From time to time I’ve done the odd bit of research to find evidence to show whether AFC are as good or bad as the media circus claim. Clearly this doesn’t always convince some people and to be quite honest I don’t know how Tony, Walter and the more regular contributors put up with the unsubstantiated opinions that come back at them day after day after day.
I read numerous comments which are laughable as they are clearly based only upon a concept driven by a media which seems determined to do all it can to tell stories which cannot be backed up by facts or which are, at best, highly selective in the stats they use. But hey ho, that’s the brave new world in which we live. Who needs experts or facts when writing something ridiculously impossible on the side of a bus is far more influential than stupid old facts…………….
So there we go, I’ve set my stall out and wait for the plethora of contradictory arguments based on sound-bites or some other arbitrary observation made by a bloke in a pub (or on the modern day equivalent – a blog. It’s a strange contemporary phenomena which I will never understand; the idea that because you have the technological know-how to set up a blog, it actually makes you more knowledgeable than actual, experienced, qualified, trained people who have been doing the job for years e.g. a premiership manager.) But I digress………… if only slightly.
My reason for this contribution is the madness that has surrounded the last couple of weeks. According to everyone and his dog, Arsenal and Arsene are in the centre of a massive crisis. I really thought Lineker would wet himself as he wittered on relentlessly about how Sutton could achieve the most embarrassing upset in world football. The impartial employees of BBC were almost falling over themselves to tell us how apocalyptic things were at AFC. Of course at the end of the game all we were left with was the fact that in the last 12 games we had achoeved 8 wins, 1 draw and 3 defeats (two of those being away to two of the best teams in Europe). Obviously that is an absolutely appalling record and AFC should be ashamed of themselves after all no other team could ever have had such an outrageous run of form in the history of football………..
So, having previously done a piece http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/38687 in 2014 which showed how many points each club had gained per £1m of net spend in the transfer market (which showed AW and AFC to be head and shoulders above the rest of the premiership whilst paying for one of the best stadiums in Europe) I decided it was time to check out the facts again to see if we really had become as bad as we are being told. Call me old-fashioned but I find that sort of approach far more informative than believing the fevered bias we hear throughout the media on a daily basis.
Previously I looked at all premiership clubs to see how many points each had achieved for each £1m of net spend and we found Man $ity and Chelsea firmly at the bottom of that league with a meagre 1.2 and 1.4 pts per million on average over a ten year period. Well the interesting news is Chelsea have improved (very slightly) and Man $ity have actually got worse. Sadly, I haven’t had time to research the position of all 20 Premiership clubs so restricted my findings to the so-called ‘top six’.
The bad news is that even without including 14 of the 20 Prem clubs, I can confirm that AFC and AW are no longer top of the pile. What’s worse is that of the ‘top six’, the Spuds have taken pole position. Now that is hugely disappointing but in all fairness (and through gritted teeth) I have to admit that Pochettino does actually look like a half decent manager, so well done him. But how do Arsenal compare? Aare they really the worst club in footballing history as the media and aaa would have us believe? Just for context, let’s firstly look at net spend over the last decade.
|Net Transfer Spend|
So the only surprise there in my view is how so little has been achieved by others who have spent so much more but what did that spending over a ten year period, actually achieve? Well I decided to look at both points per £1m of net spend and (as people seem to judge us on the misconception that we have finished fourth every year since the Napoleonic wars) the average league position.
So points per £1m
|Points per £1m|
|of net spend|
Yep, we’ve got worse. But we are still five times more cost effective than Liverpool!, Man U or Chelsea and 15 times more effective than the biggest spenders. But hey what does that matter? We are perpetually told that we need to be finishing higher than those other teams despite not having anywhere near their spending power. So what was the average finish of the ‘top six?
So there you go we actually averaged closer to third than fourth (but why let the facts stand in the way of a good media story?). I’d love to discount Man U as I believe they were awarded a vast number of benefits by referees under Fergie but that wouldn’t be scientific so I won’t! Aside from that, Chelsea have spent four times what we have and have achieved an average position of 0.1 better than us. And, indeed, the majority of the other five have actually got a worse record than us. So there we are, living proof that AFC under AW is the worst team in the world by far.
And just to show how crap our summer spending has been, we are languishing in fourth place yet again despite the fact that the team who seem welded to sixth spot and didn’t even make the Champions League this year have made a net spend of over £100m in the last close season alone. Just to clarify, that is way in excess of our net spend over the whole decade I’m talking about.
As for Man $ity, they now have the best manager in the world (allegedly) and have managed a net spend this year alone of £165m (that’s 23 times our yearly average over the last decade). But in fairness, what with the manager and the £165m it has to be money well spent…………they’ve accumulated a massive TWO points more than us so far this season.
Finally and for clarity, and before the regular names start slating me, I am not an AKB but I am a firm believer in thinking for myself and looking at facts before I form my opinions.
Is it frustrating being an Arsenal fan? Yes of course.
Could it be worse? Well I grew up on the terraces in the 1960’s, so I know it can. I was there!!
I very much welcome well thought out comments backed by sound evidence…………….but I won’t hold my breath J
Have a nice day.