Arsenal disappoint against WHU but…
- Did the January transfer window make any difference to the league table?
- Can we tell the winner of the Premier League after 30 games?
By Tony Attwood
Speaking about the missed penalty Mikel Arteta said,
“If you are prepared to take responsibility for penalties, you have to be prepared that in that package the possibility to miss is 100%,” he said. “At some point you’re going to miss. That’s it. You have to be able to react to that after. If you cannot do that then you cannot be a penalty taker. Bukayo has been through that and he will go through that again. If I had to pick one player to do it, it would be him again. In that moment we missed it and this is football.”
And that’s it. Arsenal drew a game that should have been won, and after two draws in a row and with Manchester City winning the impetus has gone.
He also said, “We made a huge mistake to stop playing with the same purpose to score the third and fourth one and just thinking we could play around them and maintain the result and just looked too easy,” and that seems a fair assessment.
A sense of perspective is hard to find at moments like this, but there is one out there. After last season’s display, I don’t recall any of the mainstream media (and probably none of the slipstream media either) saw Arsenal coming in the top four this season. Untold Arsenal did however and put Arsenal down to come in third, based primarily on the league table for the last 35 games of the season before. In short, we used a standard form guide (something beyond the wit of most journalists).
So while of course there is a desperate disappointment over two consecutive away games in which a lead has been lost to end the game in a draw, a greater level of perspective shows the progress that has been made.
But first we have had a St Totteringham’s Day update…
The best total that Tottenham Ho those darlings of the media (at least until a month ago) could get, would be by winning the last seven games while Arsenal lose the last seven, which would give them 74 points, the same as Arsenal now. They would also however have to get a goal difference improvement of +31, although of course since Arsenal would have to be losing all seven games, that would help Tottenham.
That in turn would be Tottenham not only winning all seven games and Arsenal losing all seven games but Tottenham winning each game by an average of two goals to give them a goal difference of +26 while Arsenal would lose every game by two goals to give them a goal difference of +29. Then in addition in four of those seven games Tottenham would have to score an extra goal, and in another four Arsenal would have to lose by an extra goal, rather than in each case having a difference of just one goal.
What should we say? Perhaps “it seems rather unlikely”. There is no trophy for St T’s day, but it would be nice to celebrate it again since we have not had one since…
- 2023 won by ??? points
- 2022 missed by three points
- 2021 missed by two points
- 2020 missed by four points
- 2019 missed by two points
- 2018 missed by 15 points
- 2017 missed by 12 points
The decline in Tottenham’s lead over Arsenal during a period which many Arsenal fans would say is the worst they can remember, puts the north London situation into perspective
Arsenal have been through a six-year downturn – with the last four seasons having three managers (four if we include Freddie) in which Tottenham have come higher up the league than Arsenal. But instead of Tottenham building on the 2017 and 2018 season, they let that lead slip down to a matter of one or two games until now they are most likely to lose out to Arsenal by a significant margin once again.
The difference today is 21 points with seven to go, meaning quite simply seven defeats for Arsenal and seven victories for Tottenham to overhaul the difference.
And of course I know that in talking about St Totts Day I am clutching at straws – anything to make me feel a bit better after yesterday’s failure to win, coming on top of a failure to win against Liverpool.
But let me offer one more analysis of Arsenal’s improvement – an improvement that is still running strong: the league position each season after 31 games.
This season after 31 games Arsenal have 11 more points than in any other season in the last ten years.
In fact the last time we had more points than now after 31 games was in the Unbeaten Season of 2003/4 when after 31 games the table read…
So let us not be too downhearted. Disappointed yes, but downhearted, no.
3 Replies to “The last time we had 74+ points from 31 games was….”
We didn’t have a clean sheet since Saliba has been injured. So this means we have to score more than we did in the past to win matches. So we should not be satisfied with a two goal lead anymore. I would say only when we have scored 4 we can lower our intensity.
That’s a really interesting point Walter. Arteta is quoted by the media as saying “Arteta hopes Saliba will be available again within the “next few weeks”, but it’s simply too early to provide an exact date.”
I do hope that we keep attacking the other teams and get more goals , and hopefully never sit back , and give them a chance . If we tire out in patches , let us be ready to counterattack and hit them again. At lest our goals for will look much better.
Up the Gunners !