Where are they now? The team in game 14, three years ago.



By Tony Attwood

There’s a “mea culpa” article on Football London which starts “Remember the days when calls for Mikel Arteta to lose his job reached their peak after the disappointment in the Europa League semi-final to Unai Emery’s Villarreal? Yes, I do too, mainly because I have to admit to being one of those who didn’t see a way forward for the young coach with this club at that point.”

I suppose it is published now to try and distract from the fact that the site’s credibility took its final dent when they debated whether Raya should play for Arsenal in the recent game against Brentford, which everyone else knew that he has barred from playing as Raya is on loan from Brentford.

The piece also notes “that some, rather crazily, still cling to with persistent criticism of Arteta that at any potential dip in form or one-off poor result are hyperbolised to the nth degree.

They continue, “Arteta surprised everyone with the club’s forays into a Premier League title challenge last season.”   Well, not quite everyone as it happened.

What did Arteta’s biggest and harshest critics say then? “A better manager would have won it, he didn’t spend enough in the windows, the real test will come when he has to contend with Champions League football.”

So now we are onto articles such as Truth behind Mikel Arteta’s best Arsenal XI   But what actually do we now have?

Of course the “last six games” table is always interesting in this regard and now it reads…

Premier League Form (Last 6)
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 6 4 1 1 13 5 +8 13
2 Newcastle 6 4 1 1 12 5 +7 13
3 Aston Villa 6 4 1 1 13 7 +6 13
4 Liverpool 6 3 3 0 12 4 +8 12
5 Brentford 6 4 0 2 11 7 +4 12
6 Man Utd 6 4 0 2 7 5 +2 12
7 Man City 6 3 2 1 16 8 +8 11
8 Everton 6 3 1 2 6 8 -2 10
9 Tottenham 6 3 0 3 8 9 -1 9
10 Bournemouth 6 3 0 3 9 13 -4 9
11 Chelsea 6 2 2 2 15 14 +1 8


Of course that table changes with each new bunch of games, but it does show that Arsenal is travelling in the right direction, as well as confirming that Tottenham has sunk down to the level of Chelsea, after all that talk about them challenging or even winning the title.  Chelsea we may note are still not quite able to match Bournemouth in recent performances.

To see the route of Arsenal’s travels we can compare their position after 14 games in recent seasons…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 2023/4 14 10 3 1 29 11 18 33
1 Arsenal 2022/3 14 12 1 1 33 11 22 37
5 Arsenal 2021/2 14 7 2 5 17 20 -3 23
15 Arsenal 2020/1 14 4 2 8 12 18 -6 14
9 Arsenal 2019/20 14 4 7 3 20 21 -1 19


The worst position in those tables is obviously 14 games in 2020/21, and the lowest point was the 14th game on 19 December 2020 when the result was Everton 2 Arsenal 1.    That made it seven consecutive league games without a win, including a 0-1 home defeat to Burnley and a 1-2 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The team in game 14 in the 2020/21 season was (with details of where they are now)…

Leno (Fulham)

Holding (Palace), Luiz (Flamengo), Tierney (AFC on loan to Real Sociedad), Saka (AFC)

Ceballos (Real Madrid), Elneny (AFC), Willian (Fulham), Maitland-Niles (Lyon)

Pepe (Trabzonspor) Nketiah (AFC).

So three players still playing with Arsenal and one Arsenal player on loan.  That’s quite a turnaround since 2020/21.

As for Arsenal’s next game, we have to wait until next Tuesday for that when we play Luton, who didn’t appear in the last six games table above because in that table they are 16th.  They are 17th in the league having moved out of the relegation zone courtesy of Everton’s rather careless loss of ten points.    But given that Everton are now eighth in the “last six games” table, there is every chance they will continue to rise up the table leaving Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United to go down.

Meanwhile here’s a nice statistic: despite having played one more game than most other teams, Arsenal have the best defence in the league, having conceded just 11 goals.   Only Liverpool can match that and they have only played 13.    Liverpool play Fulham at home this afternoon.

Arsenal also have the second best goal difference in the league (just two behind Manchester City).  But let us not forget the journalist’s favourite: Tottenham Hotspur, currently languishing in sixth, seven points behind Arsenal.

We might perhaps also care to glance once more at the Opta predictions for this season through their mythical supercomputer, and they have us

Favourites for the Title: Manchester City to win a fourth successive Premier League.
Top Four Favourites: Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Relegation Favourites: Luton Town, Sheffield United and Bournemouth.

Interestingly they were not hyped into the Tottenham at the Top suggestions and didn’t even have them in the top four.   The dodgiest top of that lot looks like Manchester United for a top four finish, and Bournemouth to go down instead of Burney.

6 Replies to “Where are they now? The team in game 14, three years ago.”

  1. John L

    Hmm, not sure they were the better team, but given their injuries, the quality Man City possess, they certainly earned their point.

    The thing that impressed me was they continued to play their game from the back, never went ‘gung-ho’ and more importantly never went ‘Spursy’. They took the 2 big chances they created.

    For their part, Man City played as if winning was inevitable, and as soon as you play like that you invite trouble.

    It’s taken a few seasons but finally City look like a team that ‘expect’ it to happen, rather than insist on making it happen. Usually teams go through this ‘season after’, syndrome after one title, so I can cut them a little slack on that. We can only hope they find it difficult to snap out of.

    In the mean time, it could be Liverpool we have to worry about?

    In the mean team, as much as it feels funny saying it, all credit to Spurs today.

  2. City could have /should have tied it up in the first half but similar to us yesterday they seemed to slack off in the second and were hanging on at the end as Spurs finished the better team. The ref calling the ball back as Grealish bore down on goal will be the topic of conversation only if the media can get over their love for Spurs heroic comeback.

  3. porter

    To be fair SKY are making something of it, and so they should. It’s all very odd really because up until then the referee had been exemplary, although it wasn’t a difficult game to referee to be fair.

    He seemed to play advantage, then for some reason pulled it back. A clear case of how a post match comment from the referee would clear the air, or not as the case may be??

    I would be fuming if I were City, but in all honesty much much worse has gone against others, including us, so they haven’t got that much to moan about.

    But again, not great.

  4. Man City display an arrogant sense toof entitlement, so itwas good to see the petulance of Haaland and co. at the end.

    Now expect the media to worship Spurs as the only team able to challenge Man City.

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