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Arsenal: the team of 2013

By Walter Broeckx

As this is the end of the calendar year this is the best moment to have a look back at the year that is almost over. And what better way to do this than to look at the results that we have seen from the teams at the top in the PL.

Now I have seen lists on other websites but I thought we should have our own Untold numbers on this. Because just looking at the numbers for 2013 without taking in to account the number of games played by those teams would be a bit unfair.

So what I did was not take just the table from 31/12/2012, make the difference with the final table and then add the current league table. Because if you do this you will find that some teams will have fewer games in to that final table. I know doing it that way would make Arsenal even look better but let us stay humble for a second and try to compare like with like.

So what did I do then?  For 2012/13 I took from each team the halfway season table when they reached the 19 games point.

And then compared that with the final table at the end of the season. And then we had this table.

So here we see how each club did in the second half of the 2012/13 season…

12/13
Second half points total
Man U

43

Man C

39

Chelsea

37

Tottenham

39

Arsenal

40

Liverpool

36

And then you see that we only had 3 points less than Manchester United in the second half of the season.

Now if we take the current league table after 19 games it is like this and I think you will know it without having to look at it. Again I put it in the order of the league table as things are now.

13/14
19 games
Arsenal

42

Manchester City

41

Chelsea

40

Liverpool

36

Man U

34

Tottenham

34

And finally we put these two tables together and then we get this as what could be called the last 38 matches league table.

12/13 13/14  2013
19 Games 19 games Total
Arsenal

40

42

82

Man City

39

41

80

Man U

43

34

77

Chelsea

37

40

77

Tottenham

39

34

73

Liverpool

36

36

72

To spare your fingers and your keyboard: I am aware we get no prize for this. No need to say it below in the comment section. But with that out of the way let us look at a few things.

If we had a summer league like they have in Russia and some other parts where there is a cold winter we would be champions of this league.

Another thing of the highest interest is the fact that Arsenal is the only team that has managed to score more than 40 points in each half! And this is telling us something important. Something that we on Untold had seen last season already. But the people came over and told us that being 16 points behind league buyers Manchester United was not good enough and that of course we were rubbish. Alas for them they didn’t notice how the team had been growing steadily and quietly.

At the time when we pointed at this we were being buried under insults of all sorts. And disaster was what we would get if we would stick with these useless players and of course useless manager. We already saw the first signs of a great group of players in the making. A group of players that are willing to work hard and dig deep for the shirt.

Did you see Per in one of his last interviews on Arsenal player by the way? His English isn’t perfect and still you see him thinking and translating it from his mother language. And as I speak German myself I know how they would say things in German. But the main message he gave (and he used the word half a dozen times in this post match interview) was: “I am so proud to be an Arsenal player and to be part of this.” He used the word proud over and over again.

And that is what I feel when I look back at the year 2013. Yes there have been terrible moments in the year 2013. We have painful memories of painful losses. But each and every time the team, picked themselves from the floor, dusted themselves and started again. With more determination than before.

We have been cheated by referees that cost us points. I think not one of those 82 points can be attributed to referee mistakes in our favour. Something no other team can say.  Yes on Untold we moaned about it but the players took the cheating on the chin, looked the refs in the eye and did all they could to overcome the blatant cheating we have seen from time to time. But we couldn’t beat the cheating all the time. We have suffered from it. And I think we could have had another 5 points more this season than we actually have. If only we would have been so “lucky” as some of the oilers.

The fixture list also was more than once very unkind to us over that period. And it also cost us points and freshness at important moments in time.

Just as with all the rest like building the Emirates with our own money, like building a team with our own money. We have been building a team with this bunch of players I call mine. And who fill me with pride. They are not perfect. Just as none of us is perfect.   And maybe that is why I love them so. Even when they fail. Because failing is human. But when they fail I see their pain, which is also my pain. And when they come back from those moments and get back to winning ways I feel their joy which is also my joy.

If we keep this tempo up in the second half of the season we might win the league. I am not saying we will because refs have shown some strange ways lately to derail other than oil-sponsored teams. But I do know that this team can be capable of doing it. Something I started believing in at the end of last season. You have made me a proud Gooner already, now let us put the icing on the cake in 2014.

And maybe let us bring hope to all the other teams that you don’t need oil money or referees to buy the league. Let Arsenal show that building slowly and carefully also can lead to success. If we can bring that message across the PL by winning it, this would bring hope to the rest of the teams. Let us try to win the league based on our own merits. So get behind the team and stay behind the team from now till the end of the league. 19 games to go. Game on.

24 comments to Arsenal: the team of 2013

  • hadewale

    Fantastic write up bro keep it man. Gunners till I die

  • Mandy Dodd

    brilliant. Congratulations to the club and well done yesterday, a tough disciplined performance against a good team and a player licenced by the ref to kick.
    When things go wrong, even with draws this season such is the desperation of some, resident critics appear listing all the faults of wenger the club and players. If even a fraction of these faults are reality, makes where we stand even more impressive

  • WalterBroeckx

    I just want to point out that the order of the first table is based on the league position from 31/12/2012, not based on the final table or so

  • Fantastic write-up. Permission to share on my fb page. We’re winning the League! Games against Swansea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle proved to me!

  • Edda

    Our worst enemy and biggest Challenge wining the title this year is the fixture computer (Wonder who programs it ???). We have been through a period of cruel fixtures, but that is nothing compared to what we have to og through in february and march. With these fixtures it will be almost impossible for us to win the premier League, especially if we should beat the scum in saturday and get another top team in the 5.th round. There are 2 periods one in february which is cruel and one i march which is horrendous!!!

    February :

    8. feb Liverpool (a)
    12. feb Man Utd (h)
    15. feb FA-cup 5.th round
    19. feb Bayern M (h)

    So if we are gonna have a chance to have a string of good results here an easy 5th round tie at home would help a lot, but With Our Luck we might get Newcastle or Everton away and get knockered before taking on the best team in the world!

    But even if we get through the tough february look at the march fixtures…

    March
    11. mar Bayern M (a)
    15. mar Tottenham (a)
    22. mar Chelsea (a)
    29. mar Man City (h)
    1/2 apr CL Quarter final
    5. apr Everton (a)
    8/9.apr CL Quarter final

    So even if we go out of The CL against Bayern this month will be almost impossible. But if we go to the quarterfinal it will be even harder.

    So we dont get any help from the refs, the media or the fixture computer, but we’re Arsenal we like to do it the hard way 🙂

  • AL

    This is brilliant. And I know you’re being conservative with your we could have had 5 more points this season had the refs done their job properly, it’s closer to 10 points but we will let that one rest.

    This team is solid, I like Caragher’s response yesterday when asked if our performance at Newcastle marked us as champions. He said look we’ve been questioning them all season, saying this game is going to be the real test and they’ve answered all the questions. Wishing the team all the best for 2014. COYG!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Edda,
    so it would be a good thing if the spuds win in the next round of the europa league as that would mean they will have to play on Thursday before we go to the lane.

  • AL

    Edda
    It’s no coincidence that Arsenal is the only team that plays against title rivals 3 or 4 games on the trot. Think you will find other teams only play against two title rivals back to back once the whole season, with Chelsea (or is it City?) not even being in such a situation all season. Yet we’ve already had two occasions where we’ve played back to back matches against our title rivals, so it’ll be four occasions in all this season including the ones you highlight above. Shocking.

  • Mandy Dodd

    wonder if Lord Sugar got the score right in any tweets yesterday?

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL Mandy… 🙂 🙂

  • Edda,

    Hi, it’s been a while!

    I’m not too worried about those fixtures, honestly. This is because I am not too fixated on those games anyway. Also the fact that we have those schedules means that we have strings of easier games too. My position is for us to get the maximum out of the easier games. Period.

    We are top of the league after playing every team despite losing 10 points in games against Man United, Everton, Man City and Chelsea. The reason, as we all know is because have taken loads of points from the lesser teams. This is what we need to carry on doing and we would have enough point cushion to survive the February and March horror schedules.

    To be honest, I wouldn’t mind us getting out of the CL and FA cups. If we are able to win the league this season, we can set our sights higher next season. We have a great chance this season in the league, I hope we don’t miss it by being distracted by the cup competitions.

  • Bugziie

    Difficult fixtures….bah!!! Katty Perry has me singing a song that’ll be playing with each victorious step ‘The Arsenal’ takes towards the premier league trophy:

    “I got the eye of the tiger, the fire
    Dancing through the fire
    ‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
    Louder, louder than a lion
    ‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!”

    COYG!!!

  • Wooby

    @Edda, I am not too concerned about the schedule. To me, the worse of the schedule iwas the strecth we had: Everton – Napoli – City, the last two away. In fact, the first half was tough: 5 away fixtures after CL games, including trips to both OT and the Ethiad. In Feb, at least we will be home to MU – and there is no way the computer could have known who we would play in CL.

    As for March, the opposition is tough but at least there appears to be sufficient days of recovery, plus we should have a full squad vs missing Theo and Poldi for most of the first half.

  • Strus

    Arsenal got from that kind set of fixtures:
    45 points last season
    35 points in 11/12
    34 points in 10/11
    36 points in 09/10

    So 42 points is really good.

    and got from reverse fixtures:
    28 points last season
    37 points in 11/12
    34 points in 10/11
    39 points in 09/10

    Can you imagine 7 wins, 7 draws and 5 defeats like last season? I can’t.
    35 points would be average from last seasons.
    But this team is not average: 3rd best offence, joint best defence(but Everton already has 4 times O-0), joint most wins.
    44 points is on the just a bit slighty optimistic side. That would be enough to seal the title.

  • Steve

    FWIW, They stopped having a summer league in Russia several years ago. They just have a very long winter break now.

  • Strus

    Let’s look about goal difference im matches of top teams. comfortable wins ( by 2 or more goals)/all wins

    MC, Arsenal 10/13
    Liverpool 8/11
    Chelsea 6/12
    MU 5/10
    Everton 3/10

    This stat shows which teams were really good and which ride their luck much more.

  • Double canister

    Thanks Walter

    Thanks for a great article.
    Barring disasterous injuries, desertions or sedition within the ranks Arsenal are looking good for 2014.
    tin cups or not.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I can’t say that I missed Mourinho when he was gone but I never placed him on the level of SAF in terms of annoyance but he just never stops, does he?

    I’ll give him credit for winning the CL with Porto but not his Porto league triumph nor those with the other clubs. He has only been able to win where his spending power has dwarfed his rivals. Calls us whiners because we note that he parked the bus at the Emirates. The temerity of us to call it like we see it. And now he (of the Didier Drogba brigade) calling out Suarez. The man thinks he’s a genius and I do think he is intelligent but he is not particularly likeable. His comments are mean-spirited, two-faced quips dressed up in a cloak of sophistry, arrogance and sarcasm. I would suggest that the more the playing field levels with ManCity, ManU and Arsenal (and who knows whether Liverpool or Tottenham will get their financial act together), the more we will hear the bleating from that poor lamb at Stamford Bridge.

  • Pat

    @GoingGoingGooner
    Yes, Mourinho is getting very irritating. He is also trying to curry favour by opposing whingeing and diving because he believes he will get support from the British press and public by doing do. I think it is a bit obvious though and a sign of weakness on his part rather than strength.

  • Nelson Wong

    Mourinho is very good at choosing the right tactic (sometimes ugly, ungentleman, cowardly whatever. You name it he does it.)

    He is also a leader that he managers a bunch of big egos with his even bigger ego, I suppose.

    He has a load of money to spend but many managers had the money to spend but fail to deliver. Mourinho at least deliver results.

    He is the best manager for getting things done but he isn’t a legend in the sense of bringing something into football.

    As for his big mouth, I think a Mourinho that shuts up isn’t a Mourinho so just ignore him; the thing is however, back then, I had some fun listening to things he said. Now his ability to create entertainment seems to go down. He keeps repeating his old nosense.

  • Florian

    Putting it another way:

    Getting 40 points out of 19 games means the following match line-ups:

    P W D L
    19 13 1 5
    19 12 4 3
    19 11 7 1

    So, 1 draw and 5 defeats (shocking!), or 4 draws and 3 defeats, or 7 draws and 1 defeat (unlikely). Let’s say the crunch times Edda pointed out leave us with a draw at home with manu, a defeat away at chelski, plus 2 draws and 1 defeat out of totts/pool/everton away. We receive Newcastle at home, so that counts as a win:) What we’re left with is one odd defeat and 1 draw to spare. Not straighforward but manageable one would say, even with the Champs League QFs in between (admitting we knock Bayern out) and the men in the middle.

  • Florian

    It’s also worth mentioning that even if our biggest adversaries don’t have back-to-back matches at the direct title contenders, they still have their worries:
    ManC: 5 away matches at Newcastle, tottenham, united, pool and Everton.
    Chavski: Home matches with us, United, Newcastle and Everton, away at city and pool. They look a bit better placed than city, though they have to play one more away game than us, and their away record has been far from impressive so far, with 3 draws and 3 defeats out of 9 matches. It’s true that the 3 draws have been with United, totts and us, so they are likely the team to watch out for, more so than the blue side of Manchester.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Only 3 teams can win it; us, the oilers, and the chavs. Somehow, I feel the the oilers will finish above the chavs, based on Mourinho’s very myopic tactics and Pellegrini’s lack of awareness about the importance of defensive priorities, which he will awake to once (next season?) his attackers start stalling. Also, Pellegrini has used Navas well while Mourinho is benching Mata frequently. Pellegrini is trying to win the title while Mourinho is avoiding to be out of contention.

    We should win 8 and tie 2 at home, and win 5, tie 2, and lose 2 away. That is 43 points, and the title, I assume. Still, the oilers may start on an incredible run, so we must beat them when they come to visit us; we will tie at chavs.