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Which team had the toughest start to the season?

By Walter Broeckx

If you look at the number of points and the position in the league table I can understand that some people are not completely happy. But as in most things in life it is about perspective. And not just about the now moment. The season still has a long way to go.

This is the season after a world cup and so it usually is a bit of a tough start for some teams. The more international players you have that went to the world cup the more problematic the preparation for the season can be. As we had a few winners in our team of that world cup it is very understandable that they don’t fire at all cylinders from the start. So you can say that this does apply to us a bit more than to some other teams.

And then there is the luck of the draw as one would call it in cup competitions but that plays a part in the league also. I have known clubs who after the first 5 matches were well on top and started dreaming of the title and then to save themselves from relegation on the last day of the league on goal difference. They didn’t know after five matches that they played the five weakest teams in the league and from then on when they played the more difficult teams it went downhill. Fast.

So who have the top teams played so far? And with top teams I refer to last seasons top 7. As usual Untold shows it as it is.

 

FIRST 7 MATCHES

So when we look at this table we see that Arsenal was the team with the most difficult opening matches of this group of teams. We played against four teams from the top seven from last years. And if you remember this wasn’t our strongest run. We were excellent against the smaller teams but not that much against the other competitors at the top.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City played 3 of the other top 7 teams from last year. Tottenham played against 2 of the top 7 teams from the season just gone.
And then we come to Manchester United. They only played against one of the top teams so far this season.

So when it comes to this we can say that Arsenal surely had the toughest opening run of matches.

The situation is eve more against us when we look at the teams that came up. Opinions are divided on playing those teams early in the season. Some say that they are still full of fire and thus difficult to beat. Sometimes they are still adjusting to the pace of the PL and are easy to beat. The truth will be somewhere in the middle. But those teams usually are hanging around the bottom of the league at the end of the season so are teams you should take most points off.

Arsenal had to play one team away from home and that was Leicester. At a time we were still very rusty. I think this was maybe our most disappointing result of the season so far for me.

Chelsea had to play two of those teams. Tottenham have played one of those teams. Liverpool and Manchester City are yet to play one of those teams that came up.

And Manchester United have played all three of them. And couldn’t get much out of those games.

I think when you look at this table it looks that Manchester United had the easiest opening matches of them all. And Arsenal the most difficult opening matches.

We should have turned a few of those draws in to wins to be completely satisfied. Maybe with some better officiating in the Everton and Tottenham matches we would have won them and giving us 4 extra points.

After the international break we come in a part of the season where we should start picking up points. We now have a run of 9 matches if I counted correctly till we go to Liverpool. In that run we do play Manchester United at home and have to go to our bogey team Stoke. If we can win 7 out of those 9 matches we will be very close to the rest on the top of the league.

Now is not the time to be on top as we learned last season. Now is the time to keep the gap to a minimum. Chelsea looks strong for the moment. But we have seen other teams starting like a Formula 1 car only to fall without fuel in the last 10 matches.

So this is what we got to do after the break: pick up the maximum points possible and then we will be in touch when we enter the last 10 matches.

In a way I feel our rusty start and our inconsistent form might somehow be a bit helpful for the latter stages of the league. We know that for the second part of the season we will have Giroud and Debuchy back, Walcott will now start again and will need a few weeks to become really on fire. So at the end of the calendar year we should be completely under steam to get really going. Until then we just got to pick up the points against the teams you really need to win from.

Why does Untold support Mr Wenger?

The home page has the usual list of today’s anniversaries.

35 comments to Which team had the toughest start to the season?

  • bjtgooner

    I am not surprised the “draw” gave us a tough start. I suspect the powers the mismanage the EPL were not pleased with our fine start last season and tried to arrange fixtures to prevent a repeat.

    A tough fixture sequence combined with biased refs and our players being kicked repeatedly is always difficult to overcome.

  • Mike T

    Not quite sure , other than being convenient to the argument to choose the top 7 as opposed to the top 6 or top 5 or top 8 irrespective Everton have for some reason or another have been missed off the list.

  • sektion8ty

    Absolutely true, I agree with this article 100%
    I personally made same analysis two days ago…

    In addition to the authors write; we lost to Villa on the home fixture last season…but this season we beat ’em thoroughly, thats a plus.

    To me we have done well so far compared to last season….

    the only disappointing result to me was that of liesc….. and spurs.

    CheerUpGonners
    #COYG……we have an easy run after the international break, we’ll be having reinforcement in January cot-cee of GiRoud, Debuchy and prob’bly new signings…..

  • Mick

    @Mike T
    If you exclude Everton the basic premise still stands. You are more likely to drop points against better teams. Simple really.

  • AB

    Are you sure your not a Politican in your spare time ?

  • Mike T

    @ Mick

    Over a full season that’s so but at the start of the season and a seasons end is when newly promoted clubs gain the most of their points and its preferable to play them between games 7 and 30.Just as you are more likely to get a better result when playing a top team at home
    So following your point in relation to the top teams lets look at last seasons top 5 Everton have played 3, Arsenal & Chelsea 3 ( 2 away 1 at home) Man City 3 (2 at home 1 away)& Liverpool 2 (1 away one at home).

  • Tom

    Mike T
    Good to see you back to making good sense, unlike your post after Chelsea/Arsenal game 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    yes, sorry Everton disappeared from the list for an unknown reason…

    They played 4 top teams also.

  • omgarsenal

    Interesting perspective Walter but the reality also includes key injuries at key times AND weak officiating in key games, as well as the team spirit, will to win and as Wilshere said, the hunger and drive essential for champions.
    After the Chelsea game, it was apparent that we were just a small step behind them but that we are getting close to Wenger’s goal for this season. IMHO we are on par with City and ahead of Liverpool in terms of the above factors. We will see where we stand with United and Everton, as well as Southampton sooner than later. We lack that final ruthlessness and finishing which will take us past the best and toughest competitors and see us to the top. When Walcott,Ramsey,Giroud and Debuchy return, then we’ll have enough strength on the bench and on the field to play up to our potential, which we haven’t done so far.

  • Mike T

    @Tom

    Yep that was a difficult time to say anything that wouldn’t have opened up a can of worms.

    I had a long discussion today with my cousin who is a avid Arsenal fan and his thoughts would blow your mind if they were to be posted on here. I am far happier posting when I don’t have to talk about our games against you .

    Irrespective of who you play in the league you get the same points and love the PL or hate it the challenges of playing Swansea in say April aren’t the same as playing Swansea in January or even August.

    We are what 7 games into the season and you win nothing for being top at this stage just as Arsenal didn’t get any league medals for being top for so many days in the 2013/14 season.

    I don’t look at the next 6 or 7 games and say we will win however many games for football has this habit of biting you on the bum.

  • soglorious

    breaking news: Ozil sidelined for three months cause of a knee injury. Bloody idiotic referees allowing all the kicking. Wenger was actually right about players re world cup participation

  • El Gringo

    @soglorious–it’s not a coincidence that it’s his left knee, which is the same leg that Mason kicked in the Tottenham match.

    But don’t worry, that sort of play isn’t cheating, if you ask the MOTD team. It’s just “cute.” It’s just so cute when players deliberately injure their fellow players. How adorable (sarcasm alert).

    Of course, now we’ll hear endlessly how much Arsenal are missing Ozil’s genius midfield play all because Wenger overplayed him…

  • Gord

    Mike, I would assume that the list is Top-6, except that we always have to include Tottenham. Which happens to make it 7. Some years Tottenham is Top-6, some they aren’t.

  • Gord

    I don’t see anything at Arsenal.com on an injury to Ozil, but that is hardly surprising.

    There is an article on weekly results where Arsenal teams from U9 to U16 participated, and loans (Benik Afobe scores again, now at 11),

  • apo Armani

    bjtgooner
    October 8, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    took the words right out of my fingers so to speak!

  • vincelorne

    One defence of Wenger we often hear is how good he is at finding cheap talent and how he kept us in the top four on a zero net spend. At the end of the 2012/2013 season, we finished two points behind Chelski and five behind City. Since then, Wenger has spent £120m on players, including £43m on Ozil and yet we’re falling further behind them. Obviously some players have left and have needed to be replaced, but the 2013 team did not need another seven first team players to be challenging. A top striker and a top DM would have made the world of difference to last season’s campaign, but I won’t need to remind you of the time he wasted trying to land Suarez and while I’m not quite as anti-Arteta as some of my fellow Gooners, I’m sure he could have done better than him and Flamini. Trust me, Kroenke didn’t wake Wenger up on 1st June and say “guess what Arsene, you can have some money now”. I don’t believe that money was as tight as our manager made out, but even giving him the benefit of the doubt, he would have known about all the extra money coming in for months, at the very least. He had all the time he needed to identify targets and then go all out to get them and any he missed out on, he’s had two more windows since. Moanio has had the same amount of time since returning to the PL and while you can argue that he had a stronger base to start from, you can’t argue that he hasn’t bought the exact players he needed, spending less in the process. If Wenger had just taken over as manager, then it’d be a different story, but he has had years to think about which players he needed and we don’t need seven of them. What we need is a new manager, who can get the best out of what is already a good squad, then identify the weaknesses and address them.

  • bjtgooner

    @apo Armani

    Thanks for that comment. I have also noted a lot of your comments recently – they are excellent, keep up the good work!

  • apo Armani

    @vincelorne
    October 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    If for arguments sake your wish was fulfilled and all that you suggest in your post was there in front of you at the kick off of PL this season…would that make referees/continuous kicking/injuring of our playersAND FA cheating any different??

    Or would the DM and a Star striker solve those issues too?

  • apo Armani

    @bjtgooner

    Thanks for the thumbs up!

  • esxste

    “One defence of Wenger we often hear is how good he is at finding cheap talent and how he kept us in the top four on a zero net spend”

    No. He’s credited, rightfully for keeping Arsenal in the top 4 despite needing to manage money carefully.

    “At the end of the 2012/2013 season, we finished two points behind Chelski and five behind City. Since then, Wenger has spent £120m on players, including £43m on Ozil and yet we’re falling further behind them”

    But won the FA cup last season.

    “Obviously some players have left and have needed to be replaced, but the 2013 team did not need another seven first team players to be challenging”

    I really don’t understand where your coming from here. Which seven players?

    “A top striker and a top DM would have made the world of difference to last season’s campaign, but I won’t need to remind you of the time he wasted trying to land Suarez and while I’m not quite as anti-Arteta as some of my fellow Gooners, I’m sure he could have done better than him and Flamini”

    A top quality striker would have made the world of difference, but Arsenal were wasting their time trying to activate the transfer clause in a top quality strikers contract. I don’t follow your logic. There are probably better DM’s than Arteta and Flamini… but it depends on whether they want to play for Arsenal, whether they’re available for transfer and whether they’re the player Wenger wants in his team – skills and personality.

    “Trust me, Kroenke didn’t wake Wenger up on 1st June and say “guess what Arsene, you can have some money now”. I don’t believe that money was as tight as our manager made out, but even giving him the benefit of the doubt, he would have known about all the extra money coming in for months, at the very least”

    First you complain that Wenger has spent to much money. Now you’re arguing that he should have spent more money. Which is it?

    “He had all the time he needed to identify targets and then go all out to get them and any he missed out on, he’s had two more windows since. Moanio has had the same amount of time since returning to the PL and while you can argue that he had a stronger base to start from, you can’t argue that he hasn’t bought the exact players he needed, spending less in the process”

    And since the ‘special one’s’ return, Wenger has won an FA Cup and Chelsea have won a third place. What’s your point?

    “What we need is a new manager, who can get the best out of what is already a good squad, then identify the weaknesses and address them.”

    I think you should go support Watford.

  • nicky

    If one accepts that we have had a tough start to the season, fixture-wise, it has clearly been overlooked by the doom and gloom merchants on this and other sites….who, after 7 games, are already requesting Wenger’s head, as well as signing Tom, Dick and Harry in the January sales.
    They never change.

  • AL

    El Gringo
    Spot on, its exactly the same knee that tramp from spuds kicked. What chances we will hear Sanchez out for this number of weeks. This is unacceptable. And you hear some planks blaming Wenger.

  • Tasos

    Vincelorne apparantly supports Man Utd.

    You’d think he’d have enough problems of his own to worry about.

  • Tasos

    Our start to the season has proved difficult.

    Man City in the somehow forgotten Community Shield was a game Arsenal had to prove there credentials, show that they can mix it and this they did against admittedly below par opponents. Not our problem.

    After this Crystal Palace, minus Tony Pullis in person but tactically in spirit, gave us a proper physical examination. I believe Palace are the most physically demanding team to play the League at present. It was only late in the game that they faded and Ramsey was able to find the space to score the winner.

    Next up and top priority was Champions League qualification. Besiktas provided stern opposition and took Arsenal all the way. Both matches became nervous energy sapping encounters. Both matches ended with us down to 10 men which would leave it’s mark on the team in the following Premier League games, at Everton and Leicester.

    Once you include the NLD, Man City and Chelsea into our hectic early season schedule then add the injuries and our points tally and position becomes a bit more understandable.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    meh…I often think it is worse to play a newly promoted team in the first month. They will not have had the disruption to their summer because of the unlikelihood of having internationals on their team and so their ‘team’ work will be better than a top sides’. Often newly promoted sides stage upsets in this period. Later on, especially at Christmas, they crash and burn because of the fixture pile up. But, our schedule has been trying.

  • ClockEndRider

    Vincelornei is a troll. Do not feed.

  • para

    Yes we did have a tough start, but it was the start of Manu that does not surprise me. All that help and they still didn’t manage it, but now they have climbed the table and we can be sure that they(the manipulators) will be going all out for VGaal to win PL or at least get CL next season.

    But they are going to get a shock, Arsenal is growing and gaining more and more experience in dealing with the rough and tough players of the game. (Must say again, did love Alexis v Chelsea GK, that was a beaut, not condoning it(too much), but that was pure revenge and making a statement to Chelsea).

    Of course Arsenal is going to have to be careful, but if you are going to get carded anyway, one might as well make it worth it i say. Send the message that if you play rough we will play tougher, what ever the consequences, and soon the other teams will leave us alone.

  • AB

    Para nice thought play tough and win, we might always play the prettiest football but we will never be the toughest , AW doesn’t buy Gladiators

  • Micheal Ram

    Oh, for f**ks sake, Vince, get a life! Your method of media propaganda is an ancient old method. Untold meant to rid itself of such method and you don’t fool anyone here. Any ‘opinion’ without evidence is not relevant here at all. Do better, d**ba*s!

  • apo Armani

    @Tasos
    October 8, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Exactly Tasos…and lets not forget that all important ingredient KICKING in all our games up to date!

  • apo Armani

    @para
    October 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    True… we get yellows for fun it seems…so we may as well put a few of the opposition in to hospital. We may end up playing with 10 (won’t be the first time), but at least we would have got our ‘card’s’ worth by sending one of their treasures out for a few months (as they do to ours).

    Soon enough the message will get through!

  • apo Armani

    Imagine Citeh without Silva or Toure, Chelz without F word and Hazard, ManUre without Mata, DiMaria,VPerse strings,Liverpoo without Sterling,Staridge, hell even Ballotelli can be targeted if nothing else to have him blow up and get sent off!!

    Not nice to say or something that makes us what we are but by breaking a few legs as they have done to ours…would let us have a say back to their supporting MEDIA (SKY,BBSHIT etc…) that their darling teams NEED TO MAN UP!

  • apo Armani

    Off topic somewhat (but I feel cheating and transparency (or lack of it) go hand in hand…BBShite came up with this headline but omitting many others (INSIDE the English game) who “must go for good of sport”.

    I am sure we can come up with many from within the powers to be (including MEDIA,Refs) that SHOULD GO!!!

    The list of cheats and lacking transparency (to say the least) people in the English game is becoming very very big and its affecting everyone!

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/29512268

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Mike T. come on, blow our minds, I’d love to know your cousin’s thoughts on Arsenal.

    Will it start a chain reaction of vituperative postings?