By Tony Attwood
In recent articles I have been looking at what next season’s Premier League table might look like. In the first article we showed there was a link between how much clubs spent in the transfer window and whether they would go up or down. Then in the second article considered how this would relate to Arsenal and this summer’s spending
- How much does it cost in transfer fees to take a club up one place in the PL
- Where will Arsenal end up next season? What the scientific predicterometer reveals is quite a surprise.
As a result of our calculations we suggested Arsenal would end up third in ten month’s time. But how exactly could this be achieved in terms of what happens on the pitch, as opposed to simply a calculation of money spent.
The obvious answer (although not obvious enough for any of so called “football experts” to pick up on it when making their predictions for next season) is for Arsenal to improve its away form.
Here is last season’s table based only on away games.
If the move up to third place were to be achieved entirely on the basis of away form Arsenal would have a lot of potential with their away record. So let us imagine that Arsenal ended up third in this table, then instead of having 16 points there would have had 33, as per Chelsea. So 17 points more.
Now if we return to last season’s PL table Arsenal would then have had not the 63 points that they gained last take around, but 63 + 17 = 80 points.
Last season’s league table in full looked like this at the top…
Add in those extra 17 points from an away season of the top achieved by Tottenham, Manchester United or Chelsea we would see something like this
Now in this I am not assuming that our record against other top six teams will improve at all – all the points could come from lower ranked teams.
Indeed we might not have to be that improved away from home because if we go back to 2017 third place was achieved with 78 points not 80.
In 2016, third place was achieved by 70 points (we actually got 71 and came second as you will recall). In 2015 we did come third and got there with 75 points.
So targeting 80 points might be overkill, but it is better to be safe than slip on a bowl of custard, or whatever the saying is.
But can we do this – can we get something like 34 points away from home? In 2016 we got 31 points away, in 2015 the same, in 2014 we got 35 points. So yes it was certainly possible with Arsenal under Mr Wenger.
Thus we have a method of getting back to third place, simply by improving our away form by 17 points – turning seven defeats into five wins and two draws.
Of course third place is not a trophy, as we were told over and over and over again by the Anti-Arsenal movement. So why am I making so much fuss about getting up to third?
Simply because given the amount of money that Manchester City has, our plotting to get top of the league is much like anyone in the Scottish, German, French, Italian or Spanish League rising up from sixth to first.
For Arsenal to return to being a title winning team we will need to take matters over several seasons – and indeed Manchester City will have to slip up. Quite how that will happen without the Premier League or Uefa reintroducing proper financial controls is hard to see. No matter what we spend or do they will outspend us endlessly, just as PSG will do in France and Bayern do in Germany.
All I am saying here is that a return to the away form that we had in the past while continuing with the current home form would have given us third place last season and probably will do this coming season. That is possible, and we have the mechanism: to get our away form back to what it used to be, and to be similar to the away form of the teams above us last season in the league.
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