14 extra points, 22 more goals and a better defence. That’s this season compared with last.

Below is an article by Walter Broeckx, but before that, a quick editorial, as it were…

I am still not sure if the correspondence following the post on 31 December was the funniest thing or the saddest thing I’ve ever seen on this site.

Even after the top of the article was changed to make it plain that it was all a joke at the expense of the doom and gloomers we still got loads of comments treating it as a serious piece of writing.

Except many of those were written by regular correspondents who were having fun by adopting the tone of the article and having a laugh at those who didn’t seem to get it…  In the end it became impossible to tell who was who.  Tragedy, comedy, the two merge…

But just in case you are still confused, the note at the top of the page is still true.  We support the Lord Wenger in all he does, and yesterday was just one of the more bizarre moments in the history of Untold Arsenal.

And now, back to reality…


14 extra points, 22 more goals, and a better defence.   By Walter Broeckx.

Half way through the season and here I am back with another round in my comparison of our current season.

As before I take the same game from this season and just compare it with the corresponding game from last season. When I did this the first time after an international break some people said I was too soon to be comparing this season with the past one, but I still think it is a good thing to do this exercise a few times in a season and certainly when we are half way in the season.

One small point: for the new teams I just took the games from the teams of last season that went down. It’s not perfect but it is the best we can get in my opinion.

So for the new teams I compared them with the following fixtures : for Birmingham I took WBA, Wolverhampton replace Newcastle and Burnley replace Middlesbrough.

The observant reader will notice that there is no game included against Bolton. This to the fact that we still have to them for the first time this season.

So here we go:

Everton – Arsenal last year 1-1 draw and this year 1-6 victory.

Arsenal – Portsmouth last year 1-0 win at home and this year 4-1.

MU – Arsenal last year a 0-0 and this year 2-1 defeat.

In September first came the away game at Man City – Arsenal last year 3-0 defeat  and also this year 4-2 defeat.

Last year we won the game Arsenal – Wigan 1-0 and this year 4-0. The defeat from last year in Fulham – Arsenal 1-0 was put right with this year 0-1 win.

Arsenal – Blackburn were easy wins last year 4-0 and this year 6-2.

Last year we played WBA and won 1-0 but I compare them with Birmingham this year which we won 3-1. Last year we won the away game West Ham – Arsenal 0-2 and this year was a 2-2 draw.

We had to put something right against our rivals from North London after the 4-4 result last year and so we won comfortable with 3-0.

For the game Wolverhampton -Arsenal I compared this with Newcastle where we won there 1-3 and this year 1-4. Then came the trip to Sunderland and last year 1-1 draw could not be repeated as we lost 1-0. The 1-4 defeat against Chelsea at home from last year was almost repeated but it was 0-3 this year. The low point of the season.

Last year in the game Arsenal – Stoke we won 4-1 on the last day of the season and this year 2-0. Our most remembered match from last season at Liverpool when we played 4-4 was forgotten with our 1-2 victory this season. We then went to newcomers Burnley and I compared them with Middlesbrough  where we had a 1-1 draw and we did the same this year.

Then came the revenge for the 1-2 defeat against Hull and we send them home with a 3-0 in our favour.

Another game that hurt us last year was the home game Arsenal – Aston Villa which we lost 0-2 and this year we won 3-0. And finally game number 19 against Portsmouth where we won 0-3 last year and this year 1-4.

If we put all this  together we got 30 points with 29 goals for and 25 against in 19 games last season.

This season we got 41 points with 51 goals for and 21 against in the corresponding games.

So we did far better in the points won and also we scored a lot of goals by doing this. In fact we scored 22 goals more than last year. Also our defence has improved and let in 4 goals less.

We have an average of 2.68 goals per game and halfway the season we have 51 goals. Not that bad at all I would say.

Last year at the end of the season we came 18 points below first place. This year in the first 19 games we have got 11 points more.

If we also keep in mind the fact that we started the season with a front three with the likes of Arshavin – Van Persie – Bendtner and that 2 of those 3 are out almost since the end of October  and are still out these numbers are even more impressive.

And then add the fact that we did lost some points because we lost those 2 players and had to adapt our personnel and our system a bit.

I think these numbers are also stunning especially if you think of the many injuries we suffered during the season so far.

Walter Broeckx

37 Replies to “14 extra points, 22 more goals and a better defence. That’s this season compared with last.”

  1. I have to say Walter I had no idea we had made that much progress – it is truly a terrific improvement – and we are well on course to make up the gap that existed last year.

    And there is a chance of purchases of course – although I retain the view that we don’t need them, with the injured likely to come back at some time or other.

    Anyway according that highly trusted and exquisite source of news (the Daily Mail)we have just agreed a £3.5million fee for 16-year-old Brazilian forward Wellington Silva, (the Mail’s source is the lad’s agent.) Seems he (the lad not the agent) plays for Fluminense.

    Of course he won’t start playing for us for a year or so because of the age thing, and then there is the usual employment permission thing too (unless he holds an EU passport, or his grandfather was born in Lisbon).

    But it just shows, we are at a really high starting point – we don’t need emergency surgery we need to keep building for the future.

    One Wellington Silva, there’s only one Wellington Silva…

    I can hear the chants already. If the story is true, that is.

  2. Walter, thanks for this. As I remember it, at this time last year we had started the unbeaten run, but still had the four consecutive 0–0s to come.

    What do we have this year that is better than last year? We have seen glimpses of the Cesc of the future. Against Olympiacos, Blackburn and AV he was at a different level. That will happen with greater frequency until it becomes the norm. We have Song who has become a world class player. We have TV who apart from being better than the Kolo of last two years, has made a day and night difference to WG. We have the best third choice left back in the world. And we have Nasri, Denilson, Ramsey and especially Diaby, a year older and substantially better. It is not just the youngsters who are better – what of Eboue!

    And we rate to improve. Clichy will be back soon, as will Walcott and Bendtner. AA plays twice as well when Cesc is on the field. Eduardo is beginning to regain some form. RvP might be back for the semis of the cups. Rosicky might stay fit!

    I don’t know if we will win the EPL, but I expect a better return from the second half of the season than from the first. 86 points will be a decent performance, 90 is not out of the question. I justify this by pointing out that we play MU, MC and Liverpool at home and although I do not think Sunderland, WH and Burnley cannot be repeated, I do feel a lot more confident now. If truth be told, I will be very disappointed if we lose to Chelsea.

  3. Well I then to think I forgot to mention that I really got the feeling that we just play a lot better in every single game we played.
    The defeats in Manchester were unlucky in fact if you look at the way we played. We could have won against Utd and at least got a draw against City.

    Last year we really had games we didn’t turn up like against Fulham but thise time we always played some good football.

    I’m leaving the Chelsea game out of this as it wasn’t our best performance but we were unlucky with the 2nd (own)goal that killed us.

  4. brillaint post mortem but the question is how are we going to hold up in the second half of the season? two seasons ago we were more or less in a similiar position, and the reason i believe we folded in the second half of the season was the psychological effect the injuiries to edourdo and rosicky had on the team.
    this time around team moral is pretty high, however player injuries and the africa cup of nations will leave us short(and possibly senderos leaving).
    wenger has spoken about the dilemma his facing in this transfer window,does he reinforce his charges by deeping into a very exorbitant market with very little qaulity or does he wait on the return of the injured players.
    desperate times call for desperate measures, some times even a rethink of your own ideals, wenger has always spoken that he would never sign a former player, i believe these are desperate times, we have quality players on the sidelines, we need short term solutions whom would not harm the developement of players like ramsey who are very close to be first team regulars.
    wenger needs to resign patrick vieira and sol campbell, van nistelrooy will also would be a decent bit of business

  5. Your comparisons are valid and show what amazing progress the team has made under the Lord Wenger this season. And look at how many of our stars (all of the team all stars actually) are out injured at the moment.
    The top three (i.e. the three teams of lower calibre than us) must be shi**ing themselves at the moment. The Chevs are saying they’re OK now after faltering a little in December (false assumption) and Fergie the Red Nosed Monster says he won’t buy (i.e. can’t buy) in January. And where is the Red half of Mersyside?
    Ask yourself: which team is better set up in the EPL financially and through players coming through the youth team?
    Where is the Chavs youth team? What has Fergie produced since God knows when? How much money has Liverfool paid in trying to outwit the Lord?
    They all try to buy the EPL. We don’t do it that way, and our way is definitely the best whichever way you look at it.
    The Lord Wenger is a genius. This fact cannot be disputed. I am in awe of him and will always be so.
    One thing that worries me a little is what we are going to do when the injured payers come back. We’ll have enough for two EPL teams! Maybe we could have a second team take the place of the unfortunate Pompey?
    Whatever, the signs for 2010 are really good and I think the EPL is ours for the taking this season. And if we don’t take it this season, we’re going to dominate in the years to come. The Chavs are getting old and their sugar daddy will eventually get pissed with spending all his money for no return. The finances at ManUre will dictate their future (down, down down …) and who gives a f**k about Liverfool anyway?
    There is only one team and that team is ‘the Arsenal’ under the guidance of the Lord Arsene Wenger. Make no mistake, the Gunners WILL prevail.
    Happy New Year to you all!

  6. A goal difference of +30!? That’s a fantastic achievement. If d league goes down to the wire, we might need our goal diff.

  7. If we achieve 86pts we will win the league.The Chavs beat us with 2 ex-gunners and Drogba who has been on fire,unfortunately we had our on fire striker RVP,Clichy & bendtner all missing,but apart from that game i believe we have not been outplayed this season,we have seen our prophet AW again get it right,our players are more experienced,can cope with injuries to major players,can score from anywhere.We will succeed this season because we have a great belief in this squad(similar to 2 seasons ago),we have TV & WG who have formed a great understanding,we have two world class players in CESC & AA who knit things together and a wonderful squad of players who seem to improve each time they,this is their year.2010 will a great decade for ARSENAL,the rest be afraid,very afraid……

  8. Walter: First and foremost, A Very Happy and Pleasant 2010 to you and all your family! What a nice piece you’ve got up there.

    All Arsenal fans must agree that we are in very fine position at the moment. What we witnessed in the first half of this season (to the end of 2009) is share exhiliration. We are indeed very lucky (we fans) to be partakers in the unfolding of an exciting future of our very Dear Club. Most fans of the other EPL clubs are seriously envious of where we are now, and outrightly terified of where we will be.

    It is no surprise then that the so called P(l)undits, Media and managers of other teams, especially the hero-whorshippers of Sir F-word, are doing their utmost to put our Club down and sow the seed of discord amongst the fans. Even the self-confessed fans of chevski, who got trained by, and played for us in the best period of their lives are now doing a u-turn. Doesn’t that tell us how much progress we have made?

    Welcome the new decade I say; with joyous expectations. Ours is a glorious future, without a doubt, buy or no buy. And I say a big amen to that.

    HAPPY AND GLORIOUS NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, most especially to you, TONY and your Entire Family; including the UNTOLD ARSENAL FAMILY, of which I am gloriously happy to be one. Cheers everyone!!!

  9. *Sorry! Typo. I meant *sheer* not share.

    And Tony, I never thought that so many people would get your piece yesterday (31 Dec) could be so misunderstood. However, you should be happy, as I am, that so many people care so pationately about our Club and Manager. Wow!!!

  10. The club has definitely improved. Our games lost happened to coincide with some key players out like Dennilson etc, we do indeed have a great squad.

  11. nice analysis, walter. the stats are really quite amazing.

    regarding transfers, other than that mythical hulking, non-cup tied, experienced, ego-less striker with a golden-first touch who will produce goals by the bushels and who can be had for pennies, i don’t think we need anybody. (i’m being ironic. i really don’t think arsenal need to buy anyone. but with arsene, you never know what kind of magic he can pull).

    and speaking about magicians, did arsene really say this below, as quoted from The Guardian? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/dec/31/carlo-ancelotti-arsene-wenger-spat):

    Carlo Ancelotti has responded to Arsène Wenger’s claims that his Chelsea side would “implode over the remainder of the season” by branding Le Professeur “a good magician”.

    Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League was cut last month as they dropped nine points in December, leading the Arsenal manager, after his side’s third straight victory, at Fratton Park on Wednesday, to declare Chelsea “will drop points and steadily implode over the remainder of the season and sack you in the summer. If not before …”

    There’s NO WAY Wenger would ever say something like this. ^&*(ing Guardian. Another reputable paper with a great fact-checker.

  12. happy new year all

    nice article walter. these were statistics that were widely ignored by sky et al when doing their new year summaries. the decades facts were much more useful to them.

    undoubtedly arsenal is the greatest football team, and as fans we are priveliged to be along for the ride. especially at this great time in our history.

  13. Hi Walter – Happy New Year.

    As you know, I prefer the straight comparison with where we were after 19 games last season as an indicator of progress. I personally think it a much better reflection as it takes into account the natural flow of a season, such as the group stages of the Champions League, and the Christmas schedule.

    But what is interesting is how similar the two comparisons are.

    After 19 games last season we had 9 wins, 5 draws, 5 defeats (32 points) and had 32 goals for and 23 goals against.

    That is 9 extra points, 19 extra goals scored and 2 fewer conceded. Those numbers support your argument of “real” progress as well.

    I dont think there is any doubt that “real” progress has been made. I also think this team is nowhere near its final stage of development.

    Having said that, January is a real test. Let’s do the same comparison at the end of January and hopefully it will show the same great progress.

  14. Nice piece Walter. There is one small problem though: all of our players are going to put in a transfer request and leave for big clubs i.e. Barca, Real Madrid, Grimsby Town etc. We are finished.

  15. Walter, Thank you for the comparison with the corresponding fixtures last season.. Really excited for the second part of the considering the fact we’ve been improving as a team even now. Scared to imagine how this will play by next season or the end of this..

    LRV, it really felt great to see those comments on yesterda’s piece. Looks like the Majority of fans are more like “Silent Stan” than “Fat Mouth Usmanov”. But when its needed they come out in force to support. Last season’s match against Stoke comes to my mind.

    Tony, I wont be sad at all if we dont buy anyone for the sake of buying. We have a wonderful squad with lots of depth.. Which team in the world(not just the PL) can lose 6-8 first team players and still play like we did last season and this season?? I can’t think of any!!! But I’m hoping for some additions in the defence department. We’re little short as of now with Big Phil likely to leave, Djourou still a long away and With Gallas/Silvestre nearing their retirement!! Not necessarily with a purchase though, I’ll will be happy if we can promote someone from the reserves if the Lord believes he is ready. I feel Wenger is considering promoting Eastmond into the first team(if he isnt yet!!) as he can play both in defence and in midfield and have been playing really well whenever he was asked to. BTW, did anyone notice Almunia talking to Eastmond when he made a mistake and gave away a corner in the portsmouth game? I felt really Good well I saw that.

    Also, I’ve a strong feeling that either Bartley or Nordevit or both will be promoted to the first team by next season.

    Future’s really bright and the Future is The Arsenal!!! Keep the faith.

  16. Good articles,it seems the lads haven’t got the respect they deserves from the devil analyst,who doesnt fancy us doing something good.something tells me we might win something,because we are be underated….gunners suprise is on the way.God is going to suprise us this year 2010.Tony,keep doing your job.Happy new year

  17. I like to think positive of yesterday’s comment.. it shows that there are peoples who like minded with us in supporting AW.. It just that the D&Ger are more vocal (or simply shut off any different opinion on their web/blogs) that those who are supporting AW feels the need to voice their opinion here slating you although misguidedly fail to read the post thoroughly.

    😀 Its a good indicator I think ^^

  18. That being said.. todays post really put into perspective how the team evolved and improved 🙂

  19. Yes its great article Walter. Now task for all of us, turn on computers and check how many points we scored in 2009 (whole year) and you ll see that we are probably best team in world in last 365 days. With only 5 defeats (9 if you count cups and friendlies). Its amassing result and when you consider it is young team which getting better with every year, your mouth must be watering from things you can expect in 2010.

  20. Walter,

    you must put a considerable amount of time and effort in writing these posts,and in a foreign language. I know you will say it is a love affair with the greatest football team that we all share,but nevertheless I am sure Tony and the other readers really enjoy your input.Thank you very much.

  21. With so many blogs calling for Arsenal to “buy, buy, buy” this January because of injuries or the African Cup, Alex Ferguson made it quite clear why that is stupid. I quote:

    “Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says it would be crazy to buy a new centre-half this month.

    Despite their current injury problems, Ferguson insists it’s unrealistic to bring in a top quality defensive signing.

    He laughed: “If someone could give me the name of a really good centre-half who would accept a three-month contract then I would jump at the chance. But where do you find a player like that?

    “A decent player would be looking for a three-year contract and I don’t need that kind of addition.

    “It is difficult enough leaving good players out of the team without adding another to the mix, so I won’t be looking for a senior player to ease our defensive crisis.”

    When people say “buy to replace RvP” they dont seem to consider what happens when RvP and Bendtner are fit. When people say “buy a midfielder for when Song is gone” they dont seem to consider what happens when Song returns. And when people say “buy a top class defender to back up Gallas and Vermaelen” they dont seem to consider how many “top-class” players would actually want to sign with a team just to be a back-up. On another blog today I actually saw a comment saying “AW should sign Melo to cover for Song while he is away”. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT COMMENT?!?!?!? Hilarious. I actually spent time on Le Grove reading comments on that blog today. My goodness, thank the heavens that lot have no influence on our football club. We’d have a squad of 60 players, ego battles everywhere, no money, no space for youngsters to progress, and a team headed for relegation. But hey, we’d be buying lots of players so that’s allright.

  22. Happy New Year to Tony, Walter & everyone. Let’s hope it is a good one for all of us.

    Good analysis here Walter. Further improvement in the 2nd half of the season will bring us very close I feel. If the players can maintain their determination & confidence then I am sure the ability is there. We will need to avoid any more serious injuries to key players though.

    Good point Paul C about bringing players in. It is a balancing act that AW has to get right. He will be facing some very difficult decisions over the next few years with so many talented youngsters coming to maturity.

    Hartwick89 & others, I am sorry if I come across as a bit patronising at times, it is certainly not the intention. I suppose I always take a bit of a cautious view, knowing that football has a habit of knocking you down at times (but less so under AW).

  23. Regarding a centre half, the question is “Is Kyle Bartley ready to step in?”. With Djourou out until at least April we do not have any other right handed centre half.
    We definitely need a striker even if Bentdner injury recover before the end of January. Even Arsene Wenge said so. Looking at the reserve, nobody seems close enough to the first team. We may need to do a Kaba Diawara: Buying a player for six months with the express intention to sell him in the summer and sign Chamack on a free. Eduardo is still just a shadow of his former self. Walcott mad of balsa (injuring his rib after a contact with another player).
    In midfield we may need another body. Song may come back at the end of the tournament, but there is no guarantee that he will come back OK (physically and psychologically). Experience teach us the ooposite (with the exception of Eboue who really blossomed away). Remember how last time Kolo Toure took more than six months to recover. With Denilson injuring his back again, Cesc doing his hamstring, we are one injury to Diaby or Nasri away from having no player able to play the defensive role. Randall is not ready. Eastmond showed during the game at Porsmouth how deer in the head ligh he is still at the premiership level. Not bad, but clearly not ready to play week in week out for Arsenal. With Coquelin currently out of form, we are short of cover for defensive midfield.

  24. Paul C, I know you take another look on that and the best thing is that anyway you look at the numbers they are really good.
    The way you compare it we could win massive points in comparison with last season because we drew a lot of games in januari.

    I think we can all agree that we look very good compared to last season.

    I do agree with your remarks upon buying someone. I wouldn’t mind if Wenger bought another player but if he decides not to buy anyone I wouldn’t be that upset. If we would lose another big player before the end of January I think AW will certainly buy a player.
    But like you said: Song will be back next month at the most (hope Cameroon gets out really quick – Sorry Alex for this…. ).

  25. It’s interesting regarding Eduardo statements…I will have to do a statistical analysis on his minutes to goals to game ratio and while we are at it maybe add in assists and/or contribution to goals when he is on the pitch. I would do this to point out how dangerous he is to opposing defences ..Remember Eduardo did not start to shine until he scored away at Burnley FA cup Jan 2008. But, to my recollection was always struggling to get a starting job. And, then he was injured in Feb of 2008 and didn’t play until last March. So to say or imply he is not up to his former self is puzzling to me. Rather, I think he is amazing and he has not lost a step. I will grant you he has had 1 or 2 games where he has not performed up to his potential and its only because he has not had enough game time. Watch and see for the second half of the season his goal scoring potential. I see him scoring at least 15 PL goals throughout the rest of the campaign.

  26. If my memory doesn’t let me down it took RVP several games before he came to full blossoming in his role.
    The least we can do is to give Eduardo much more time to come back to what he can do.

  27. Walter,
    go to news now arsenal….gooner talk posted a video of Arsenal goals magic!

  28. Walter,

    I have been trying to think of what MU is doing to be so successful throughout Fergie’s reign especially the past three seasons. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…But, with this article you have jogged my memory by posting successes vs. last year. Could it be that Fergie encourages his team to not draw at all costs? I mean to say if you look at the damage draws do for teams vs. actual losses it is compelling. Look at MC they have only 2 losses this season but 8 draws…If Fergie were coaching what we he say to the MC players? Just a thought. I’ve been thinking about MU lately and I am trying to figure Ferguson out? Maybe someone could write about them in the post because I am stuck on why so good under his reign so long?

  29. Tim, You said:
    “regarding transfers, other than that mythical hulking, non-cup tied, experienced, ego-less striker with a golden-first touch who will produce goals by the bushels and who can be had for pennies, i don’t think we need anybody. (i’m being ironic. i really don’t think arsenal need to buy anyone. but with arsene, you never know what kind of magic he can pull).”

    Can Song play centre-forward?

    I’m only half-joking, his header against Pompey was pure Ruud Gullit. Fantastic technique.

    Man….embarassment of riches I call this squad.

  30. Mark, alas, Song is cup-tied! (African Cup)

    yes, that was a sick goal. that’s the thing about this team, though. with so much off-the-ball-movement and switching positions, there’s no need to have a traditional center-forward. for example, remember when gallas and vermaelen were scoring all the goals early this season, and some people were criticizing the likes of RVP? every outfield player for arsenal has the technique to score goals.

    i honestly think that this team has more than meets the eye i.e BELIEF AND CHEMISTRY ABOUT IT.I think the players themselves have understood that this game is a cruel place where opinions by media are always AGAINST THEM AND SO THEY HAVE TO LET THEIR RESULTS BE THEIR ONLY AMOUR.We are doing better than ever i think we have the same “THING ” we had during the 08 season and this time i think we have the TOGETHERNESS & DESIRE ABOVE ALL to succeed .Just look at how each player has performed compared to last year and how we got results from the “UGLY GAMES ” AS THEY CALL IT IN OUR CASE (BUT ITS “CHAMPIONS PLAY ” IF ITS THE CHAVS OR MANURES .SO whatever happens in January i donn know,but am perfectly OK IF WE ADD THREE MORE SAMBA TEENS FOR 3.5MIL INSTEAD OF GETTING THEM FOR 25 OR 30 MIL IN 5 YEARS TIME…AND AS LONG AS WE HAVE CESC AND DENILSON BETWEEN 23rd JAN TO 10 FEB WE’LL HAVE TO SEE THAT…MANC*** SALOONIST BERBASH** EAT HIS OWN S*** WORDS .

  32. Good post.

    I think song’s emergence this year is the best example to date of wenger’s brilliance. Who but wenger saw anything in alex song until about a year ago? he was universally derided by arsenal fans who assumed he must have some incriminating pictures of arsene to explain his continued presence in the team.

    Vermaelen’s addition and toure’s departure has also been hugely important. after kolo had his malaria a couple of years ago he was never the same – not only was he physically diminished but he seemed to lose all composure – with hindsight he was the one drivin gallas to the verge of lunacy, just like he did to sol campbell. now toure is sowing chaos in the man c defence.

    And our attitude is much better than last year – we’ve shed the bad apple adebayor, bendtner and van persie have grown up a bit, song becomes more like essien every day (still some way off of course, and even some of our powder puffs have bulked up a bit and like to mix it a bit – ramsey and diaby for example – and of course cesc, nasri and rosicky all like a tackle despite their size and the fact that they are injured for month ervery other time they make one.

    And the new formation suits us, and we’ve got arshavin, and last season was pretty much a write off four our best player, cesc.

    But it would be great for wenger to take out the insurance of buying another defensive midfielder and forward in the window, and i think we could be top of the pile this season. come on you gooners!

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