- Time added on: how Guardiola and Smith conspired to be quite wrong
- Why this season will be better than last for Arsenal
Arsenal maintained last season’s average and had 15 attempts at goal in that game and dominated the match. So we might have expected more goals, but at least it was a win…
Of course, when looking at referee statistics for yesterday’s game we can only see the events, not the cause of the events. And what we found was that Michael Oliver not only gave more fouls against Arsenal than his average for the home team last season he gave more fouls against the away team than his average last season. Maybe our pre-match review is getting somewhere.
He gave 9% more fouls against Arsenal than he gave against home teams on average last season, but 16% more fouls against Forest than he gave against away teams last season. In giving each side two yellows this was 16% above his average for a home team last season and 71% above his average for an away team last season.
Arsenal had 80% possession in the game, and 15 shots (seven on target) Forest had six shots, (four on target). Defensively each side committed 12 fouls and two yellow cards.
But of course, the main point of discussion was the difficulty in getting into the ground. Fortunately, my friend and I had decided on a particularly early arrival, not least because of my own unhappiness with the way the new entry system was working for me.
As you probably know, everyone attending the game in the Arsenal sections had to put their membership card into the “wallet” of their phone, and could no longer present their membership card onto the card reader at the gate.
I was worried about this because I had extreme difficulty getting my membership card onto my Google Pixel 6a, and worries increased when having got it onto my phone I found that suddenly a second membership card which was nothing to do with me also was on my phone! I deleted it of course.
What was also troublesome for me was the way of accessing the card on my phone so I could present it to the card reader at the ground. I have to press “Wallet” then press “Top charts”, then search the list of “Google Wallet” and then press “open” then look down the list and find “Arsenal” (which for some reason shows only half the normal logo) and there I have the ticket for the game.
It is hardly intuitive, and I did spend hours working that out before the match, so was ready, and yes for me, arriving about two hours before kick off it worked perfectly. As long as I had retained my list saying “wallet, top charts, open, arsenal”.
And yes the system was a success in dealing with the touts – we only saw one such person between Arsenal station and the ground whereas in the past there have been loads of them with their “Who wants tickets” and “I’ll buy and sell tickets” etc. So that was good – but otherwise…. arriving early is going to be part of the deal for a while I fear.
Now of course Arsenal don’t mind this – which is not to say they set this situation up deliberately – but it did mean that they probably sold a lot more beer and a lot more burgers than normal because people were in the ground for so much longer.
And since most sites won’t print this, we will. Here’s the league table for the morning of Sunday 13 August 2023.
|2||Brighton and Hove Albion||1||1||0||0||4||1||3||3|
|8||West Ham United||1||0||1||0||1||1||0||1|
The Guardian said, “One of Arsenal’s revamped systems failed but another just about held up. If this season is to be a sinew-straining exercise in keeping pace with Manchester City then they got the first step more or less right, although a late wobble from nowhere was a reminder nothing will come easy.”
The Telegraph, with their amusingly simplistic vision of the world that one event can allow us to know the future said, “Saka finished last season with his goalscoring form formidable, ending with a hat-trick for England against North Macedonia. His 14 goals in the league were a best-ever return in what has been a steadily rising contribution. Yet in this Arsenal side it will be the case that he will have to score many more if they are to mount a credible title challenge.”
So it is all down to him and nothing to do with Martinelli (15 goals), Odegaard (15 goals) and Gabriel Jesus (11 goals despite being crippled in the lunatic mid season world cup).
The Mail has “Piers Morgan blasts Kai Havertz despite Arenal’s Premier League win over Nottingham Forest.”
So it is nice to see that nothing (for the media at least) has changed.
- Why the media’s new statistical analyses of football is just a trick to stop you noticing what’s going on
- Yesterday’s game: how Arsenal won, and where the journalists got things wrong
- Brentford v Arsenal: past exploits and the Arsenal team news
- French authorities issue arrest warrant over awarding of World Cup to Qatar
- Brentford v Arsenal: the history and the build up, with some extraordinary odds