Arsenal v Bournemouth. Arsenal’s amazing 44 goals in 13 games, and a desire for a refund



By Sir Hardly Anyone

The first thing I do these days when contemplating a forthcoming game is look back to the last six games, as that gives a much greater insight into how the opposition (and indeed Arsenal) are doing.

Of course we know Arsenal are doing well – and in fact in the last 15 league games (which takes us back to 20 January) Arsenal have drawn one and lost one.  The other 13 were victories.  And in this run of games Arsenal have scored 44 goals.  At least I think it is 44; you might want to check.  So just on three a game on average.  Twice we have scored six (WHAM and Sheffield) and three times have knocked in five.  (Palace, Burnley and Chelsea).  It’s getting to be a habit.

In over 38% of our last 15 games, Arsenal have scored five or six.

And what of Bournemouth by the sea?  Between 11 March and 2 April, they were unbeaten, winning four and drawing one.  Since then it has been more of a mixed bag: won two, drawn 1, and lost two.  Which raises the question, how do we explain such up and downness?

The answer, as so often is the case, is the opposition.  Who they play more or less determines the result.  For in that run of four wins and a draw they played Burnley, Sheffield United, Luton Town, Everton and Crystal Palace.

In the second run of two wins, a draw and two defeats, they played Luton, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton and Brighton.

So we can see how much of an impact who Bournemouth are playing can have on the result – although that is rarely mentioned by journalistic type people.  In the first run Bournemouth played the three clubs looking to go down, and Everton who had not won a single one of their previous seven league games, as well as losing a Cup game to Luton.

In the second run they did have Manchester United and Aston Villa, but Man U themselves have been going through a difficult spell, so really that has been a pretty nifty set of fixtures for “the Cherries”.  And if even more of an explanation is needed, Brighton are currently 19th in a table made up from the last six results, so it wasn’t hard to beat them.

So this run of good results has not been exactly difficult for Bournemouth and faced with Arsenal we might well expect them to sit back in defence, especially as they have the sixth-worst defence in the Premier League.

And indeed, thinking of bad defences, one thing I never see the media mention is just how crap West Ham are at the moment with three wins in the last 16 games. But we’ll leave that for another day.

So back to the matter in hand.  Last season Bournemouth let in 71 goals, and only Leeds and Southampton conceded more.  This season after 35 games (the same as Arsenal) they have let in 60 goals.  Now that is over twice as many as Arsenal but still, they have tightened up a bit.

But also we might compare the goals scored per game


2022/23 2023/24 Increase
Arsenal 2.32 2.43 0.11
Bournemouth 0.97 1.49 0.52


So both clubs are on the up in terms of scoring – Bournemouth even more than Arsenal, but Bournemouth are starting from a low base.  But what about conceding?


2022/23 2023/24 Decrease
Arsenal 1.13 0.8 1.41
Bournemouth 1.87 1.71 0.16


So Bournemouth this season have focussed primarily on improving their attack while Arsenal have improved their defence – so the two could nullify each other.   But after 35 games this season the league positions are


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 35 25 5 5 85 28 57 80
10 AFC Bournemouth 35 13 9 13 52 60 -8 48


While last season after 35 it was


Team P W D L F A D Pts
2 Arsenal 35 25 6 4 83 39 44 81
14 AFC Bournemouth 35 11 6 18 37 67 -30 39


In short, Arsenal were one point better off a year ago, but had scored two fewer and conceded 11 more.

Bournemouth are nine points better off than a year ago, have scored 15 more, and conceded seven fewer.   They are having a very good season by the standard of a club that in 2008/9 were in League 2 (the fourth tier).

The long and the short of all this is that Arsenal are performing much as last season overall, but Bournemouth are improving considerably although from a low base.

So let’s now finally come back to where we started with the last six games.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man City 6 5 1 0 19 4 +15 16
2 Arsenal 6 5 0 1 15 4 +11 15
3 Newcastle 6 4 1 1 15 7 +8 13
4 Everton 6 4 1 1 7 7 0 13
5 Aston Villa 6 3 2 1 13 10 +3 11
6 Crystal Palace 6 3 1 2 11 8 +3 10
7 Bournemouth 6 3 1 2 9 7 +2 10


Now if you are particularly eagle-eyed you might notice some teams not shown in the last six games table.  Picking names at random we might note Chelsea not being there (they are ninth), Liverpool (10th), Manchester United (12th) and Tottenham Hots (13th).  And those eternal media favourites West Ham, with their ground paid for by the likes of me (a UK taxpayer) are 17th.  I wonder if I can ask for my money back.

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