By Bulldog Drummond
Arsenal ended last season with a mixed collection a results
|08 Mar 2018||AC Milan v Arsenal||W||0-2||Europa League|
|11 Mar 2018||Arsenal v Watford||W||3-0||Premier League|
|15 Mar 2018||Arsenal v AC Milan||W||3-1||Europa League|
|01 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Stoke City||W||3-0||Premier League|
|05 Apr 2018||Arsenal v CSKA Moscow||W||4-1||Europa League|
|08 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Southampton||W||3-2||Premier League|
|12 Apr 2018||CSKA Moscow v Arsenal||D||2-2||Europa League|
|15 Apr 2018||Newcastle United v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|22 Apr 2018||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||4-1||Premier League|
|26 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Atlético Madrid||D||1-1||Europa League|
|29 Apr 2018||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
|03 May 2018||Atlético Madrid v Arsenal||L||1-0||Europa League|
|06 May 2018||Arsenal v Burnley||W||5-0||Premier League|
|09 May 2018||Leicester City v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
|13 May 2018||Huddersfield Town v Arsenal||W||0-1||Premier League|
That run of six consecutive wins at the top gave some relief not just because they were wins, but because of the goals – 18 all told in six games. Of course it then went wrong again, but it showed what was possible with the squad we had at the time. Since then of course we have bought and sold.
Last night on Radio Five Live in the build up to their commentary on the first match of the season one of the so-called experts said that just because a club has spent money does not mean it will rise up the league. Unfortunately the figures from the last two seasons show exactly that – spending more and more money does indeed take clubs up the league.
But the sadness was not that this fella got it wrong, but rather than he was there on the radio station talking as an “expert.” Ah well.
As you’ll know we bought
- Stephan Lichtsteiner, from Juventus
- Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen for £19.2m
- Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund for £17.7m
- Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for £26.5m
- Matteo Guendouzi from Lorient for just £8m
The main departures that we’ll notice were Jack Wilshere and Calum Chambers. Of course we remember Santi Cazorla, and he too technically left in the summer, but he didn’t play last season so we’ll not notice his absence on the field.
Manchester City bought
- Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City for £60m
- Claudio Gomes from Paris Saint-Germain on a free
- Philippe Sandler from PEC Zwolle for £2.6m
- Daniel Arzani from Melbourne City
The last transfer for an undisclosed amount of money is interesting as Melbourne City is part of the City Group which owns Manchester City, so the clubs with linked ownership have started to transfer players between each other – probably making Melbourne a nursery club and allowing funding to flow into a club where financial regulations from on high are more stringent.
Indeed if you ever get to go to Melbourne City’s ground you will see the outside is built as a replica of Manchester City’s ground, with the same colour scheme etc. Interesting that Fifa has decided not to stop this duality on the grounds that the clubs will not play each other in competition.
So in the light of the massive spending by Manchester City in recent years, and their runaway win in the league last season, can be hold out any hope?
If we look a the league table made up only of home games for last season we see this…
We were not the best at home, but we had a powerful record.
Looking at Manchester City away last season they were still top of the league…
Such is the strength of their money, Man City away record was better than everyone else’s home record. So can we find any hope other than some tactical awareness on the part of Mr Emery that takes the opposition off guard?
The straw to clutch onto is that although Manchester City got the same level of results home and away last season they scored 16 fewer goals away while conceding pretty much the same number as at home.
But there again their last five away games were
|31 Mar 2018||Everton v Manchester City||W||1-3||Premier League|
|04 Apr 2018||Liverpool v Manchester City||L||3-0||Champions League|
|14 Apr 2018||Tottenham v Manchester City||W||1-3||Premier League|
|29 Apr 2018||West Ham v Manchester City||W||1-4||Premier League|
|13 May 2018||Southampton v Manchester City||W||0-1||Premier League|
Four wins and one defeat. Not exactly showing where the gaps are – and they were still scoring goals all the time. 14 in five.
It sure is going to be tough against the Sovereign Wealth Fund, and whatever happens it won’t be much of a guide to how Mr Emery delivers in the season to come.
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