When it comes to football where do Arsenal go now?



By Tony Attwood

We have often raised the point that much of what is written in newspapers and on the internet about football is untrue.  The most obvious example is with transfers – only 2% or 3% of all the transfers that are highlighted each summer by the media actually come to pass.

Now it it probably going to get worse.  During the general election in the UK we have had allegations that some political parties are spreading campaign literature designed to look like local newspapers.   That might be true, or it might be another scam itself; which basically tells us how confusing all this is.

Back with football we also looked recently at how a web site can warp a football story by picking out one club as a success or failure, without any comparison with any other club, thus suggesting that this one club is out on its own, whereas in fact it is just part of what’s normal in football.   The recent article Which clubs are getting money from the Euros gave one example of this.

One side effect of all this hype is that it becomes hard to believe anything much, and this feeling was enhanced by the fact that even in the world of science of technology, where reports tend to be slightly more believable, we now have headlines such as those suggesting that “Google’s claim of quantum supremacy” has been “completely smashed” appearing in the reputable New Scientist. magazine. 

This last claim that Google is being misleading in its pronouncements is particularly worrying since Google is the website that helps many of us find the information we are looking for.  Including information on football.

So let’s move on to football club managers, but let’s be very wary.  There were apparently 71 Football and Premier League managers who were sacked last season across the 92 clubs.     That is 77% of league managers were removed in one season – which really seems rather ludicrous.

Indeed the contrast between the managers’ timespans in which they managed to remain at the job is huge.   Using data from Betting Odds we can see that Tony Mowbray at Coventry lasted 134 days , while David Moyes at West Ham went 1603 before he left.   And this is not just a Premier League thing: looking below the Premier League  Andre Breitenreiter at Huddersfield lasted 85 days; Mike Dodds at Sunderland 75 days;  Gary Rowett at Birmingham 46 days.

And although Moyes had some success his time at West Ham can’t really be justified by trophies. It seems either they have been patient, or he was more willing than most to put up with a lack of investment in the squad.

David Moyes was appointed as the 16th permanent manager of West Ham United on 7 November 2017 when WHU were 18th in the league after 11 games.   That season he took them up to 11th, and in the seasons thereafter they achieved 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th (twice) 13th, 14th, and 16th (although not in that order!). 

In Europe, they got to the quarter-final and semi-final of the Europa League and won the Conference League.   But here’s a thing that is not often publicised.  Only twice in his eight seasons did West Ham end up with a positive goal difference.  In his first season, the GD was -17 and in his last season -14.


Is it possible to go further?  We shall soon see.

13 Replies to “When it comes to football where do Arsenal go now?”

  1. Can appreciate the work you put into it. Would like more Arsenal link stories or conspiracy stuff. Please can you look into Stuart Pearce s conspiracy theory regarding England players snubbing Saka through lack of service.

    Please would you kindly look into what Stuart Pearce had said yesterday (I think it was yesterday), regarding most of England’s play ( I worked this out to be 80%) is fed down the left hand side, and since the Euro competition had started Saka has hardly had any service from the Man City rightback and has been let down by his England team mates leaving him isolated without close support.

    Maybe the Man City rightback is favouring his MC teammate Foden over Saka?.

    Stuart Pearce has picked this up on Talksport. Thinking their s a conspiracy, or finding it odd that Saka is not getting the service since the inclusion of Foden. It only started when Foden was added to the starting 11.
    I have left you one of the links to Stuart Pearce’s England observation below:


    You are the best in the media for analysing if there is a conspiracy or not. The STATs do favour that Stuart Pearce is telling the truth, as England look congested attacking down the left, and it does look like Saka is usually isolated on his own down the right!

  2. daveg

    Maybe Stuart Pearce has been reading Untold Arsenal because this is the discussion myself, seismic and mick shelley had a couple of days ago:

    seismic says: 2 July 2024 at 1:55 AM

    Saka would be a lot more effective playing for England if Walker passed to him while Saka is facing the opponent’s goal instead of his own. Forward passes from England’s defence have been far too slow for the last 9 England matches, causing the wingers to run back towards their own goal in order to receive the ball.

    Nitram says: 2 July 2024 at 9:02 AM


    I’ve avoided saying this because I didn’t want to come across as paranoid. And I’m still not sure if I’m right. But I’ve had the feeling for a while that certain players don’t want to pass to Saka. The worst culprit being Kane.

    My issue is, when I have, for want of a better word, a ‘theory’ I like to support it with stats, and I cant back up my theory with them because I cant find them.

    Also some of it is subjective. Was the pass on, wasn’t it?

    Just a theory and it may well be wrong.

    mick shelley says: 2 July 2024 at 9:47 AM


    I agree, I have had the same feeling but as you say it is difficult to substantiate these suspicions. It was the same when Walcott played for England, Rooney being the main culprit who made it pretty obvious he didn’t want to pass to Theo. It seemed blatant to me, the number of times he used to make runs but the ball was never passed to him, but it never seemed to attract any media comment.

    Nitram says: 2 July 2024 at 9:55 AM

    micky shelley

    Yep, I had exactly the same feelings about Rooney too. Spooky.

    “…..but it never seemed to attract any media comment.”

    Well, there’s a shock!

    seismic says: 3 July 2024 at 12:22 AM

    I’ve been watching Saka closely for the last few matches, particularly since the cries for Cole Palmer to replace Saka started. Walker has been very slow making forward passes. I heard no mention of it by the BBC or ITV punditry (no surprises there), but in the Telegraph today there was an article by Daniel Zeqiri which stated that “both Saka and Foden received too many passes with their back to goal”. In too many cases this seems to occurred because Saka had made a forward run, but the ball was not played to him so he had to run back towards his own goal in order to receive a delayed pass.

    This is not based on stats. It’s based on my observations, but it has become so obvious during this tournament. Not obvious to the TV punditry, but it’s taken them 8 years to realise that Southgate may be over-rated.


    So, daveg it seems we at untold Arsenal are not paranoid, but we are just ahead of the game.

  3. Some people on reddit have made this observsaion too and that Saka misses someone like White working with him.

  4. Thank you for that analysis. It does seem strange how Southgate doesn’t see that Rice, Bellingham, Foden, Kane and obviously the leftback seem to all attack down the left to middle and it is only Saka attacking down the right on his own. Not only lacking forward and midfield support, but also no overlap runs by the rightback. Southgate must see this. Not only has Saka got no close support, but he also has two defenders marking him, which the Swiss now can use elsewhere.

    Is this just poor team play, or is this by Southgates instructions?

    It only makes Saka look bad, and to make him look even worst, Southgate has decided to make Saka the new leftback to provide for Foden and co. ,or mess up in defence and take the blame.
    I kind of now understand why White packed his bags, maybe he saw something to make him think their is something bias in Southgates Management, or is Southgate just desperate to help Foden make a goal contribution. 100% have to blame Southgate for the poor training, the passing instructions and the poor tactics for creating “Left sided England”.

  5. If anyone wants to Google Arsenal and look into Wikipedia they’ll find that as far as they’re concerned we no longer reside in Highbury but in Holloway , to me that’s someone being not only inaccurate but also up to no good .
    I reckon the connotation is to imply we are now associated with the erstwhile Holloway nick; thoughts ?
    Anyway as we well know there are many football sites that anyone can comment on . Occasionally a mutant N17 Kharziman makes that tired old comment about Arsenal not being from North London as some kind of slight. Therefore I now adopt the same weird logic to the swamp mutants who moved in to North London a mere 5 years ago from Wormwood scrubs way and onto our patch ?
    Thoughts ?

  6. Whatever we say there will always be people spreading weird stories about Arsenal, some with no basis in fact at all, some which start from a fact and work on from there, and others which are fantasies throughout, and of course those that start from facts and then go off into a strange other world which has no relationship with reality.
    All we can do is report and comment on Arsenal as we see them. At least some of us have the advatnage of watching them.

  7. football/media buzzwords and clichés that mean nothing

    1) pockets
    2) channels
    3) into an area
    4) that’s what (player x) can do (usually, right after he’s done it)
    5) you couldn’t script this
    6) he’s got great feet
    7) that was a great cross, but there was no-one there
    8) genuine pace
    9) false nine
    10) denied by the woodwork
    11) not a foul for me (usually after somebody has just suffered a potentially career-ending tackle)
    12) he’s not that kind of player
    13) clear and obvious
    14) yeah. no
    15) drops the shoulder
    16) he’s been clever there
    17) clinical

  8. @ Seismic
    Re crosses , it always baffled me that normally good player puts a ball into the penalty area when nobody is there , the pundit/commentater will say “what a great cross somebody should get on the end of that” , chicken and egg situation , why cross when nobody is there . Are the pundits trying to protect the player who crosses the ball from criticism . One other pundit/commentater saying if he hadn’t shot straight at the goalkeeper it would have been a goal , I’ll say no more

  9. After reading the above article , and about the treatment of Saka , am left to add on a few nonsensical terms to seismic”s list –
    18) Running into cul de sacs .
    19) Its coming home.
    20. Southgate for the EPL !

  10. In terms of that overused phrase, “what a great cross somebody should get on the end of that”. In my opinion that was invented for David Beckham who presenters regularly told us he was, “the best crosser of a ball in the world”. It always annoyed the hell out of me.

    I remember looking at the stats for his final season at Man U which revealed that, in fact, he wasn’t even in the Premier League’s top ten for cross completions and the evidence showed that our own Ray Parlour actually had a better cross completion percentage than Beckham. The difference of course was that the media loved Beckham, Fergie and Man U. Hence their agenda.

  11. Mikey

    The media acknowledge or ignore stats as suits their agenda, hence the criticism that Rice is receiving at the Euros despite very impressive statistics. He received ratings averaging around 5.5 for his performance against Slovakia, with a 3 from Talkshite, despite the following statistics that I published soon after the match:

    Theses are Rice’s stats from the Slovakia game:

    109 touches
    100 % tackles won
    100% dribbles completed
    90% pass accuracy
    80 passes completed
    7/7 long passes completed
    6/6 ground duels won
    4/4 tackles won
    3 shots (of which one hit the post)
    2 interceptions

    They are remarkable statistics yet this is what Steinberg of the Guardian had to say about Declan’s performance:

    “Faced with too many runners. Struggled in possession, hit the post. Better when England led 2-1”.

    He gave him a FIVE out of ten. Apparently he was our 6th best player!!

    “Faced with too many runners” Really? 100% duels won. 100% tackles won..

    “Struggled in Possession” Really? 100% dribbles completed. 100% long passes completed. 90% pass accuracy overall.

    That is up there with one of the worst pieces of analysis I have ever seen.

    By comparison. Two statistics based web sites, namely Flashscore and whoscored awarded him 7.6 and 7.07 respectively.

    How can the media possibly under any circumstances justify their assessments of Rice’s performance?

    And that’s the problem. They don’t have to. They clearly DO have an agenda, so they just do it.

  12. You’re right Nitram, there are clearly Anti-Arsenal media people with personal agendas it seems. The manager and assistant coach doesn’t help either with their selections and team togetherness.
    I think White new something was going on.
    The Manager or assistant coach clearly did not want White supporting Saka and preferred the unbalanced”Left sided England” to help his obsession with selecting Foden to prey that after drowning him in support that Foden at least once makes a goal contribution to this left sided team. Good luck with that ever happening.

  13. daveg

    “I think White knew something was going on”.

    Quite possibly. It seems there are definitely ‘Cliques’ within the England camp, and Southgate is doing nothing to address it.

    That could be what lies behind such a dysfunctional group of players?

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