So how are we doing after 30 games?

By Walter Broeckx

With all the commotion surrounding Kroenke I had an article prepared about the way we are doing for the moment compared to our past. And this is from before the Blackpool game.

In this table you can see how Arsenal have done in the last 30 seasons after 30 games.

Pos P W D L F A GD Pt
1981 8 Arsenal 30 11 12 7 43 37 6 45
1982 6 Arsenal 30 14 8 8 25 21 4 50
1983 14 Arsenal 30 11 8 11 39 37 2 41
1984 12 Arsenal 30 11 6 13 46 42 4 39
1985 6 Arsenal 30 14 6 10 48 37 11 48
1986 5 Arsenal 30 16 7 7 39 32 7 55
1987 3 Arsenal 30 15 9 6 42 18 24 54
1988 5 Arsenal 30 15 7 8 46 28 18 52
1989 1 Arsenal 30 17 8 5 58 31 27 59
1990 3 Arsenal 30 15 5 10 45 30 15 50
1991 1 Arsenal 30 19 10 1 53 13 40 65
1992 6 Arsenal 30 11 11 8 51 35 16 44
1993 13 Arsenal 30 11 7 12 27 27 0 40
1994 3 Arsenal 30 13 12 5 34 16 18 51
1995 9 Arsenal 30 10 10 10 35 32 3 40
1996 5 Arsenal 30 14 9 7 42 27 15 51
Tot 100 773
Avg 6,25 48,31
1996 5 Arsenal 29 13 9 7 39 27 12 48
1997 3 Arsenal 30 15 9 6 49 26 23 54
1998 2 Arsenal 30 17 9 4 49 26 23 60
1999 2 Arsenal 30 16 11 3 42 13 29 59
2000 4 Arsenal 30 16 6 8 53 31 22 54
2001 2 Arsenal 30 15 9 6 47 29 18 54
2002 2 Arsenal 30 18 9 3 60 32 28 63
2003 1 Arsenal 30 19 6 5 64 32 32 63
2004 1 Arsenal 30 22 8 0 58 20 38 74
2005 3 Arsenal 30 19 7 4 68 32 36 64
2006 6 Arsenal 30 15 5 10 48 23 25 50
2007 4 Arsenal 30 16 7 7 52 28 24 55
2008 2 Arsenal 30 19 10 1 58 22 36 67
2009 4 Arsenal 30 15 10 5 48 27 21 55
2010 3 Arsenal 30 20 4 6 71 33 38 64
2011 2 Arsenal 30 17 8 5 59 29 30 59
Tot 41,00 895
Avg 2,73 59,67

And I think for most of us who have been a fan in those early years this gives a very good image of the way Arsenal have been doing in those years.

As the real Arsenal fans will know in which year we became champions over those 30 years it was not really needed but I have put the years in bold. I also noted the difference between the Wenger era and the years before Wenger.

In the first 15 years of this survey we won 2 titles but for the rest it was rather an up and down period. We got an average league position of around 6th place. So one could say we were an Europa League team in those days. If we were lucky.

The only exception in fact was the 1989-1991 period when we won the league twice and finished in third in between.  But for the rest well it wasn’t at very constant staying amongst the top teams.

It all  changed in the Wenger era. Our average position after 30 games is just below 3. We won 3 titles and only once we weren’t in the top 4. And that was in our final year at Highbury. We did managed to make it to 4th on the last day of the season.

So being in second position now is even for the Wenger era slightly better than on average. And yet some go overboard and can’t see anything positive in the season.

And it also gives a very good picture about the fact that we never have been a team that constantly was in the top in the last 30 years. More than often we were not even close to being a top team.  A team closer to the bottom than to the top.

But since the Wenger era it changed and we have been a team constant at the top or close to the top. So many supporters will have been spoiled by those golden years. And remember in these last  years we suddenly had and have to fight against teams that are having unlimited resources and we are competing against such teams.

In fact for the moment we are in what one could say an average situation after 30 games in the Wenger era. But if you compare it to the period before we are in a golden period. And this for almost 16 years on a row.

We might make it, we might not make it. We have won leagues coming from behind, and we have lost leagues standing first after 30 games in the season.

Anything can happen, this is football you know. It always have been this way and always will stay that way: its unpredictable.  But one thing is for sure we are still in it with a chance. And this is more than could be said in the era before Wenger in most of the seasons.

On the history site: Herbert Chapman, success or failure?

The failures of Herbert Chapman: season one

Chapman’s second season – genius, or just another Wenger?

Chapman: the third season – still no trophies

Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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46 Replies to “So how are we doing after 30 games?”

  1. Thanks Walter for an incisive breakdown of the progress that has been made over the years by the club especially since Wenger took over.
    One of the things most people fail to realise is that real success is not achieved overnight. I am sure a lot (if not all) of Leeds fans would have wished they had stability compared to the fleeting success they recorded over the turn of the century.
    Moreso, a number of the so called Arsenal fans were attracted by the success recorded over the seven years period of 98 – 05 without them knowing much of the history of the club’s recent past. I think with this well presented article a lot of those criticizing Wenger would shut their trap and accord him the due respect he so much deserves that is if it is not that they just take delight in slighting him

  2. I think every gunner should read this. We should stop all our bullsh*ting n get behind the team so we can win sumthing. Doubting the team is enough pressure to lose the carling cup, get us out of the FA cup and the champions league, and drop us 7 points off the pace in the league. We need to get behind the players n push em on. No need to be saying who need to leave n who need to come in…fact of the matter remains that at this stage in the season no one can leave no one came coming n we have players who are able n need our support!

  3. Pointwise we have performed worse than last year, but fortunately even Chelsea and ManU performed worse and hence our league position got better. Dont know whether its good or bad….

  4. Dark Prince, like I said in another article a few weeks ago: the top teams all have less points and the bottom teams have much more points than before.
    The league is getting tighter and results are getting more unpredictable than ever before (well compared to the last 10 years).

  5. Walter, the reason the top teams have less points is because of planitini’s financial restrictions and the world cup and not because of the bottom teams getting better.Blackpool are so so rubbish but they have 33 points.I expected Arsenal to be better this season because for the first time we did not sell some of our best players so our players are one year more experienced/mature but we get 5 points less than last season mainly because of the injuries and the world cup.The way we have thrown away around 20 points this season has been ridiculous(Sunderland twice,Newcastle twice,Wigan away,Spurs at home,West Brom twice and Blackburn at home who have been awful with their new manager).We should certainly have had around 70 by now.We will probably end up with less than the 75 points we got from last season which is really disappointing.Man Utd have been poor because of the Glazers(often outplayed in midfield because the owners have not given them money for good midfielders and have to play gibson,carrick,fletcher and the old giggs and scholes) and Rooney’s form up until recently while Chelsea are really slow in attack because Essien,Lampard,Malouda,Anelka,Cashley and Drogba are old and past it.Man City are rubbish because Mancini can not coach attack and without De Jong they concede goals for fun.Tottenham miss tons of golden chances every match because their strikers are not good enough and it costs them a lot of points.We should have done better.Wenger must stay though.

  6. Just picked this from another site & made a slight addition.
    Is kinda relevent to this post. Read….

    The interior of one of Arsenals local pubs… A darkened room with a very conspiratorial atmosphere. REG and STAN are seated at a table at one end of the room. FRANCIS, dressed in Activist gear — black robes and a red sash around his head — is standing by the bar. He is addressing an audience of about eight MASKED Activists. Their faces are partially hidden.

    Reg: What has Wenger ever done for us?
    Xerxes: Changed our perception from ‘boring Arsenal’ to one of Europes most entertaining teams.
    Reg: Oh yeah, yeah he did that. Yeah. That’s true.
    Masked Activist: And the new stadium and training ground!
    Stan: Oh yes… the stadium and training ground, Reg, you remember what the Highbury used to be like limiting our attendence to 38K.
    Reg: All right, I’ll grant you that the way we play and the stadium and training ground are three things that Wenger has done…
    Matthias: And the world class players…
    Reg: Well yes obviously the world class players… the players go without saying. But apart from the way we play, the stadium and training ground and the world class players…
    Another Masked Activist: Premiership trophies…
    Other Masked Voices: FA Cups… Community sheilds… Champions League final…
    Reg: Yes… all right, fair enough…
    Activist Near Front: stability and consistency…we always qualify for the champions league
    Omnes: Oh yes! True!
    Francis: Yeah. That’s something we’d really miss if Wenger left, Reg.
    Masked Activist at Back: A decent youth policy!
    Stan: And it’s great to feel we are where we are off our own backs.
    Francis: Yes, he certainly knows how to buy a bargain… (general nodding)… let’s face it, he’s the only one who could in a transfer market like this.
    (more general murmurs of agreement)
    Reg: All right… all right… but apart from better stadium and training ground and players and trophies and youth policy and cup finals and shrewd buys … what has Wenger done for us?
    Xerxes: Secured our future?!
    Reg: What!? Oh… secured our future!? yes… shut up!

  7. Sunderland & Newcastle twice, wigan away, = 5 games with points dropped via refereeing irregularities.
    The mid to lower section of the league is tougher without doubt, the players are fitter and understand timewasting/rotational fouling etc. Many of those’rougher’ styled teams look fwd to getting stuck in to to us with carte blanche like its a cup final. Aswell as man c and totts improving recently. Points are harder to come by overall this season

  8. Gb…..
    Can you tell me who these ‘best players’ are who you say we have been selling in recent years, and what impact they have made for their new clubs. I cannot make any sense out of your comments. Nice of you to decide to keep Arsene though, I am sure he will appreciate your continued support.

  9. Mick, we sold Kolo Toure and Adebayor the summer before. In the summer of 2008, we sold Flamini,Hleb,Diarra,Gilberto(was not very good at that time but brings experience) and Lehmann.In the summer of 2007, we sold Henry and Reyes.In the summer of 2006,we sold Ashley Cole,Campbell(at only 31),Pires(could have stayed for experience like Giggs) and Lauren.In the summer of 2005,we sold Patrick Vieira.Last summer, yes we sold Gallas but for me it was not key because Koscielny and Djourou have done great.We sold dead wood like Senderos,Sylvestre and Eduardo.Merida leaving was not good because he is a great player but what can you do? Last summer, we showed that we are not a selling club any more and our results should have been better because this young team was one year more experienced.If Wenger did not overtrain the players, Fabregas would not have had these hamstring problems and he would have played more matches and we would have more points.

  10. God you just reminded me of the 2008 season we should have won that look at where we stood after 30 games so disappointed, Hate Taylor, hate flamini for leaving

  11. Good analysis as to how we stand in comparison to other seasons.

    My main disappointment is that we’ve dropped 15 points at home already this season.

  12. OY!!!!! Surely, there is a gap between “In Wenger we Trust” and “Sack the Frenchman”. I just want to see the man get rid of a couple of these overrated players and bring in some new blood. And by overrated I’m referring to Rosicky, Denilson, Chamakh, and Squillaci.

    Hazard is a target…that’s great…and maybe Fellaini to help with defensive duties in the midfield?

    I am very confident in a TV5, Djourou, and Koscielny led defense…even that Spanish kid Miquel looks to be a solid player. I’m not sold on Eastmond or Frimpong, which is why I think Fellaini would be a great addition.

    If I’m getting greedy, I think we could do with trying to upgrade at the striker position by selling Chamakh…

    Goalkeeping situation is fine…I guess we could go out and get a Veteran to back up Schezny, but as back ups go I don’t have a problem with Fabianski.

  13. Great post Walter, nice comment Arsene. @Gb must be one of those activists in the pub, nothing is ever good enough for them, and the more you give the likes of him the more they want. They are just simply ungrateful and selfish.

    Go on the Arsenal!!

  14. Walter- dont think that the league is getting tighter bcoz of lower teams performing well. The biggest reason the difference between the teams have lessen is bcoz the top teams have seriously underperformed. Arsenal have underperformed in many matches, Chelsea had the bad phase of injuries which also led them to underperform and so did ManU who probably have their weakest team in last 10yrs.

  15. excellent summary of why we must rejoice in our current position! keep up the good work

  16. Yeah, real sad news and maybe this is the reason why the offer of Kroenke was made public in the last days. Maybe they knew that he was in the last phase of his life? And things had to be done and dealth before he passed away.

    A sad day for Arsenal but most of all for his family and relatives is where my thoughts are going. 66 years young is way too young to die

  17. Indeed a very sad day. Many sincere condolences to Daniel Fiszman’s family & friends. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

  18. And for the petite histoire as one can say Fiszman his parents were from Belgium in fact. And they fled for the Nazi’s before the second world war. Not that this is of any importance but well it is a small link with my own background a bit (As he was in the diamond trade he must have been from the Antwerp region – my own region) Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world (self declared titleà

  19. The timing now makes sense.

    Danny Fiszman did an amazing job making the move to a new stadium so successful. And yes it was a success. If it hadn’t been handled well we could be in terrible financial problems now. Many clubs have almost gone under when moving grounds. Danny and his fellow directors made it look easy, which is a testament to their professionalism.

    He will be missed – a director who was also a lifelong fan.

  20. Apologies but there are no blogs up for this yet, and there’s no site with better people I want to share this with (joint first with Goonerholic anyway) but rip Danny f, I’ve had this to say and i want true gunners to read it.

    Rip Danny. Thank you for the great times, DB10,
    PV4,­ TH14, Cesc , Adams, Keown, Bould, Winterburn, Dixon,­ seaman Wrighty (even tho he’s a treacherous little­ prick) sol merson, platt, petit, overmars, bobby p,­ clichy, toure, lehmann, rip rocky (we miss you more­ than ever),and the coun5less players that have brought­ us and you joy over the years. Especially thank you for­ wenger and finally kroenke, you have left your beloved­ club in good hands.
    Rip to an arsenal legend and man,­ to any of your family reading this, we are all in­ mourning with you, I am sure your old man will get the­ biggest of send offs on Saturday. Do us proud you­ gunners, let us celebrate this gunner with a great­ performance, 3 points, and a fantastic atmosphere,­ let’s all do Danny proud. RIP

    First ever post here, on my phone of all devices! Let’s do the man proud, he was a true arsenal man through and through and its just a shame his kids did not share his Passion for our great club. Liverpool won’t know what hit them, up the arse!

  21. Wonderful work Walter. Many thanks.

    @And_Arsene_Said… Loved your comment

    What is interesting to note is that the games won and the goal difference is not bad at all compared to the early years 97-2001. But in those days the competition was nowhere near as high which obviously made winning the titles relatively easier. So how come people talk about the past as being glorious and the present and future as being a disaster?

  22. @ DesiGunner: my sentiments exactly. I think that its clear that the EPL is more competitive. Not only that but the teams being promoted from the Championship have generally been better; have not gone straight back down after only one year and have used the increased money the EPL affords them to bring in good reasonably-priced foreign players (I wonder where they got that idea from?)…As Walter article of a few weeks ago proved, the tightness and increased points between the bottom twelve teams can’t be explained simply by saying that the top teams have underperformed. It must be that the bottom teams have improved across the board and are now more than capable of taking points from the top teams on any given day.

  23. @And Arsene Said:



    I’ve heard most of your arguments so many times that I’m not going to bother responding, but I have to ask, what do you have against Blackpool? Come on man, they’re not “so so rubbish.” 🙂 Like Arsenal, they always tend to get screwed by the ref, but I think they’re actually pretty good. I might be biased by the simple fact that I can watch an entire Blackpool match without falling asleep, but I like them. Unless they’re playing Arsenal I support them. Just wanted to say that. Moving on…

    Sorry to hear about Danny Fiszman (this should really have been my first comment). I don’t know what to say, other that I’m sorry. And to anyone who’s wringing their hands over Arsenal’s recent “lack of silverware,” I hope this inspires you to pause for a moment and think about the true significance of the “problem” that’s causing you so much grief. That’s all. Cheers.

  24. Afterthought:


    Just wanted to acknowledge your referees comment. I agree with you completely, but you already knew that, didn’t you? 🙂

  25. @Anne
    Ya. I sure did. Thanks for the acknowledgment though 🙂


    There is a tendency to simply glorify the past, and lionise certain players. I’m not saying they don’t deserve that acclaim, just that it is hardly an objective thing. We remember what we want to. We forget that the defence was proclaimed as much of an issue just prior to, and during the unbeaten season as well. We forget all the misplaced passes, and missing of easy chances then. In a sense, due to that tendency, I’m hopeful that at least Arsene and the board’s work behind the scenes, if not our play on the field, will also become the stuff of legend among the Arsenal faithful in the years to come.

  26. To all anti Arsene crusaders-how bad would it have been if we had a season like Chelsea or liverpool?

  27. ^^ Or Spuds…
    Looks like no Champs League for them, unless they pull a rabbit out a hat and 1 of the teams above them slips…

  28. Looks like that way C4.
    But compare and contrast the way the press suck up to Spurs – who lost 5-0 to Madrid, to the way they hammered Arsenal and Arsene in losing by the odd goal in the Barca matches, in a game that required the intervention of a bent ref to help the home side through.
    A lot of Spurs fans in the media!

  29. Yes he did, great dig when he mentioned the side who have done nothing for 20 years getting all the plaudits!
    A close relative of mine is a fully paid up member of the AAA, he spends his life listening to Talksport, fell for all this media stuff, became convinced that Spurs were going to eclipse us this year, and developed an irrational hatred to Wenger and some players because of it. Unfortunately, there are too many out these like this dear relative but very silly man!

  30. TOYE et all

    So we should be celebrating our season on the demise of other teams?? I personally think we should be gutted we lost out in 3 comps and are relying on man utd to slip up in order for us to have a chance in the EPL!!

    Am I anti Arsenal because im ruing the in ability to sign proven talent and not settling for 2nd place? I presume alot of peoplehere would be happy with a continous (sic) 4th place finish as long as we play “perfect” football and our finances remain completely in order?

    I like Wenger, always have, but to worship him on here like some kind of god is a little…. creepy!!!


  31. Proven talent like man city or chelski have signed?
    Can damage the team too you know Alf

  32. We should have bought Torres… 😉 Now that was a proven PL player and only 50M… a bargain…

  33. we’re 14 games unbeaten, hav the best away record in the league and hav let in less goals than Utd. plus arsenal still hav a realistic chance to win the title considering Utd r stil in F.A and champs league. any1 who shares your views and wants wenger out is a twat. this is the time wen we should b supporting the team for the final push

  34. I guess if you are going to spend big you are taking a risk- Oligarchs collecting big names to match their ego’s is never a great idea- look at Real Madrid.
    Surely if Arsene Wenger is the walking form of managerial perfection that you clearly think he is you could trust him not to make such a mistake.
    I note that you dont mention the form of David Luiz or Wayne Rooney as examples of the folly of buying big. Is that because you would rather finish third or fourth each year for ever than buy one experienced world class player?

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