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Arsenal top of the leagues, but you better are not on top of some

By Walter Broeckx

As you may know we have been making comparisons between last season and this season. So here is the next time we do it and now it is done after 21 matches.

First we start with the league table of last season when all teams had played 21 games.

2012/2013 after 21 matches
Pos Team Points GD

1

MU

52

26

2

MC

45

22

3

Chelsea

41

24

4

Tottenham

39

12

5

Everton

36

9

6

Arsenal

34

16

7

WBA

33

2

8

Liverpool

31

8

Manchester United being 7 points clear at the time and well ahead on goal difference also. The Van Persie-effect one could say. You know like in Arsenal was a one man team when we had Van Persie. According to the pundits of course.

Manchester City desperately trying to hang on but the gap already substantial. The task of Chelsea or Tottenham looked already desperate at that point in time.

And Arsenal? Well Wenger “go out and buy a completely new team,” was the cry from the you know who. Yes the situation was not what we wanted it to be but after losing 4 important players in 2 years we at Untold could see the first signs of a team crawling back from the grave. A grave where the pundits had buried us for a while.

This season the league table after 21 matches looks like this…

2013/14 after 21 matches
Pos Team Points GD

1

Arsenal

48

22

2

MC

47

36

3

Chelsea

46

21

4

Liverpool

42

25

5

Everton

41

15

6

Tottenham

40

1

7

MU

37

11

8

Newcastle

33

2

Hurray, Arsenal still top. Despite the pundits saying we are not good enough to be there. Albeit that some silently are turning their ship a bit and say that well despite us not being good enough we still might be in with a chance. If we would spend the f*cking money in January of course. Otherwise we are doomed. Just as they predicted doom last season.

Now if we look at the differences between those tables I have done the job for you and you can see the difference both in points and in goal difference in the next table…

Difference between two seasons
Pos Team Points GD

1

Arsenal

14

6

2

MC

2

14

3

Chelsea

5

-3

4

Liverpool

11

17

5

Everton

5

6

6

Tottenham

1

-11

7

MU

-15

-15

And then you can clearly see that Arsenal has done an amazing job in the first 21 matches. We won 14 points more than we had last season after 21 matches. That is an amazing number.

I also would like to point at the fact that during the summer we had numerous people coming on Untold saying: we have to catch up some 19 points to even come close to Manchester United. I then said that at the start of the season United had zero points just like us and that last season points total didn’t count in to the new season. I was deluded they said. They just took it for granted that United would get the same amount of points as they did last season.

If we look at United we now see that they have 15 points fewer than last season at this stage of the season. And their goal difference has also gone down by 15 goals compared to last season. I expected that Manchester United would get fewer points than last season but 15 points is far more than even I could have imagined.

And I’m not that surprised with us getting more points than last season. I cannot say that I expected 14 points more but I sure was convinced we would be around the top this season.

One other team has done remarkably better than last season and that team is Liverpool. They have got 11 points more than last season and have a 17 better goal difference compared to last season. Chelsea and Everton have also made a step forward it seems. They both have 5 points more than last season but for Chelsea this is by a minor goal difference than last season. Boring Chelsea and boring Mourinho? Everton has done better wit a 6 better goal difference.

And if we add the numbers from the injury league to this it really is something. Arsenal has been on top or close to the top for almost every week having more injured players out than most other teams. I will give you the number of weeks that players has been ruled out because of injury in the next table. I will just do this for the current top 7 teams. The number you see in front of the teams is the number they have based on the 20 positions you have of course.

Injury League weeks out Average/week

1

Arsenal

172

8,19

3

MU

121

5,76

6

Liverpool

109

5,19

8

Tottenham

103

4,9

11

MC

91

4,33

17

Chelsea

66

3,14

So also in this Arsenal is way in front of the rest. The team in second place if you might wonder is Crystal Palace with 132 missing weeks in total. Arsenal has had to deal with 40 missing man weeks more.

And in fact based on 21 matches this means that Arsenal had to deal with more than 8 players out each week on average. 8 players out on average… yes, this is almost a complete team out each week. And yet still we are in front of the PL after having such horrible luck and lately it doesn’t seem that there is turn in our fortune.

If you look at the numbers for Chelsea it is that we almost have had 3 times as many players out compared to them. And yet we are on top of the PL.

Even I get speechless after reading such numbers. What a remarkable team and manager we have to overcome such adversity and “bad luck”. And then I even don’t mention the refs…and their role in our high injury numbers….Maybe something for another article.

Arsenal anniversaries for 17 January

  • 17 January 1890: Football resumes for the first time since 13 December 1890, with all matches in the interim postponed because of bad weather.
  • 17 January 1891.  Royal Arsenal’s first appearance in FA Cup competition proper v Derby. Many histories suggest that Peter Connolly and Bob Buist were approached by  Derby but they are wrong.  See also here.
  • 17 January 1896: Adam Haywood signed.
  • 17 January 1897 the Weekly Dispatch publishes an interview with George Lawrance: the first ever review of Arsenal’s historic origins.
  • 17 January 1920 – Wally Hardinge makes first appearance for Arsenal’s first team
  • 17 January 1922: Bob John signed from Caerphilly.
  • 17 January 1932: Jackie Henderson born
  • 17 January 1948: The pivotal match of the season: a 1-1 draw with Man U in front of 81,962 – the biggest crowd for an Arsenal league match.
  • 17 January 1968: Arsenal’s first semi-final since 1952 – Arsenal 3 Huddersfield 2 (League cup)
  • 17 January 1993: Bill Seddon died
  • 17 January 1997: Paul Read sold to Wycombe for £35,000
  • 17 January 1998: Coventry 2 Arsenal 2 – David Seaman breaks a finger
  • 17 January 2008: Lassana Diarra sold to Portsmouth for £5.5m

——————————————-

28 comments to Arsenal top of the leagues, but you better are not on top of some

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’d be very happy when we go way down the table in the injuries league !

  • Armin

    Well, frustrating thing is that we are season after season on top of “injury league”.
    It would be good to make comparison between average number of injuries in Premier League and Champions League. It may prove that problem is in refs (if numbers are as I suspect).

  • “first signs of a team crawling back from the grave” – If grave means playing an additional round to qualify for premier european club competition, there are a bunch of teams in PL who will happily put up the RIP sign and do it. 🙂

    we have won 14 more points by scoring only 6 more goals.. … .. what a defence we have, atlast ppl are noticing per/kos axis’s effectiveness, who wouldve thought Germany and france together can be effective.

  • Sid

    Was the Villa player; Agbonlahor’s elbow on Tomas a red card? I notice the always dynamic and proactive FA have swiftly dealt with this and all other issues.

  • John Batty

    And the naysayers keep banging on about the lack of depth in our squad !

  • Arsenal1Again

    Every season I say the same thing and this is something Untold are far better equipped for finding out. As far as I know, no team top of the English Premier League at Christmas has ever gone on to win the title. This is why I was glad we slipped off the top just in time and then went back. I have looked for records showing snap shots of the league table on Christmas day for every season of the Premiership for years now with no success.

    Can Untold please confirm this for me.

  • Sid

    Almost every team top ay Xmas has gone on to win the league in the last 10 years.

  • @Sid the F..kin A…oles or FA have a tendency of looking the other way when things go our way but imagine if it was Sagna elbowing Wellbeck ooh my gash it would be the end of the world.
    But now its normal and nothing happened and what perturbs me most is to see pundits like henry winter and co cowling their tail in between there legs as if nothing happened. Anyway D arsenal come from heaven landed on hell and the devils decide what is good or bad according to their deluded minds.F…. them.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Arsenal1again, mostly the team on top of the PL at Christmass went on to win it. Checking it I found a few times they didn’t. Just checked back till 2007/2008.

  • Walter,

    I love your periodic updates on how we are doing relative to last season and in context of our perennial injury crisis.

    But how can this even be possible? What’s happening? Why is Arsenal making every ‘expert’ pundit and know-it-all fans look so stupid week after week? Why won’t the team just struggle to make 5th as mostly predicted? This is exactly why they hate us. We are always deviating from the script.

    Arsenal was widely predicted to fall out of top4 as Man City acquired their Sheik and became a world power among clubs. But would Arsenal follow the script? No! It was poor beloved Liverpool that made way.

    Then ‘Arry arrived at Tottenham and gave them the English ‘whatever’ it takes to be regular CL club. Again, the ‘experts’ concluded surely, this time, Arsenal are going to finally start playing 2nd fiddle to the Tinies. Would Arsenal just play along? Hell no; led by their stubborn manager, they won’t.

    Then the Tinies spent £100+ millions on acquiring “world class” players while Arsenal dithered. Surely, the ‘experts’ echoed by the “spend brigade”, concluded that FINALLY the Tots were not just making 4th, they were actually going to compete for the league with Arsenal and their penny-pinching tightwad of a manager being kicked down 5th or worse to make way.

    If you are laughing, please don’t. This is a serious matter.

    Again what did Arsenal do? You guessed right! They turned the predictions upside down and make media look stupid. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY THEY HATE US!!! We never follow the script. If anyone makes look as stupid as Arsenal regularly do to the media, I would hate them too.

    I do wonder why they don’t hate the Tots. They make them look as stupid as Arsenal do although in the opposite direction.

  • Yassin

    @Bootoomee,
    Based on your analysis, i would hope next year the pundits conclude we are going to be relagated, while the tiny totts win the league, champions league, and both cups 🙂

  • Armin

    Well sometime in May where ever we end, I can bet, one morning I ll wake and read in newspapers “United slipped” and not “Arsenal was good”.

  • Micheal Ram

    I predict next season arsenal will go bankrupt, have to sell the stadium for a cut price and all the shareholders leave with ivan and arsene sacked. Meanwhile totts will buy messi, benzema and varane all while build a new memorial muzium for david levy

  • Sammy The Snake

    @bootoomee: Good point!

  • The font

    Great news andy rolls has joined our back room staff. His brother. Lou is joining spurs I heard he can be shite at times

  • Arsenal1Again

    Thank you Walter and Sid.

  • Stuart

    Looking at your first two tables Walter it is clear we are doomed as from this point onwards of last season, we climbed two positions in the league table however this year there is no chance. You are clearly providing ammo for the Wenger out brigade.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Mr Wenger and his team are indeed a bit special.
    Agree with you Bootoomee @12.05, think this media hype ultimately makes things worse for the Spuds, as you say they work the 2 North London teams in opposite ways.
    The injury situation does worry me – we suffer far too many. We have debated the reasons, the refs certainly being part of the problem. If I can offer one critisism at Mr Wenger – maybe he should be making more of the blatant elbowing of TR, I can think of plenty of other managers who would have done, as with Dembeles head contact on Jack, and the near miss stamp on Monreal. If the FA are allowed to kick these crimes against Arsenal into the long grass, they certainly will, but if Wenger creates uproar, makes it a lot harder for them. Or maybe he realises the futility of complaining against the system in place, and tries to fight it by other means?

  • Mandy Dodd (@1.53pm),

    It’s your last sentence. Recall this: “we are used to it” after the Newcastle game?

    I think, like myself, Arsene has resigned himself to the team just doing their best and coming out better against the refs. Most of the suggested ideas on how to deal with bias/poor officiating at Untold just won’t work in my opinion unless the media start giving referees hell for bias/incompetence.

    If our defence remains mean and disciplined (as it has) and we keep scoring (as we have), we might just win this thing. I have my doubts like everyone else but I continue to believe in and support the team as they challenge for the title, against all odds.

  • A lot has been said about Arsenal’s inability to beat the top teams and going strictly by results, this is true. However, looking deeper, we have been able to beat the smaller teams because we are so much better than most of them and so poor officiating can be overcome to still get a good or decent result.

    As Liverpool also showed in their back to back visits to the 2 media darling teams and the “super contenders” for the league: Man city and Chelsea, the impact of biased officiating cannot be easily overcome when the 2 teams are about evenly matched.

    We also saw in the Newcastle game that when the “super contenders” are involved, like Arsenal, most of the other teams would get kicked in the nuts.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I had forgotten Wenger had said that after the Newcastle game, a sad state of affairs for the game in this country.
    As for the media, unfortunately a lot of them seem complicit in whatever is going on.
    With all that is against them, if Arsenal win the league this season, or even come close, it will surely rank among Wengers finest achievements?

  • @Bootoomee well said but remember the devils are on the lose and you have to expect the unexpected from them. @Mandy Dodd who is our ref this time around?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Mr Probert I fear Kampala

  • @Mandy Dodd are there no more REfs! Why do we keep getting the same p….s

  • KampalaGun,

    I hope you are right but since the media have dropped Man United as their darling team, the refs have been giving them nothing. A draw for them this weekend will be a major upset. A win is currently unthinkable against “super contenders” like Chelsea. I’m hoping for either though.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Kampala, agree, almost like the days when we would get mike dean five or six times a year. Unfortunately think we all know the same answer to your point on getting the same p….s

    Btw, different avatar, different computer, but same Mandy!

  • Florian

    Mike Dean is suddenly no longer good enough they needed to revert to “plan P”. Disgusting.

  • soglorious

    Boo, your comment re-12:05 is a sincere reflection of my thoughts regards our plight in the hands of the media. You’re spot on
    KampalaGun, don’t be amazed that we are getting the same referee again, its part of the FA’s plan to bring the team down but as you know, we will deal with them arsenally. lol.