By Walter Broeckx
Looking at different periods in our history to gain a little bit of perspective is something that I think every fan should do every now and then. In my article a few days ago I looked at the league position and the total points we got.
Today I try to look at some other things that can be seen in this table, if you want to see it. So here we have the league table in the years before Wenger (after 30 games) and in the Wenger years.
So in the years before Wenger we won 13,5 games after 30 and now this has gone up to over 17 wins in the same period. When we look at draws we see not that much difference it is around 8 games in 30. And if one goes up another number goes down. We lose one average just under 5 games and in the years before Wenger this was 8 games.
And if we now just take a look at the league (before the Blackpool game) you can see that we are on an almost perfect average year in the Wenger era.
Another interesting development is the goals. On average we score around 55 goals and this is a lot more than in the years before Wenger when we had an average of just under 42. So with our 59 goals so far this season we are doing a bit better than one could expect on average.
And let us take a look at the goals against us. You know we can’t defend, our centre backs are useless, our full backs are rubbish and all our goal keepers are not good enough. And if we compare this to the golden years of the boring Arsenal before Wenger we…er… well… we concede less goals. Yes because in the Wenger era we concede 26,87 goals on average per season and in the years before we conceded 28,94 goals per season.
So maybe our defence isn’t that bad as some in the media try to make us believe? Maybe Wenger knows how to defend better and that with a team that has an attacking philosophy from the start to the finish in the league. We are far more exposed because of all our players joining the attack and yet we let in less goals than in the years when we were famous for our more defensive style of play.
And I will admit that this season we let in a few more goals than one could have expected looking at the average number. But keep in mind that our centre back situation was 3 new centre backs. Koscielny and Squilacci as completely new and Djourou as well like a new signing after being out for one year. And that our proven centre back Vermaelen has been out for almost the whole season. So maybe, just maybe our centre back situation isn’t that desperate and maybe, just maybe they aren’t so useless as some people paint them?
Needless to say that all this results in a far better goal difference if you compare both periods. In the days before Wenger we had a positive goal difference of just under 13 and now this has gone up to over 28.
And one final note: under Wenger we only won one title when being first after 30 games. In the invincible season when all things where turned upside down. But in the other two season we came from behind to clinch the title at the end.
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History of Arsenal including the series on the failures of Herbert Chapman
Making the Arsenal – the book of Arsenal death and rebirth