Arsenal: When has it ever been as good (or as utterly stupid*) as this?



* The stupid bit is right at the end if you want to know what it was, but the rest of the article’s quite interesting too!

By Tony Attwood

Well, we were saying it might be possible, and given Sheffield United’s position in the league, it could well be possible, but I needed to see it happen, before being certain.  But here we are…

The most goals scored this season (68 for Arsenal, with Liverpool on 64 and Manchester City on 62)

The fewest goals conceded this season (23 by Arsenal, with Liverpool on 25 and Manchester City on 27)

And thus a goal difference of +45 (with Manchester City on 35 and Liverpool on 39).  Of course I know Arsenal are a point behind Manchester City and two points behind Liverpool, but given that all Arsenal can do is keep scoring and keep winning, at least we can celebrate on that basis.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 27 19 6 2 64 25 39 63
2 Manchester City 27 19 5 3 62 27 35 62
3 Arsenal 27 19 4 4 68 23 45 61
4 Aston Villa 27 17 4 6 59 37 22 55


So how does this compare with our greatest ever season: 1931.  Arsenal are now running at better than then.


Team P W D L F A GD* Pts
1 Arsenal 1931 27 17 7 3 87 40 47 58*
3 Arsenal 2024 27 19 4 4 68 23 45 61


*In 1931 clubs with the same points were separated by goal average, but for comparison I’ve shown “goal difference”.  Also two points were awarded for a win rather than three, but I have adjusted it to three again to help give a comparison.   

Furthermore the club played 42 games in a season rather than 38 as now (there was of course no European competition).  So yes, in 1930/31 when Arsenal won the league with 66 points under Herbert Chapman, the club scored and conceded more by this stage, giving them a goal difference of two goals more.

But perhaps more to the point how does this moment compare with Arsenal last season and indeed in previous seasons?    In the table below we have Arsenal’s position after 27 games in the unbeaten season and below that the last five seasons.


Pos Year P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 2004 27 20 7 0 53 18 35 67
10 Arsenal 2020 27 8 13 6 39 36 3 37
10 Arsenal 2021 27 11 5 11 35 28 7 38
4 Arsenal 2022 27 16 3 8 43 31 12 51
1 Arsenal 2023 27 21 3 3 62 25 37 66
3 Arsenal 2024 27 19 4 4 68 23 45 61


Last season at this moment after 27 games we were within one point of the position in the unbeaten season, but now we are further behind.  But it is certainly worth noting that after 27 games Arsenal have scored 15 more goals this season than in the unbeaten season but conceded five more.   

So this season so far, we are ten further forward in terms of goal difference, although five points behind last season and six points behind the unbeaten season.

Last season Arsenal’s winning run went on to 1 April with a 4-1 victory over Leeds to make it seven consecutive wins in the Premier League which the club scored 22 goals and conceded seven.

At the moment Arsenal are on also on a seven-match winning streak – this one starting with the win over Palace on 20 January – during which the club has scored 31 goals and conceded three.  So nine more scored and four fewer conceded.  Data from 11v11,


Date Game Res Score Competition
30 Jan 2024 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal W 1-2 Premier League
04 Feb 2024 Arsenal v Liverpool W 3-1 Premier League
11 Feb 2024 West Ham United v Arsenal W 0-6 Premier League
17 Feb 2024 Burnley v Arsenal W 0-5 Premier League
24 Feb 2024 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 4-1 Premier League
04 Mar 2024 Sheffield United v Arsenal W 0-6 Premier League


So that is 21 goals in the last four games and as we saw with the substitutes yesterday, players are coming back from injury.   On 9 March we play Brentford – can we keep the run going?

Obviously, we normally deal with such matters in the couple of days before each game, but maybe on this occasion, before we move onto other things we might be excused having a little peek into the weekend.


Premier League Form (Last 6)
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 6 6 0 0 26 3 +23 18
18 Brentford 6 1 1 4 8 14 -6 4


There will be enormous expectation for Arsenal to have another thumping win what with scoring over four goals a game on average and conceding 0.5 goals a game compared with Brentford scoring just over one but conceding on average just over two.

And maybe that is going to be the biggest problem: the anticipation and expectation, although it is perhaps interesting that at this rather exciting moment in Arsenal’s history, the rabidly anti-Arsenal Mirror runs the headline “World’s 10 most expensive managers as Liverpool learn record fee for Xabi Alonso” as its lead story.

The Guardian is slightly more in touch with the real world with “Ben White supplies final humiliation as Arsenal run wild at Sheffield United” while the Telegraph has “Arsenal inflict utter humiliation – no wonder some fans left after 16 minutes.”

Even the Express managed to shy away from the Mirror’s view that nothing happened with “Arsenal put Man Utd to shame as Gunners humiliate Sheffield United in 6-0 thrashing” although they spoil that a bit with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta causes fury in 6-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.

And what was the cause of the “fury” you may ask.   

Well, before reading the answer you might want to have a restorative drink by your side. 

And make sure you are sitting down.



Mikel Arteta’s decision to bring off Bukayo Saka in Arsenal’s 6-0 thrashing of Sheffield United was not a popular one with Fantasy Premier League managers.

13 Replies to “Arsenal: When has it ever been as good (or as utterly stupid*) as this?”

  1. My son was furious Saka was taken off too, he had him as captain. Lol. Great win. Just keep on going. Love the site ,keep up the good work. Thanks.

  2. Good morning everybody. What a wonderful night. What a wonderful time to be a gooner. Yes it was woeful Sheffield United, but it’s not just them we’ve done it too is it? For those that mock, we did it to Liverpool, twice actually although somehow we contrived to lose the FA Cup tie despite dominating for 70 odd minutes, and of course recently to Newcastle. Since Dubai we are absolutely on fire.

    The Premier League website actually did a really good analysis of our change of fortune since then, and it is remarkable. Our stats are something else. But it’s not only about how we have improved since then, many of our parameter’s are the best they have ever been, suggesting that despite slightly less points than last season at the same stage, we are a better team. It’s just Man City, and certainly Liverpool are also better than last year. The article was done prior to last night, but it is worth a look.

    About last night and just touching on the referee and VAR. Frankly they are still incompetent.

    On the approach to Havertz goal Martinelli was unceremoniously hauled to the ground. Even the commentator said ‘That’s a booking, but the referees played an advantage’, which was good because we went on to score. But why no card for Ahmedhodzic? It was the most blatant of yellow cards you will see. Just because they are being humiliated doesn’t mean you ‘let them off’?

    And talking of Martinelli and letting them off, in the 49th minute Martinelli broke into the box and was what appeared to be innocuously challenged to the ground. Fine, I understand the referee not giving anything, it looked 6 of one and half a dozen of the other, but the replay clearly showed Martinelli was hauled to the ground by the shirt. Not a little tug, he was pulling it off his back.

    Two things. VAR must of seen on the replay what we all did, that it was a clear foul, a clear penalty, and a clear yellow card. Not only that, but it was that man Ahmedhodzic again. That’s 2 yellows he should of had and off. Sympathy again? Incompetence? Or just plain cheating?

    Okay we, got 6, but playing against 10 we may of got 7, 8, 9 or more, and that could be crucial.

    Pedantic? maybe. But these fine margins are crucial and all I want is for the officials to do their job correctly.

  3. @Nitram,

    all with you. Like Tierney not knowing the laws of the game and gifting Liverpool 3 points.
    The good news is either of or both or Pool! and Citeh will loose 2 or 3 points next week-end.

    As for Arsenal scoring like that… funny when you think all the shit they were getting thrown at when winning 1-0 or 2-1…. now the shit is because the opposition is not showing up….whichever way the attacks will always come. Yet we must recognise that in their ‘heads’ something has shifted. I cannot remember Arsenal going at the opponets throats like this ever. It is so impressive.

    Yet, I don’t give a rat’s ass… this is as good a season as any I’ve seen and I am having fun watching them play.

  4. Tierney has no game for the forthcoming weekend after again contributing to Klopp’s farewell tour. Two aspects of the sorry saga that have not been mentioned. Hudson-Odoi should have picked the ball up thus not giving the Liverpool player the chance to kick it into the goal. That would have ensured who was in possession when Tierney stopped play. To add to my first point Tierney will be officiating this weekend by being allocating VAR duties to us. He should have had no appointment at all. To finish he should not be given any Liverpool matches henceforth although I cynically expect him to be given every one.

  5. Tierney ,along with at least half a dozen of his cohorts,are grossly incompetent.Not to mention bias.Led by a certain Howard Webb who is little better than the infamous Mike Riley.The organisation needs dismantling with a complete overhaul from the Prem.But I won’t hold my breath.

  6. I have seen dominating Arsenal performances over the years but the way we are now playing and attacking opponents is something else. The only time we didn’t do this in the last weeks was against Porto…. and we got punished for that. Well the good thing is that now we don’t have any excuse for not going at them like we can and should do. Also just Brentford and Porto and we will not play for 19 days with the Chelsea match not taking place as planned because of the FA cup. Alas… some international football around the corner I have heard…. f*ck….

  7. I keep telling you guys that these refs are not incompetent. They are bent.

  8. @mike,

    if they were bent, someone would have leaked some email or recording proving it.
    There’d be strange death causes and disappearances.
    Sometimes, nothing means nothing. And frankly, they are so utterly incompetent, and not just PGMOL, the whole FA and parts of the PL that they would not be able to do something like that for 2 decades.
    Even the italians got caught with tangentopoli and in Sapin we’ve seen other stories come out.

    Nothing is secret anymore. After all we even know who Deep Throat was.
    The only secret that stays secret is the one in the open : their incompetence. Everyone can see it but no one believes the level of incompetence and resorts to the ‘bent’ explanation. Which cannot be proven.
    That being said there is some genius in that strategy….
    And they’ve coerced the wuole of the english press in just truning a blind eye in return for comfort foods and drinks and free passes.

  9. I see one of those Super Computers thingamejigs have predicted Arsenal to win the league.

    I do hope it’s not the same Super Computer that predicted a 1 – 0 win for Sheffield United last night.

  10. That partial strangulation of Martinelli was egregious. I watched online and only caught it on the replays afterwards.

  11. @John L.

    not necessarily….incompetence starts with their inability to have enough referees.
    Then their inability to train them to be neutral
    In the end, if a team gets the same ref 5 or 7 times in a season because they don’t have a large enough pool things happen that should not.
    This is just one example.
    Incompetence in being unable to make the referees better – why should the referees feel any real pressure when they know they cannot be replaced ?
    And on and on and on….
    This is not an organisation, it is an old boys network.

  12. If Arsenal play at this level the rest of the season the refs’ decisions will have less effect on the outcome of game. Especially with goals being scored. Harder to influence a 4-0 match than a 0-0. Unless of course they have to play 9v11. But they don’t foul, don’t get yellows so the PGMO will look more suspicious than usual if Arsenal start accumulating cards, suspensions, or have players ejected for phantom reds, etc. Although as we saw from the Forest v Liverpool match last week, that kind of gifted win hurts AFC as much. That’s 2 points. We’d be joint top. That’s my worry re officiating. The Arsenal skill players get hacked to bits regardless.

    Also, shout out to David Raya. His distribution adds another dimension to their attack. Handles corners really well. Another smart move by Arteta and Edu.

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