Arsenal vs Bournemouth: the remarkable survival of a very small club





By Bulldog Drummond

Oh, what jolly jokers these journalists are.  The football world is turning itself upside down (see yesterday’s Media wake up to the illicit relationship FA and Uefa. It’s time to act.) and the Daily Telegraph runs the story today that “The Premier League is gripped by a central striker shortage – and it’s Guardiola’s fault” continuing with “Only seven Premier League clubs possess anyone who has scored more than 10 Premier League goals this season.”

We know at once there is something fishy going on given that Arsenal’s top scorers are Martinelli with 11, Saka with 10 and Odegaard with nine, which suggests simply that scoring duties are being spread out a bit.  So the question arises, is it really the case that goals are in decline?

A quick look at the league table now, and the league table from 30 years ago suggests, errr… the reverse.   Here is the top of the table today organised by goals scored.


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
2 Manchester City 25 17 4 4 64 25 39 55
1 Arsenal 25 19 3 3 56 23 33 60
4 Tottenham Hotspur 25 14 3 8 46 35 11 45
3 Manchester United 24 15 4 5 41 28 13 49


And now here is the table at the same point 27 January 1993


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
2 Aston Villa 25 13 8 4 42 27 15 47
5 Coventry City 26 10 9 7 42 36 6 39
1 Manchester United 25 13 8 4 39 19 20 47
3 Norwich City 25 13 6 6 39 38 1 45


Oh look more goals are being scored now.  What scallywags these journalists are!

There is of course other news around.   “Angry Premier League clubs to demand talks over ownership” is a story that is exciting quite a few people as it becomes clear that Newcastle United, far from being a club independent of the Saudi Arabia, that is not the case after all!!!  [Actually I think we suggested that a while ago].  The opening of the story reads, “Newcastle’s chairman, Yasir al-Rumayyan, was described in a US court document as “a sitting minister of the Saudi government”. It has led to Amnesty International calling for the league to re-examine the assurances given by Newcastle’s owners that the Saudi state would not have control of the club.”

Ah these pesky Saudis.  Whoever would have thought that an utterly undemocratic state run by a family of multi-billionaires might not tell the absolute truth at all times.

The Guardian also runs with, “The Football Association gave official support for Aleksander Ceferin to be re-elected Uefa president and sent a written endorsement just three weeks after Uefa’s catastrophic organisation of the Champions League final in May.”   Well, yes guys, it was to ensure that Uefa didn’t ban the FA from running any more international finals after what one might call the FA’s totally catastrophic organisation of the Euros final at Wembley.

Anyway, moving along this weekend’s game is against Bournemouth at 3pm on Saturday – which is a bit of an odd time to hold a football match.  Can’t see it catching on myself.

Here’s the comparative league table position.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 25 19 3 3 56 23 33 60
19 AFC Bournemouth 24 5 6 13 22 48 -26 21


And now comparing the home and away results… Arsenal having moved up to second in the home league, after the midweek thrashing of one of the minor teams from the north west…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
2 Arsenal home 12 9 2 1 31 14 17 29
16 AFC Bournemouth away 12 2 2 8 10 32 -22 8


That makes the likely score look like a 3-1 to Arsenal, although given the way the last match went one might make that 6-1 but that perhaps would be rather greedy.

But actually, we should give a bit of space to note Bournemouth’s achievements.  40 years ago they entered division 3 having gained promotion from the 4th Division the season before, coming 4th in that league (no playoffs then, the top four went up).  In fact, next season will see the 100th anniversary of the club in the Football League, wherein it spent all its time until 1987 in the third and fourth divisions.

Its rise from those bottom two divisions has been recent and rapid.  The club made the Championship for the first time in 2013/14 and the Premier League in 2015/16, going back down in 2019/20 only to rise once more in 2021/22.  Remarkably they still play at Dean Court, on the land they were leased in 1910, and thus the same ground that they had in their fourth division days, which explains why its capacity is only 11,364.

Not surprisingly in December 2016 the club said it was planning to move because of an argument with its landlord and six months later said it was planning to build a new stadium nearby, but this doesn’t seem to have happened.

So the mere existence of Bournemouth in the Premier League is itself remarkable especially if one looks at the size of the clubs around them.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25 6 6 13 18 35 -17 24
16 West Ham United 24 6 5 13 23 29 -6 23
17 Leeds United 24 5 7 12 29 39 -10 22
18 Everton 25 5 6 14 17 36 -19 21
19 AFC Bournemouth 24 5 6 13 22 48 -26 21
20 Southampton 24 5 3 16 19 41 -22 18


Equal on points and with a game in hand over Everton, who are building a new mega stadium seemingly in the Mersey, and one point behind Leeds United whose average attendance is three times Bournemouth’s.   Not to mention just two points adrift of West Ham with their stadium thus us mugs who pay our taxes in Britain paid for, and West Ham have for free, and whose average attendance is nearly six times that of Bournemouth’s.  It’s a funny ol’ game.

One Reply to “Arsenal vs Bournemouth: the remarkable survival of a very small club”

  1. Regulator, Regulator, wherefore art thou Regulator? Deny thine stakeholders and refuse thy commission; or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my disdain and I’ll be away to the ESL.

    Apologies to William.

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