually correct to say that they were the most consistent team during the season?

Consistency is the key ingredient to winning the league and if clubs have middle names, Man United’s middle name would be Consistency! Manchester United are typically average against the top 5 teams. Sometimes they even lose to some of them home and away and they still come out tops season after season. Did you know that if they had only lost to City at Old Trafford in 2011/12 by only one goal margin that they would have won the league that season? They lost the league by goal difference of 8 whereas their 6-1 home loss to City was a net of 10 goals!

I think Arsenal can win the league this season.

This is one of the freshest and most unpredictable season in a very long time. I don’t want to repeat the changes that have taken place in the EPL teams since May as I believe that anyone reading this piece already knows. Arsenal is going into the 2013/14 season with two clear advantages:

  1. We were the most consistent team in the last 12 games of last season. We did what Man United always did better than Man United during the period: We dominated the small teams. The sceptics have been downplaying our end of season run as being against small teams and they are fairly right. But failure to dominate small teams has always been our problem.
  1. We are the least changed of all the top four teams. A lot has been said about making additions to the team and with good reasons (although I personally object to the frequency of the repetition) but we are taking a consistent team into the new season. Many of our key players will be having their second season in the premiership. A very important factor that cannot be scoffed at! Besides, the manager has said repeatedly that work is going on behind the scenes (as it should be) on adding new and relevant players. I believe him.

How can Arsenal win the 2013/14 Premier league, even with the current team? Answer: By carrying on from where the 2012/13 season ended. We need to beat every small to medium EPL team that we encounter – home and away. I worry less about Chelsea, Man City and United; I worry more about Sunderland and Stoke City!

Beating all the bottom half teams home and away will yield 60 points. Home wins and away draws against the next upper 5 teams yields 20 points. These are the type of teams that we played in the last 10 games of last season. If we can carry on the consistency then we just get the most we can from the other 4 teams in the top 5.

I share the apprehension of most fans on our ability to beat the top teams but I expect the team to hold their own even if they are not outright dominant. If Man United can do it and do it regularly, why can’t we do it this once? We got only two points from the possible 18 last season against other top-four teams. That is our worst ever since the current league format began and I don’t think that it will be repeated this season, as the team has matured more and have become even more used to each other.

I don’t expect us to do as badly as we did against the top three teams last season so emphasis on consistency can get us 80+ points. The results could come in different sequences but as long as we maintain the consistency, glory is possible.

This, of course is only conjecture and the optimistic take of a devout Gooner. I’m not going to sit down and write about how hopeless my team is, am I? Not just because it is a counter-intuitive act of a fan but because it is not true either. I believe the team needs to do much better against stronger opposition while maintaining the consistency that they have established over the smaller teams. I don’t think any of these two is beyond our current team (and whoever may join them before the transfer window closes).

I know that my article’s title is laughable to many and I don’t begrudge them their laughter. Cynicism always feels smarter. Especially as the joy of victory usually wash away the eggs on the cynics’ faces; so they are rarely called to account when they are wrong. I have always chosen to be positive about my lot in life. I intend to keep the faith and do my one and only duty for my team: Support them! We’ll see where we are in May 2014.

Recent posts

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  • 8 August 2011: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signs from Southampton
  • 8 August 2011.   At AISA AGM Arsenal History Society established as a body in its own right within AISA.
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The books…

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116 comments to How Arsenal can win the Premier League this Season

  • James

    Why pay Arsene Wenger £7.5m pa if luck is the “number one factor responsible for Arsenal not winning any trophy in 8 years.” Your blog is the most idiotic Arsenal blog on the Internet, a total embarrassment.

  • James, being embarrassed is not good – it can give you hot flushes and make you feel very uncomfortable. Might I suggest that you avoid the blog for a while, and come back when feeling better?

  • dan

    I agree, we have a great chance. On another note the BT channel pundits seem worse than the usual simpletons on sky, spewing more anti Arsenal hatred.

  • Ah James… poets and writers who are in love with the superlative all want to do more than they can.

    Your comments are most welcome all the same.

  • udehsam87

    Its so true, consistency is the key to winning the league: especially against the smaller teams. we have managed to rid ourselves of Jinx of Stokes and Sunderlands of this world hence if we can get a bit more more points from the big boys, we can be league winners come may..

  • Glynn Bedford

    I agree completely it is now more than ever that we need to get behind our team! There is too much in the press about Arsenal and too many supporters are believing everything that they read.
    Suarez, Liverpool know that they will not keep him it is just about negotiating the price, ok they would prefer to sell him to a none EPL team but make no mistakes they will sell him. Why say he is a Liverpool player and part of our stratedgy but then say every player has his price?
    Rooney, I think this move was engineered before Ferguson retired, they have Van Persie now and he is surplus to requirements they are just cashing in.
    Also for a few years nowclubs, mainly Man City have been taking our players because it has a tactical advantage as it weakens our team same as we are now doing with Liverpool.
    Gone now are the days when players would jump at playing in the EPL, many clubs have lots of money now. What does annoy me is that we spent many years without winning anything because of our financial model which I do agree with and now spurs can sell Bale for maybe close to 100M and can compete with us without our financial model. I just hope they sell him and their new players do not work out!
    So finally reference the original article, for me what the Manchester teams have different from us is a winning mentality because how many times do you see a smaller club win against the top 5 clubs? They have a bigger belief, like now we need big signings to instill that same belief!
    How many times have you read that IF Arsenal can make the right signings we can win the EPL???
    So if you are a true Arsenal fan, stop bitching about our signings until the window is closed and wait, stop believing everything you read in the papers and internet and wait until Arsenal annouce new signings, believe in Arsene after the window closes then fine if you want to bitch then by all means but treat every signing that plays on the pitch like they were 100m signing because knowing Arsene history, maybe they are!

  • He isn’t saying “Luck” is key. Consistency! He’s right. You don’t win the league by beating the top teams in every game you play against them. You have to get the best results possible all the way down the line. Remain consistent. Solid at the back. The goals will come! I still believe Giroud is untapped! His movement is amazing. IF he can step up his consistency you have a world class striker right there! Reminds me of Gomez. I believe we can win with our current squad. I think we improve our chances if we buy the right players. Tbh i don’t believe £40m+ for Suarez is a good thing. He’s amazing at football. But he’s got the attitude Wenger simply can’t work with. If he comes, and Wenger can’t sort him out then that’s £40+ wasted. In my opinion we should push for Lewandowski. Big time. He’s a player I would pay £40m+ for. He has it all. Link up, finish, work rate, heading ability, positioning, strength, height, technical ability. The only thing he isn’t great at is dribbling. He also has the consistency!!!! All that along with title winning, champions league final, Dortmund never give up attitude. At the perfect age of 24!!! He’s not even peaked! He’s ready to boil over! BUY HIM ARSENAL!

  • Benchod

    There are lies! damn lies and statistics!

    All bullshit…gooners had enough!

  • Matt

    This Wenger quote from January 2009 has resurfaced:

    ”I am on a very good contract. I am one of the few managers who make money for my club every year. That is the most important. I will tell you something, if I will not make money for the club, I would not be on a very good contract”.

    Does this comment proove that Wenger’s main concern at Arsenal is to make money for the club to feather his own nest? Surely a manager does need some financial acumen but his most important job is on the pitch.

  • for gods sake bootoomee luck is earned by doing the correct things over and over again.there is such thing as one off luck like a lottery win,but to be lucky on a consistent basis you have to do the right things hence making your own luck.Arsenal have not been unlucky since 2005 they have been poor,defended badly,managed badly, coached badly,the socialist approach introduced by wenger has failed and now it looks like he has realised that moneyball does not work.

  • EIE

    So we finish miles behind United and buy no one while our rivals strengthen and we have a chance of the title? Is your surname Gazidis or Wenger?

  • Matt

    The luck comment is just laughable.

    If it wasn’t for bad luck i would have no luck at all.

  • James,

    I am assuming that is all that you saw in the nearly 2,000 word article. Anyway, thanks for your ‘non-idiotic’ input. We are all smarter from reading your opinion.

  • Wow!

    Did any of the contrarians even read beyond the first paragraph before commenting?

    The article is about consistency not luck!

    Please, at least read the article before commenting.

  • John Brennan

    ‘When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble give a whistle’…

  • udehsam87,

    That’s my belief too.

    We’ll see how the season pans out.

  • Matt

    Stop writing this drivel and we wouldn’t have to comment.

  • Chinke Chikezie

    Good analysis Bootoomee,
    I actually see things that way, and I have argued it strongly with a couple of friends. Though not taking away the impact of quality, I believe that consistency is the key to success. I strongly believe Arsenal will make a strong statement this season as I believe the sight of a trophy is not far from them. However there is need to add to the squad as some positions need re-enforcement or I might need to use the word boost. Key positions such as Goalkeeping, Central Defense, Defensive Midfield and striker need quality attention. If we can have good covers in these areas I can confidently beat my chest and say a trophy is coming in this coming season. I don’t really like suggesting players but I believe if we need to do this, lets do it right and early enough, because the way I see this season, every point will count. There might not be room for errors. It is going to be a very, very competitive season. Having that in mind Cesar will be a great addition to the Goalkeeping department; Williams will be a good addition in the Central Defense; While Fellani, Capoue or Gustavo will make great impact in the Defensive Midfield. Though Fellani will be an added advantage in times of Offensive and defensive set plays. Rooney or Suarez will be a perfect icing on the cake, although my preferred choice is Rooney.
    Fellow Gooners lets stand behind our team and give them the support the deserve, I believe we will have a cause to smile this coming season. Wish you all the best of season.

  • Matt,

    It’s not my fault that you have short attention span or lack comprehension of non-Twitter like writings.

    My advice? Grow up and learn to read beyond the headlines.

    Now, back on topic: Do you agree that consistency is the most important factor to winning the league or not? That is what the article is about.

  • Matthew

    totally agree
    Arsenal will have a decent chance of winning the league this year

  • bob

    Bootoome,
    As you can appreciate, Consistency is not only a starting eleven phenomena. There will be injuries (and currently there are) and consistency requires quality replacements for the injured quality starters. Please recall that we were competing at the end in only one competition, maybe a game a week, as compared to others at/near the top. We were struck with injuries for several seasons running and without high level replacements and the typical refusal to reload with quality ensurance in the Winter Transfer Window that AW despises. (And Nacho was not brought in by choice, but, let’s recall, because of Gibbs injury and well, Santos.) So to be consistent with the demands of consistency, it is necessary to buy to have quality at many positions; and not to rely on having a young, if promising body to plug into the gap. Not minding that gap, the quality bench gap, will defeat first eleven consistency over the EPL long-term (next season) if what is valued is genuine contention at the top, and a good chance at some of the other cups.

  • Grimey

    Stability helps with consistancy imo. Would anyone argue that Arsenal have had an unstable summer? I think we are as well placed as ever to make a go of next season. We perhaps need a couple of quality signings to push us over the line but im positive, much like this site. which is why I come back.
    Cheers

  • Gunz

    @Matt
    Talking to yourself again. Perhaps you should practice what u preach.

  • gooner4life

    Totally agree with everything said here, great post! This is exactly how I’ve felt about Arsenal for at least a decade.

    In theory, this is exactly what we need. Just one problem – Arsenal lack a mental strength. A thing that Wenger ‘prides’ his teams on is not there, and hasn’t been there for years. The reason why Man U have consistency is because they know they can do it, their confidence is high. Arsenal have this confidence only when on a decent run. However, one loss (and we all know that is all it takes) shatters our confidence and belief and it is often 5+ games before this is fully restored and we go on a run again.

    I hate to admit it, but Arsenal will suffer at least a few ‘shock’ defeats this season [to the likes of Norwich, Swansea and Sunderland] and when that happens, we’ll slip up, critics will judge harshly and the team mentality will fall to bits.

    The only way to combat this is to sign players now; boost belief and solidify the teams strength in depth and our confidence. If Wenger does this is the ‘key’ positions we all know, consistency over the whole season would be a lot more likely and we could look at winning trophy.

  • Matt

    Yes it is. I read the whole article and your opening paragraph was about Arsenal’s bad luck over the last 8 years leading to us not winning a trophy.

    Do you really believe this is correct? We played a final against lower league opposition and failed to win the game. Was that because of bad luck?

    You need some realism to add to your positivity we haven’t won because the team is not good enough. The same problems have affected the team over this period and have not been rectified.

  • Matt

    Gunz

    Bellend

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Bootoomee – Hope it all comes to pass this season .With stability and consistency , we’ll make our own luck and have a right old tilt at it ; while at the same time hope that the others implode along the way !
    Is that too much to hope for ?

    Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. Joseph Addison .

    We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe. The Dalai Lama.

  • J

    What absolute nonsense … this article is nothing short of wishful thinking and delusion.

    One tiny little detail that you slightly allude to, but overall disregard is that that end of the season run of good form took us from 5th to 4th. Then look at other extenuating circumstances such as the performances of other team, such as Tottenham, who comfortably played better football and if not for their usual collapse would have, and I say should have, finished above us. So with the same team, no new additions and something like 20 players released, you think that miraculously we will win the league? That is just madness. What justifies such a huge margin of improvement?

    Chelsea have got mourinho back, city have added to their squad, spurs have greatly strengthened and just like Arsenal their players now have another year under their belts. It is yet to be see if Bale stays, but if he does they should be pushing for challenging for the title not hoping for fourth. United have not strengthened but they have the squad in place already, not just the team … and moyes is a good manager, plus they the money and pull to get good players in before the window shuts.

    I am all for being positive but this article is lacking any realism and now I think it was a ruse and I have fallen for it …

  • JOEL

    Wenger’s luck will finally run out!You cannot hope to compete without any proper cover through the spine of the team.A right back who has struggled for fitness and form over the last 18 months as your only viable back-up at Centre Back.Two goalkeepers capable of giving the opposition a mistake-laden goal at any time during the game.Numbers of other players who have been converted into new positions to give the team the appearance of greater flexibility-trying to fit square pegs into round holes.A single Centre Forward still adjusting to playing in the English Premier League.
    Both off and on pitch activities seem to be devoid of any properly structured plan.However difficult it is to work through the Transfer Window,in the current climate,EVERY other team in the Premier League seems to manage their affairs in a better way.Both primary and secondary targets are weighed-up and acquired in a reasonable time scale without too much input from the media.Since David Dein left the Club, almost every purchase has dragged on for a ridiculous length of time-Arshavin,Nasri for example.I personally don’t agree,on moral grounds, with the proposed move for Suarez and now feel the whole episode has become an embarrassmen-for wholly different reasons.The need to bring in a goalkeeper,centre-back and central-midfielder is as important but don’t feel that any proper targets currently exist in the Manager’s mind.Scouted players are quickly dismissed as “over-inflated” and judged on criteria which seemed appropriate 10 years ago.Just because the likes of Pettit,Vieira,Lungberg,Pires and Henry were purchased at bargain prices doesn’t mean that this can still happen.The Club and more specifically the Manager have to recognise that market value is a two-way street.It’s all very well getting inflated fees for Toure,Nasri and Adebayor-you can’t expect to buy players on the cheap anymore-especially having announced that you are “cash rich”!
    The Manager and some fans seem to be living off past glories.My first memories of Arsenal was watching them win the FA Cup and then to cement the double in 1971.Although frustrated during the management of Neil and Howe I always felt that things would improve.Under the current stewardship of Owner,Board and Manager I feel that the Club have completely lost touch.The Absentee Owner doesn’t want for anything except a reasonable financial return on his investment.The Board seem incapable of holding the Manager to task and the Manager is incapable of listening to anyone else’s opinion or advice.Whilst it’s commendable that the Board is prepared to stand by their man they have to acknowledge,at some point,that a “top side” is one that competes for trophies-when did Arsenal last look like they were capable of winning a Trophy?
    Time and time again I hear the phrase..”be careful what you wish for”…I wish that Mr Kroenke would look further than his American Franchises; and more specifically that the Board are able to work out that paying Mr Wenger £7m per year was a complete waste of both time and money..and that one potential alternative is currently working in Wales…managing a team that boasts a goalkeeper,centre-back and centre-forward who would all improve the current Arsenal Squad!

  • Marvin

    it really is amazing for a man with an economy degree the clown wenger doesnt even know the current market lolol wengers valuation of every player is 10-15 million and having that old far sir prit-stick who is a former bank owner taking over for another former old far peter hill wood sums it all up WE ARE THE NEW BANK OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE WELCOME

  • bob,

    Semantics apart, the most consistent team over 38 games win the league. I get your point about injuries and the need for depth but Man City were not lacking depth last season. They added more players than United did over last summer. United won the league because they were consistent as ever.

    Man City were dominant over the other 3 top 4 teams collecting 11 of the possible 18 points. United got 10 points and still won the league by 11 points. Meaning that they got 12 whole points more than City from the lower teams!

    Consistency is the key.

    About us strengthening: again from the article, I am not against this. I just choose not to panic but rather to believe the manager who has repeatedly told us that work is being done to get the needed additions.

    Notwithstanding, statistics back my article. Whether our team will be consistent over the cause of the campaign is anyone’s guess but we’d never know till early to mid 2014, would we?

    I just refuse to count my team out even before the battle has begun.

  • Fraz

    I believe that a good start to our season against the bigger sides or the lesser sides is imperative.
    I feel the last couple of seasons we have lacked confidence early on but once we had a good run of games got in their stride and believed in themselves.
    The ability is there, and should we do better playing against nan u, chelsea etc we have every chance of success.

  • Marvin

    when we look at our past great winning sides we always had that element of world class players based around the very good and good.the ones that stand out are obviously your henry’s,bergkamp,vieira,pires,overmars etc. when you look at how ray parlours game came on from playing with these guys,just says it all about if wenger can get a few top draw players then history will repeat itself.bould,dixon,winterburn were not the best players in their position just like bruce & pallister were not for their country. its all about balancing the team with different credentials for each pacific position and identifying qualities within a player that will fit your system of play.kos without doubt needs a new centre half alongside him. we all would like to see that out & out holding midfield player.a striker is essential,especially one who can score you 25 goals.a more experienced keeper will give us that when the going gets tough at times.this team/ squad could be hugely improved if wenger can and does identify these key positions that we no doubt need to improve in order to catch utd,citeh etc, or at least close the gap.i feel two aggressive transfer windows could do it.there is no doubt from now on that we could spend 50/70m every summer, when you consider we will break the 300m soon.it’s time to act mr wenger.

  • Brickfields Gunners (@4.30pm),

    Thanks for your words of wisdom. That is what this article is all about.

    With loads of articles telling us how hopeless Arsenal is, it is kind of intolerant of the merchants of gloom to be attacking us here for believing in our team.

  • para

    I think the main reason Arsenal did not win over the last seasons was because of the coaching and tactical ability. I think we should employ a coach for the team and AW should deal with the money making for the club. We need a coach that takes into account the opposition and prepares the team for them, instead of just throwing our players in at the deep end. AW has often stated that “we cannot worry what other teams do” but i think this is a wrong strategy. We have to be prepared for the opposition in order to beat them. Why we lost against lower teams in the table, is because they were prepared for Arsenal, but Arsenal were not prepared for them.
    This is my only moan at Arsenal. We need a tactical coach that can bring the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition to the fore front, and develop strategies against them. That is all.

  • Marvin

    It’s quite astonishing that a few still think Wenger is blameless in the Higuain fiasco. Let’s examine the facts. For months we were interested in Jovetic, then at the end of last season a “better” alternative emerged in Higuain and the Montenegran was then dispensed with. All reports (not just the red tops), reported that we had agreed a fee of around £23m for Higuain nearly two months ago; we apparently were waiting for him to return from holiday before finalising matters.Then an even “better” player became available in Suarez and we stopped the Higuain deal to concentrate on him. One whole month went by before Cavani was sold and then cash rich Napoli sought answers on Higuain’s availability with Real unsurprisingly hiking the price as our attention had strayed elsewhere.It’s rubbish to suggest that Ancelotti was not in place so the deal could not be done.Over the years, Real have often fired managers in the close season and transfers, both in and out have been concluded by other officials. Wenger dithered and dithered for over a month and then decided to pursue Suarez. Higuain even waited for over two days hoping we would come back for him. If we had been decisive in June, we could possibly have tied up both Higuain and Fellaini for around the same money we will eventually be forking our for Suarez ( assuming we qualify for the CL, otherwise he won’t be coming ). Brilliant negotiations Wenger- what would have been the better deal? Will Suarez, who has been trouble at every club he’s been at, make us winners when we still have players like Mertesacker and Ramsey as starters? This summer’s farce would have been a sacking offence anywhere else- but Wenger is apparently negotiating a new deal in the weeks to come!

  • You lot pull your hairs out when you are called AAA but when an article gives our team some hope of doing well, out of thousands that beat us down, you come out en masse and attack it.

    It would be sad if it isn’t so freaking annoying.

  • Mark

    I think that this is a good article. Consistency is a key factor in winning a league title and it does not hurt in cup competitions either. In addition I would add that defense is slightly more important than offense in winning titles. In the past few seasons defensive errors and in consistency has been a cause of dropped points. But there are elements of chance in all of this. And there are elements of choice and decision that also affect the outcome. The biggest area of chance is in injuries and how injuries affect a team. I think in the past few seasons injuries and very bad injuries have has big affects on the title race. The area of choice and decisions relate to the officiating which as we all know is poor and at times biased. What we do not know is if it is being manipulated as well. But clearly over a season some teams gain an advantage through this that also affects the outcome. I think the only thing that kept Man U close to Man City a season ago was that Man U gained from very favorable officiating.
    Can Arsenal win the title? Most definitely yes.

  • J,

    We got 4th because we were consistent over the last 10 matches. Tottenham missed, despite being in better position than us to nick it, because they were inconsistent over the same period.

    Anyway, thanks for making my point 🙂

  • Mark,

    Thanks for your comment. I am in full agreement. I think anyone who read the article with an open mind will draw your conclusion too.

    Let’s keep the faith.

  • para,

    Thanks for the different perspective. I cannot really say I agree or disagree but I think your suggestion clearly can’t hurt.

    It’s better than the monotonous call for splashing the cash that many reduce a complicated issue to.

  • Edda

    Two keywords here is consitency and luck. The more consistant you can be with you performance the less dependant you will be of getting a lucky win. But som luck you cannot do anything about, getting injuries to key players at key moments of the season as an example. Football is one of the games that is decided mostly with luck, if it wasnt so it would be very easy to get pick 10 winners every weekend. But luck or no luck here is my 3 factors that will decide Arsenals chances of winning the PL this season :

    1) Confidence: If the players can play to their potential and understand how good they are then players like Ramsey, Gibbs, Ox and Jenkinson can take one or two steps this season.
    2) Teamplay: Like bootomee says in his article football is a teamsport and with the same team staying together for a couple of years now we can take advantage of our opponents problems.
    3) Injuries: Arsenal like all the top 6 teams will need to be Lucky with injuries this season, if Man Utd get a season long injury to RVP they wont be contenders, and we will have the same problem if players like Kos, Arteta or Wilshere will get Injured.

    Dont get me wrong we are not the favourites to win the PL, but i recon we have 15% possibility and thats almost as good chance that u have to roll a 6 when u roll the dice. Keep the faith !

  • Arsenal1Again

    It’s a nice change to see an optimistic article raising some good points.

    It shows faith in our team, is careful not to critcise the manager (a huge mmistake on Untold) and it gives us another reason to hope. Yes, hope our good luck is greater than the good luck of our opponents and hope our consistency is better than the most consistent team. Of course we want this to be consistent wins and not consistent draws, not consistent mistakes in defence and not consisistent injuries. Of course Depth is everything when we get so many injuries and when players need a rest, but with luck and consistency the EPL is in the bag.

    Statistic experts, a question for you … When was the last time Wenger underwent a campaign with less than 4 recognised strikers? In his own words, “A team must have at least 4 strikers.”

  • bob

    “I just refuse to count my team out even before the battle has begun.”
    Bootoomee,
    Yes, amen to this, your sentiment. And I suspect that most people writing here also feel this. To advocate for and pressure for quality signings (rather than only being unopposed to signings) is what many Arsenal-loving fans want for us to compete at the top level. It’s not signing for signing sake. It’s for quality, in the starting 11 and on the bench in reserve. The consistency you wish for, and I agree it’s the key, also requires quality to draw on in rotation and for injury. Consistency is not a stand-alone quality; nor is it a state of mind (partly, in commitment to training, doing one’s best, winning); nor a mantra to invoke. And Lord Ferguson knew it wasn’t enough there to win the league, so he went out and got the lethal striker in RVP to ensure the consistency in scoring that he knew his side was lacking. (And, alas, we gift him for 24M, a too-meagre sum a year later; but that’s for another day.) All this to say that consistency has preconditions. And to say so isn’t just semantics. Consistency is achieved by concrete actions that make it more likely than less likely. And a quality purchase at striker and quality defense in the midfield are two preconditions, imo, in the consistency (and multi-cup durability) that I too want to see.

  • uk

    good luck to us. just a few points
    1. our problem over the years hasnt been just poor result againstbthe smAll teams, its been poor results against both the small and big teams. in the past 8seasons you probably can count our victories against utd and chelsea on a hand
    2. change, especially in management doesnt necessarily mean poorer performance, infact it can be a potent stimulus, eg when chelsea changed to mourinho,ancelotti and rdm they had instant succes, mancini won the fa cup in his first full season at city, followed up with the league in the next
    3. our 2nd seAson stars expected to shine, so do 2nd season stars like rvp, kagawa,ba,oscar,dembele,sigurdsson,holtby, etc from our rivals. besides 2nd seasons dont have to be succesful, ask chamakh,vermalen,aguero,silva etc
    finally, if luck and optimism were the major factors, i think there’ll be 20 teams with a realistic chance of the title at the beginning of each season. but usually that chance is only mathematical, because while some are planning others arent, and you know what they say? if you fail tobprepare, then you prepare to fail.

  • Edda,

    Maximum respect, my man!

    Arsenal1Again,

    Good perspective but I don’t buy the “A team must have at least 4 strikers.” at the end. Who wrote (or made up) the rule? And didn’t RvP’s exploits last season counter that rule? Man City had more number in attack but they still come short, by 11 points!

    I’d go with Edda on Consistency and Luck but there are enough people hitting their heads against the wall on my article already. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s mental ill-health.

  • uk

    and im sorry, your article can scarcely give our team any more hope, what does that would be the quality of personnel and management sir

  • Rupert Cook

    This piece is a bit premature. Wait until we have some new additions and then consider our chances.

    The final months of the season we had one target to focus on, finishing fourth. At the start of the season we will have four competitions. Even if we dismiss the League Cup that’s still three competitions. We do not have the depth to deal with these challenges.

    If we buy nobody, which I doubt, we’ll have virtually no chance of winning anything. I suspect the league will be beyond us anyway but we could certainly win a cup with a new addition or two.

    I expect the league to be won by City or Chelsea.

  • J

    I have no problem in highlighting out consistency … But it is when you disregard so many factors to make your point stick.

    Arsenal had nothing left to play for, no outside distractions. There were no cups, no Europe, no expectations … we were the under dogs and the pressure was of. That is always the way it is, there have been mirror seasons on and off for years now. We get booted out of competitions around the same time, collapse and then have a resurgence to get us 4th, which coincides with a challenging team collapsing simultaneously. And every time it happens we go into the summer transfer season a little bit optimistic, which is supplemented with a well timed announcement from the board that we have lots of money…

    Nothing has changed … Wenger will probably stick with Diaby in the hope he will manage a season. Last summer I think Wenger was criminally negligent to rely on Diaby after selling Song! He has an atrocious injury record and, just like your attitude, Wenger disregarded history in favour of blind optimism. Similarly with Wilshere, he was out for the lions share of last season, so he is a year behind … he is not going into this season a stronger player than he was 2 seasons ago, just ‘hopefully’ wiser with age.

    This team has not shown any thing that says they are capable of mounting a challenge for any silverware. That is not a criticism of the team, it is just an observation… pre season games against good opposition has shown this, the previous seasons have shown this.

  • bob

    Bootoomee,
    I admittedly don’t have these exact stats (but you or others here may well); but as I recall, we were obviously playing significantly fewer games – considering all competitions – than did the other top 5. That was no secret, even at the time. Is that not a substantial factor in the strong performance over our last 12 games that is encouraging you? Well, it encourages me too; but we would not have had that outcome if we were also in 1-2 other competitions. They take a toll and they must be planned for. Isn’t it self-evident that consistency is made possible by preparedness? If we are competing in one other cup at the business end, it will take its toll. And to purchase quality as insurance toward that (hoped for) eventuality, also seems evident. And none of this has anything to do with counting my side out before the first ball is struck; I advocate (and have for two years running) for a quality bench, so that we plan ahead – and it is now affordable (unless we’ve been deceived). Imo, consistency grows out of preparedness. It doesn’t stand alone.

  • bob (@5.24pm),

    I have no objection to your comment.

    On RvP going for £24m, on hindsight, yes it looks cheap, especially because of the ridiculos amounts that less much lethal strikers are now going for. But let’s quickly revisit a few key points:

    – RvP wanted to leave. Talking about his reasons makes me so mad that I use expletives to describe him, so I wouldn’t. But then I don’t need to.

    – He has only ONE year left on his contract.

    – He refused to extend it.

    Now we have only 2 options:

    1. Let his contract run out for one season, and then he goes for free. Remember that he could have gotten injured 5 games into that last season. We would have had to pay him for the whole season and we would never get that £24m!

    Or

    2. Get the most we can for him. I don’t know if we could have gotten more but if you know of anyone near 29 years old with RvP’s injury record, going for any amount close to £24m with only one year left on their contract, please let me know.

    If you know of any other option(s), please enlighten me.

    Manchester United took a huge gamble by paying £24m for a 29 year old with RvP’s injury history. Their gamble paid off and that is why some gooners are so mad. If he had gotten injured after 5 games, none of this revisionism would be taking place.

    RvP is gone as he wanted to. In my opinion, we got a very very good deal for him. Good for United that their gamble paid off, at least for the first year. I don’t begrudge them and I applaud our management for getting that much for him.

  • bob

    Edda,
    To your point 2: don’t ANY of our rivals also have another season of playing together under their belts? Not one of them. Is that only an AFC attribute?

  • Rupert Cook,

    The article acknowledges the manager’s promise of additions but it is not predicated on the notion. I believe the team can do it as they are. Of course, additions will help.

    You may expect Chelsea or Man City to win the league but I expect Arsenal to. None of us is right or wrong till a winner mathematically emerge.

  • bob

    Bootoomee,
    On RVP, I’ve lots to say, but, to be honest, I did this debate to death with FunGunner last season, so I won’t re-open it between us. Maybe for another day, but to do it now would distract from your current posting. Better to let it be, methinks, and rejoin at a future point when it’s more in the flow, and less a fork in the road.

  • Rupert Cook

    It’s not that this team can’t do it as they are but that they will almost definitely suffer injuries, especially playing in four competitions. The suitable replacements are lacking when this happens, at least so far, in my opinion.

    If the team throws the other three competitions it is just possible they could win the league.

  • bob

    Rupert Cook,
    (You may not read my postings, but I do read yours.) We happen to fully have agreed on this one; and your thinking is both accurate and self-evident. Why there’s any debate on this point is what baffles me.

  • DonCollins

    I see you think and reason like Wenger, giving excuses for failure. I see your frustration is even worse and you draw solace from been unrealistic, your thinking is far from the truth. When serious minded clubs are out there strengthening their team you are here talking about consistency that will never come with the group of failures that we have as manager and players. If man city will all the players they have could still be adding to their team how much more a 15 man Arsenal now. lol .It is a pity that we have a coach that has lost it.

  • nicky

    @Bootoomee,
    One of the best and truest posts for some time.
    For many years I’ve held the view that excluding the EPL, luck plays a major role in success or failure in the other Cup competitions.
    I always remember Arsenal winning an FA Cup when, from start to finish, they never left London.
    My only nitpick, B., is your failure to refer to the part played by referees in the destiny of silverware.
    Whether by mistakes or by deliberate action (and Walter would know) these officials have a lot for which to answer.

  • bob (@5.45pm),

    I see this comment as the typical excuse used to denigrate the team.

    On our way for the return leg against Bayern, we were told that the team will get slaughtered. No one predicted a 2-0 result for us but if any had dared to, they would have been shipped off to a mental asylum. I’m not being hyperbolic here. Even with my eternal optimism on everything Arsenal, I was expecting a sound beating but hoping that it wouldn’t be scandalous!

    Then we won 2-0 and all I’ve been hearing is how the Bayern players never really cared and didn’t really tried to win. Un-freaking-believable!

    Your 5.45pm comment comes across as such.

  • bob

    Bootoomee,
    You see denigration where I don’t intend denigration. And I have applauded our success at Bayern, so that’s not a dot to connect in my profile. Let’s stay on the matter on consistency for today.

  • J

    Just to interject … This team cannot win the league. I do not believe in luck, but it would take something monumental like the first team squads of both manchester clubs and chelsea get invited by Richard Branson to fly into orbit and due to a mechanical fault get stuck there for a season! And on top of that Bale has to leave Spurs, for this team to win the league as it stands.

    Our record against the other top 5 teams was atrocious last season and fittingly we spent the majority of the league in 5th place.

    Giroud is our main striker, I like him, but he is not really going to bag in 30 goals. Podolski will not get 15 whilst he is on the wing and walcott got the lions share of his whilst playing for a contract and through the middle … he will not play there next season and after he signed the contract he went back to being hot and cold.

    Thats just not a title winning attack.

    The midfield lost as many battles for midfield as it won … Stats will tell you Ramsey and Arteta were as good as any other dm/ holding pair in the league but they were constantly fighting just to hold ground. Other teams dominated the middle and if you dominate the middle you, more often than not, win the game. A lot of stick got thrown at our defense because the middle gave way. Also, we need more options down the flanks, chamberlaine wants to come in central, theo tries to come in central and cazorla has to come in as we need his creativity through the middle. Everything gets drawn into the centre and we get hammered on the counter or our style of play gets bogged down in too many short passes going nowhere as all of our players are to close together and not moving.

    I think we need a new cb, but other than that (I wouldn’t say no to a quality keeper) our defense is actually pretty good… i put it down more to losing the midfield battle and not scoring enough of our chances.

  • nicky,

    Respect! Thanks for the kind words.

    What I tried to do in the article is expand on a quality that we have just developed that is key to winning the league i.e. consistency and the relative stability that the core of our team and management are enjoying. My article is relevant because the media and our own merchants of gloom are ignoring these key issues in deriding and writing off the team. I am very glad that you like my effort.

    On referees, I totally agree that they kick us in the nuts and regularly too but it is just an aspect of the game that I don’t really enjoy talking about. Maybe I just bury my head in the sand on the matter 🙂

    I comment a lot on articles on Untold, especially lately but I never comment on Walter’s referee based articles. I don’t even read most of them. I don’t know what to call my ailment but there it is. (Brickfields Gunners: any thoughts 🙂 )

  • bob,

    No offence is meant.

    I just think that when the team performs, especially against great odds (as not many of us were expecting them to get 4th last season going by Spurs’ form), then we should acknowledge the performance and not qualify it with factors that diminish it.

    That’s all. I appreciate the civility of our conversation.

    Regards,

  • Dec

    Of course luck/chance/fortune has a part to play in deciding the outcome of every football match. By extension, it also therefore plays a significant role in the outcome of a series of football matches. It’s also true that talent being applied to the effort is of even greater significance and the ready supply and proper management of that talent is key. Together these factors combine to help a club achieve consistancy ( luck only gets you so far/ even the top talent needs to at least avoid bad luck) and subsequently end up top of the pile. Over recent years Arsenal has struggled to retain a ready supply of top talent ( we produced and brought in some brilliant players but in truth we simply couldn’t compete with sillymoney AND build les Ems), that we remained at the level we did is testament to Arsene’s brilliance. Nor did we really get the best of breaks ( not grumbling about it overly, but it is a fact). Now we might, just might, bring in some extra quality, we’ll still need the odd rub of the green at crucial times. If we get that fair wind everything is possible. The fascinating thing about sport is that we’ll have to wait to find out. Some of us will enjoy the journey either way, others will only be happy if we win something. To each his/her own.
    I’m firmly in the camp of the former.
    Roll on the Villa and let us give them a lesson in the Arsenal way of playing Le beautiful game.

  • bob

    Bootoomee,
    Strong feeling, strong points and civility. Our road ahead.
    Amen!

  • A. Stewart

    Like any Gooner I hope AFC wins, however, I think that far too much is being extrapolated by how we closed the season in terms of how it will affect this upcoming season especially in the league.

    Regarding the seasons end it’s been pointed out repeatedly that a good chunk of it was against relegation threatened teams, and average sides (throw in an already crowned United in there too), and while the results were obtained many of the performances were labourious struggles.

    That aside, a league season is 38 games. In our last trophy-less years, we have had very hot starts to crumble at the end, very poor starts to pick it up at the end, and long unbeaten runs in the middle of the season. In the broad vision of things it really doesn’t matter when these peaks as valleys occur because the net result is and has been the same, competing for league position for CL qualification and little else.

    Now to delve a little more into the minutia of the end of last season, our form of results, largely (not exclusively but largely) coincided with being out of all other competitions. Many think a lack of squad depth of quality has made it difficult for us to balance pursuing multiple competitions. However, a club of this size and stature is supposed to be able to compete seriously for multiple titles, so it’s all well and dandy to say we closed the season strong..and had a good 1/4 of league season…But the reality is the season is a 9 month slog, with a minimum of 4 competitions, players going off to play for their countries etc., that all has to be balanced for success.

    We haven’t been able to do that (balance and compete) in recent years. And getting a string of good needed results (half against lowly opposition when most teams had already settled where or whereabouts they would finish in the league) after being eliminated from all the competition titles, to achieve no more but ending up with the same net result of the last 8 years, to me at least isn’t this great sign of revival for next season.

    Nor is counting on organic growth and natural inherent improvement and familiarity of another year, because we don’t compete in a bubble…In other words organic growth and improvement is assumed (whether more or less than us) in other teams too, and many of those teams have strengthened on top of it.

    In my opinion, we have a solid side that is currently good enough to qualify for the CL, and make a serious run at and possibly win a domestic cup, and little else. With some additions of quality in a few key areas, of course we can compete for the league and win it!

  • Glynn Bedford & Paul,

    Thanks. Just saw your comments. I guess they were held up in moderation as new posts. Please come here more often!

  • Alan

    A good articles and well written. There’s been a lot of complaining about lack of movement in the transfer market from fans and while I can understand their frustration it should be said that there is a whole lot they don’t understand about what is going on. In truth only a few clubs have made big signings. Look at Man Utd, Juventus, Milan, Inter. No big squad investments. It’s not just Arsenal that are seeming inactive at the moment. I believe the problem is that when clubs are making inquiries they are being given unrealistically inflated prices for the players involved (look at the figures being touted for Bale and Suarez) and clubs are choosing to wait. At the end of the day it is the market that dictates the price and if only one club are in the running then the price will invariably drop as the transfer deadline gets closer. I believe this is what Arsenal are doing. The board and manager are confident that we will qualify for the CL and get past the first few weeks of the season successfully with the squad we have, allowing the club to bide their time and wait until the price is right before making a move for the players they want.
    Personally I feel our squad is lacking a few players to really make a good challenge for the title, but i have faith that the club are doing their best to bring in the few new faces that can make us contenders.
    Even if they don’t, i’ll still support the team positively and enjoy the season ahead.

  • Matt,

    I cannot believe that you actually wrote this:

    “We played a final against lower league opposition and failed to win the game. Was that because of bad luck?”

    The answer is an absolute YES!

    We beat Birmingham City 3-0 on both legs in the league only to lose 2-1 by ‘that’ second goal in the 2011 League cup final. Of course it was bad luck.

    Did you also think that Wigan were lucky against Man City in last season’s FA cup or that they were better than City? BTW, Man City had beaten them home and away on their road to relegation last season.

    You need to think things through before posting because this is frankly embarrassing.

  • brent

    “I think Arsenal can win the league this season.”

    hahahahahaha. arsenal is the worst run club in england. wake up.

  • brent

    and yes, i am an arsenal supporter. its just unbelievable how deluded most supporters have become. wenger has played you all for fools. things are going to get MUCH worse at the club before they get better.

  • Alan,

    Thanks.

    Let’s keep the faith!

  • A. Stewart

    Personally I don’t think Matt’s post is embarrassing at all..

    Anyway,

    It wasn’t as though we were stylishly swashbuckling through Birmingham in that cup final, constantly being denied by the post or other typical “unlucky” stuff..Birgminham were well PREPARED with a game plan to execute that we found difficult to break down. Other than a pretty late attacking flurry, we were ponderous, nervous and ineffective for most of that much.

    Birmingham could have scored more in the first half. And heck if I recall correctly our keeper could/should have been sent off for an obvious foul on a player (Boyer I believe) but the linesman had his flag up for offside incorrectly/questionably only minutes into the game (that could be considered good luck for us)..

    Moreover, it was a cup final on a neutral site (and thus inherently different from the league), with arguably significantly more pressure (note the difference between pressure and importance) and a lower margin for error than league affairs against lower opposition like them, thus your 3-0 league comparisons are largely pointless.

    And like most of the cup finals and high pressured low margin games we have played in recent years, we played nervy or as Wenger says “with the handbrake on”..So that is not so much bad luck, but rather TYPICAL of our performances in such moments in recent years, and moreso typical of our struggles against sides who are very PREPARED and organized and execute their plan to stifle.

    Lastly, Koscielny and Szczesny had been cocking up throughout that season, so one could argue their collective cock up was more a continuation of a trend that season as opposed to uncharacteristic bad luck.

  • Gooner S

    Can Arsenal win the league? As we write? Hmmmm…..

    We do have a good team (I keep writing this) and I do still think we have a good manager – I know many disagree with me.

    Are we likely to win the league with the squad we currently have? Well as you say consistency is key and to be consistent you need a squad that can cope with the ups and downs of form and injuries and also with the demands of playing in multiple competitions. The statistics from last season tell us that our squad/team was not good enough to win the the league over 38 games. That is a fact. Yes we did well in the last 15 games but a season is not won or lost over 15 games. What will have materially changed? Yes some of the new signings will be in their second season. I agree but what else?

    We cannot be ruled of winning the league at this time and of course I would like us to but who is the more likely to win it if the squads were frozen now? At the moment I would say Chelsea or Manchester City. If our our squad improves by 10% (say 7 or 8 points) that will push us into contention and also put pressure on others but will that be enough to win the league? Can the current squad do this over a season?

    But as you say, lets wait for September and see what the squad looks like. Suarez, from a footballing point of view, will be a great addition.

    Come September if we have not added to the squad Wenger and the the team will have to perform stellarly, in every game, compared to last season. If they do not, the slightest blip will mean pressure will be heaped upon them and things, I fear, will then get unpleasent. Should those circumstances arise then I can see this being Arsene Wengers last season. I hope this is not the case. I hope we improve the squad and I hope that the team and the Manager do well. But……..

  • A. Stewart

    “Semantics apart, the most consistent team over 38 games win the league.”

    “We got 4th because we were consistent over the last 10 matches. ”

    You’re (Bootoomee) pretty skilled at unknowingly killing your own points (I guess that’s what they are supposed to be).

    You’ve largely framed your “point” based on us being consistent over a 10 game stretch (and of course you provided very little context to it, that has been provided for you, in terms of type of opposition, not competing in other competitions, most teams settled where they were in the league etc etc)..

    And framed your point on that 10 game stretch, yet acknowledge that it’s about 38 games, and further it’s about 38 league games AND balancing 4 competitions, international breaks, injuries etc…a balance that we have consistently failed to achieve over the course of an entire season for the last several.

    So it doesn’t really matter if our seasons in recent years have had hot starts, hot middles or hot ends, the net result has been the same.

    Moreover, assuming success based on improvement just because we are a year more familiar and discounting that ALL our competitors will experience the same to varying degrees, AND many on top of being a year more familiar and improved have externally added pieces to strengthen while we so far haven’t, is quite frankly….silly.

    I’m all for being positive, but those who are taking a realist view of our situation especially in the context of actual results and precedent of the previous years and not just hope and faith, are not inherently AAA or whatever silliness you choose to label.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Para re: “We need a coach that takes into account the opposition and prepares the team for them, instead of just throwing our players in at the deep end. AW has often stated that “we cannot worry what other teams do” but i think this is a wrong strategy. We have to be prepared for the opposition in order to beat them. Why we lost against lower teams in the table, is because they were prepared for Arsenal, but Arsenal were not prepared for them.”

    Great post, the Author would like to pass off these things as luck or bad luck…but it is often about PREPARATION and specific preparation for opponents, that many/most modern coaches and managers (Of ANY Sport) espouse (to the point of dossiers on opponents etc) and often publicly acknowledge they do. And especially in the context of one-off, high-pressured, low margin of error, neutral site, cup finals..Said preparation and pragmatic execution of prepared gameplans often enables less talented teams to be victorious against more talented teams.

  • Rupert Cook

    re the League Cup final, I watched that final and we were quite poor for the majority of the game. Just as City were fairly ordinary against Wigan so were we against Birmingham. It was only when our backs were against the wall did we perk up.

    To use a hackneyed phrase it seemed Birmingham wanted it more than us although I believe there may have been a thread of arrogance running through the team. After all we’d beaten Birmingham twice; maybe we thought we could just turn up and we’d win.

  • A. Stewart

    Exactly Rupert, we weren’t “unlucky” as Bootoomee put it, we were poor for the majority of the game, and nervous in our play, while Birmingham were well prepared to execute their game plan in this one-off, high-pressured, low margin for error cup final format (completely different from the league) that we struggled to breakdown.

    As I said it wasn’t like we were stylishly cutting through Brum like a knife through butter all day and kept hitting the post, or had every decision go against us, goals incorrectly ruled out or typical “bad luck” type of stuff…

    If anything Birmingham were more unlucky through ref decisions that could have had us reduced to 10 men early.

  • Rupert Cook

    This is what some fans don’t get it seems, that on the right day any team can beat another team.

    Why was it bad luck that we failed to beat Birmingham in that final? It was down to dire defending that we gave them their second goal, not bad luck. Just because we beat them twice it doesn’t necessarily follow we’ll beat them a third time.

    If you follow that logic you then have to accept it was luck that we beat Bayern away after they’d completely outplayed us at home. They are after all the superior team.

    And it must be bad luck to lose to Blackburn at home and Bradford away as it makes no sense that these inferior teams won, not on their own merit certainly, just due to luck.

    People love to denigrate Chelsea’s CL success because they claim they had an average team and it was down to luck. Some of it was but also there was a grim determination and tenacity that drove them to success. Reminds me of our 1-0 win over Palma who many thought were the better team.

    That Chelsea side was hardly average, it had plenty of first rate players, many of which would have improved us, and don’t forget that they were fighting in three competitions up to the end of the season and managed to win two cups. I wish we were that average.

    I loathe Chelsea but I can be objective about their achievement.

  • John G

    So the same team that for the majority of last season was woefully inconsistent, finished 16 points off the champions and has made just one new addition – an unproven, 20 year old striker from Ligue 2 – is going to win the league this year? Ok, the players we have may have improved slightly over the summer, but this really is cloud cuckoo stuff.

    Also, can anyone here explain Wenger’s comment that “some clubs acted early so the choice was reduced”. Was there any reason we couldn’t act early too? I find this a surprising comment for a number of reasons, not least because it came from a man who a few days ago said there had been no real activity in the transfer market.

  • Stuart

    So judging by many of the comments here, apparently it’s not consistency that is key!

  • lol wtf you guys smoking here

    are you getting paid for spreading this crap?

    Scientology forum chat is closer to reality than you lot

  • Mick

    A joke for Rupert, A Stewart, uk and other optimistically challenged commenters…..

    Is the basement half empty or half full?
    A father had two little sons, one of whom was an eternal optimist, while
    the other was a perpetual pessimist. One Christmas he decided try to
    temper both of their proclivities: in addition to their standard gifts,
    he told them they’d each get something “chosen especially for you!”
    His plan was to give the pessimist every toy and game he could possibly
    desire, while the optimist would be directed to the basement filled with
    manure.
    On Christmas, after the normal presents were opened, the father sent the
    optimist to the cellar, while leading the pessimist to the room filled
    with presents. After the pessimist opened all the gifts, he turned to
    his father with a sad face and said: “How can I possibly use all these?
    The TV will wear out, the Nintendo will get smashed, and all the other
    toys will be broken!” After a few minutes of listening to such woe, the
    father remembered his optimistic son, and ran to the basement steps.
    There in the basement was his other son, swimming through the manure
    with a gleeful smile. The father asked him why he was so happy, to
    which the boy exclaimed “With this much manure, there must be a pony in
    here somewhere!”

  • Nicely written post and I really do admire your optimism, but in my view we have a very small chance of winning the PL. A chance yes, but no more so than Liverpool or Spurs.

    Our squad is better in the sense that it has now been together longer, but weaker in that we have lost squad depth and not made any signings.

    It takes a pretty heavy dose of optimism to believe we can improve so much on last year without making some significant signings.

  • Doofus

    How’s the positivity working for you boo? Increasingly difficult.

    Have you read / seen the Bloomberg report on the league? They’ve run it 10,000 times as things currently stand (as in squads) and we have something like a 7.5% chance of winning the league.

    But we’re nailed on for 4th…. Yawn, explains no spending and lack of transfer activity don’t you think?

    As for luck – loser talk! There is very little to do with luck in a league environment as Arnold palmer once said “the more I practice the luckier I get” . The reality is that we are never as prepared as the other team. People have dissected CC Final to death. Think about that CL semi at home to Utd as well. They killed us ff quickly and effectively. Darren fletcher was detailed by fergie to foul the bollocks of cesc all game. He was shite (as in every big game) and we were spanked. That’s what the difference between tactics and perpetration (as practiced elsewhere) and ‘let zem play wizout ze ‘and break’ that Wenger practices.

    Wenger, unfortunately, is now an analogue manager in a digital world. And he’s basically given himself until the end of the window to fix.

    It’s now make or break for Wenger. Like it or not AKBs.

  • Uk

    @stuart
    Thanks man. Its an honor to be mentioned alongside minds like A.Stewart and Rupert. I should add John to that list. I always say, when you have a solid point, you never need insults to expreSs it. Thanks guys for eloquently pointing out the obvious
    And stuart, how did the optimist guy do with the manure, I’m sure he swam all the way to cukoo land and rode a thousand ponies

  • Nikkogunners

    Perhaps it’s time Wenger uses what he has well enough. Perhaps it time to change the system to compliment the squads strengths
    3.5.2 would be a great system to adopt for next season with what we can get in the market right now.

    ——Podolski, Giroud
    Miyachi/Ox – Carzola – Walcott
    —–Arteta – Gastavo
    —Gibbs,Konsienly,Sagna
    ——Szechny

    If Wenger can pick up a striker remaining out there in the Market and a goalkeeper, this team would be great. Wilshere would then understady Carzola and at times removing Arteta or Gastavo to bring in Wilshere or Rosicky would be inspiring. Other times that replacement will be Ramsey…Monreal, Martesacker and Jerkinson are worthy Bench players and the side that plays the alternative Back line when the regular backline needs a rest.

  • Russell

    3-5-2 is for scumbags on fifa.

  • Doofus

    Nikkogunners – who the hell is gastavo??

  • Doofus,

    Positivity is working very well for me. Thank you for asking 🙂

    Are you a masochist? I wonder because with your mindset, you shouldn’t be supporting Arsenal, unless you have an insatiable lust for agony.

    With my mindset? Oh la la!

  • jayramfootball,

    As long as they have a chance, I’ll go with them!

  • Doofus

    Boo – I admire you in a really perverse way. Even in a mounting wave of evidence and commentary, and sentiment you still manage to keep totally positive.

    Must take a lot of effort now.

    I mean running the league 10,000 times must be far weaker than your gut instinct and belief that we can win the league?

  • Va Cong

    I got £50 bet for us to win the league. Boom!

  • sperez

    How Arsenal can win the PL this season?
    It depends on the ‘kwalidee’ of the substance one is smoking…

    The intoxicated brain.
    Mental strength, belief, spirit…LOL!

    With this squad and Wenger in charge, Arsenal will be out of the title race by December.

  • Doofus

    Va cong. I would have given you much better odds. I guess you got 5 to 1 something like that?

  • Rollen I think your input itself lacks a little in terms of analysis or scientific input.

  • Brent – quite a claim. Would you care to qualify that with some evidence comparing us with clubs such as Manchester City and the way they are run by a government that has a terrible human rights record. Or Tottenham, a club which despite some successes have for years have just failed to get into the Champions League. Or Liverpool which despite years of staggering success, end up with their prize asset now training with the reserves, or Man U which allowed an admittedly excellent boss to run every detail of the show so that when he left there really was quite a serious vacuum. Or Chelsea which has got through I don’t know how many managers in one season.

    A strange claim made all the stranger by your inability to give a scrap of comparative evidence.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mick, good joke. But do you know the punchline? There was a pony only it had suffocated under all the manure. Which is similar to any Arsenal fan that reads the press.

    @Tony, and don’t forget Chelsea is run by a crook that stole money from his own people.

    With regards to Spuds, I must say I’d be looking forward to the season if I supported them with lots of what maybe quality signings. Ok they may lose Bale but then they’ll get a huge cash injection. Could be a concern for us this season.

  • Stuart

    @UK,
    What are you talking about? (11.21pm)

  • Mick

    @Stuart
    I think his remarks should have been directed at me re my 10.27 comment.

  • brent,

    There are lots of negative things that you can say about Arsenal, fan or not. But when you say:

    “arsenal is the worst run club in england. wake up.”

    It becomes very difficult to take you seriously as you clearly have no idea of what you are talking about.

  • uk

    sorry stu and thanks mick, btw still waiting to hear the conclusion of the manure swimming optimist story.

  • Mandy Dodd

    great to read a positive angle amongst all the doom out there at the moment. Some very valid points on the way we finished last season, a run started by a win in the back yard of the best team on the planet at the moment. As you say, we are a stable team, and one who appear to get on without cliques, for what thats worth (this has not always been the case) with clearly a very good spirit. If we can avoid the starts of the last two years, that should significantly increase our final points total. Cannot see a runaway team this season either. But still think we need to bolster our numbers, we have a good first 11 but as we are now, we could be very vulnerable to injuries, PGMOL / FA make it up as they go along suspensions (Vinc Kompany vs Giroud red cards) and a long season. We do have some good kids coming through, will be good to see them play a part but hopefully they will not be in a situation whereby they have to be rushed in at all costs.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Bootoomee @ Aug.8th 6:31 pm – just saw your comments (am having line problems )and I think that like me you have that rather common ailment – Statisticus Boreus .Most are unable to fathom graphs ,pie charts and the like ,but figures like 36- 28- 36 are very easily understood !

    Mick – @ 6:31 – Nice one ,and as usual the naysayers have stayed to form and didn’t appreciate it .For me that manure would represent ample fertiliser for a bumper harvest !
    When I was a student , I grew roses on hard rocky ground using only cow dung .True story .

  • Stuart

    “arsenal is the worst run club in england. wake up.”

    I love that, so QPR are a symbol of ideology then I take it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Whenever I narrate that story , it reminds me of of this Rabbi’s parable from Luke. 8.

    4] And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
    [5] A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
    [6] And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
    [7] And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
    [8] And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
    [9] And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
    [10] And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
    [11] Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
    [12] Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
    [13] They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
    [14] And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
    [15] But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

  • Stuart

    @ Matt : re your 3.20pm comment yesterday.

    Can you provide evidence of that quote please. I’ve tried finding it and the only place I can see it is Online Gooner in the comments section:-
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%E2%80%9DI+am+on+a+very+good+contract.+I+am+one+of+the+few+managers+who+make+money+for+my+club+every+year.+That+is+the+most+important.+I+will+tell+you+something%2C+if+I+will+not+make+money+for+the+club%2C+I+would+not+be+on+a+very+good+contract%E2%80%9D.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I don’t even think you have to be an optimist to say that Arsenal have a chance of winning the EPL this season. I wouldn’t have us as nailed on certainty but there’s no obvious front runner.
    Are City better this year? Who knows. Pellegrini may come unstuck due to his tactics not being ideal for the EPL. They have the players to do it, certainly.
    Are Chelsea better this year? Yes. Good enough? Hard to say. Jose certainly knows the league better than his counterparts but there are lots of teams good enough at defending to require rather more ambition from Chelsea than Jose would like.
    Are United better this year? No. They’ve lost players, were a weaker team than us by the end of last season and their transfer strategy is worse than ours. Plus they have a new manager to work with.
    Are Tottenham better? On paper, yes, they’re still Tottenham though. They have at least addressed their reliance on Bale but with so much of their play going through him, if he’s sold, injured or out of form, they will have to change their play completely.

    The bit about Tottenham is a key point, teams are vulnerable when all their play goes through one player – look at Barca with a crocked Messi, they’re awful. The same applied to us when Cesc had a free role, if the opposition stopped Cesc, they stopped us from playing.

    Assuming no-one comes in (this is not an optimistic post) then we will play the same as before. We will have a double pivot of creative grafters. We will play a very lopsided 4-4-2, with the left winger being a midfielder playing just ahead of the central attacking midfielder and the right winger playing almost on the same line as the centre forward.
    Assuming it’s Giroud and Theo as the -2 then teams will still have to push Giroud away from goal whilst not leaving space for Theo to run onto through-balls from Cazorla and Wilshere.
    It wasn’t pretty towards the end of the season but it was effective, now we attack from all areas of the pitch, we have adjusted our tactics to suit our players and we play as a team.

  • Stuart

    Woolwich,

    If you were a betting man, what would be your top 3 bet for the season?

  • Mick

    @uk
    I think you can make up your own conclusion depending on which side of the fence you sit.
    Mine would be that he finds an unknown thoroughbred that goes on to win the Derby, beating all the expensively bred animals with Arab owners by several lengths.
    I guess yours may be different!

  • Uk

    @mick,
    Lol. Goodluck to him then

  • Brickfields Gunners (@2.25pm),

    Actually, I am a very numerate individual. I am very comfortable with charts and data generally. I just tune out when it comes to discussing referees and bias. I agree that they screw us over regularly but I don’t enjoy conversations about them.

    That is my psychological condition, not Statisticus Boreus 🙂 I still hope that you have something for me as diagnosis 🙂

  • Linz

    Typical deluded nonsense from the middle class real ale drinking loser posse.Your Wenger is done.He will be driven out of this club due to his arrogant self obsessed attitude towards managing a PL club.You losers are aware we only have 16 proper first teamers at the moment,and the kids are overhyped rubbish;try watching Villas youth and then tell me how good Arsenals youth system is.You are now in the minority.Wenger will not be allowed to keep messing this club up.

  • sperez

    Linz,
    So true. The youth system at Arsenal is pure rubbish. You have more success keeping youngsters very close but Wenger just loans them and expects them to make it.
    Barcelona have one of the best youth systems around.
    I watched on ESPN how the Barça system works and then I compare with the shite one at Arsenal. Barcelona loan only a few players but most of them stay at the club to learn Barça’s way.
    No wonder Wenger has a pathetic record in developing players. He is obsessed with youngsters but can’t help them. A player has to make on his own under Wenger and we all know most of them really needs guidance to raise their level.
    And we still have to listen to Wenger apologists claiming he is great developing youth. A myth, a joke!

    About Wenger’s managerial skills…
    I stopped believing in him years ago but I never thought he would sink so low…

  • Haris

    Yeah, Wenger just can’t develop youth! Wilshere, Ramsey, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Chambo, they all became they players they are not because of Wenger but INSTEAD of him, right? Do you guys even read what you are writing? Wenger has probably the best track record of bringing young players through in all of the Premier League. The best of the pick become part of our first team and even those that don’t make like Vela or Nordtveit become integral parts of very decent club sides.