How are Arsenal doing this season compared to previous years?

By Tony Attwood

The central question is a simple one: are we doing any better this under Mr Emery than previously under Mr Wenger?

The reason for asking is that the campaign to oust Mr Wenger was also very simple, consisting just of the message, “Wenger Out”.   It didn’t talk about how much money might be avaialble to the new manager, nor the amount of money other clubs were willing to spend this season, nor how long it would take for things to improve under the new manager – simply that in order to improve the manager ought to go.

So, to see how well we are doing compared with past seasons, I’ve taken a look at how our league position this season after 27 games compares with that at the same point in previous seasons.

The first column gives us the season and the second our position in the league after 27 games.

Season Pos P W D L F A GD Pts
2018/19 4 27 16 5 6 55 37 18 53
2017/18 6 27 13 6 8 51 36 15 45
2016/17 6 27 15 5 7 56 34 22 50
2015/16 3 27 15 6 6 43 26 17 51
2014/15 3 27 15 6 6 51 29 22 51

The position column tells us we are in pretty much an average position for this time in the season, in the previous four seasons we have been sixth twice and third twice.  Today we are fourth – and noteably we have won more games by this point in the season than any of the previous four seasons: 16 out of 27.

We are also equal with 2015 and 2016 in having only lost six games in the league thus far.

In terms of goals scored we are one behind our best season on 55 goals, but feelings of unease about our defence are at least partially shown to be valid since this is our worst defensive season at this point across the five seasons analysed.  We have conceded 37, 11 more than our best season where we conceded 26 by this stage.

The goal difference not surprisingly is middle ranking, but we have the best points total at this stage with 53.   That is eight more points than last season.

So on this basis it looks like a bit of progress.  More points and more goals than this time last season.

However we must also consider where Arsenal is in relation to the top teams in the league.  Here’s the table.

2018/19 – we are 13 points behind the league leaders, and with a goal difference that is 26 goals inferior to the league leaders.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 27 20 6 1 59 15 44 66
2 Manchester City 27 21 2 4 74 20 54 65
3 Tottenham Hotspur 27 20 0 7 55 27 28 60
4 Arsenal 27 16 5 6 55 37 18 53

2017/18 – we were a massive 27 points behind the league leaders and with a goal difference 44 worse than the leaders.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 27 23 3 1 79 20 59 72
2 Manchester United 27 17 5 5 51 19 32 56
3 Liverpool 27 15 9 3 61 31 30 54
4 Chelsea 27 16 5 6 49 23 26 53
5 Tottenham Hotspur 27 15 7 5 52 24 28 52
6 Arsenal 27 13 6 8 51 36 15 45

2016/17 – here we were 16 points worse than the leaders and a GD of 13 worst than the leaders

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 27 21 3 3 57 20 37 66
2 Tottenham Hotspur 27 16 8 3 53 20 33 56
3 Manchester City 27 17 5 5 53 29 24 56
4 Liverpool 28 16 7 5 60 35 25 55
5 Arsenal 26 15 5 6 55 31 24 50

2015/16 – we were only two points behind the leaders and a goal difference of one worse than the leaders.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Leicester City 26 15 8 3 48 29 19 53
2 Tottenham Hotspur 26 14 9 3 47 20 27 51
3 Arsenal 26 15 6 5 41 23 18 51

2014/15 – nine points and a goal difference of 12 behind the leaders.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 26 18 6 2 56 22 34 60
2 Manchester City 27 16 7 4 57 27 30 55
3 Arsenal 27 15 6 6 51 29 22 51

So we are back to the 2016/17 level of performance roughly speaking, but nowhere near the level of 2014/15 and 2015/16 where we were running the team then currently top of the league a lot closer.

But, and this is the big point it seems to me, 2014/15 and 2015/16 were not at the time considered to be great triumphs in the league.  These were the years when the notion that qualifying for the Champions League year after year was taken pretty much for granted.  But we have a long way to go before we reach that level again.

The simple fact is that we are doing better than 2015/16, when we ended up runners’ up.   But what has happened is that the gap between what Arsenal are doing, and what the top two in the league are doing now, has grown enormously.

We have enough points to have made us top of the league in February 2016, but now we are fourth, 13 points and 26 goals behind the leaders.   It is not that we have got worse, but rather the top teams have got a lot better.

If we want to catch up we still have a very long way to go.

13 Replies to “How are Arsenal doing this season compared to previous years?”

  1. To me you Wenger Out! wallies have made no change to the team whatsoever. You are talking the odd point here, the odd goal there. Not one major change to be seen!

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Emery, I like him a lot. Love seeing the passion on the touchline for 90 minutes, that gets across to the team on the pitch and I’m sure he alone as earned us the odd point here and there. However, I don’t think any Arsenal supporter had the right to put what was and still is our most successful manager ever through the abuse he suffered. You were all a disgrace!

  2. A few months into the season and we’re doing better than the last two seasons under Arsene. You have to give Unai a lot of credit for doing that with someone else’s team in a new league, country and different club with very little money so far and big injuries to key players. Judge him after next season to see where we are but at the moment, we’re in the top four and moving in the right direction.

  3. Tony you’re banner is definitely not on display at the ground. Unless it’s been moved I cannot see it.

    Are you aware of this?

  4. The Big Boss Mr. Wenger is the best, loyal and most committed coach around the world, no doubt about that. Emery on the other hand is the young version of Mr. Wenger if given the time and support he requires. Arsenal problems is in the board, if you see an obvious problem in the team and sweep it under the carpet that makes a bad board management. We have big defense problem and instead of the board to address it they are busy signing average and tired defenders. Liverpool knew their problem and they addressed it, now they are league contenders. What stops us from doing the same. Koulibally of Napoli can solve our defense problem. After all we were about to sign Thomas Lemar who was not going to improve us more for almost 100k, why can’t we sign a player that we make us content for trophies with such amount?

  5. Pete – I am sure I saw it there as normal at the Southampton game at the south end of the ground as it has always been. I always look across from my seat in the east to check. But I will double check at the Bournemouth game.

  6. The downside risk of changing manager (when you are relatively near the top) is far greater than the upside benefit – just look at Man Utd. who were forced into change and under four subsequent managers have come nowhere near what they achieved under Ferguson.
    For Arsenal to be in roughly the same place under a very new manager working with largely the same players is little short of a miracle. In fact we are, in points terms, almost 18% better off than last season. Maintain anywhere near that improvement and hopefully get to at least the Europa Semi-Final and it really will be cause for great optimism.

  7. Merson, you are still a boor.


    Abou Diaby, I apologise for mis-spelling your name the last time, but we have too many people here that will repost long notes with one or two words subtly changed in spelling.

  8. Wenger’s last two season were his worst but do you know who supped up the passion and confidence? The Wenger out chorus. These actually dented the confidence, picking on players, coach and the team needed to always self motivate. Now we are able to tell off the field comments actually play a major role especially in the light of the Ref problem we faced after the contract extension of Wenger.

  9. Tony have you done an analysis on how the team performed after Mislintat took over? That would be an interesting

  10. Hi Tony,

    What would be interesting would be an analysis at this point on points total last year for the same teams faced till now. Even though the schedules of the games would be different, it would still be a more accurate comparison of progress in my mind.

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