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…
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.
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.
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.
- What we are not allowed to talk about concerning Premier League football
- Final score and live match report Arsenal -Fulham : 4-1