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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbXNmIvWa1c 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.
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.