By Walter Broeckx
So the word has been spoken by some: Arsenal still are a useless bunch of players. And have a clueless manager.
Yes we have won 0-3 at West Ham but this means nothing. We shouldn’t even celebrate this win as in fact it is a loss. We should see it as a loss. We got the 3 points but that is just a bit of a masquerade. And why you ask?
Everybody knows we only could win against West Ham because their best player was not available. I mean Scot Parker. And how lucky we have been that he couldn’t play. Otherwise we would have lost the game. That is obvious and everyone who doubts this is someone with rose tinted glasses on his nose.
But is there any truth in the assumption that a West Ham with Scott Parker would have won the game? So I thought it would be interesting to see how good this Scott Parker really is. I’m not saying he is a poor player but does he makes such a big difference for his team? Is it him who turns their team from a low league table team into a team that turns in to a team that can beat any other team in the world?
So I checked the statistics of West ham and I found: 23 games played, won 4 games, draw 8 games and lost 11 games.
And then I checked the statistics of Scott Parker. And I must say he looks rather a healthy player. As in the 23 games they played he played 21 of them. So he played 91% of the games for West Ham. So one thing is for sure : he is an important player for West Ham. When he is fit, he plays.
But the question is not if he is important for West Ham. No, the question is if West Ham with Scott Parker has more chance of winning games than without him.
So in their 4 wins he was there. And also in their 8 draws he was there. So if you stop it here you could say: see, he makes them win and draw more games.
But then how can you explain to me that in those other 11 games West Ham lost, this most important and game changing player that Scott Parker is played in 9 of them.
So how come that West Ham lost those 9 games with Scott Parker in their starting line up? If he makes such a difference for them they surely should have won or draw these games. But they lost the game with him on the field.
Oh my dear, their goes another theory of us being lucky that Scott Parker was not available and that this is the reason we won the game. Just, by a small margin, by a lucky bounce of the ball.
West Ham have only won 4 games this season with Scott Parker on the field. And 9 games they have lost with him on the field. So spare your breath to argue that it all would have been so different if we had to face Scott Parker playing for West Ham this weekend. It didn’t make any difference those other 9 defeats.
Why do some of our fans always have to take away the credit of our own performances? Why do they always are looking for excuses to tear us down?
Why can’t they say: hey Arsenal had 66% of the possession of the ball. And look Arsenal had 13 shots on target compared to 6 of West Ham. And look Arsenal had 6 shots off target against only 1 for West ham. And Arsenal had 10 corners and West ham only 4. And Arsenal scored 3 goals and West ham scored no goals at all. So well maybe Arsenal was a bit stronger than West Ham could be a conclusion.
But I think this is just a bit to simple for some people. No, they say Arsenal was lucky that Scott Parker didn’t play for West Ham. So they are telling us that Scott Parker on his own would have scored 4 goals against Arsenal. Scott Parker would have had more than 16% possession of the ball himself during this game. And he would have had about a dozen shots on target and maybe another 10 off target. Resulting in some 10 corners. Yes, that looks like the Scott Parker who has lost 9 games with West Ham this season.
So, I’m not saying that Scott Parker is a bad player for West Ham. And maybe he is their best player. I really cannot tell this because I have only seen West Ham play 180 minutes in a season. But to say that just this player is the difference between us winning 0-3 and us losing this game is a bit silly if you look at how many games West Ham have lost with him on the pitch.
I enjoyed the game, the win, the way we played. And maybe not all was perfect but this is football and in football nothing is perfect. I just would advise some people to just enjoy a game we win. It makes life more fun, it really does. But if you want to be unhappy even when we win, be my guest but don’t come spoiling our good mood after we have won a game with clear score line.
The Stadia Series is complete (at least for the moment). Here’s the index
On Arsenal History we are starting an analysis of George Allison, a man associated with the club from 1906 up to 1947.
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