- The clearest exposition yet that there is something very wrong with PGMOL
- There is something very strange going on with yellow cards this season+
By Tony Attwood
OK we hoped to win, but the fight back was terrific, and showed that even on a day when it just isn’t working we can still pull rabbits out of hats and pull a draw from the jaws of defeat. We’re second and might slip down to third depending on the Tottenham result, but with that fight back and those two goals I certaintly don’t feel down and out.
Here’s the table top
And it does show a nice gap opening up between the top four and the rest. It also shows that the goals scored and the goal difference are not far out of line with the other members of the top four, which is again encouraging.
But how does this opening part of the season – almost a quarter of the season in fact – compare with other years.
Last season after nine it showed us on 24 points and top Today it is 21, but the fact is the league seems to be a bit more competitive this season, although of course we’d all sooner have 24 as last year instead of 21. But Arsenal remain unbeaten, which although doesn’t bring extra points, gives a nice feeling.
Going back another year is particularly worthwhile because it shows just how fast a team can fall from grace and how fast another can rise to the top.
|4||Brighton and Hove Albion||8||4||3||1||8||5||3||15|
Yes just two years ago Arsenal after eight games had just 11 points compared with 21 today. That is pretty good progress in two years – especially since even Chelsea have now got more points this season than Arsenal had just two years back.
And I want to go back to the unbeaten season too, not just because Arsenal are still unbeaten, but also because of who else it shows in the Premier League. For in that title winning season Arsenal were not top after eight games, Chelsea were – and they were still undefeated.
You may not remember where they ended up, but it was second, with seven defeats. So let us not draw too many negatives from being unbeaten at this stage of the season. Especially when we remember that in the Premier League at that moment there was Birmingham City who were fourth after eight games, Charlton (9th after eight), Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle 18th… Arsenal’s achievement is not just of currently being second in the league, but doing that while being unbeaten, and doing it season after season.
And for once the media have not ignored what Arsenal have done. “Arsenal show their Premier League title credentials in fightback against Chelsea” says the Telegraph, noting that this was “the kind of comeback that all Premier League title contenders need to execute a few times a season in order to be taken seriously.”
The fact is that Arsenal did not play well for much of the game but never gave up, while other teams faced with a couple of goals deficit away from home would have done.
The least you could say was that Arsenal had never given up on it and when Declan Rice was presented with half a chance to change the game, he took it.
After the match Arteta said, “I really liked going into the dressing room and it’s really quiet, after drawing 2-2 with Chelsea and coming back from 2-0 down, “because I know that they wanted more. That’s the positive.”
I also loved it not just because of the fight back but because the journalists were undoubtedly already gloating with Arsenal 2-0 down.
Inevitably, given the way the game is going, Mikel Arteta got booked for protesting about the Saliba handball. Mudryk clearly headed the ball onto the hand, and that can’t be handball.
But Arsenal are not Liverpool, and so protests about VAR are muted. As Arteta said, “it’s impossible to jump without lifting your hands. Mechanically it’s impossible.” But this is VAR and this is Arsenal and this is PGMO. We would expect nothing else.
Arsenal are second and could slip to third, but I’m taking a lot of positives out of that performance from Arsenal. The referees we know about, and seemingly can do little about, but Arsenal are still progressing in my view.
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