by Bulldog Drummond
At the end of last season Untold boldly predicted that this season Manchester City would win the League again, quite simply because they would spend, spend, spend and spend, and do everything they could to ensure that they would stay top.
In fact we were wrong, they didn’t go on another mass spending spree. In fact they didn’t even build themselves a complete anything like a 25 man squad. With supreme arrogance they entered the season with just a 21 man squad, short of the 25 primarily because they could only find four home grown players to include in the list.
Which means that come the transfer window in a couple of days they might well be in the market for a few more players who count as Home Grown.
And it was Liverpool that took full advantage of what might be seen as Mancunian arrogance and spent and spent and spent again, taking themselves to the top of the league in both spending and now in points. Here’s the current top six…
It seems to show once again that spending money is the key, although probably not just in one summer window but in window after window after window.
Of course Tottenham are currently proving the theory wrong, but I wonder for how long. We shall see.
Liverpool has used the money to good effect as shown by their home record…
Nine wins, just one draw, and they have only conceded two goals at home all season.
Could Arsenal go and play for a goalless draw perhaps? It seems unlikely against a team that averages, like Arsenal, two goals a game.
Arsenal’s away form was last season’s problem and there are real signs of improvement…
But is that improvement enough? 21 goals away from home is a significant improvement – a year ago it was 2 wins thus far, 3 draws (the same as now) 4 defeats, 9 goals scored (21 this season) and 13 conceded (the only statistic where this season Arsenal is down this season compared to last).
And it is this last figure that is the worry. Liverpool are incredibly strong at home, and this season Arsenal have conceded more away than in 2017/18 after nine away games. That is a concern, especially at a time when our injuries are in defence.
Certainly for Arsenal even to get a point out of this game is going to be tough going.
Historically Liverpool have won more matches against Arsenal than vice versa (86 to 78), and it has been a long time since we beat them at all in the Premier League…
|04 Apr 2015||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||4-1|
|24 Aug 2015||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||0-0|
|13 Jan 2016||Liverpool v Arsenal||D||3-3|
|14 Aug 2016||Arsenal v Liverpool||L||3-4|
|04 Mar 2017||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||3-1|
|27 Aug 2017||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-0|
|22 Dec 2017||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||3-3|
|03 Nov 2018||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||1-1|
That is seven games without a win over them. The last time Arsenal won against Liverpool in the frozen wastelands of the north was on 2 September 2012 when the score was Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2.
Certainly our form has faded a little of late in the League – here are the last eight league games…
|1 Nov 2018||Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers||D||1-1|
|25 Nov 2018||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||W||1-2|
|02 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||4-2|
|05 Dec 2018||Manchester United v Arsenal||D||2-2|
|08 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Huddersfield Town||W||1-0|
|16 Dec 2018||Southampton v Arsenal||L||3-2|
|22 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Burnley||W||3-1|
|26 Dec 2018||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||D||1-1|
Only one defeat in eight is of course good, but it would have been better to have fewer than three draws – and that defeat was against a rather flimsy Southampton. But perhaps the most worrying bit is that there was only one clean sheet in the eight games – and as I said at the start, a goalless draw could be our best hope.
More on the predictions website shortly
- Matchweek 20 – All the Games, All the Officials
- Reality can be very boring but can be quite useful in football
- How is Arsenal doing compared with half way through previous seasons?
- Arsenal – the “monster” Manchester City created (according to reports)
- Manchester City v Arsenal: The Big 7 Stats, and comparisons of the last 6 games
- Manchester City v Arsenal: surprising statistics and a result prediction
- Arsenal’s 25 man squad – is it already full?
- Yet another example of the way the media tries to put down Arsenal