By Walter Broeckx
Many seasons we have been told that Arsenal couldn’t win the top matches against the other top 4 teams and thus was never going to win anything. This despite there being a few years when Arsenal did in fact got good results against other teams in the top 4.
But it was seen as evidence that Wenger didn’t know what he was doing and used as a stick to beat him. Did you hear the people who have been unfolding banners use this mini league top 4 table this year? Well I haven’t heard them and with the teams currently in the top 4 I have done this little exercise.
And these are the results I could find for this season with the teams now in the top 4 with one match to go for 3 of those top 4 teams. Now there still is a chance that the order of the teams might change a bit. And there still is the chance that one Manchester team will be replacing the other team but I have taken todays league table to do this article and if it would change then I will be doing it all over again next week.
So here are the results with all the matches played between the teams in the top 4 :
Now we must say that a few of those results have been heavily influenced by what we could call “honest refereeing mistakes” but we also could call it big PGMO incompetence. Like the PGMO guided win of Tottenham at Man City where Clattenburg gifted Tottenham a ludicrous penalty for handball when the ball bounced of the chest of a City player.
We also take note that Arsenal has been the only team that won both their matches against the champions Leicester. We could say that Leicester finally winning the league was down to the other 18 teams not producing the results against them that everyone expected to happen at the start of the season.
But the results are what they are of course and are now set in stone despite the numerous referee errors. And if we then make up the little table of these matches we get this as a final result:
So yes Arsenal has won this mini competition between the other teams in the top 4 (standing as today).
So now it is clear why we don’t hear any talk this season of the top 4 league table. Because it doesn’t suit the agenda some have. Because when they would talk about it they could only come to the conclusion that Arsenal is doing rather well in the top matches this season. And that goes against the general impression people have been told that Wenger doesn’t know what he is doing. And can’t have that impression being wrong can’t we?
In fact Arsenal is the only team that hasn’t been beaten by the other teams currently in the top 4. It shows that in the top matches even when being a man down on the field we had the character to come back when we were behind like we did in the match at Tottenham.
What this also might show is that in the top matches we did much better than in the matches against the other teams further down the league table.
It also shows and that has been my point of view in the past that those matches against the other top teams only count for as much as the other matches. If we had won more of the other matches our season might have ended up differently.
The conclusion is for me still the same. Winning more top matches is good of course but it shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Winning all the matches should be the goal and even more the matches against the so called lesser teams.
Lesser teams that are no longer lesser teams one should say. As this season has shown is that also lesser teams can produce surprising results. If they are able to do this each season remains to be seen of course. Winning the mini league between the top 4 only counts for around 15% of the points that can be won in a season.
So we need to do better in all the matches and not just in the top matches as we did this season. But the same can be said about the referees of course. If they had done their job in a better way we would have had more points than we have today. A lot more points. We had far too many referee assisted dropped points in most of the other matches. Maybe the PGMO wanted to be smart this season and make us drop points in low profile matches?
Anyway, the top 4 mini league table is what it is. Tell me how this would have been possible with a clueless manager and useless players? The biggest task for next season will be to win more of the other matches. And that is what we usually are rather good at but failed to do for whatever reason this season. Bring the good of the top 4 clashes together with the winning of the smaller matches as in the previous seasons and we could be fine for a great season.
A note about comments.
Untold Arsenal is a web site set up by people who support the manager, the players and the club, for people with a similar outlook. Over the 8 years we’ve been in operation we’ve had thousands of comments posted which are from people who don’t share our views, and as long as these comments were not abusive we’ve generally published them and answered them. However despite our patience in answering such points with evidence, we have some people sending in posts reiterating the same old issues while utterly ignoring the evidence based answers we have presented. Reading the same stuff over and over again, without any attempt to carry the debate forwards based on evidence is making the commentary part of the site tedious, so we won’t be publishing any more of these.