- Arsenal v Palace: this ref doesn’t see the fouls that others see, which benefits Palace
- How journalists totally misunderstood Arteta’s plans
by Bulldog Drummond
As we all know Palace have sacked our old chum Patrick Vieira as manager. Here are the records for Premier League games of the two managers
|Arsenal / Arteta||169||98||27||44||58.0%|
|Palace / Vieira||65||17||24||24||26.15%|
As we have noted elsewhere Mikel Arteta is now Arsenal’s most successful manager in terms of matches won leaving aside Jo Shaw who was the manager who stepped in for half a season after Herbert Chapman died, and the manager for nine games in 1898/9 who stepped in as a temporary manager, and whose name is sadly lost to history. Although it is possible that there was no manager at this time and the club committee was in control of selecting the team.
Pat Rice who managed the club for four matches before Arsene Wenger arrived had a win rate of 75%, although it is reported that while those matches were on, Arsene Wenger watched on TV and told Pat what to do about positions and subs.
So as we can see Patrick wasn’t doing very well, and our regular home and away table confirms this…
|14||Crystal Palace away||13||2||4||7||9||16||-7||10|
It is interesting that from a defensive point of view the teams are equal – which shows Patrick’s skill in organising and controlling the defence of his side. But what he couldn’t do was find the forwards. Indeed taking home and away matches into account only three clubs have scored have scored fewer than Palace this season, and those three are all only one goal behind Palace’s total of 21. A total which compares with Arsenal’s 62. On that basis Arsenal should win 2-0 or 3-0.
But what sealed Patrick’s fate is the recent form of the club. In the table below we can see the top four and bottom four of the “last six games” table.
|17||West Ham United||6||1||3||2||7||9||-2||6|
Obviously, this is what scared the owners of the club – with form like that while currently sitting just three points off the relegation spot Palace are in real danger of descending to the lower levels if they don’t pick up the form soon. Of the bottom four shown above for the last six games, only Leeds are actually in the relegation zone, which suggests that these clubs are sinking into positions that are being vacated by previously failing clubs.
The last ten games table make even grimmer reading for Crystal Palace, and again emphasises why the board decided that Patrick had to go.
And this has been quite a fall for Palace. On 6 November Palace were 10th in the league, 15 points off the top and nine points off the foot of the table – and with a game in hand over the eigh clubs at the very foot of the table. But then it went very wrong.
Indeed this calendar year the club has played 11 league games, of which not one has been won, six have been lost and five have been drawn. Which is pretty awful of course except that those draws included games with Manchester United, Newcastle United, Brighton and Hove, and Liverpool.
Now by my reckoning all of those teams that Palace drew with are now in the top seven in the league which shows this was not Palace picking up the scraps against other poor teams.
But there is another point, the six defeats have included matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Brighton. Four teams from the upper reaches and one whose fans and the media like to think of as an upper reach team.
So this has not been an easy time for Palace in terms of games. And now they have Arsenal.
- Arsenal has let in one more goal than at this stage last season, and that’s a disaster
- Arsenal continue to make more progress than the rest of the big seven
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t