By Tony Attwood
With this season’s end also being the end of the Wenger Era I found my mind wandering, and, being of a certain age, found it was quite hard to remember exactly who had won what both during recent years and indeed the who Wenger Era.
My thought was that no one remembers if you for anything other than winning, not for being runners up or semi-finalists, although it was interesting this year to find out just how many FA Cup semi-finals in a row Tottenham had lost. (Although just for the hell of it I felt I wanted to check – and yes Arsenal have been in the most FA Cup semi-finals (29) having won 20 of those. Tottenham have been in 20 and won just nine).
But I divert myself. What I wanted to do, and as I say this really was just for my own interest at first, although I’ve now decided to type it up, was to compare how the “big six” as we now have to call them, have done in the last five years. Of course we don’t yet know the FA Cup final result so I have added +1? for the finalists and given Liverpool one of those ratings for Europe too.
And I decided to see how far down each club had sunk in the past five years too, so I have a “Lowest” position in the league for each club as well
So here is the top five list. Obviously the League column doesn’t add up to five because Leicester won it one year.
|Club||League||Lowest||FA Cup||Lge Cup||Europe||Total|
Thus Manchester City have five trophies and either Manchester United or Chelsea will end up with four, leaving us in third place along with one of those two, with three trophies.
Looking at this I wondered if lots of Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham fans are consumed with the same sort of angst that some Arsenal fans have, over not winning the league a lot in the last five years.
So that led me to add a second column – not recording the winning of anything but instead seeing the lowest each team had been in the last five years. Manchester City is the only one of the five that has not slipped below fourth in the past five years. I didn’t realise that – unless (as is quite possible) my numbers are wrong.
And then, because I felt like it, I decided to do the whole of the Wengerian era from 1996/7 through to this season, using the same bunch of figures.
|Club||League||Lowest||FA Cup||Lge Cup||Europe||Total|
So yes, over the Wenger era we are third in terms of winning things, but actually come out best when we look at where the other clubs have ended up in their worst season (Manchester City are the only one of the six who have been relegated during the Wengerian times.)
Interestingly Chelsea is the only other team to have won the FA Cup three seasons in four.
Of course I know this is rather nerdy and many people won’t find it interesting at all – especially if the only thing that matters is how well one does this week. But I just wondered what we can tell from information like that below as to how well each club will do next year…
|Man C||State paid||Sheikh Mansour||As much as needed||Champs|
|Man U||Old but OK||Glazer family||From own earnings||Champs|
|Chelsea||Still waiting||Abramovich||Stadium might affect||Europa|
|Liverpool||Expanded||Fenway Sports Group||“Whatever is necessary”||Champs|
|Tottenham||About to move in||ENIC||Stadium will affect||Champs|
|Arsenal||Paid for by AFC||Kroenke||From own earnings||Europa|
Manchester City will, I feel sure, win the League again and again and again. Until the ruling elite in Abu Dhabi is overthrown or gets bored or anti-gravity is discovered and oil and gas become worthless, or Uefa realises that it has six leagues where there is no longer any competition and it ought to do something about that.
Manchester United are always the safest financially because they continue to earn their money through world wide marketing.
If Chelsea do go ahead and revamp Stamford Bridge (for which they now have permission) then they will have to move out for three years. Tottenham overcame all my dire predictions and made Wembley home, so maybe it could work. But there seems to be no move yet to do this. Unless I missed the press release. Twickenham, Wembley and the London Stadium are the three places they have talked about moving to. For three years.
Liverpool meanwhile are taking a long time to get back to their golden years. They are getting closer, and they have done a bit of a stadium expansion up to 54,000. But whether Fenway really want to keep pouring money in… maybe they do but it could still be a long haul.
Tottenham have the second stadium problem arising – moving into their new ground, for which they are charging seat prices above Arsenal’s (as per our previous article). Although our prediction for this past year was wrong, I’m still going to say the first few years in the new ground, and the need to pay back large sums of money in a short amount of time, could affect them. But Tottenham don’t care about what I say, and even if they did, they’ll know I got it wrong last year.
And then there is us. I can’t see Kroenke putting more money in, so the issue is, can we buy the three new superstars we need for £50m plus income from sales. Or will one of our kiddies really come good?
I’m really not suggesting I’ve proven anything. Just sharing a little meander around the figures, in the way one gets used to there not being any football for a while.
- The Premier League 2017/18 – what went wrong and some bits that went right
- Mr Wenger’s final farewell. Our last match preview with Mr Wenger in charge.