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Now and then: Arsenal after 21 games compared with previous years.

By Tony Attwood

So how are we now doing after the Christmas and New Year rush, having played 21 games, compared with recent seasons?  It’s a question that fascinates me, even if no one else wants to rush into the numbers.

It seems to me to be a relevant question since the whole purpose of the Wenger Out campaign was to get an improvement over the way things were going in recent years.

Arsenal brought in five players last summer…

Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus) 
Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen)
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Dortmund) 
Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria)
Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient)

Of course the Wenger Out campaign was a two word campaign and didn’t state just how many games or seasons the new manager would have in order to perform better than Mr Wenger.  But looking across five seasons gives us a big of an indication of how things are going.

Season P W D L F A GD Pts
2018/19 21 12 5 4 46 31 15 41
2017/18 21 11 5 5 38 26 12 38
2016/17 21 13 5 3 48 22 26 44
2015/16 21 13 4 4 37 21 16 43
2014/15 21 10 6 5 37 25 12 36
2013/14 21 15 3 3 41 19 22 48
Average 21 12.4 4.6 4 40.2 22.6 17.6 41.8

Here I am comparing the results with those after 21 games for the previous five years.  The final row marked “Average” gives the average count for that column across 2013/14 to 2018/19.  So we can compare the final row marked “average” with the top row marked “2018/19”.

Basically what we see is that in terms of results, we are running at the average level for the last five seasons.   As a result the points total is also the same – an average of 41.8 points after 21 games and this season we have 41.

But it is in goals scored that we have the difference – 46 goals is greater than any season other than 2016/17 when we had 48 by this stage, and is six more goals than our average after 21 games.

However, there is always a “however”.  This is our worst defensive year.  We have let in 12 more goals than in our best season in the past five completed years, and we have conceded eight more goals than the average across those five seasons.

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This is quite interesting, because I think the common perception is that Wengerian teams could not defend once the defensive wall of the double and unbeaten seasons was dismantled.  The current total conceded is five more than the total by this stage last season.

As for our goal difference that is not the worst, because of the power of the attack – twice we have been down to 12, but it is below average.

And overall the points total is pretty much average – just 0.8 points different.

So looking at it from the points point of view, if you see what I mean, we are running at pretty much where we have been for the last five years.

Now Mr Emery is talking about bringing in one or two new players at this time – and that could bring about quite a change.  Although as noted before he is a little restricted here.   We have two vacancies in the 25 in that two of our injured players are clearly not going to play again this season.  And there could be a third vacancy if Ramsey goes.

But all three players are home grown, and so in terms of a straight departure and replacement the playing coming in would have to be home grown too.

If we want to bring in a foreign player we will have to get rid of one of our foreign players.  Now although there are a lot of people in the ground who seem to think that we should get rid of Mustafi and Xhaka, if we did that we would not be any better off in terms of cover – and cover in defence seems to me to be the problem at the moment.

It will indeed be interesting to see what transpires in the window.

8 comments to Now and then: Arsenal after 21 games compared with previous years.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Even before Arsenal played against Liverpool in the PL last Saturday and lost the match, the moments they dropped 2 points at home against Wolves, dropped the whole 3 at away to Southampton and dropped another 2 at away to Brighton totaling 7 points they’ve dropped altogether in the 3 matches, I started getting suspicious Arsenal could have a big fight on their hands to fight if they are to get a top four place table finish this season. And not to talk of their been out of the PL title race which became painfully obvious after they’ve dropped those 7 points. Whereas had they collected the maximum 9 points from these 3 matches which they ought to have collected had they not caved in in the matches to falter to deceive by collecting the only 2 points they managed to garner, Arsenal would have been on 48 points at the end of week 21 in the PL campaign and nursing the hopes of winning the title at the end of the season if they step it up in the remaining 18 matches left for them to play for 54 points from week 22 to the end of the season.

    I don’t know if the Emery’s manage Arsenal that collected 38 points during the 1st half of the season can step it up to collect at least 47 points out of the 54 on offer to garner a total of 85 points at the end of the season which should see them get one of the top four places in the table this season. But will the Emery’s manage Arsenal be able to collect up to 85 points at the end of this season’s campaign in the PL? Emery is reported to have said Arsenal could in this January window upgrade the Arsenal first team squad with at least 2 top quality players to enhance the first team’s campaign in all the 3 competitions that they are still competing for position and titles this season. But a notion is on saying if Arsenal are to sign new players in this January window, they have to be home grown ones. Nevertheless, I don’t know if they can afford the high cost of the transfer fee that comes with signing top quality English players from their fellow PL club sides that will see them fulfill the home grown quota in their 25 Gunners first team squad list for the 2nd half of this season’s campaign, but maybe Emery will have to resort to Arsene Wenger’s ploy of identify hidden top quality English home grown players from the lower Leagues and sign them up in time before they play at away to West Ham in the PL to see if he uses them in that match they’ll impact positively to a victory for Arsenal over West Ham. There are top quality young English players in the championship division who Arsenal can sign to get more than the value of the money they spent to sign them. Meanwhile, Iwobi and AMN are fast becoming an asset for Arsenal this season.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Sorry, I ment to say a total of 88 points Arsenal will collect if they collect 47 points during the 2nd half of the season out the 54 points now on offer from the remaining 18 matches left to play from week 22 to the end of the season. And not the 85 total points that I mistakenly calculated they will get if they collect 47 more points from week 22 to last week 38 of the season.

  • Gord

    OT: Waffling between Desktop CSS and Mobile CSS

    This has to be some global variable involved. The latest two threads, have had no changes, and yet the CSS has changed. I am going to guess that somewhere, the systems stores the Mobile/Desktop identity of the last person to submit a comment anywhere in Untold Arsenal. And this “last interaction” is what decides what CSS we see.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’d like to think that UE has strengthened the team overall, although we hare still not really improved the defensive side of our game. All that passing in and around our penalty box makes me truly nervous.

    Many of the goals against us , were our our own mistakes and undoing. I hope that this gets ironed out as the players blend in better. This team has added steel and can give back in equal measure.

    That the PIGMOB selective blind to the robust and overzealous tackling and man handling our our players is very much evident .

    We have to be much more sly and devious when we retaliate. Apparently just putting up of our arms , or claiming that we are being fouled doesn’t work.

    I hope that in the new year , we give back as good as we get.

    Up the Gunners !

  • Robert

    “If we want to bring in a foreign player we will have to get rid of one of our foreign players.”

    Nope. No we don’t. We have 15 foreign (non-HG) over-21 players in the squad currently. The limit is 17.

  • Oro Thierry

    @Brickfiels Gunners, I agree with you about our decrease in physicality. I mean, I was proud of our response in the Man U game when the sacked one was still in charge. But after this game, I can’t understand why they’re being so soft particularly in midfield. Maybe when you concede 2 (soft) penalties in a single game, you become less determined in man marking. We can also notice that our midfielders – Guendouzi and Torreira – are keeping the ball too often. When you can’t pass the ball rapidly in midfield, you give opportunity your opponent to press and fool you and we know that referees are not supposed to give you free kick when you’re the Arsenal. I thought the Liverpool game was awful in the referring point of view but I was literally shocked by the game against Fulham. Referring in PL is very awful compared to others Leagues.
    TONY, I think the point here is clear. Emery must solve defensive problems. But new signings are not the solution. The big problem with this Emery team is the players haven’t assimilated the style of play of the new coach. The problem is our organisation. I remember Emery talking about organisation a few mouths ago when quizzed about his philosophy. He said that you have to be organized to handle pressure when you don’t have the ball. This where the fragility is. Look the first 2 goals we conceded against Liverpool. You can talk about bad luck for the first goal, but you don’t kick the ball like that when you’re well organized. And the third goal,. A simple pass from Robertson and the whole defense is off position. Finally, Emery needs a playmaker. The only one he has is out of favour and Ramsey is leaving. Maybe Banega of Sevilla? I know Emery like all his players to participate in build up but you need a playmaker to dictate the game when you’re in control.

  • Gord

    It is easy as a player, to think the referee is biased in a game. But, in a fair league all players should get biased or not biased “signals” at about the same rate.

    The problem is what if the league is _not fair.

    Man$ity has the most dollars to throw at any problem.

    To see an article saying that Man$ity has had a meeting with EPL/PGMO/FA about how many times their players are fouled is disheartening. Money trying to buy advantage.

    But, CPalace tried a similar medja campaign. I think the story was Zaha was being consistently fouled.

    In my inverse treatment league to GD 20, the two dirtiest teams in the league are the spuds and CPalace. If CPalace want players to not foul Zaha, maybe they should not be fouling so many opposition?

    Walter pointed out some problems in the Belgium league. England supposes it could not see this happening in England. Seeing how “old boy club” the FA is, more or less suggests that England is as bad, or worse, than Belgium.

    Any corruption in a “lower league” has a chance of being present in a “higher league”. If nothing else, this is part of “relegation”.

    Through UEFA, lower ranked teams have more incentive to twist results. But higher moneyed teams also have more incentive to twist results.

    I don’t normally look at what the Babble Babble Corporation produces in football. The BBC may have a reputation in journalism outside of football, for me they have absolutely no reputation with football. And their “report” on the game is just more evidence that it is a waste of time to read a BBC report on men’s football.

  • Gord

    You cannot solve a problem of “ineffective defence” if the referee will not provide a level playing field.