By Bulldog Drummond
So we’re off to Leicester tomorrow for our own personal final farewell to Mr Wenger. And this means looking again at the rather gruesome away record we have.
It really has been a truly horrible away season, and it must be a great relief all round that Arsenal don’t need to get anything out of these last two away games. We’re sixth, and that’s going to be that.
Thus perhaps the team, maybe complete with some youngsters, will be able to relax a bit more in these last couple of games. We can only hope so. Here is the league table based only on our away games…
|11||West Ham United||19||3||6||10||24||42||-18||15|
On the basis of this we score one goal per away game and let in 1.6 goals a game. It places us among the likes of Palace, West Ham and Southampton. But we do have two away games left in order to improve on this record.
Leicester City are now long past the stage of talking about being champions, and how Arsenal are scrabbling around trying to sign one of their players who rejects Arsenal and decides to stay at Leicester. You may remember those days two summers ago, when their supposed player of note was imperiously saying he would not be considering an alleged offer from Arsenal until after the summer tournaments. And then he rejected Arsenal.
And in so doing (if that story was true) various players at Leicester created Leicester city’s problem. The problem created by the fact that everyone got huge pay rises and new contracts after that title winning season, making finances now rather tight and no one wishing to move on, even if a buyer could be found.
Here’s their home record
|8||Brighton and Hove Albion||19||7||8||4||24||25||-1||29|
Six wins, six draws, six defeats, and fractionally over one goal scored per home game and an almost identical one goal against. Adding the two sets of figures together, it looks like being a 1-1 draw.
But matters get a little more encouraging for us when we look at Leicester’s last ten games
|16 Feb 2018||Leicester City v Sheffield Utd||W||1-0||FA Cup|
|24 Feb 2018||Leicester City v Stoke City||D||1-1||League|
|03 Mar 2018||Leicester City v Bournemouth||D||1-1||League|
|10 Mar 2018||West Bromwich v Leicester City||W||1-4||League|
|18 Mar 2018||Leicester City v Chelsea||L||1-2||FA Cup|
|31 Mar 2018||Brighton &Hove v Leicester City||W||0-2||League|
|07 Apr 2018||Leicester City v Newcastle Utd||L||1-2||League|
|14 Apr 2018||Burnley v Leicester City||L||2-1||League|
|19 Apr 2018||Leicester City v Southampton||D||0-0||League|
|28 Apr 2018||Crystal Palace v Leicester City||L||5-0||League|
|05 May 2018||Leicester City v West Ham Utd||L||0-2||Peague|
What we can see is a run of the five most recent games without a win, and indeed only three wins in the last ten, plus two draws and five defeats.
Also of interest here is the fact that in the last six games at Leicester’s ground, Leicester has not won a single one of them. Indeed their last win at home was in January against Watford.
In fact Leicester’s standing in the league is safe primarily because between September and December they went on a run of just two defeats in 15 matches in all competitions, which put them in a very solid position. For on 30 September 2017 they were 17th in the league after seven games, and avoiding the relegation places by having a two goal better goal difference than Swansea.
By 13 December they had shot up to 8th, just one place and four points behind Arsenal. Now although they are only three places behind us they are also 16 points behind us. Which is not to say that we should be, or indeed are, measuring Arsenal’s performance against Leicester’s, but rather the point is, at that time, they must have thought that rising up towards a European place once more was a possibility.
So the opening prognosis must be, although their home form overall looks strong, and our away form has been poor, Leicester’s current form suggests that they would welcome a 1-1 draw as a spot of relief after recent results. A draw, I suspect, is what they will be aiming for.
More on the game anon.
- The fixture list is fixed: finally a little bit more of the truth comes out.
- Arsenal have three players who’ve scored in double figures!
- Journalists give Arsene Wenger a standing ovation at final press conference