By Tony Attwood
The highest win rate a club has had in the Premier League, across a complete season is I think, 68%. In January and February prior to the Monaco match, Arsenal achieved a win rate of 80%. Including the Monaco match the ratio for the League, FA Cup and the single Champions League match was 73%. Include the league matches in December as well and we fall back to 72% win ratio.
Those figures are superb. Stunning, amazing, incredible. Chelsea’s win ratio through January and February is 50%. Across December, January and February it is 60%.
Arsenal’s performance in the last match was very poor, and is 95% certain to lead to our exit from the Champions League. But as I have said, even when we incorporate that game into the last three months figures we still get this sensational 72% across three months.
So that is it. According to the aaa and their media allies because of the last match we should get rid of the manager, get rid of Ozil, get rid of Coquelin, get rid of… well you get the picture.
And what is particularly interesting is that virtually all of the comments on Untold that spoke about how the manager in particular was no good and should go, and suggested, as one correspondent put it “Ozil doesn’t want to be here and never did want to be here” without any evidence. The evidence they suggest, speaks for itself.
Now the reality is that quite often we don’t have clear evidence in these matters. We have our results, which of course overall point to the club being in excellent health. But beyond that… it is a problem.
It is a topic we have often debated in relation to referees. Many of us think there is consistent match fixing going on but we don’t have a tape recording of the owner of a top team saying to the ref, “just make sure Arsenal don’t win”.
So we continue by looking around at supporting evidence for the allegations made against referees, and do the same to see if there is any evidence of incompetence by the Arsenal management and the players.
Just as we don’t expect referees to get the insane 95% accuracy level that PGMO says they get, we don’t expect Arsenal to win or draw 95% of matches. But we set reasonable expectations, and see what the evidence is for Arsenal making progress towards these targets. The results over the last three months constitute a very positive sign.
Such supportive evidence as there is for the alternative approach that a) something is dreadfully wrong, and b) it is Wenger’s fault or c) Ozil’s fault is flimsy. Whichever way we look at it measured by the results over the last three months and we are doing very well indeed.
Yes, a terrible night against Monaco, a bit like Chelsea had a terrible day against Bradford, but that does not give evidence for the totality of the club. We need more than one game.
I’m getting bored with these endless comments we get here, so bored that I’ve got to the point of cutting a lot of correspondence – for reasons that we have discussed many times before. Seeing the same unsupported arguments over and over is boring, asking for evidence time and time again and not getting it is boring and doesn’t make for good reading, and above all there are many, many, many other blogs around that are happy to call for the dismissal of the manager and half the team without any evidence. You could also go and read some of the national press.
Seeing this, some have retreated into arguments that we have heard and dealt with so many times before – such as the alleged going into the season with not enough players. We have explored this so fully that it just seems pointless going over this again – it is all on this site. Those of us who feel the club is doing well put forward clear points to try and engage in the argument, and we get nothing back.
But just in case you have just returned from a six year spell with the British Antarctic Survey in summary, you can only buy players who want to move and who the clubs want to sell, players have to fit into the team we already have – not everyone will fit, buying players can block off the emerging youth talent, such as Bellerin, some players do take a while to show their very best (Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Monreal), not every player wants to come to London or England, we were restricted in cash because the club bought and paid for the stadium, from which those of us who go get great benefit, and on and on… It’s all there is past articles.
Some argue that we can’t afford to wait for young talent – but building up talent through the club rather than always buying it in has been the Arsenal way since Herbert Chapman was in charge, and is part of being Arsenal. This is a club that honours its traditions – and virtually never turns its back on them. (1913 was one exception I can think of, and was done to save the club from bankruptcy. Employing Billy Wright as manager was another, and that was a disaster. Otherwise Arsenal sticks to its guns, as it were).
So what supports our three contentions:
a) that things are going ok and that painful though the Monaco game was (and I was indeed there, as I am for virtually every single home game), it was a blip.
b) that booing Arsenal at the Emirates does no good, and only does harm.
c) that suggesting just bringing in a new manager will turn matters around is nonsense, because there is nothing much to turn around if you look at the overall picture, and there is no guarantee that a new manager will do anything better. Remember, even Chelsea with supposedly the best manager around and all the money you could dream of, and then some, can’t avoid losing to Bradford, and can’t do as well as we can in the last three months.
Which leads to the question, what good does booing your team, and endlessly bitching about your team in blogs, do?
It doesn’t change the manager because the AAA activities have been going on for about six years and he’s still there. Their campaign has been an absolute total abdominal and abysmal failure. Einstein never said that thing about the definition of stupidity being the doing of the same thing over and over again even when it fails, but it’s still fairly true.
It doesn’t bring good results, as the AAA have been singularly quiet for the last three months, other than for the Tottenham and Monaco games. But remember guys (although I know it is hard) no club wins every match.
It doesn’t give the players confidence – clearly. The AAA attacks on Ramsey while he was learning his trade playing out wide obviously didn’t help him.
It doesn’t encourage other players to look at Arsenal and think, hey, yes, I’d like to go there.
It doesn’t bring prices down.
Hell it doesn’t even get the cappuccino machine nearly block 99 to work.
In fact I can’t see what good it does at all.
And thus we have a situation where a number of people who call themselves supporters, allied to the press who have their own agenda in footballing terms, criticise Arsenal remorselessly. It is an agenda that can’t do any good, and obviously doesn’t do any good.
Thus I ask myself the question, who has an agenda, and pursues it remorselessly, even in the face of evidence that the agenda isn’t getting anywhere and can’t do any good?
The answer is children. And I say this as a father of three – all now grown up. Up to the age of about 14 they behave like the aaa and the media. They know what they want (gratification) and they know when they want it (now). Negotiation abilities are mostly noted by their absolute absence.
The term AAA (or aaa) has been, and is useful to describe a type of person who criticises Arsenal without reference to the facts. But in the light of this criticism continuing in the face of such a positive three months overall at Arsenal, I think a new name is called for. Children.
At least with children when they are at their most annoying (and I utterly, utterly adore my daughters – but occasionally in between the ages of 8 and 14 they got to me a bit) you know that if you do your level best and bring them up right, they’ll grow out of it. We can only hope that is true of the media and their supporters who claim to like Arsenal.
Anyway kiddies. Time for school.
The good (although it didn’t look like it at the time)
27 February 1971: Derby 2 Arsenal 0. League match 29 of the first Double season. Three defeats in the last five games cast major doubts over Arsenal’s attempt to win the league with Arsenal seven points behind Leeds but two games in hand.
27 February 1954: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 0. It was part of a four match sequence without a win as Arsenal slumped to 12th – although not below Tottenham who finished 16th.
The utterly atrocious and appalling:
27 February 2010: Ramsey was seriously assaulted by Shawcross who was then given a place in the England squad. Thereafter Stoke fans booed Ramsey, each time the clubs met.
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