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October 2016
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Looking back at 2015 – part 2. Best defence, most points, best goal difference, sack Wenger.

This article continues from the first part of our review of 2015 which you can read here.

By Walter Broeckx

Looking back at 2015 we can’t get around the fact that Arsenal was the best club in England in the calendar year. I know you don’t get a trophy for that. But it should be something that should be appreciated by real supporters.

You can dismiss it with the one liner: you don’t get a trophy for that. But then again just as with winning the FA cup and CS you don’t get the feeling of being proud of your club. You are missing something. There really is nothing wrong with feeling happy.

As Tony and other writers have pointed out Arsenal have the best record of all the teams in the PL in 2015.

We won most matches compared to all the other teams. Conceded the fewest goals compared to all the other teams. Had the best goal difference. Had most points. 9 points more than our closest rivals Manchester City. Before dismissing it with the ‘you don’t get a trophy for that’ you should try to let that sink in. Over 38 matches having 9 points more than any other team… that is a big gap. A very big gap. And in those 38 matches in 2015 we had Southampton away twice!

A 9 point gap is extraordinary in fact. Certainly if you compare us with the teams that have spend soooooo much money in the last years. I know we spend ourselves a bit of money since buying Özil, Alexis and Cech. But it still is peanuts compared with teams like Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool! (I’m getting the hang of it)

All the media and the aaa have been shouting: Wenger should buy! But Wenger went his own way. His stubborn way some might say. And look at the result…. All those teams who did spend the money couldn’t match us in 2015. They couldn’t even come close to us.

Instead of brushing it away one should embrace these stats and use them to raise the belief in this team. Yes apart from 2 big money signings most of the team was assembled on the cheap one could say. Proving that it isn’t about the price tag but more about the quality of the players. It is more about being able to mix the players and make them play together and fight for each other.

When you buy big names the risk might be there that you disrupt the team. One big player each transfer window will add to the team. But if you bring in more than one ego in a transfer market the risk is there that their ego will want to be the big man and you suddenly get players who are not 100% focused on the team but who are 50/50 focused on the team/their own status. And when that happens with a few players you end up with… no team. You end up with individuals who play for themselves.

In that way Wenger buying Özil, Alexis and Cech have been top buys. Özil loves to be loved but not for his goal scoring or so. No he wants to be loved for making the team work.

Talking about Özil I still feel we should be able to sing a real song for him. I have from the first moment said that we should sing his name and the song I wanted to hear was this  You just put his name where they sing Brazil and you get a song as recognisable as the great Santi or Giroud song.

Maybe we should start another campaign at Untold to have this as his song. I really think that Özil will be charmed by it and will love it a lot.

Anyway sorry about the interruption. Back to 2015.

In the numbers we also have seen that Arsenal had the best defence in 2015. We only let in 31 league goals. The lowest of all the teams. And 6 of them came in the away matches against Southampton. All in the Christmas period by the way. As if we wanted to give them a present.

31 goals that is less than one goal per match. Take out the Southampton goals and you get almost one goal every two matches against us.

All the talk about our defenders being not good enough is pure rubbish. The numbers prove they are the best defence. Better than the numbers of the specialist in bus parking. Better than any other team. And yet our defenders are being called useless. Too slow. Cannot turn around.

And on top of that…our manager can’t defend. Now if we just keep those two one liners in mind and analyse them. Our defenders are bad. Wenger can’t defend.

And yet we have the lowest numbers of goals conceded. With a crap manager. And crap defenders. There surely is something missing in the simplicity of the one liners. In fact they are plain wrong.

Therefore 2015 was great. To prove many people wrong with their old mantras. Things have changed but they were too busy moaning and blaming each and every dropped point that they couldn’t see the big picture. I feel sorry for them.

But it is that they don’t want to enjoy things. And so to rule out any feeling of joy they are constantly moving the goalposts during the match. First they said that they just wanted any trophy. When we came close to the League Cup that suddenly became a non-trophy….till we lost the final. Then suddenly we lost a big trophy and Wenger should be thrown out.

The same for the FA cup. When we got to the first final again in 2014 it suddenly turned out a rubbish trophy. Peanuts. When we went 2-0 behind after 15 minutes in 2014 it suddenly at that moment was the biggest trophy of them all, only to be reduced to a non-event some 95 minutes later when we won it in the end. Then it was: oh it’s only the FA cup.

But don’t dare to call them trophy hunters in the barren years. No, they denied being trophy hunters. They just wanted to compete. But from the moment we compete… the only thing that matters for them is… the final trophy.

I already see the first signs of moving the goal posts again. In their worst nightmare they see us lifting the PL trophy at the end of the season. And so the PL gradually is being downgraded in the trophy list. I see a shift and some start to come out saying that only winning the PL is not good enough. No, it has to be winning the PL and the Champions league. If you don’t win the two together you still are rubbish.

Shifting the goalposts…. Amazing. Just try to enjoy it. We are competing. At the very top of the league even. So shut the fuck up for the moment as we are doing what you said was the only thing you wanted. Will we win it in May? I hope so. But it will not be a walk in the park. Unless we have someone who will assist us on our walk?

That will bring me to the last part of why 2015 was such a great year – which comes up next.


Football’s winners and losers in 2015 – the Untold List

From the History Society…    The 13th instalment of Arsenal in the 70s is now published…  July to Dec74. Flirting with relegation

And two more anniversaries

  • 31 December 1980: Death of Leslie Jones – the man fundamental to the league win of 1938.   He was released on a free transfer in 1946, and went to Swansea as a player coach singing on 22 May 1946 before shortly after moving on to be player manager at Barry Town.  He then played for Brighton and later managed Scunthorpe.
  • 31 December 1984: David Rocastle and Michael Thomas signed as professionals.  Rocastle made his debut in September 1985, Thomas in February 1987.

28 comments to Looking back at 2015 – part 2. Best defence, most points, best goal difference, sack Wenger.

  • Jambug


    “All we want is to be competitive”

    Yeah right.

    The goalposts are now by the corner flag they’ve been moved so far !!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Indeed Jambug… how many times we have read that sentence: “oh, I only want us to compete” but now one dropped point is enough to drive them in to collective madness and histery…
    If we win the PL this season the goalposts will be moved up to Holloway Road and Blackstock Road 🙂

  • Goonermikey

    I note that the media are still waxing lyrically about how wonderful Leicester City are. And yes they have done well, I salute what they have achieved. But I’m getting slightly fed up with they way the media seem to think they have swept the rest of the league away.

    So, contrary to usual media practice, I’d like to look at one or two facts. For instance, of the other clubs in the top six they haven’t played one of them away from home. At home, they have managed just three points out of a possible 15. And what about the rest of the league, well they have beaten no club outside the bottom four by more than one goal.

    Now as Arsenal, we’re always told that we don’t do very well against the top clubs and that’s why we don’t win anything (remember FA Cups no longer count). So how many teams have Leicester beaten in the top half of the table? Answer: just West Ham, Palace and Watford. No disrespect to any of the three but not exactly top scalps really. And in total, Leicester managed just 12 shots on target in those three games. Coincidentally that’s the same number that we managed in one game……away at Leicester.

    Not exactly the unbeatable team everyone is implying! Just saying………

  • Jerry

    Excellent write up Walter! Reading it, I felt your anger towards the goal post movers and glad that it came out!

    The other way that they seem to move the goal posts/discredit the team is saying that the Premier League is unstable or all the teams are mediocre so that’s why Arsenal can win it this year.

    Yet they never take into account the average points total of the 2nd place teams were only 82.6 points in the last 10 years (79 last year).

    No one ever mentions league mediocrity when United won with only 80 points in 2010/11 with 2nd place only getting 71 points or when United won in 2012/13 with 89 points but 2nd place only getting 78 points!

    The goal post movers need to move on! Mourinho misses his groupies!

  • Jambug

    Well if they do end up somewhere down the Holloway road Walter I’m sure Ozil will still be able to find them. 🙂

  • Jambug


    And I’m not entirely convinced of this ‘It’ll be great for football if Leicester win the Premiership’ notion.

    Okay it will be a great ‘achievement’ if they win it, and of course people like the underdog. But great for the game? As I say not sure why.

    Surely a Club winning it who are living within there means, whilst battling 3 financial juggernauts, as well as the diabolical machinations of the corruptible PGMOL and there equally corruptible and utterly contemptible allies in the media, would be even better ‘for the game’.

    Or maybe that’s just me 😉

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Cheers Walter for the review of the year and thanks to you and Tony for all your hard work and everyone who wrote articles this year, and to all the Untolders,and Arsenal FC heres 2016 and may it be our year.
    Guten Rutsch!

  • Chris


    there is one way to look at the calendar year and I believe Tony would approve :

    Definitely and by nine points (aka 3 victories more and 3 defeats less or any other combination), Arsenal are the team in England offering the best win/match watched ration in the PL. This means that our supporters (except for the aaa naturally) are more happy after more games, be it away or home.

    Further, with so few goals let in, Arsenal offers the safest and least frustrating viewing possibility, thus being healthier to watch than competing teams

    But in the end, knowing that the probability of enjoying a game I watch on TV is greater (I am not even talking of the quality) is another great great plus.

    Arsenal 2015 : a HAPPY YEAR

    Arsenal 2016 : bring it on !

    Happy New Year to all at Untold and all readers

  • Rich

    Walter, thought you might enjoy a little reference to Wenger that came up in the book I’m reading (Das Reboot; about Germany’s revival and world cup win).

    There’s a bit in there with the inventor of the Footbanaut (that machine used by Dortmund and now Hoffenheim). The inventor had been obsessed with a few questions about football. Anyway, he either took some direct inspiration from- the way it’s written suggests that – or clarified his thoughts afterwards with, something Wenger said :

    [‘They asked him “what makes a good footballer”, recalls Guttler. ‘His reply was “a good footballer is someone who can offer the perfect solution in an unpredictable situation’

    Now you had it : you had to design a machine that could ‘recreate randomness’, evaluate how well a player dealt with unforeseeable challenges and make him better, quicker as a result.]

    Interestingly, Goetze and Reus were said to be the two players who loved the machine most at Dortmund and who used it extensively.

    Goetze’s goal in the final used exactly the type of technique the footbanaut aims at improving- difficult ball, control quickly, turn and hit small target- so there you have it , old Wenger helped them win the world cup.

  • Tom


    The only facts you need to look at when talking about Leicester City are ; what is their wage bill ( about £20 M) , and where they were a year ago( last position). You can also throw in the fact that most people picked them to get relegated this season.

    If that’s not enough to get one excited about their story , then perhaps you are watching the wrong sporting discipline.

    If they need to ” sweep all before them ” to warrant the accolades they are receiving, then perhaps your standards are a bit , shall we say …, high?

  • Rich

    By the way, anyone watching with interest to see how things pan out with Klopp and english managers and refereeing, there was an interesting snippet on the commentary of yesterday’s game.

    Apropos of something I can’t remember, the commentators started chuckling warmly about something a sunderland insider, who they admitted was Kevin Ball, had said to them prior to the game. He suggested a bit of ‘caveman football’ might be what they need on the day.

    I was pretty sure at the time, and checked to confirm it, and, yep, Kevin Ball was the caretaker manager in an undistinguished spell in charge of Sunderland in 2006. He’s the guy who decided it was a good idea to give Smith his debut late against Arsenal, and that cave man remark gives us a little insight into why he thought that was right and what he told the player beforehand. Also tells us that these characters do not learn or change.

    Not a cheery new year thought but it seems clear someone is going to sustain a bad injury as a result of a reckless challenge soon in the prem; you just have to keep everything crossed it’s not one of ours again. The cavemen are being protected better than ever this year.

  • Tom

    Leicester City wage bill for 2014-15 season £36M, but my point still stands.

  • Pete

    Walter – you omit the important fact that, as well as buying astutely and bringing young players through, Wenger is also sensationally good at developing players – of all ages and abilities. Koscielny being a prime example – but many, many others. To me that is his best quality of all.

  • Jambug

    Leicester City Net transfer spend last 5 years: £10 Million per season

    Arsenal net transfer spend last 10 years: £7 Million per season.

    Little Leicester are by all accounts performing miracles.

    On the other hand Arsenal have been, and are still a failure in many peoples eyes.

    Look, I know you can play games a little with these figures and of course our status and wage bill is in a different league to Leicester’s, but I do think it goes to show just how small a budget Wenger has been working on, and when you take into account that before Ozil arrived the Net spend was under £5 Million per season.

  • Notoverthehill

    My sincere apologies for pooping the transfer game, Tony!

    Facts are facts, and a wage bill of £36.3 millions, with a turnover of £31.5 millions, is an instant of speculating to accumulate.

    In Leicester City FC case, there should be a dramatic improvement.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes, it seems this year, should we win the league, they will devalue it, in stark contrast of course should the team they are now bugging up as a title threat…..Tottenham win it. What is it with the media and the Spuds?

    As for Wenger, think this article below ultimately says a lot about him..and Boro Primorac….note Mr Tapie has reared his ugly head againéne-wenger-can-teach-us-all-a-lesson-in-decency-1.2480404

  • Jambug

    Mandy Dodd

    Thank you for the link.

    The following from that link seems to back up the observation I made at 2:56 PM, that Arsenal, as opposed to Leicester City, is surely the ‘victory for football’ most right minded football fans should be hoping for.

    Alas it will NOT be the case despite the following enlightened viewpoint:

    From the Irish Times.

    “Against a background of major clubs paying non-triers up to a million a month, endless hoopla and hype around the aptly-titled transfer market, phoney melodrama on the managerial merry-go-round, venerable clubs used as money-laundering operations by oligarchs bearing stolen billions, and much else along the same depressing lines, Wenger and Primorac stand out as beacons of integrity, indomitable true believers in the spirit of the game. They have that very, very rare thing in top-flight football – ordinary decency. They are among the handful who allow the rest of us to keep the faith.

    All true lovers of football want this to be Arsenal’s year.”

    If only !!

  • Rich

    Mandy Dodd

    Excellent link.

    Enjoyed that, but then made the fatal error of reading the comments, which immediately cancelled the good feeling.

    ‘Arsene Wenger is a dictator, a master of spin, a recidivist’. Uncanny how often the bad guys and their supporters accuse decent people of the sins which are actually their own.

  • Jambug


    Sounds like I did well in not reading those comments.

    I would just like to say, keep up the good work.

    I really enjoy your comments, especially, as like me you have the wonderful trait of using 3 words where one would do. 🙂

    But brilliant all the same.

    A Happy New Year to you my friend.

    The same to you Mandy. Excellent posts.

  • Tom


    Then don’t play with the numbers to suit your agenda and just present them honestly.

    Why give Leicester average net spend over last five years and Arsensl’s over ten? Makes no sense.

    For the record, I don’t think Leicester will finish in the top four, and if Arsenal win the title , Arsena Wenger will deserve all the credit that goes with winning it. No bullshit excuses like ” weak league” or ” decline of other top teams” some are already lining up, but Im not gonna deny Leicrster their due because of some bullshit agenda either.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thank you Jambug and Rich.
    Wouldn’t pay too much attention to the comments, just a space for the trolls , haters and the ignorant.
    Interesting to note Primorac was hounded out of French football ……I just wonder if all that follows both our coaches around to this day, they stand for integrity, refuse to indulge in certain systems and practices, not only that, they have fought against corruption, and make no mistake, UEFA wanted that Marselle business kept quiet.

  • Jambug


    Only to make the point on the amount.

    Happy New Year.

  • Jambug



    You could take a few 5 year periods of Wenger having a net spend of around 3 to 5 Million net spend per season between 03/04 and 12/13.

    Just making a point of how others low spend is seen as relevant and Wengers generally isn’t, that’s all.

    And for the record I’m certainly not trying to belittle what Leicester are doing, quite the contrary. I think it is amazing.

    I love there manager and enjoy the way they are playing. If they win it it WILL be a remarkable achievement, but unlike many I also think if Arsenal win it that too will be a remarkable achievement.

    What I did question though was, why does it have to be seen as ‘good for football’. Just my opinion.

    Not looking for a fight on today of all days and as I say Tom, happy New Year.

  • Tom

    Happy New Year to you as well and all Untolders

  • Mandy Dodd

    Second that, happy New Year Untolders, Arsenal fans everywhere and all at the club

  • Rich

    Happy new year folks.


    Cheers, same to you, and I don’t know what you mean about three words for one… Look how short this comment is!

    Ah, go on then. A link concerning our old friend, Sam Allardyce.

    One thing I’ll say for him is that at least he wasn’t one of the cowards who smashes some but makes sure to avoid tougher characters. That’s the only positive though.

    People who’d absolutely hate to have their own limbs broken (i.e everyone) but are relaxed about doing it to others will always amaze me.

    Anyway, will be ten years, if I’m lucky, before I can get back to how I watched the team before Ball, Mcleish, Pulis’s scumbag henchmen did their damage, but for anyone who thinks my obsession with them is a bit much ; (a) you may have a point; (b) trust me I do still get a hell of a lot of enjoyment from the good side of football/ our team.

    Come on Arsenal! 2016!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think that most of us didn’t blink , nor panic when AW made changes in the defence in the last game . I was in fact expecting Bellerin to start on the bench. In earlier times there would be many butterflies fluttering around the room !

  • NW

    The defence is actually solid since Per arrived and especially when he developed his stable partnership with Koz.

    They have are usually very good. Once a while there’s a mistake ( together with one of the wings or mid field) and the opponent scores. Since those mistakes are more or less dramatic, it led up to remind those and the defence felt worse than they are.