By Walter Broeckx
Most of the time I am of the more optimistic kind of Gooners one could say. But there are a few reasons why I want to warn you that our game against Wigan will not be an easy ride.
If we look at the omens, the calendar and, well, you know, the guy who supposed to stand in the middle and be fair…. it doesn’t look good.
Let us start with the day: Tuesday.
CL 18/9/2012 Montpellier – Arsenal 1-2
CC 30/10/2012 Reading – Arsenal 5-7
CL 06/11/2012 Schalke – Arsenal 2-2
CL 04/12/2012 Olympiacos – Arsenal 2-1
CC 11/12/2012 Bradford – Arsenal 1-1
PL 01/01/2013 Southampton – Arsenal 1-1
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CL 19/02/2013 Arsenal – Bayern Munich 1-3
PL 16/04/2013 Arsenal – Everton 0-0
So in total we played on 8 Tuesdays this season. The total record is 2 wins, 2 games lost and 4 draws. In percentages this gives us a 25% win chance, a 50% draw chance and a 25 % losing chance. Compare this to the around 54% win chance in general you see we dislike Tuesdays as the Boomtown Rats disliked Mondays.
If we look at the home games it starts to get very worrying. We played 2 games at home of those 8 and we couldn’t win one of them. We lost to Bayern Munich and only managed a draw against Everton. So no win yet on a Tuesday in a home game for Arsenal this season.
Whereas Wednesday is a day of the week that is far better for Arsenal. This season we had 6 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss. In percentages this is 66,67% wins, 22,22% draws and 11,11% lost games. I somehow would have preferred playing this game on a Wednesday.
Let us look at Wigan. Master survivors in the PL. Last season they seemed doomed half way through the season and managed to climb up to 15th place in the last months of the season thanks to a few surprise wins. We all remember one of them I think.
The season before, again they escaped rather narrowly from being in the bottom 3 and finished in 16th place just 3 points above the team going down. The season before that again in 16th place and this time a bigger gap of 6 points but they were into the relegation debate for a long while. In fact you have to go back to the season 2008/2009 to see them finish in mid table and rather far away from the relegation battle. But since then they had to dig themselves out of what seemed a deep hole each season. And they did it. So can they reproduce it again? We will know shortly.
And last of the bad signs for this game is the ref: Mike Dean. What more can we say that hasn’t been said before on this blog? Together with Probert the ref with the most clear bias against Arsenal. When I see their names in an Arsenal game I start to fear for the result. And when the name Dean is linked to a game such asArsenal – Wigan I just feel like giving up.
I can point at the win percentage we have under Dean of late. 9%. Not even the crappiest team in the PL has such a low win percentage. We have when Dean is the ref. We have the amazing win percentage that Wigan has when Dean is the ref: 50% win chance for Wigan. If Dean were their ref for each game they would be fighting for CL qualification and not fighting against relegation.
And as pointed before out Dean has his “favourite” assistants with him. Always easy and fine when you have build up a good relation with the assistants. Certainly in case when…well you might see some strange decisions.
So the omens point at Wigan surviving in the PL for a few seasons with a Houdini-like escape trick. The week-calendar suggest that we haven’t won a PL game on a Tuesday at home all season. And we have our Dean-bogey-ref and Wigan have their lucky charm ref.
When you look at all this it seems that we might need a miracle to beat Wigan. I don’t know what the odds are in the betting world as we don’t have a real betting world where I live but if I were to be a bookmaker I would have Wigan as the favourite team.
All the odds are against Arsenal. So we might need the boys to perform at a heroic level. A height like when we beat Tottenham 5-2 last and this season. And we will need the fans to be up to it from the first second of the game and stay behind the team till the ultimate second of the game.
Or maybe we could pretend that it is Wednesday? We could pretend that Dean is a fair ref. And we could think that Wigan is Tottenham. Or we just could get out there, get the win and show that all what I have written was bollocks.
- Ten factors and a PS. What Wigan’s cup victory means for Arsenal?
- What is wrong with PL refs: a case study – Swarbrick
- The Anti-Arsenal prepare for a huge assault on the club next season
- What is wrong with PL refs : a case study. Probert
- Why is there collusion between the media and the clubs over the way the Premier League is reported?
The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees 2013.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Royal Arsenal: from the Common to the Manor. Coming next.
The sites from the same team…
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society