- Arsenal v Forest: tackles, fouls and yellow cards
- Arsenal v Nottingham Forest: Can we actually get into the ground?
The last six games of last season were not a particularly happy time, and that can be emphasised by the fact that measured by the last six games alone, Nottingham Forest were actually above Arsenal in the table.
Now we know, because the media focussed on it, that Arsenal had a slump last season near the end. But it is worth singling out a few teams to see just how odd things became at the end of the season. Below is the table based on those last six games, showing selected teams.
|16||Brighton & Hove||6||2||1||3||10||13||-3||7|
Yes indeed: a number of teams that were talked up through the season actually had a very poor end of the campaign, while Forest who struggled like mad, were eighth over the last six games. Clearly, Arsenal will be working on getting the season end sorted, and the expansion of the squad that we have been seeing through the transfer window activities must be part of that.
The table for the last 10 games of last season – which is in fact just over a quarter of the season, showed that Arsenal’s drop was not just at the very end, but over that last quarter. Again here are a few teams selected for comparison.
There is a lot of talking up of the fact that Chelsea this season won’t be anything like last season, and that might be true. But it is worth remembering that their dire form did indeed carry on right to the last moment, and over the last quarter of the season they were by far the worst team in the league.
But less we get too fearful, we can return to the last six home games for Arsenal against the last six away games for Forest and the difference between the clubs is still there.
|19||Nott’m Forest away||6||0||2||4||7||12||-5||2|
Arsenal have not played Forest very many times this century, but here are the games that have been played… showing three Arsenal wins and three Forest wins – which is perhaps a bit of a surprise. (Data from 11v11)
|20 Sep 2016||Nottingham Forest v Arsenal||W||0-4||League Cup|
|07 Jan 2018||Nottingham Forest v Arsenal||L||4-2||FA Cup|
|24 Sep 2019||Arsenal v Nottingham Forest||W||5-0||League Cup|
|09 Jan 2022||Nottingham Forest v Arsenal||L||1-0||FA Cup|
|30 Oct 2022||Arsenal v Nottingham Forest||W||5-0||Premier League|
|20 May 2023||Nottingham Forest v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
On the other hand Arsenal have beaten Forest 52 times in competitive matches 22 have been drawn and 29 won by Forest. So over 50% of the matches have been won by Arsenal. And quite a bit of that percentage came in the run between March 1992 and January 1999. The clubs played each other 13 times in league and cups and Arsenal won eight, four were drawn and just one victory went to Forest.
Getting a ticket
There has also been a new balloting system for silver members to buy tickets. Everyone who wants a ticket has to apply during the time the window is open – and when one applies during that window doesn’t matter. Members can apply individually or as a group.
That sounds very fair, until one thinks of the dedication of the fans. It was obvious from the start of last season that with Arsenal winning consistently and being at the top of the table there would be a demand for tickets. And the system used then was one of phoning in to buy the ticket. The problem was that the phone lines were jammed and by the time many fans got through all the tickets had gone.
So the new system came along, but the problem now is that people who have attended games and who gave their continuing support through the five seasons when Arsenal failed to make it to the Champions League, finishing, as you will recall, eighth on two occasions, are now not rewarded for that dedication and support.
Instead, those utterly dedicated fans, turning up no matter what the score, are considered equal to those who refused to attend during the lean years. That really doesn’t seem right.
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- 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
- Arsenal v Tottenham: different clubs, different managers, different successes