by Walter Broeckx
The final games have been played. The league table is final. As you know I have done a few reviews of our season and compared it with the games we had last season. So now we can try to draw a few final conclusions.
Until the game against Birmingham we were doing far better than last year when you look at the points. We had 10 points more than in the previous season. We all remember that this was the last game when Cesc played. After that game we lost every game 2 or 3 players and our injury crisis was the worst we have seen for a while and this is something for Arsenal.
After the injury crisis hit us we suddenly lost a lot of points and the final result is we only managed to get 3 more points than last season. This season we had 75 points and last season 72. Last season we ended 4th, this season 3rd. So this is slightly better but like I said before we were looking at some 10 points more one month ago and we couldn’t hold on to this progress that we had made during most part of the season. Losing the backbone of the team in the likes of Cesc, Vermaelen, Song, Arshavin cost us many points.
Let’s have a look at our weakness this season, conceding goals. Last season we conceded 37 goals and this season we let in 41. If we take the last 3 defeats where we conceded 7 goals in 3 games it was clear to see that we were missing the defensive combination Gallas-Vermaelen-Song. But this is not a good final result. Arsène Wenger has said it already that this is too much for a team that wants to win the league.
If we take a look at goals scored we made 68 goals last season and this season we scored 83. That’s 15 goals more than last year. That’s not a bad result if we also keep in mind that we have lost Van Persie for 5 months, Bendtner for some 4 months in total and also Arshavin was out for more than a month. So with our best goal scorers out for big parts of the season we managed to score more goals. If we look at the final games of the season we can also see that when we lost all those players we had difficulties in scoring goals. Only when RVP, Arshavin and Walcott could play a whole game we went back to scoring goals.
So the final conclusion of our season can be summarized as follows: Better in place in the table, slightly better in points won, much better in goals scored and the negative was that we conceded more goals.
If we take the two teams that were in front us and do the same analysis we come up with these numbers.
Chelsea had 83 points last season and this season 86. That is 3 points better and is the same as we managed to do better. They scored 68 goals last season and this season 103. That is really far better. Maybe it helped a bit that Drogba and Anelka have been fit for most of the season. In the league table they went up from 3rd to 1st. And if we take a look at goals conceded we notice that they conceded 32 goals this season and only 24 last season. So their final conclusion can be : Better in place in the table, slightly better in points won, much better in goals scored and also a negative they conceded more goals. Almost the same conclusion as Arsenal except that their new place in the league was more important.
Manchester United ended 1st last season and this season they finished 2nd. That is not as good as last season. Last season they had 90 points and this season 85 points. So again not as good as the season before. When we look at the goals scored they made 86 goals and last season they only had 68 goals. This is much better than last year. And when we look at goals conceded they had 28 this season and that is 4 more than the 24 they had the season before. So the final conclusion for MU is: worse place in the table, fewer points gained and more goals conceded. The only positive for United is the fact that they scored more goals.
Some general conclusions can be made and that is that the teams in the top 3 all scored a lot more goals if we compare it with the last season and also that they conceded more goals.
Another conclusion could be that last season the team that conceded the lesser number goals won the title but this year it was the team that has scored most goals won the league. In fact we are standing in the same order when it comes to points won and goals scored.
Would we have had a better chance if our strikers would have been less injured? I believe we would. Would we have had a better chance if we would have conceded less? I’m not completely convinced we would. But I think it is a wise thing to try to concede less goals in the coming season.
Scoring more goals should be not that difficult if we keep our strikers fit. And conceding less with our central defenders fit. Fitness is the key.
Football and plumbers
- What every football club (and most certainly Arsenal) is aiming for.
- The apparent decline of Tottenham and the question of care for players elsewhere
- Positive injury news for Arsenal ahead Monday’s game with Sheffield United
- Arsenal’s finances stay secure but we can expect more price rises for fans
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk