By Tony Attwood
I am endlessly fascinated by the way in which the media and their camp followers in the bloggettas adopt twin approaches in order to bolster their constant provision of Fake News – largely to the detriment of Arsenal.
The first is the view that anyone can have an opinion (which is true) and that each opinion is worth something (which it clearly isn’t). As I have argued before, simply looking at a situation and using “the evidence of my own eyes” is by and large fraught with difficulty and leads to opinions which are pointless. I looked up into the sky last night on my way to a dance (fortunately it was not my turn to drive) and saw the moon. The evidence of my eyes suggested that it was a sort of musky yellow colour, it was a flat disc, and was about a quarter of an inch wide. By and large I tend to follow the evidence of astronomers to suggest that overall these observations – the evidence of my own eyes – give little insight into reality.
The second is the view that football is simple, and therefore analyses of football can likewise be simple. Following this view, one can take a few incidents from a single game, and draw valid conclusions.
What is particularly interesting in this second view is that the incidents can be drawn from a single game. So one might see an Arsenal player make a couple of mistakes and from that generalise that he is not good enough to play for the club, anyone can see that, and thus the manager is an idiot for playing him.
What is not taken into account is not only the rest of the work by that player and the potential that the player shows, but also the fact that all teams have players like this, and all supporters of all clubs who take the simplistic view, tend to end up with the same conclusions.
In other words because they only look at their own team, they tend to forget that the same issues are debated in all teams.
To illustrate this I thought I would take the Guardian’s infamous point that success within the club can be measured by the number of players in the club who reach double figures in terms of goal scoring in a single season.
Having multiple goal scorers in a side is a good idea, both because two prolific scorers in a team tend to cause problems for the opposition defence – the notion of putting two defenders on one player goes out the window. Also if one of them gets injured no back up with regular match experience is available.
But a single goal scorer can work, if the player is particularly brilliant and avoids injury. In other words simplistic answers can point towards issues, but they are rarely comprehensive.
So with these prelims in mind I thought I would have a look at how many clubs are heading towards the Guardian’s holy grail of multiple players scoring 10 plus goals this season. Here are the figures I found for league matches.
The numbers come from before today’s matches and reflect the top three scorers in each of the six teams considered by the media to have a chance of winning the league this season.
|Club||Scorer 1||Goals||Scorer 2||Goals||Scorer 3||Goals||Total|
What is clear is that the Manchester clubs have the same sort of reliance on one top scorer as the other four clubs in the table, but don’t have the backup behind that player to keep the goals pouring in the even of his absence. It is a dangerous strategy.
What is interesting is that when you take the three London clubs and add up the goals by their top scorers, they all come to 29. Of course it might be a statistical fluke, but on the other hand…
Of course in the second half of the season things can change. Players can spring to life, injuries can be avoided, but that is gambling on the unexpected happening. Better to have the players in place.
Here is the table of the top scorers in the league up to lunchtime today, as provided by World Football.
|1||Diego Costa||Chelsea FC||14 (0)|
|Alexis Sánchez||Arsenal FC||14 (0)|
|3.||Zlatan Ibrahimović||Manchester United||13 (1)|
|Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||13 (3)|
|5.||Jermain Defoe||Sunderland AFC||12 (5)|
|6.||Kun Agüero||Manchester City||11 (3)|
|Romelu Lukaku||Everton FC||11 (0)|
|8.||Dele Alli||Tottenham Hotspur||10 (0)|
|9.||Eden Hazard||Chelsea FC||9 (2)|
|Sadio Mané||Liverpool FC||9 (0)|
|11.||Michail Antonio||West Ham United||8 (0)|
|Christian Benteke||Crystal Palace||8 (2)|
|Theo Walcott||Arsenal FC||8 (0)|
|14.||Olivier Giroud||Arsenal FC||7 (0)|
|Adam Lallana||Liverpool FC||7 (0)|
|Salomón Rondón||West Bromwich Albion||7 (0)|
|Robert Snodgrass||Hull City||7 (2)|
|18.||Charlie Austin||Southampton FC||6 (2)|
|Leroy Fer||Swansea City||6 (0)|
|Llorente||Swansea City||6 (0)|
|Pedro||Chelsea FC||6 (0)|
|Roberto Firmino||Liverpool FC||6 (0)|
|Heung-min Son||Tottenham Hotspur||6 (0)|
|Callum Wilson||AFC Bournemouth||6 (3)|
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