Is it the games v the top 6, or the games v the rest, that decide matters?

by ARSENAL 13.

So, 26 played. We are 2nd with 56 points. Trailing the ‘big headed man on a little pony’ by 1 point and leading the Oilers by 2 points. Oilers have a game in hand as I write though. We played Man Utd on Wednesday, which ended up in a draw. Not a bad result for us after what happened on Saturday.

Man Utd, after all the predictions by our usual pundits, are off the pace by 15 points. It’s highly unlikely they’ll make it to the top 4. And us, after a disastrous, end of the world, we are doomed, relegation is imminent start to the season are second.

Last week we lost to Liverpool at Anfield. Shocking result that was. But more shocking was the flood of doomsday scare mongers in the social media and blogs. The comments section here too had a similar flood. Some comments that I couldn’t digest got me thinking and into a researcher mode. The comments which can be summarised to:

– Arsenal don’t play well against top teams and unless you do good, you are in no position to win the league.

And the usual, ARSENE doesn’t do tactics, can’t defend, 7 years no trophy…..etc. etc. etc. As I said before, I couldn’t digest this. So I collected data (from the internet of course) and have come up with year on year graph which can support my side of the argument (mini league is not the title decider).

The graph is about points per game (PPG). The red line represents the mini league (games between top 6) PPG. The blue line represents the league PPG and the orange line represents the PPG in the other 28 games (other 28s league), which some people believe is not worth noting, in the respective seasons.

To summarise:

  • Red line: Points per game in games between the top six
  • Blue line: Points per game in the league as a whole
  • Orange line: Points per game in the other 28 games.


Starting with 2004-05. This year we finished second behind Chelsea. Top six that season were Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, Everton, Liverpool and Bolton. In the mini league Arsenal collected 1.2 ppg, same as Bolton who finished 6th (even though they collected more points than Liverpool and Everton).

Arsenal collected fewer points than Man Utd but finished above them, thanks to a very high 2.54 ppg in other 28s league. And Chelsea had a brilliant season with a very consistent run.

Interestingly Arsenal and Chelsea collected points at 2.54 ppg in the other 28s league. Hence a better show in the mini league helped Chelsea win the league.


The next season, 2005-06. Chelsea was super consistent. That meant others had to drop points in the mini league. Arsenal and Spurs both collected fewer points compared to Blackburn in the mini league. But a good points collection in other 28s league gives Arsenal and Spurs a good league position. Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea all collect points at 2.4 ppg in the other 28s league. Hence the better show in the mini league helps Chelsea win the title for the second year running.


This season again we have two teams collecting points at 2.5 ppg in the other 28s league. Hence again the better show by Man Utd (this time) in the mini league helped them win the league. But we have Arsenal here collecting 1.6 ppg in the mini league better than Chelsea and Liverpool. Yet we finish fourth. Thanks to a poor show in other 28s league.  Also Everton finish 6th that season despite better show in the mini league compared to the Spurs.


Then comes the 2007-08 season. This can be termed as a close season with 4 points gap between top 3 teams. Man Utd won the league despite a poor show in the other 28s league, thanks to the mini league. Man Utd collected 2.5 ppg in the mini league. But Arsenal collected 1.6 ppg better than Chelsea’s 1.3. But Chelsea’s superior 2.6 ppg in the other 28s league help them climb over Arsenal in the final league standing. League table and points show that Arsenal did compete that season.


2008/9 is the season in which Man Utd had a poor show in the mini league. But their superior show, 2.75 ppg in the other 28s league does it for them. Liverpool despite their impressive performance in the mini league collecting 2.2 ppg, they end up second. Arsenal collect points at 1.4 ppg compared to the Chelsea’s 1.2 ppg and Man Utd’s 1.3 ppg in the mini league, yet they end up in 4th position.


2009-10 season was one of the three seasons in which Arsenal really had a poor showing in the mini league with 0.8 ppg. This is equal to Villa’s performance in the mini league. Despite this we had a good run in other 28s league. In which we collected points at 2.4 ppg, which was as good as the league winners Chelsea.

Man Utd despite topping the mini league finished in second position. Spurs and Man City, despite better placed in mini league than Arsenal, failed to replicate the form in the other 28s league, which resulted in them finishing below us.


2010/11 is the season we see a flat(ish) curve in for the mini league. 3 teams, which include Arsenal, collect 13 points. Man City collects 12, Liverpool 14 and Man Utd 17. Hence the performance against the other 13 teams was important. This is where Arsenal lost out. We failed to collect maximum points against lower teams. Liverpool collected more points than Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea and Spurs, but failed to consistently collect points against lower teams hence finishing 6th.


2011/12 is a season that was decided by goal difference. This probably is the only season other than the 2005-06 season in which top 5 finished in the order of their mini league position. We had a poor run in other 28s league compared to the teams around us. Chelsea for the first time in long time dropped out of the top 4. But a Champions’ league medal kept them in the Champions league for the following season.


2012/13 is the third of the seasons in which Arsenal had a poor showing in the mini league collecting only 7 points. Our second half revival helped us finish in fourth. Our other 28s league showing is bettered only by Man Utd who eventually won the league. Chelsea had the best point collection at 1.7 ppg in the mini league, but they finished third due to poor showing in the other 28s league.


From the above graphs we can conclude that mini league (performance of top 6 teams against each other) is not the marker for the teams league performance. Mini league performance is as important as the performance in the remaining 28 games.

A team that performs consistently over a period of time will only finish higher in the table. Mini league performance has only helped teams when their performances against not so important teams have suffered. Only 2 out of the 9 seasons the league standing and the mini league standings show resemblance. Same can be said for the ARSENALs league positions too. Arsenal have been competitive, though at some point during those seasons we have had a lean patch which affected our final league standings.

Just have a look at the next graph: Arsenal’s performances over the years based on same parameters. The points in the graph for the seasons 2004-05 and 2013-14 (so far) are similar. We have 12 more games to play, of which only four are against top 6 teams (Everton, Chelsea Spurs and Oilers).


At present we are at 2.4 ppg in the other 28s league. That alone can get us 67 points. And the mini league which we are doing 1.33 ppg can get us 13 points. A total of 80 points. The 8 games against the bottom 13 teams is key. Can 80-84 points win us a title. I dont know. But sure it does make ARSENAL competitive!

PS: “You can’t win title unless you buy players” was the reaction to the draw against Man Utd. I hope we win the title and shut these people up.








55 Replies to “Is it the games v the top 6, or the games v the rest, that decide matters?”

  1. Edu,

    You seem to post that with glee. But you’ve posted it on the wrong website. I don’t think any regular here give a monkey’s about what the Childish Narcissistic One thinks or says.

  2. Haha Maureentheho, the difference is you spent shitloads for success and have no class. Edu what was the point of the link? Its just saying he has no balls after how much the chavski has spent.

  3. Nice article,
    First time I’ve seen this articulated and well done for taking the time to do it.
    It is a sorry indictment on the intellectual level of what seems like the many in that they can’t see that the outcome of 28 games will be more important than the outcome of the other 10 games. There are only 3 points per game available no matter who you play. Hopefully this will help some of the hard of thinking to understand this.
    I don’t hold out much hope though.

  4. Edu,
    Wenger also doesn’t poke opposition coaches in the eye then run away. Classy, Maureen, classy. Neither does he run away from every club he’s at at the point when he knows he won’t be getting more money than his rivals anymore or his methods are being questioned in those countries whose press doesn’t regard charmless boorish behaviour as in some way admirable.

  5. on the contrary, this is Jose’s childlike reaction to Wenger putting pressure on his team, saying the title was Chelsea’s to lose.
    We all know how the media will spin it though.
    If Wenger is such a specialist in failure, how come Jose was scared to play football against us in our recent game?

  6. Edu

    Reality check? So a classless imp who buys, cheats and bores his way to trophies, resorts to eye gouging an opponent and now at the only in the world that would have him takes yet another personal swipe at globally respected manager. How is that anything to do with reality?

  7. Mourinho is just embarrassing himself. Wenger can win that joust with just a smile and a wink…

    As I commented on a previous thread we have won EVERY SINGLE GAME against teams in the bottom 10 (at the time we played the fixture – which is surely what counts – before someone reminds me of WBA or Aston Villa). Not a single point dropped. Contrast with Man City’s efforts at the likes of Cardiff or Sunderland, or Chelsea at Stoke or at home to West Ham.

  8. My first reaction to Mourinho’s comment was, “What a douchebag”, but then I thought, the man might just be digging a pit for himself. Arsenal could win a trophy, or two or even three this season. That’ll be an “In yo’ face wanker” response to the man, and frankly the best. Plus, he’s just given our team all the motivation they need to land a trophy. You could spin it around to say, he’s piling on the pressure, but I’ll say this, if the players are as motivated as I have gotten after being disrespected to such a level by someone of that stature, success interms of achieving above what one has been derided about shuts up the naysayers. Come On You Gunners!!! My theme song for the team this season remains Katy Perry’s ‘ROOOAAAAR!!!’

  9. Haha! Its funny how people start panicking as soon as we loose or draw.. Also, you didn’t have to go through so much trouble to conclude that most consistent team wins, we know that already. My suggestion:- keep calm, and support your team.

  10. Wenger is a really brave man. To put up with the crap that is the English media for how many years, 17, that’s nothing short of amazing. I have had enough of them but they don’t even have a go at me. Mourinho is a classless twat who knows what the english media wants to hear, and takes every opportunity to have at Wenger unprovoked, the son of a bitch.

  11. Mou is just being an idiot, Wenger said the league is in Chelsea’s control and he took that as an offence!!
    But the media laps it up as Arry is no longer around.

  12. @ClockEndRider
    You didn’t mention the lies Mourinho told about respected referee Anders Frisk, resulting in his early retirement due to death threats to him and his family from Chelsea fans. What a scumbag piece of shit Mourinho is, no wonder the media love him, birds of a feather flock together as the saying goes.

  13. “Mourinho is out of order, and wrong with Wenger comments. He’s won trophies galore all over the world, playing delightful football. Yes, Wenger hasn’t won anything for a number of years, but he hasn’t, until very recently, had the budget of others. Club is in great shape.” – Gary Lineker

  14. “He’s out of order,
    disconnected with reality and
    disrespectful. When you give success
    to stupid people, it makes them more
    stupid sometimes.”- Wenger on Mourinho in 2005. Still relevant to this day

  15. 1. In that time we were in a position to win trophies. Wenger didn’t stop bottlers. Would Mourinho lose a cup final against Birmingham. Just an example. 2. No excuse for this transfer window. Mourinho in the mind games has made him look like a total fool

  16. The team was rightly booed off at half time and I bloody well hope stones are thrown on the pitch should another debacle unfold like last Saturday. Over paid mercenaries led by theking kKong scrooge taking eight million a year, get the ef out of here you loser

  17. Rob,

    Other than trolling on the Internet, what have you ever achieved in your life? Please come back to give opinions on Wenger’s achievement when you’ve had some personal successes.

    That should keep you away FOREVER.


  18. yes Mourinho is a prick but of course he is right and I am actually glad that he has come out and said it – the media do at least listen to himhow Wenger reacts will be interesting – I just dont see how he can argue against it

  19. It will be very interesting to see Wenger’s response. If he repeats his belief that 4th place is a trophy and the last 8 years have been a ‘success’ for a club of our size he’ll get pilloried. If he whines about money it won’t cut it and Mourinho will come back with another riposte mocking him for being obsessed with money and some sort of wisecrack about how he should work at a bank or something. Think he’ll just have to keep his mouth shut and brush it off/take it on the chin, which he’ll hate doing. But at the end of the day the 9-year drought is indefensible and I’m glad it has been publicly questioned again.

  20. @Arsenal 13

    A very interesting article and data presentation. Lets hope injuries and fixture clutter don’t cost us too many points in the run in – we will have enough problems with the men in black – no doubt Riley’s mob will try to cost us points just as they did on previous occasions.

  21. We are talking about 9 years now and the only trophy we’ve really got near winning was a Mickey Mouse Cup that we lost against a relegated side.And level playing field or not, we SHOULD be comparing ourselves to the best – and Chelsea have been there or thereabouts for a decade now so it’s not a stupid comparison (even if you place some caveats on it).Not that we need a comparison to know that for a club of our stature and resources we have hugely underperformed. No amount of money that Chavs or Citeh or whoever have will ever excuse Wenger’s bizarre decisions on and off the pitch. Or explain why despite all the moneybags complaints we haven’t finished above United since 2005.

  22. Bootoomee, good point well made, but I would advise you that a guy of your class does not have to bother responding to or even recognising someone like Rob, a bit like wenger with Jose

  23. @Bugziie,
    That’s the spirit!, you just gotta ride the donkey, little or not! I wonder how people cannot connect that the first battle is always mental. The Burrito is a master of the dark arts, he’s is putting the fear into possibly our players and most definitely the twelfth man.
    The best response is to tune him out, he is irrelevant if we truly mean to get behind our lads and do our bit to get our boys over the line. The atmosphere at the Emirates against United was dismal, the players needed the crowd to bolster their confidence,i am afraid we the fans need a lot of work, there are 18 other teams in the league who’d die to be where we are. But, what’s the point….
    Get yourself a little of what you fancy, kick back and relish being the other twelfth man, scoring every goal and crunching into every tackle with the lads!.
    Dinah, honorary goonerette, please pass on the message the team is asking it’s fans…

  24. Seriously people can someone please explain to me what is it that sooo super fantastic about those shinny silvery things called trophies? It is impossible to debate about anything about football without them being brought up. Saying this because i have been trying to explain to a chelsea supporting buddy of mine on Wenger`s far greater achievements in the past 8 years than Maureen`s but apparently they do not count because they are not trophies. After about half an hour i gave up because honestly its pointless.

  25. @Pete, don’t tempt fate, we haven’t played Stoke away or Wham at home yet.

    Nice graph action. As far as I’m concerned though every game counts and I hope you’re not thinking that we can afford to lose our four games against our rivals. If we did we’d almost certainly have to win the remaining eight which would be a difficult task without both Walcott and Ramsey; I really hope the latter is not out for the season.

  26. Bootoomee

    It’s you who resorted to pedophiles rapists. And genocide if that’s your best attempt At intellect then I am really missing something
    And if that’s what you call a mental ass kick you can have it

  27. @Mahdain, if you don’t like trophies why don’t you support Stoke?

    But seriously footballers like to win trophies and I think Arsenal do too. If they weren’t interested in trophies they’d have stayed at Highbury and Wenger wouldn’t fork out 42 million for Ozil who I’m sure was convinced to come to Arsenal because Wenger assured him that we would be winning the odd trophy which is hardly a bad thing. You may not like Mourinho’s methods but his achievements in recent years have eclipsed Wengers’ but of course he has had stints at cash rich clubs which makes things easier. Also his style of football is hardly one to revel in, mind you neither was George Graham’s at times. Still it’s no mean feat to win the CL twice. I still despise the man though and would find it hard not to do something violent should I have the displeasure of meeting him.

    Anyway our poverty is over now and Wenger has plenty of money available and obviously with a more level playing field a trophy or two should be on the horizon.

  28. The font,

    I got you good with that didn’t I, Mr Unconditional?

    I waited and waited for your response but nothing. Anyway, stop fighting old battles by being a petty whiner. You lost the debate on logic. Move on.

  29. On logic. but what logic do you subscribe to one that makes yourself look like a fool for a man who likes to use 20 letters when only 3 would suffice
    You bully without understanding who you bully you hide behind a fear of being found out if you want me to profile you I will but the truth will hurt

  30. Mahadin your comment is simply pathetic. Who Wants to win trophies? I mean seriously? There can’t be a asylum for those kinda questions, that’s how stupid it is.

  31. Logically, no arguments here. If to win a league to collect most points compared to other teams and every win, draw and lose is equal for all the teams in the league, then match against any teams, good or bad, form or quality is equally important. E=mc2

  32. There is no logic on here by some posters. Some who are willing to back wenger and accept the top four rubbish every year. Fantastic to see the team getting booes off on wednesday and I hope many more will do the same come sunday should we play like that. Wenger has got to realise he is not going to get a free ride, like he has done for the past eight seasons on a salary more than the prime minister.

  33. mark,

    I am still waiting for a logic argument of yours (not to mention the shameful support for the team booers). Please explain what do you mean by “free ride”.

  34. and tada as expected the usual suspects bite. This is so easy i tell you. Im not gonna waste my time replying to any of you as your small polluted minds can’t think beyond the word “trophy” when talking about football

  35. Trophies dont define my love for Arsenal and never will they ever be. I was not promised anything when i started supporting the club and hence i dont think im entitled to trophies as some would have themselves believe. So unless Arsenal forced you into supporting through the promise of trophies stfu and support the effing team

  36. @Florian,
    LOLZ LOLZ !!!!!
    ……..”Whenever we’re in danger of losing a public argument, we tend to slip into an intellectually dishonest or even disturbingly “brain damaged” style of reasoning which tends to create feelings of confusion or even nausea on the part of onlookers. It’s like looking on the naked face of genuine insanity. If you have ever seen this occur, you’ll never forget it.”
    That was a timely post, Thank you.
    I found one with graphs and everything…

  37. Nice post.

    The summary is win more than you lose, gain more points. You get 3 points for a win no matter who you beat. But when things are tight it can make a difference. In 2007/08 if we had beaten Man United at Old Trafford instead of losing we would have been champions. This season is tight!

    It is interesting that Mourinho found Arsene Wengers comments to be insulting! Wenger spoke more about Arsenal and how he would take responsibility if we didn’t win it! If anything Wenger was sending a message to his own players..”we’re in this and we can win it”

    @Rob Of course we all want Arsenal to win trophies. I want us to win everything. Winning trophies is great. However, for some of us, we knew times would be lean whilst the stadium was being built and being paid off. If you didn’t think that then I have to seriously question your judgement. Incidentally we still owe £200m! I must say that during this time I feared Arsenal would fall out of the top 4. Not only have we not done that but we have gone to a final or two and come close to winning the league.So 9 years without a trophy? Yes. Would I have preferred us to win something in that time yes? Yes. Did Wenger make some poor decisions during that time? Yes! What manager doesn’t? He also made some good ones! Overall I dont see it as failure in the context of the environment the club was operating in. Not all things in life are as simple as right and wrong and it certainly isn’t as a simple “9 years without a trophy” or the often touted “spend some f***ing money”. Do the club p*ss me off? Oh yes! I think the 3 % rise is ill judged and ill timed, as is the charging of Category A prices for the Bayern game for season ticket holders. I also think think the recent transfer window wasnt exactly a shining star of achievement. But hey, 1 point off top of the league. That is much better than last season.

  38. Wanker has failed so many times at so many things that the only thing he does seem to do well is failure. Maureen may well be a mouthy *word censored* but he’s proven time and again to be a winner and that after all is what the game is all about.

  39. I grossly dislike Jose, His personality is one I actually hate, having said that he has a great understanding of other people.He is certainly right about Arsene, he is a specialist in failure.Failed to respond to changing financial climate in football.Failed to implement a socialist wage structure in squad. (thank goodness)Failure to improve tactical methods as others adapt.Failure to convince arsenal fans trophies don’t matter.We know Arsene can easily dismiss those not worthy of his intellect, but he knows Jose is right.I don’t hate Arsene far from it, but manipulating people is something I really hate.

  40. @Rob
    Tom Finney died today, widely accepted as one of the all time greats. He never won a major honour in his long distinguished career, I guess that makes him a ‘failure’ according to your criteria.

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