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Are our fixtures bent against us and Palace enter a time warp for a couple of minutes.

By Tony Attwood

It is always interesting how things go around; a couple of years ago we had a big debate about how Arsenal always did badly in November – the press were full of it at the time.

There is also this year a fair old recognition (for a change) that maybe it is not a foregone conclusion that England will win the world cup.  There is an England vs Belgium preview, odds and betting tips available of course in case you feel moved to test your skill – maybe this time England really will get it together.  Or maybe not.

But back to the future, as they say, and in my normal boring way a year or two back I did a little investigation and found that Arsenal did tend to get more top teams during November than in other months.  Indeed it happened so often that it could not be a result of just chance plucking of balls out of hats – it had to be pre-arranged.

Cue the normal derisive commentary about clutching at straws to explain the fact that Arsenal had not won the league since we beat the Normans in the Anglo-French League of 1066 but were then let down by some foul play in a field just outside Hastings, after which the subject was then dropped and a load of castles built.

So today we have the new fixture list and we open with a home game against Manchester City, which will of course be moved to 11pm on Monday or some such time just to make life easy for those of us who travel, and have to work as well.

After that we have Chelsea away, which may or may not be that difficult depending on whether they manage to sort out their managerial position and maybe do a bit of that which they ain’t yet done: transfer business.  But the fact that their first game is against Huddersfield while ours is against the champions says a little something about how things are arranged.  No favours for the Arsenal.

Two wins would have everyone claiming what a genius the new manager is.  Two defeats and the Emery Out banners would be painted ready for the third game.

But in reality Arsenal’s fixtures are not too daunting.  The third game is at home to West Ham who might be flattering to deceive or continuing their descent into a reduced rent for the stadium as written into the contract to reward bad performances.

September has two away games at Cardiff and Newcastle and then two home games against Everton and Watford.  So effectively after seven games we will have had two against other members of last season’s top six, and five against the remaining clubs.

Across the season 26% of our games are against clubs who ended up in the top six last season.  74% are against the rest.   In the first six games 33% are against top six clubs, so a bit above average but not too awful.

Picking up on these themes that we analysed a few years back Football London (always a bit behind the times but it gets there in the end) has analysed the average position last season of the first six opponents of each team in the opening games.  Wolverhampton and Newcastle come off worst, we are 8th, so almost in the middle.  Palace on the other hand face just one of the top six from last season in their opening seven games.

However their analysis shows that the clubs with the easiest opening runs are

  • Tottenham Hotspur: 10.8
  • Manchester United: 11.0
  • Liverpool: 11.3
  • Leicester City: 11.5
  • Chelsea: 12.7
  • Crystal Palace: 13.5

with the number at the end being the average position from last season of each team being played in the opening of this season.

Much then depends on the response of the scribblers in the newspapers – those Jack the Ripper journalists who will make up anything just to gain a reader – do their crucify Arsenal and its new manager because we ain’t won three out of three, or do they say, “well it was jolly hard for Arsenal, and they have made a reasonable fist of things, what with having a financial base of about 0.001% of Manchester City”?

Probably the former.

Finally, a little giggle on my part.  You’ll know, if you are a regular reader, that Untold makes mistakes.  We don’t have proof readers and there is just a little group of us trying to present stories and ideas that really are different from the rest of the blogsphere.

So it was with mild guffaws that we went onto NewsNow’s Arsenal feed a little while ago, where all the latest Arsenal news is to be located, and found this at the very top of their list of new news items concerning Arsenal today.   They’ve all got live links, but I’ve taken them out (don’t want to give them too much publicity) except the top one.  After all, we did win.

  • Watch Highlights Of The Arsenal Match Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Gallery: Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Team News: Benteke In To Face Arsenal Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19Preview: Crystal Palace v Arsenal Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Matchday Guide: Arsenal Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Where You Can Watch Palace v Arsenal Live Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Inside The Palace v Arsenal Matchday Programme Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Arsenal Away Match Tickets Sold Out Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Chairman’s Comments: Arsenal Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Arsenal Game – Train Travel Update Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Hodgson: We Have A Big Job On Our Hands Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Sako: We Need To Keep Working Hard Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19
  • Ticket Update: Arsenal & Man City Sold Out Crystal Palace FC – Official Site14:19

Not quite news, and not quite now.  We’re not complaining, but it is nice to see someone else cocks up sometimes, not only Untold.  Those tales have gone now and the glitch fixed, but it goes to show.  It’s not just us that gets things amiss.

 

 

12 comments to Are our fixtures bent against us and Palace enter a time warp for a couple of minutes.

  • timo

    Utd Chelsea and Citeh don’t have any two top six teams consecutive. Sounds like an advantage. Arsenal face such a scenario three times,Liverpool twice, Spurs once. Is that fair??? The EPL do hate us.

  • Andy Mack

    Both $iteh and Chavski have a lot of important players at the WC.
    We have some but much less.
    Will all WC players be available and fit for the opening few fixtures?
    A big question which is far too early to know the answer to, but the likelihood is that they won’t be. So it could be good to get 2 ‘big games’ out of the way whilst they’re not at full strength.

  • coyg

    with regards to our lovely neighbours, i was led to believe that you could only use one ground as your home stadium in a season, now I’ve read that they’ll be tarnishing the national stadium again for the first game of the season, before playing the first game at their new cheese compound against liverpool in september. Does anyone here understand what’s happened with this?

  • markyb

    They want a played two lost two Emery out Twitter Storm 5 things we know about Arsenal. Arsenal Fans blah blah blah scenario. Not sure what they will do if we win both, Cunts

  • markyb

    COYG, like most things, there is one rule for everyone else and then there is the Spuds, Levy must be very very well connected, or maybe Joe Lewis is out there in Bermuda.

  • JimB

    markyb

    This whole victim mentality; it’s not fair; everyone’s picking on us; Spurs are teacher’s pet; wah wah….. schtick is both risibly childish and incredibly tedious.

    First, there is no hard and fast rule that insists that a club cannot play home Premier League games in more than one stadium over the course of a season. The rule, such as it is, is designed only to prevent any club from abusing the system by cherry picking games to play at a bigger stadium. Clearly, with Spurs, that is not the case. It is a one off instance for a very specific, entirely valid reason. And that is why the PL clubs have collectively given their consent to Spurs’ request. The same consent would absolutely have been given to Arsenal had they found themselves with a similar requirement.

    Let’s not forget, by the way, that it was Arsenal who set the precedent for using Wembley as their home stadium 20 odd years ago in the Champions League.

  • JimB I would be glad if you could help me verify that point. I have readily found a copy of the EFL rules concerning such matters online, but can’t find the Premier League rules.
    I guess you have found it in order to be definitive as you are above, and I would love to see this. It would be helpful for a whole load of other matters as well.

  • U Know Who

    Tony, Tony, Tony!

    PSG – Yeah as I did say, (gfaw) they are well near sorted, they have high value assets, easy as pi, in fact, I appreciate the tactic, surrounding Mbappe, so much so I do it on FM quite a bit these days, well past tense, but I am returned of my Laptop so.

    It’s a sensible deal, strengthen, add depth, build for the future, weaken the closest rival, ensure you take a prized asset from any other suitor.

    As for FIFA and UEFA, it is clearly becoming apprarnet that they have as much power as the IMF and UN, or are purchasing power from them.

    coyg – well spotted, I was going to say, but I thought I’d keep my hand down for that question, teachers pet and all.

    It is clearly evident that Politicians have intervened and allowed thr FA to make it up as the go along, not for the first time, having afforded Liverpool and I believe Chelsea the same discretion to flout the rules.

    This is consistenrt with what I suggested regarding the Stadium, a look at it and any undertanding of constuction, could tell you it wouldn’t be ready, in fact, it’s unlikely to be ready by matchweek 3.

    It’s cpnsistent with the idea the culture secretary has whispered in SKy’s ear regarding the investigation, she has been fascilitating insider trading on Wembley and covering up FA blunders, including child abuse, racism, sexism, and a lack of infastructure for grass roots, whilst encouraging ethnic clensing within the Sport.

    Sol should have said, is it cos I is black and gay! No ?’s

    In fact the Secretary is not only trying to sell the soul of the game, national stadium, but is prepared to use our money to facilitate a bid for a World Cup to boost the Economy, in a decade, which is about the time when social decay will have taken such root, that the Home Office will have to offer travel advice, regarding the potential for rape, acquisitional crime, inadequate accomodtion warnings, trasport chaos, and potential health warnings much klike those issued for the Brazilian Olympics.

    JimB, pleae put a sock in it, pinch your nose and count backwards from 4,000.

    Timo, is on the ball.

    So the teams with the easiest start are 4 of the top 6, those considered for betting scams at an unprecedented 5000/1, those affiliated to vote rigging despos (not the US guy), 2 Republicans (say no more) and Palace wh are in line for some government assitance, I’ll let you find out about that Palace gem in your own time.

    a margin for month 1 of 7% is quite high. Indeed the impact of the World CUp will be significant on player return dates, and the prize goes to Andy Mack, does he wear a hat? No that was Alex, she was a girl, anyways…. yes they may have gaffed. We can put out almost a total first 11 from people not going anywhere, hehe.

    That suits me fine, as if e are ruthless, we will gain momentum in each fixture, as opposed to the reverse.

    Oh before I forget, Levy is up to his eyeballs in government hand outs, so what’s he giving, is the question….. money trail.

    On that note, here is a suggested watch, I thoroughly enjoyed.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiYr9ST8dXbAhUBV8AKHVSoBkcQwqsBCF4wAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DHvSAfKKswdg&usg=AOvVaw1Z5qD0KVr9Zko2v0OZl6qZ

    incidentally called…. follow the money, hope you can read, it’s Danish. if you like that I sugget The Bridge, Saga is one hot detective.

    And The Metro, would you believe? Shouldn’t it read, Arsenal Fan demands Golivin? They missed Butland in that case.

    Well I got my Spartan, in fact it could well be two shortly. I’m after an Ottoman, I also still want my German based Frenchman, of African decent, well evryone’s of African decent. So much so, that millions of Obruni, will aim t tinge themselves in the coming months hoping to return to that past.

    However, well, in terms of economic viability.

    William Carvalho, is free, I read that one as well Tony. In fact the rescinded their contracts citing a hazardous working environment due to inadequate security, evidenced by the hooded attack, I’m lead to believe, William was in the second tier of players to use this method, following the pioneer.

    Meyer is also free.

    Diallo is valued at less thn Sokratis, a snip if you ask me, for an accomplished CB who has been developing very well at LB.

    Sp wait, let me see, we could get Meyer and Carvalho for free, that is right, right?

    And for around £28m Sokratis and Diallo.

    So i figure that leaves £42m of the original kitty, for Butland, Soyuncu and Golivn, correct?

    So I’d say with the figures banded about, we need around £50m in sales to afford all my targets.

    As for Jack, I think he’ll sign, I think Arsene will have Unai ear, he set this up, all of it.

    Tony, I’m working on funding, I win, we win, simple!

    On catching Powerful Sociopaths/Psychopaths, Malignant class, unlike the typical psychopath, their behavior is masked by a superficial social facade.

    If you have come into conflict with such a person or persons, do the following immediately! Needless to say I tried the first step, knowing it would be unsuccessful, but I have young ladies to protect so…

    Inform the police. The police will do nothing with this information except to keep it on file, since they are powerless to act until a crime has been committed. Unfortunately, that often is usually too late for the victim. Nevertheless, place the information in their hands.

    Do not be vague. Name names, and specify dates and circumstances. Identify witnesses if possible and provide supporting documentation if any is available.

    Local law enforcement agencies are usually under pressure if wealthy or politically powerful individuals are involved, so include state (county or borough) and federal agencies as well and tell the locals and if necessary those with an international remit.

    Tony, what mistakes, you never make mistakes, you have given us so much, we just give quality control, autonomy on what is prouced, minimal censorship. We’ll work on security for you.

    Balckshep, Brick, and the rest of the regulars, Inshallah, drinks are on me.

  • U Know Who

    Copying posts to Word, smart move, finally pracitced.

    Now no notification of screening??

    So Antoine, is supposedly extending at Athletico, this is a big deal, apparently a pay cut wasn’t worth plauing in what would have been an amazing front 4. But with Messi 30 and sharing his birthday with a special lady, and Suarez already 31 and not at the races for Uraguay, maybe he thought the midfield dynamic and emergence of some defenders and a central role were preferable, with the bonus of a larger pay packet.

    Meanwhile repports coming from a source, employed by the media outlet leaking the information, whih would be of benefit to the owners of A Devilish club party and personally affilitated to both owners suggests that Real have stepped up their interest in the Roma GK, with it being claimed an offer has been lodged in the Italian capital.

    However it seems that even were these reports to prove true, that the deal was done and dusted, agreeing the fee, can either be the first or ast tage, in Real’s case, it would likely be the first, so they can determine their potential spend.

    I think it is incredibly interesting that there is a stalemate amongst the Elite over goalkeeping transfers. Inflation is causing the economy to stagnate and forcing bosman moves, or extensions.

    Jan Oblak is prepared to move to United, or elsewhere as long as he has a real prospect of winning trophies and being paid more. Simeone doesn’t fancy it. De Gea wants a pay rise, and would remain at United if he can get substantially more money, presumably motivated by Alexis deal, if not Pogba, having been more integral than either in the last 5 years, consistently.

    Alisson would prefer a step up, but presumably Liverpool aren’t near the top of his list. I doubt the weather motivates the Brazilian any more than the City itself.

    Kepa is a young man I like a lot, but his development is assured at Bilbao, so unless someone big is moving on, it seems ideal to wait at only 23.

    Chelsea want rid of Courtois, and it would seem PSG could become the prefered destination, with language no obstacle to the Belgian.

    Real would like an upgrade to the usually capable and sometimes superb Keylor Navas, but don’t want to pay through the nose, maybe opting to take Alsson would be a cheaper option, with Rodriquez, Casemiro mow able to take duel citizenship. Although they have purchased one S. American already.

    What all of this means, is that Arsenal, are somewhat at a loss, unless they can conclude negotiations with interested parties regarding players, confirm the players willingness to move so as to finalise the deals immedately after the player is ejected from or wins the World Cup.

    The goo news.

    Jenkinson
    Perez
    Mustarfi
    Cech

    will all be available for private jets to any formality, and arguably would probably prefer to conclude these matters and return to a longer holiday perod.

    Welbeck
    Monreal
    Ospina

    will likely not be progressing too far intot he tournament, with Spain, lacking the quality they once had.

    Meanwhile Granit Xhaka has had his contract extended to end any speculation over his future, by penning a new contract which extends his stay until approx 2023

    With it suggested Aaron Ramsey is due to follw suit shortly, which seems likely following the players own recent comments.

    So long term we have:

    Pierre
    Andrei
    Mesut
    Mo
    Granit
    Aaron*
    Mikhi
    Ainsley

    So far so good, but what concerns me is the lack of depth in Midfield, because it seems for once the old addage, Arsenal have too many similar players may be true.

    Niles is Defensive, but capable of gettng forward and going box to box.

    Mo is a great utility player, with a very good passing range and ball retention, often in the 90’s in terms of pass percentages.

    but if you ask me, I woud prefer to have Cpn. Jack, Rambo ahead of the likes of Carvalho, or I’d replace Jack with Mo.

    With something like Xhaka, Niles, Meyer as options, presuabyly hiis is a ery conservative approach to the contract issues faced with several players in recent times, most noteably Alexis Sanchez.

    Although could this signal a change in format? Because given our targets, it could well be that we are going to play the two formations as suggested, being 4-3-1-2 and potentially the 4-2-3-1 an dpotentially 4-1-2-2-1 (wide, the Jose and City Format essentially).

    With Fernandinho 33, it would seem likely that City will push through a Defensive midfleider any time soon.

  • U Know who…
    Throw in the notion of having two separate approaches – one for home one for away and I think the whole thing is starting to look very workable.

  • JimB

    Tony

    I don’t know whether or not Premier League rules can be viewed online. I only know that, on a new WHL thread, a Spurs fan contacted the PL seeking clarification and this is what he posted:

    There is no rule that you have to play all home games at the same stadium. There never was (although Scudamore mistakenly suggested that there is one). What he was actually referring to is a rule that stipulates that PL clubs can only have one designated home ground (to prevent switching of “big” games to larger stadia) but the designated ground can be changed by agreement with the PL if there are good reasons.

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