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Are we doing better than last year? A negative or a positive way at looking at it

By Walter Broeckx

When I see the league table, and I do admit I look at it every day, I cannot help it but a big smile comes on my face.  It’s always nice to be top of the league. No denying that.

Strolling on the internet you get to see all kinds of opinions and I ran in to the opinion of a Manchester United fan who was saying something along the lines of: do those Gooners realise that they have 5 points less than they got from the same fixtures last season.

A line that has been dropped on here also by a few. After all why be happy when you don’t need to  be happy is what some say or think. And of course when you look at it that way they are right. The games we dropped points (Aston Villa and WBA) were games we won last season.  And so he said that we would wake up in a few weeks time.

I then thought: well let us explore this a bit more and do the same for the other teams that finished in the top 5 last season. And so I did. Or better said I tried. Because the first problem was that for most teams this was impossible. The only team that has only played against teams that were also in the PL last season is Arsenal. All the other teams have played newly promoted teams already this season.

So to keep up my table I had to compare this with games from other teams. And so I used the home or away games of teams that have left the PL last season to also get to 8 games. So it isn’t completely the same of course but well it was the best I could do.

And then we see this

 

Team 2013-2014 2012-2013 Difference
MU 11 19 -8
Chelsea 17 17 0
MC 16 13 3
Tot 16 14 2
Arsenal 19 24 -5

 

And as said and starting with Arsenal we have now won 5 points less than we did last season in the same fixtures.

But our Manchester United supporter that mentioned this seemed to forget that his own team got 8 points less than last season from the same fixtures (apart from one that I had to change). So we might wake up one day but for the moment it looks as if he will have an even worse wake up.

Chelsea is a team that got the same points as last season from roughly the same fixtures.  As Chelsea already played two new teams it is a bit more difficult to really compare but they are doing it almost the same as last season.

Tottenham has done better than last season and seem to have a bonus of 2 points.  They also played two newly promoted teams in their first 8 games so again a bit difficult to compare. The team that has improved most seems to be Manchester City.  But they also played two new teams so again a bit difficult to compare.

What this does show is that for most teams it seems to be more difficult to win points.  There is a total of -8 points for all the teams in points won. So the PL is even more difficult it seems this season.  Because the wins against the new teams are mostly small wins apart from the 4-1 win from Chelsea against Cardiff.  So this indicates at it being more difficult than ever.

Now if we take the other approach and just look at the first 8 games no matter who we or they played we get another picture.  I will show you a table with the top 5 of last season with 8 games played and the current number of points. And then the number of points they had last season after 8 games. In the next table I will then present the difference in + or – compared to last season. And as we like to leave no stone unturned I even added the numbers of the season 2011-2012 and the difference between then and now.

 

League table Games Pts 13/14 12/13 +/- 11/12 +/-
Arsenal 8 19 12 7 10 9
Chelsea 8 17 22 -5 19 -2
MC 8 16 18 -2 22 -6
Tottenham 8 16 14 2 13 3
MU 8 11 18 -7 20 -9

 

And then we see that compared to last season we have won 7 points more after 8 games. And compared to the season before even 9 points more.

If we look at it like that Chelsea has dropped 5 points compared to last season. And Manchester City also dropped 2 points. Another team that has done better compared to last season is Tottenham.

But the worst team of them all is Manchester United. Dropping 7 points compared to their title winning season at this stage. And even 9 points compared to the season before.

One could say that we have taken up their points as it is the complete opposite of the Arsenal points.  Will we have taken their place in the league table also at the end of the season? One can hope.

So what has the greatest value? Looking at the first table or at the second one? I think both have their pros and cons. As teams change during the summer you cannot always compare the teams. So a weak team last season can be much better this season. Or the other way round of course where a team that was doing great suddenly drops a lot and you suddenly get an easy game.

I have always been a bit of a person who thinks the second way of looking at it is the better one. A season is a flow and has interruptions and extra matches in between and that also has a big impact on the way a season goes. And as those interruptions come back at the same time each season (international breaks – CL matches) it has sometimes a bigger impact than who you actually play in the weekend.

But whatever you prefer, I just look at the league table each day and feel happy about what I see.

The books…

The sites from the same team…

And beyond football…

16 comments to Are we doing better than last year? A negative or a positive way at looking at it

  • jambug

    @Walter

    I’m one of those who mentioned this, but not to be negative, but to shut up one of the AAA types claiming the usual crap about our good start being down to Wenger finaly doing ‘what they told him to do’ and buying a ‘big name’ player.

    To prick his ballon I asked him to explain how the big signing he so craved had actually cost us 5 points.

    As you’d guess it worked coz he never got back.

    The point is Walter, as you say, statistics can say what you want.

    We beat Bayern 2 nil on there own patch. Did that mean we could take from that that we where the best team in Europe?

    If only !!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Off topic: it seems that we had some problems today with the website. Even I couldn’t get on to the site. And that was a big problem. Well it was for me. 😉

    If you also got affected: sorry.
    We are still checking what went wrong but at least from where I sit now it is working back.

    OKAY I SHOULD HAVE SHUT UP AS IT STARTED AGAIN…. I can only do things from the admin side of the site.

  • Tom

    Walter.
    People can use all kind of data to support their opinion and like you said ,comparing games against same clubs from last season can be misleading and tricky unless those clubs stayed unchanged .
    Add to the mix a controversial referee decision or two( Villa game) and you are likely to get a different outcome in a corresponding fixture .

    Based on the league tables and the type of football Arsenal have produced thus far, I’m having a really hard time to see how any Arsenal fan without an agenda can’t get excited by our prospects this season.

    Player rotation will be key to how successful Arsenal are this season. Tired players ,no matter how talented ,make mistakes that can cost you games.
    Cazorla never should’ve played against Villa on two days rest after his man of the match performance for Spain against Ecuador .

    Ramsey perhaps shouldn’t ve played agains Dortmund as he only came on for Flamini who got a concussion against Norwich. Wenger had hoped to rest Ramsey for Dortmund game but didn’t.

    Both players turned the ball over in respective games which lead to goals for the opposition .

    Let’s not forget that Arsenal went on their unbeaten run last season only after they were eliminated from all cup competitions.
    It will be very interesting to see Wenger’s selection for Crystal Palace and Chelsea in the league cup.

  • WalterBroeckx

    TEST

  • Barney B

    Walter,
    The only consistent way to compare results from one season to the next is to replace the teams that finished 18th, 19th & 20th in the Premiership last year with the Div 2 (Championship) winner, runner-up & play-off winner respectively.
    So substitute Wigan’s results with Cardiff’s, Reading’s with Hull’s & QPR’s with Crystal Palace’s. It’s the closest you can get to replicating one season’s results with another & – applied consistently – less arbitrary than any other method.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A lot gets lost in the translation -another example .

    Following Instructions

    A blonde and a brunette decided to rob a bank. They quickly devised a good plan and they put their plan to action.

    The brunette drove up to the front of the bank that they had decided to rob. She turned to the blonde and asked her, “Now, do you remember what the plan is?”

    The blonde sighed and replied, “Yeah, yeah, I remember…” The brunette went over the plan once more and let the blonde out to do her stuff.

    Before the blonde could shut the door, the brunette yelled out, “Be sure to be in and out in no more than 5 minutes!” The blonde ran inside and the brunette waited in the car… and waited… and waited… and waited… and waited.

    After waiting for so long in the car, the blonde bursts out of the bank’s doors, the alarm blaring loud enough to wake everyone up. The blonde was lugging a bank safe behind her by a rope tied around it.

    blondeA security guard ran out of the bank, his pants down around his ankles and attempting to reach his gun. The blonde breathed heavily as she tried to put the safe in the car but finally just gave up and dropped the safe behind. She ran into the passenger seat and pulled the door shut, the car already moving.

    The security guard yelled, “Stop! Stop!” while the pair drove off, leaving the safe with rope tied tightly around it behind. The brunette frantically asked the blonde, “What the hell happened in there?!?” The blonde was panting and turned to the brunette and choked out, “What do you mean? I followed the plan exactly!”

    The brunette paused and yelled, “YOU IDIOT! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO TIE UP THE GUARD AND BLOW THE SAFE!”

  • Mick

    @Brickfields Gunners
    Thats a good’un.
    Reminds me of….
    A male hospital patient is in severe agony whilst being hurriedly transferred from a general ward to the burns unit in the hospital, and the Doctor reprimanding the trainee nurse saying…..
    You must learn to listen properly, I told you to prick his boil.
    Ouch!

  • Tasos

    Walter,

    Or you could go back to when Arsenal’s good run of Premier League form began, January 23rd 2013:

    Since that date Arsenal have played 24 EPL matches consisting of 18 wins, 4 draws & 2 loses. 58 points from a possible 72 available.

    Thats an average Points Per Game(PPG) ratio of 2.41. To put that figure into context, 2.41PPG WINS you the Premier league Title every single season bar one (Chelsea 2005 Ave 2.5 PPG).

    But of course this system also has its failings as the 24 matches do not represent a whole season and neither Chelsea or Man City have appeared in this set of results.

    It’s merely a guide to Arsenal’s good run of form.

  • Strus

    Last season I started to count how many points top teams should have gain from every next match according to Dectech Predictor
    After 8 games this season
    team/sum of predicted points/ real points

    MC 16,21 16
    MU 14,48 11
    Chelsea 15,3 17
    Arsenal 15,97 19
    Tottenham 15,43 16
    Everton 13,25 15
    Liverpool 14,75 17

    Last season after 8 matches

    MC 16,45 18
    MU 16,02 18
    Chelsea 15,63 22
    Arsenal 14,23 12
    Tottenham 13,87 14
    Everton 14,1 15
    Liverpool 13,86 9

    and last season final differencial between points and predictions

    MC +0,83
    MU +14,37
    Chelsea +2,98
    Arsenal +1,58
    Tottenham +6,14
    Everton +0,23
    Liverpool -4,83

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Mick – nice old ‘un that !It was also repeated in the movie ‘Carry on Doctor ‘.

    Here’s todays Laughter is the best medicine from the Medical Division of UA –

    STATUS ORGASMICUS – A Serious Medical Condition ?

    A man and a woman were sitting beside each other in the first class section of an airplane. The woman sneezed, took out a tissue, wiped her nose, then visibly shuddered for ten to fifteen seconds.

    The man went back to his reading. A few minutes later, the woman sneezed again, took a tissue, wiped her nose, and then shuddered violently once more.

    Assuming that the woman might have a cold, the man was still curious about the shuddering. A few more minutes passed when the woman sneezed yet again.

    As before she took a tissue, wiped her nose, her body shaking even more than before.

    Unable to restrain his curiosity, the man turned to the woman and said, ‘I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve sneezed three times, wiped your nose and then shuddered violently. Are you OK?’

    ‘I am sorry if I disturbed you, I have a very rare medical condition; whenever I sneeze I have an orgasm. ‘

    The man, more than a bit embarrassed, was still curious. I have never heard of that condition before’ he said. ‘Are you taking anything for it?’

    The woman nodded, ‘Pepper.’

  • Brickfields Gunners

    some of the older British comedy buffs may have seen a variation of this on ‘ The two Ronnies ‘; where one of the cleaning ladies says to the other that she had been to see the doctor about her husband’s demands for sex (‘ A bit of slap and tickle’ ,was the term used !) whenever he sneezes .
    The doctor advises her to tell the husband to stay off the snuff !

    For the young ‘uns , who have never seen any elder using snuff or never came across the term–

    verb (used with object)
    1. to draw in through the nose by inhaling.
    2.to perceive by or as by smelling; sniff.
    3. to draw air into the nostrils by inhaling, as to smell something.
    4. to draw powdered tobacco into the nostrils; take snuff.

  • colario

    There was an old poof of Khartoum
    Who invited an old lesbian up to his room.
    They lay on the bed
    Till on of them said:
    ‘Who does what, with what and to whom?’

  • colario

    Brickfields Gunners.
    Ah the Two Ronnies! The best of the best.
    I have to go out right now, I ‘ll write again when I return.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario – then it was that gay meant happy ! Not that they aren’t so now !

  • colario

    Brickfields Gunners

    The Two Ronnies where brought together by a TV producer and for millions of people their comedy show with the highlight of the week.

    Seeing some of their humour it is just as funny as it was when first shown unlike other duos.

    The dialogues were usually fast.

    Here is one that most speakers of English can follow.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vMsCEWbd-A

    If your english is reasonable then you should be able to follow this one. (its my favourite speaking one.)

    They did a number of songs usually very fast and sometimes with a local accent. They are brilliant.

    This one is with an Italian accent and at times very fast, so much so that locals can miss something.
    Around 5.10
    It has the lines:
    ‘Look at big Betty
    Who is fond of spaghetti
    She’s built like a jetty
    And married a peer.’
    On there own they are nothing but in context and delivery. I laugh every time I hear them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQf9tUjNPwA

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario – thanks for the links .We did not get The Two Ronnies too ften here ,while their individual shows were shown infrequently .Whenever I get a chance ,I would view them and now with you tube ,I try to catch up.
    My own favourite was The Benny Hill show which was quite big here.Not to mention everyone’s favourite ‘Mind your language’ ,and others like ‘It ain’t half hot ,mum’ and ‘Allo, Allo .
    We speak English at home ,so no real problem with the dialogue ,except certain colloquialism .Sad to say the present generation’s command of the language is very poor .
    Like on this site ,they try to mask their ignorance with
    stupidity and threats , whenever they are losing their arguments .