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June 2021

Arsenal v Man City, and bad Arsenal runs under previous managers.

by Bulldog Drummond

So here we are having the worst run ever under Arsene Wenger in the league and we are sixth in the table as things stand.

The current run of league games (table amended from consists of

Game Date Opposition Venue Result Pos
18 26.12.2016 West Bromwich Albion home W1-0 4
19 01.01.2017 Crystal Palace home W2-0 3
20 03.01.2017 Bournemouth away D3-3 4
21 14.01.2017 Swansea City away W4-0 3
22 22.01.2017 Burnley home W2-1 2
23 31.01.2017 Watford home L1-2 3
24 04.02.2017 Chelsea away L1-3 3
25 11.02.2017 Hull City home W2-0 3
27 04.03.2017 Liverpool away L1-3 5
29 18.03.2017 West Bromwich Albion away L1-3 5

(The “position” column shows where we were immediately after the game.  That obviously then changes as other teams get extra matches while we are playing cup games).

So the sequence across the ten games is five wins, four defeats, and one draw.  That is of course not good enough for Arsenal and we would like it to be better.  But it is worth remembering just what the worst runs were like under other managers, just by way of comparison.  (And especially because we have had people write in saying it has never happened like this before).

I know George Graham got a run of eight games in 1987/8 of four defeats and four draws.  And Terry Neill got the all time worst run of seven consecutive defeats in 1976/7.  That total run was no wins, eight defeats and three draws.  Makes the current run look perfectly ok by comparison.

Bertie Mee had some pretty gruesome runs as well, especially the ten match run in 1974, which delivered seven defeats and three draws.  Mind you Herbert Chapman lost seven in a row in 1927, including a 0-7, a 1-6 and a 1-5.  But those were the old days, so I suppose they don’t count any more.  Still I expect there were people on the terraces in 1927 who wanted Chapman out and were calling for Henry Norris to leave the club.  Mind you they got their wish in that regard.

Anyway back to today what is particularly challenging is the fact that Manchester City has an interesting away form – combined of course with their current run of form in general – four wins and two draws in the last six.

If you have been reading the Arsenal History Society series on Arsenal in the 1930s, you’ll know that there is a lot of discussion there about how Herbert Chapman transformed the club from a team that never won any major trophy, to one that won two FA Cups and five league titles in nine seasons.

The key factor, at least in the early very high-scoring years before Allison took over, was that Arsenal developed a very specific counter attacking approach, and then played it at home and away, so that (as with Chapman at Huddersfield Town before he came to Arsenal) the club ended up getting an away set of results similar to those obtained at Highbury.

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What we can see from the above is that Man City have gone even further and have more away wins than home wins and have scored more goals away from home than at home.

So this suggests it is going to be a tough game, irrespective of anything else, although it is interesting in passing to note that the one team that doesn’t have any semblance of balance between the home and away fixtures is Tottenham (13 wins at home but only four away).  I wonder if the state of their ground is helping them – and indeed if they will lose that ability to do so well at home if and when they move to Wembley.

Curiously, although all of us who truly support the club want Arsenal to win every match, it seems there is a benefit from not being in the European competitions and having the problems that can be associated with being in the Europa or Champs League.   Chelsea are the obvious beneficiaries this season – although whether the pain of such a decline as they had last season could be accepted by Arsenal fans as part of the route to recovery I doubt very much.

Anyway, before we move on to the details in the next article, here is a piece from our friends at Oulala who have again provided some statistics that might take one or two people by surprise.

Mesut should be back and fully operational for the match on Sunday, and if he can find top form again he should certainly have a major impact on the game.

And certainly Manchester City have not done that well against us of late…

Date Home team Result Away team
29.03.2014 Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City
13.09.2014 Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City
18.01.2015 Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal
21.12.2015 Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City
08.05.2016 Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal
18.12.2016 Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal

Just one win for them in the last six.

More on the match in the next post.


Arsenal HistoryLatest

The site of Arsenal’s foundation to be transformed into an arts zone

Ongoing: The series on Arsenal in the 1930s is complete and the first six articles in the series have now been completely revised and updated including new pictures from the first Racing Club v Arsenal match.

The index is here.

Arsenal History Books on Kindle

The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.

Both books are also available as paperbacks.  Please see here.




27 comments to Arsenal v Man City, and bad Arsenal runs under previous managers.

  • colario

    ‘Mesut should be back and fully operational for the match on Sunday, and if he can find top form again he should certainly have a major impact on the game.’
    If the PMGOL representatives do not allow him to be pushed pulled and kicked off the ball by the other away from home players on the pitch, then I agree with you.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Thanks for setting the record straight, so things aren’t that bad! 4 losses in the past 5 games in pretty OK, according to you.

    Looking at form guide for past 6 games, City are 1st and Arsenal are 16th:

  • para

    For the first time i’m looking at an Arsenal game without any real interest to watch it.

    Arsenal has “fallen” and surely needs a saviour now to come save them?

  • Stephan

    Hmmm, so this is you saying the results are not that bad compared to previous managers. All in the aim to make your beloved AW look good. Shameful
    We’ve lost 6 out of our last 9 games
    The wins were against Lincoln city , Sutton and hull
    I guess this form is acceptable to you just because it’s AW
    No top team in Europe will tolerate such a wretched form, you and I know it
    They is no media campaign here, the results are glaring to see
    It has not been this bad under him since he took over so let’s call a spade a spade

  • Leon

    I think you’re comparing Ozil with the wrong City player. Shouldn’t it be David Silva?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think it is saying: bad runs happen. I think it is saying: Lets get behind the team and support them so they will come back to their best.

  • Gord

    Stephan, you’re a spade.


    I haven’t looked at all loss information. But in the time of Wenger, the most common situation is for the game after a loss, to not be a loss. If the next game is a loss (which would be two losses in a row), the game after that is almost never another loss (which would be 3 losses in a row).

    I believe there is a single occurrence of 4 losses in a row, in the time of Wenger.

    There is nothing longer than 4 losses in a row.

    Now go look at other teams. It is difficult to find situations where losses are largely confined to single games, and maybe pairs of games.

  • Stephan

    Gord…if I say I understand your point I’ll be lying.
    He is having his worst run as manager of Arsenal,please accept it and move on

  • Gord

    Stephan, you’re still a spade.

    Please accept that where you are suggesting your “advice” is not the place it should be given.

    So, move on.

  • Stephen every manager somewhere sometime has his worst ever run as a manager.

  • Gord

    Most football teams end games scoring either 0 or 1 goals. If the fraction of 0 goal games (by a team) is the same as the fraction of 1 goal games, we expect that the average number of goals this team scores in a 38 game season is about 38.

    We expect that 14 games will end with no scoring and 14 games will end with 1 goal being scored. 38-14=24, so we have 24 goals to account for in the remaining 10 games. We expect 7 of those games to have 2 goals scored (14 goals in total), leaving us with 10 goals to account for (with 3 games remaining). it is most likely that 2 of those games will be 3 goal games, which leaves us 4 goals short of 38. And a single 4 goal game finishes the 38 game season and gets us to our 38 goal total.

    In going through the above, a person rounds 6.98… games to 7, because you can’t play fractional games.

    Let’s say this 1 goal a game team plays games against a team which averages 2 goals per game.
    0 5
    1 10
    2 10
    3 7
    4 3
    5+ 3

    Our 2 goal per game team, is “guaranteed” to win 3 games a year, simply because it will score 5 or more goals that many times. Our opposition scores 0 goals about 14 (of 38) games of the season, so we expect that 2 of those games will end 0-0, and both teams get 1 point.

    Even though our “better” team scores more goals, on a season by season basis it is only “guaranteed” 9+2=11 points per season.

    Wenger’s long term average is an average of about 2 points per game, which works out to 72 points per season. Even if Arsenal were the only “good” team in the league (and was averaging 2 goals per game), they are only guaranteed 11 points. Sixty one points per season is determined by random factors.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with Wenger. There is something wrong with a whole bunch of people who either expect something far more from Wenger (or any manager), or from a whole bunch of people pretending to be fans (but really just wanting to be shit disturbers).

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    No bad run is ok whoever be the Arsenal manager that suffered it. Can Arsenal beat Man City at the Ems tomorrow? I think they will if they play very well, convert their chances and defend very well. A shocker in the ofin at the Bridge? Can Crystal Palace hold it to come away with a shock win against Chelsea? We’ll know in the 9 minutes time left in the game. And can Burnley come back against Tottenham who have taken the lead in the game there at Burnley? I think Burnley should come back because Arsenal finishing above Spurs for the 21st season run is still on the cards. Oh dear! Spurs have made it 0-2 against Burnley.

  • Menace

    Stephan – how many undefeated in a string has Wenger had?

    A few losses is not an issue but a Judas in the support is shameful.

    Stephan, you are a shameful spade!

  • Gord

    Mutter, can’t do simple arithmetic.

    38*2 is 76 points, of which 11 are “guaranteed” and 65 are dependent on random factors.

    And some times the ball bounces your way, and some times it doesn’t.

    In summary, most of the points garnered by any team in any league, are dependent on random factors. The only way to guarantee signicantly more than 11 points in a 38 game season, is to BUY the referees.

  • Stephan

    Menace…Mr undefeated in a string, Mr a few losses is not an issue
    Other teams talk about how many League tiles they have, we talk about unbeaten streaks cuz that’s the last meaningful thing we’ve done in the league for over a decade
    Every top manager has difficult spells, but his has been for over a decade!
    Wenger records recently have been bad lets accept that. Infact he has the worst record of every top flight coach in European football.
    He is having his worst season as a coach in Arsenal whether you like it or not.
    His time as a top flight coach is also up…AW is not Arsenal and he will never be.
    Results don’t lie guys

  • Gord


    What in life have you tried to predict? What has been your success rate in predicting that?

    If all that floats your boat is trophies, which may require much more money that we can spend, go find another team to support that can buy trophies. We are competitive and we are near the top. We have had chances, and we will continue to have chances to win trophies that people say are trophies, trophies that people say are not trophies and the league.

    But at the end of the day, you’re a spade.

  • Leon

    I’ll be glad when this is all over and we can be rid of the toxic WOBS & so fuckin’ righteous AKBs. Unfortunately the void will be filled by the BCWYWF’s who will morph into the WTYS’s.

  • Stephan

    Gord…so you’ve are saying we don’t have the financial backing to have won the league last season? Or this season or the season before last?
    We spent 85m last summer and Chelsea spent 35.7m, yet who is top?
    Or we should go to last season with Leicester?
    Common give me break
    Whether you like it or not…Arsenal is an elite club, and elite clubs thrive on trophies
    We are not a mid table team
    We should aim to be the best not glorify outselfs with top four finishes
    …and please, we are not competitive,we’ve not been since 2007/2008 season when we were 4 points off
    The rest have been large margins
    This season might be larger

  • Menace

    Stephan – grow up mate. The 2 FA cups were nothing as was the record number of FA cup wins by Wenger & Arsenal. You have been reading too much bs & following the wobs agenda because they do not appreciate the quality of football they see at the Ems.

    As for aiming to be the best. Do you honestly think that Wenger doesn’t want to be the best? He has been the best for most of the past 12 seasons. He has been defrauded of titles by crooked officiating aided & abetted by the media.

  • Menace

    Leon, you have probably outstayed your welcome on this blog. But hang in there because your garbage like mine draws clicks & keeps Untold up in the ratings.

  • Stephan

    Menace-He has been the best in which past 12 years?
    Best at what please
    2 Fa cups is indeed applaudable,but when you consider the fact those are the only titles he has delivered in the past 14 years you realize that is not enough!
    2 titles out of a possible 36 in that time frame is failure,no matter the lenses you put on
    We’ve been stagnant in the CL…weather we face Barca Bayern or Monaco,we will go home
    The league always slips away by January February
    Think we clutching at straws with this whole referee BS
    So the referees have all conspired to make sure Arsenal never win the league again under Wenger..,are you kidding me?
    …and they are also responsible for us never winning an European title under him
    This same referees were there when we went an entire season unbeaten!
    Let’s drop this scape goating the refs and the media and look within

  • Jared

    “Never winning a European title under him.” Do you understand how entitled you sound? We should be so lucky. “Give me trophies now or else!” Like a spoiled rotten brat.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I want trophies! NOW!

  • Stephan

    Jared…I see you bask in mediocrity if you feel winning the CL is a form of entitlement.
    Think of a top flight manager who hasn’t
    If we wanted to be mediocre we should have remained at highbury and not spend a dime over 20m on players, then we would know we are just an average team trying to punch above its weight

  • Gideone

    @WalterBroeckx 02/04/2017 at 8:17 am

    Spoilt Wailter! ???

  • Sammy The Snake

    Walter, You are too respectful to twist your readers’ comments.
    NOW means 12 years?
    Some respect, from a gentleman like you, is required here. Everyone has their opinion.

  • Jared

    No one is saying anyone isn’t entitled to their opinion, we’re simply disagreeing and lightly mocking that opinion. People are free to believe or agree/disagree with what they want. It’s just hilarious that this “12 years without a trophy” is being parroted when we’ve won a trophy in 2 out of the last 3 years. Oldest trophy and football competition in the world in fact. People are free to believe what they want though, I think most commenters do a pretty good job of keeping it civil, and that’s not easy considering some of the venom spewed by certain people here.