By Tony Attwood
If you have a long memory you may remember the time when journalist Amy Lawrence went on the attack against Arsenal in 2016 for only having two players who scored in double figures in the season before.
It was an outrageous misuse of statistics because it turned out that only five clubs managed to have two players scoring in double figures that season.
Fortunately for them (because we are always watching) no journalists are making such silly comments at the moment. And there’s a good reason for that because with 10 games still to go Arsenal now have three players in double figures when it comes to scoring. Ms Lawrence remains quiet on the subject it seems.
And to be clear in what follows we are only talking about league matches.
Incidentally, the last time Palace scored two goals in a match was last year when Palace beat Bournemouth 0-2. The last time they scored three was 20 August 2022. But just to make sure Arsenal went further and scored four.
Now in the olden days the pundits would say that London teams could not win the league because the players became too soft with all the high living that London offers. Then the story was that London teams could not win the league because there were so many London derbies that ended in draws, the clubs lost points against their more ruthless neighbours from the north.
It was all mindless jibberish of course, but that is what the media often has to offer – mostly because in other subject areas the facts and figures don’t coincide with the media’s prejudice.
London clubs have won the league seven times this century compared with 15 wins for the Liverpool / Manchester conurbation. So yes London lags behind but I think most of the blame can be put on the wayward nature of Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United who are hardly doing their bit to help.
Anyway, here is the official list of players scoring 10+ in league games this season
So another semi-skimmed myth of lazy journalists is punctured. And while we are at it we can have a look at Arsenal against London teams this season – just in case anyone fancies rolling out that myth as well. This table shows wins throughout – except for one draw. The London games left are against Chelsea away, and West Ham at home.
|05 Aug 2022||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||W||0-2|
|27 Aug 2022||Arsenal v Fulham||W||2-1|
|18 Sep 2022||Brentford v Arsenal||W||0-3|
|01 Oct 2022||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||3-1|
|06 Nov 2022||Chelsea v Arsenal||W||0-1|
|26 Dec 2022||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||3-1|
|15 Jan 2023||Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal||W||0-2|
|11 Feb 2023||Arsenal v Brentford||D||1-1|
|12 Mar 2023||Fulham v Arsenal||W||0-3|
|19 Mar 2023||Arsenal v Crystal Palace||W||2-0|
And of course we all know just how much this team is an improvement on the Arsenal teams of recent years. 69 points from 28 games is certainly a major step forward on what has been happening of late as this team shows… (Figures from 11v11)
So the rebuild from the lowpoint of 2019/20 is ongoing. 40 points that season by this stage, then 41, then 54 and now 69. Where will it end?
But is this season an easier league for Arsenal to win, because it’s a season in which other teams aren’t shining? That I am sure is a question going through journalistic minds as they look for other ways to knock Arsenal.
And the answer is no. Here is the record of the top club at the 28 game mark across five seasons. And you might notice that although there was one standout team in this period – Liverpool – who had reached 79 points after 28 games, Arsenal have scored more goals thus far than Liverpool did that season.
So looking at the recent seasons Arsenal are not the all-time best club at this stage of the campaign, but they are jogging along at the same level as other eventual league winners.
One other interesting point is that as the table stands there is a significant difference between Arsenal and Manchester City on the one hand, and other contenders in terms of goals scored. This table is organised in terms of the number of goals scored.
|7||Brighton and Hove Albion||25||12||6||7||46||31||15||42|
So overall, whatever journalists might want to say, Arsenal seems to be doing rather well this season.
- Clubs are showing signs of fighting back at journalists
- Are Arsenal really making progress, or are we starting to slip back?
- Luton 3 Arsenal 4: maybe it is time to say positive things
- Luton v Arsenal – the referee, the team, Saka and Cliff Bastin
- Luton Town – how do they play the game. The tackles, fouls and cards.