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Arsenal continue to confound: it is not Arsenal that is in chaos.

By Tony Attwood

“This topsy-turvy season continues to confound,” says the Guardian in an article today in relation to Arsenal.  Which I’d say isnt really totally accurate.

For the last couple of years we’ve been focussing on the difference between Arsenal’s home and away form, and for quite a few games making predictions of matches based on this, our predictions have been right.

And it is not that hard to do.  After all, the current home form table now reads like this:

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 16 15 0 1 53 12 41 45
2 Liverpool 15 13 2 0 44 9 35 41
3 Arsenal 16 13 2 1 37 12 25 41
4 Chelsea 15 9 5 1 29 10 19 32
5 Manchester United 14 8 5 1 28 18 10 29
6 Tottenham Hotspur 14 9 1 4 25 13 12 28

Arsenal third, just four points behind the leaders and so far ahead of the clubs in 4th, 5th and 6th place that even if they won their games in hand we’d still be way out in front of them.

Indeed at the end of last season and the start of this season we said that if only Arsenal could get its away form back to the standard of 2016/7 and the sesons before, we’d be easily in the top four.  In that year we won eight, drew seven and lost four away, and came runners’ up in the league.

This season has shown a marginal improvement in away form over last year, and that might improve still further with the remaining games.  And overall the fact remains that at home Arsenal are a team that can deal with virtually anyone (only Manchester City have beaten us), which suggests it is not the players that are wrong (as most commentators say) but rather the away tactics, or the player selection for away games.

So, the quote at the top of the page isn’t right, because predictions are not confounded.  Put it simply, Arsenal win at home and lose away – (that’s not always right but a fair guide).   If only  Barnay Roney did his research – but hey, research and journalism – they don’t quite fit, as we have so often seen.

And as he added, “as the rain fell in deliciously violent sheets and spurts, as the crowd stayed to laugh and yell , it was hard once again not to feel the change of mood in this previously rather angsty stadium.”

Well, no.  Not at all.  Arsenal’s home form is won 13, drawn 2, lost 1, with 37 goals scored from 16 games – quite cheery for the fans.   The mood at home is, most of the time, very good.  Where the mood is awful is in the blogs and newspaper reports which daily criticise and knock Arsenal, and talk up the feeling of rebellion and outrage among Arsenal supporters – something which is largely fantasy.

To show how true this is, take a look at some of the headlines from the day before the Manchester United match…

  • Why Man Utd are better away from home than Arsenal – Martin Keown reveals key reason (Daily Star)
  • Former Arsenal striker issues damning verdict on Unai Emery’s first season in charge  (Football London)
  • Has Unai Emery failed at Arsenal? (BT Sport)
  • Sherwood: Chelsea and Arsenal to miss out on top four (BT Sport)
  • Preview: Arsenal and Manchester United slug it out for fourth place at the Emirates (Arsenal Fever)
  • Jurgen Klopp slammed for ‘strange’ Liverpool decisions – ‘Arsenal don’t even do that’ (Daily Star)
  • ‘Arsenal are worse now than under Wenger!’ – Gunners slammed by Nicholas (Goal.com)

And that is just a selection of them.   The negativity is relentless and has nothing to do with the facts.  Yet even when the press try to write something positive, they are so out of touch with the concept that they get it hopelessly wrong.  Returning to the Guardian article cited at the start it continues…

“Arsenal are winning games they approached with fear in their heart until last year.”

Complete nonsense.  Arsenal’s home form has been positive throughout, and at home Arsenal are clearly not and have not been approaching games with fear.  The situation has not changed at all, except that the away form is just a little less bad and so we are fourth rather than fifth or sixth.

Thus, even when Arsenal’s performances prove the media (large and small) to be utterly wrong in all that they are saying, the media present more and more gibberish to try and validate their own previous conclusions.

Arsenal are not a team that was lost and has now found its way.  Arsenal are a team that since coming runners’ up in the league have developed an away form problem, but have had a very high quality home form.  It is a dead simple situation to see, but because the media’s message is that Arsenal is a mess, it cannot be seen and the statistics are hidden away.

Quite simply, these guys are making it all up, to fit their own agenda of Arsenal in chaos.

Here’s the top of the table, home and away, just in case the media start mucking about with that too.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 30 24 2 4 79 21 58 74
2 Liverpool 30 22 7 1 68 17 51 73
3 Tottenham Hotspur 30 20 1 9 57 32 25 61
4 Arsenal 30 18 6 6 63 39 24 60
5 Manchester United 30 17 7 6 58 40 18 58
6 Chelsea 29 17 6 6 50 31 19 57

 

33 comments to Arsenal continue to confound: it is not Arsenal that is in chaos.

  • TomP

    @Tony, it’s okay for people to have other opinions. For example, it baffles me that you continue to sing this home- away form dichotomy song like the away form problem is an issue in isolation. Please permit other people to look at the season performances as a whole, and not as 2sets of results one at home, another away. You may be right, I may be right, but whatever the case, people have the right to opinions on the matter.

  • rondejonge

    good article Tony. If people cant see how right you are in stating that the medja are stumbling in haste to make the anti-arsenal conclusions…
    I have another one: in a not so distant past, last year?, Wenger s Arsenal owned Manure completely (no angst here mr Barnie ‘I m offering gladly the facts on the altar of cheeky rethoric’ Roonie) What say the headlines: brilliant display of De Gea. No one even did dare to think, Arsenal could easily have won this. Now every pundit says: ah well Manu could easily have won this. Maybe so but you NEVER hear it the other way around. Right now Leno is world class and another fine steal for the Arsenal, and what bravery from Kos. When it was any other team, pundits would have said: They wanted it more and deserved to win. COYG

  • Ben

    The DM already started counting the number of red cards under Emery

  • Sammy The Snake

    This victory takes Arsenal’s tally against ‘big six’ teams this season to 12 points – double what they managed in AW’s farewell season.
    You have to accept that things have improved well under UE.

  • Gooner S

    I read the Barney Ronay article. I thought it was pretty good overall and well balanced.

    The article is here https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/mar/11/arsenal-manchester-united-premier-league

  • Menace

    Ian Wright did predict an Arsenal win with a reasonable explanation.

    Giggs & Fowler went to opposite way. Both were unhappy with the penalty but neither seemed to remember the reasons why Pogba should have had a red card.

  • Menace

    As for the well balanced Barney Ronay – Lacazette ‘took the tumble’ rather than ‘nudged & brought to ground by a clear foul’!!! So balanced he didn’t think it worthy of reporting the choke hold on Ramsey by Pogba with fat Moss 2 yards away. Balance? yes his tax returns must have similar unseen unreported balance.

  • John L

    Pogba should have had a red card. Like the previous assault on Guendouzi, when he was grabbed by the hair when running at full speed, it could have caused a serious injury, – even a broken neck.

  • Gord

    The officials don’t care at all about player injuries! Just this last game day, we had 2 treatments to players which required their team to be short-handed for 11 and 10 minutes respectively. And I don’t believe there was a single card issued over a player requiring treatment.

    Up to the end of Game Day 29, there were 545 treatments. Of those 545 treatments, substitutions were required 125 times. Manually counting the cards, I found 19 cards. None for simulation that I am aware of.

    The referees just feel these occasions where a physio needs to come onto the field to take the player to the side for extended treatment (and have their team play short-handed) are just a JOKE! I have no way to estimate time short-handed in the 45 and 90th minutes. But by my records, teams have racked up 968 minutes of short-handed play. I had thought the longest duration was 20 minutes, but that was a typo. But, just this last Game Day, there was an 11 minute treatment. There have been treatments where the team had to remove the player, but could not substitute them because they had run out of substitutions.

    Why do the referees think these treatments exist? So that the players can share a cold juice and share some small talk with the physio? Maybe freshen their anti-perspirant? While players can become hurt in the absence of a collision, by and large these treatments are indications of rough play. Rough play that they are CHOOSING TO IGNORE!

    I would guess that somewhere around half of the treatments are ERRORS made by the official. Perhaps they should have called a foul (it is really hard to tell if a foul is associated with a treatment). Maybe more cards should have been given out.

  • nick

    Menace , John l and Gord.You really do give Arsenal fans a bad name with the drivvel you post.I could wager my mortgage none of you have ever played football or any form of contact sport and you certainly dont understand the game and the way its played.The way you see things Arsenal would finish each game with 11 players on the pitch and the opposition none.Broken necks ,assaults ,,you really are clueless.

  • I wonder what punishment Arsenal will receive for the fan who entered the pitch during play. Whereas not as embarrassing as the invasion at Birmingham City , nevertheless and taken in the light of what happened there , feel the punishment could be severe.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Nick,

    Where in the rules of football or any other contact sport is there any justification for tackling an opponent round the throat. In rugby it would be a foul with the offending player removed from the game. On the continent the player would definitely be carded, probably red.

    Our referees do not know or recognise the difference between minor and major fouls with the result that far too many serious injuries occur

  • Im not a coach and i dont know if Chech Is better than Reno in the closed doors but i would ike the coach to give Reno a chance in goat on Thursday when playing with Rennes.

  • Nitram

    Similarly to here after the Spurs game we have the usual suspects bending over backwards to interpret the laws of the game in such a way as to justify every decision that went against us, and to criticise every decision that went for us.

    IE

    Rose shouldn’t of been sent off for a straight legged studs up challenge. (He ‘went for the ball’ which makes it ok apparently)

    Sanchez shouldn’t of been sent off for kicking out at and hitting Kos. (it was a ‘tap’ apparently)

    Pogba shouldn’t of been sent off for grabbing an opponent round the neck.

    And of course niether of our penalties were justified.

    And they have the audacity to have a go at some of us for bias.

    So:

    a) Where in the rules of football or any other contact sport is there any justification for tackling an opponent round the throat ?

    Which is the defence being used for not sending pogba off.

    b) Where in the rules does it say you cant be sent off ‘if you are going for the ball’ ?

    Which is the defence for not sending Rose off.

    Nick

    You like to tell us how superior you are (Menace, John l and Gord. You really do give Arsenal fans a bad name with the drivvel you post) so rather than insulting everyone you dont agree with why don’t you show us the Laws of the game that arnswer those to questions ?

  • John L

    Nick,
    For your information, I have played lots of football. However, that is not an essential pre-requisite for recognising that grabbing someone round the neck when they are running is both contrary to the laws of the game, outside the scope of what may be considered reasonable within the context of a “contact” sport, and potentially likely to cause a serious injury.

  • Gord

    OT: Corruption

    Did Qatar try to buy the 2022 games? New article, old problem.

    https://www.theweek.co.uk/100104/qatar-offered-880m-secret-payments-to-fifa

    The article references The Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Yes, Arsenal who are now back in 4th position in the table on 60 points after playing 30 matches have +24 GD. While Chelsea who have 57 points and are 6th in the table but with +19 GD will not overtake Arsenal in the table even if they win their game in hand at home against Brighton but save, if they beat them 6 nil?

    Arsenal have played all the big games in the PL which they should play this season taking 8 points off the Totts and Man Utd, 3 points off Chelsea, only 1 point off Liverpool (poor) and 0 point off Man City (dismal) to arrived on the average 12 points they’ve collected out the maximum 24 points that were on offer to them to collect this season. Okay, but just okay as Arsenal have scored 50% in the big games this season.

    Haven played 16 home matches at week 30 in the PL this season, Arsenal have 8 matches left to play but are left with 3 home matches to deal with. But they will still have 5 away matches left to play. Why is it like that? Why are their remaining home and away match fixtures not evenly scheduled?

    With 5 away matches now left for Arsenal to play and haven seen that the Gunners have not been on top of their matches at away this season in the PL but have struggled in them, does Arsenal then have much work to do in their remaining 5 away matches this season if they are to come up collecting all the 15 points in these 5 matches but if I am not asking too much of them?

  • MickHazel

    The oft quoted by the pundits “he was touched so he was entitled to go down” mantra when Harry or Mo or Hazard collapse in a heap at the mearest hint of contact in the area does not appear to apply to Lacazette.
    “No penalty, not enough contact for me” our experts are now proclaiming, almost to a man, when considering the award of our penalty yesterday.
    I therefore conclude that as far as the pundits are concerned the amount of contact is not the deciding factor on whether a spot kick is justified or not but more like which team you play for.

  • Nitram

    MickHazel

    I suppose that’s me and you on nicks list of Drivel talkers.

    Still, he should be here soon with the relevant laws of the Game to support his opinions.

    Oh, I forgot, nicks opinions are ‘facts’ where as our opinions are merely ‘drivel’.

  • Nitram

    Scenario

    Team A plays poorly in the first half and well in the second half, and they keep doing this on a regular basis, and as often as not the poor first half was causing team A to lose games.

    If the owner, or the fans, or even the media were to ask why this keeps happening would that not be a fair question?

    Do you not think the manager himself, as well as the players would be asking the same question?

    Or do you think ‘I prefer to look at the game as a whole’ is an acceptable response ?

    Of course it isn’t. It is absolutely the managers, the coaches and the players job to analise and sort out what the hell is going on, address it and start winning more games.

    In the same way a massive disparity between home and away form has to be adressed, assessed and acted upon.

    To suggest it should be ignored and only the entire game or the entire season analised is ridiculous.

    For pitys sake you can bet your bottom dollar managers not only assess the first half of games in isolation, but the first 10 minutes, the last 10 minutes and every minute inbetween.

    These are the minute details to which coaches and managers work, yet some would have you believe a season cant be analised as home and away and should only be analised as a whole.

    Please tell me they are not serious?

    Okay, Okay, yes it is an ‘opinion’ and yes they are entitled to it, but it is an opinion that isn’t based in the real World in any way shape or form.

  • MickHazel

    Nitram
    I reserve the right to talk as much drivel as I want, nick or no nick!

  • jjgsol

    Can I ask please has anyone seen anywhere whether to idiot who attacked smalling was one if ours or one of theirs?

    He comes from Chertsey in Surrey which is not evidence if anything as a lot, even most manure supporters do not live I Manchester.

  • Nitram

    MickHazel

    “The oft quoted by the pundits “he was touched so he was entitled to go down” mantra when Harry or Mo or Hazard collapse in a heap at the merest hint of contact in the area does not appear to apply to Lacazette.”

    You know how this works Mick.

    As soon as we get a couple of penalties the media hate it. They know damn well that penalties like those are given to the likes of United and Spurs on a regular basis, and in each case all they have to do is, as you say, see the slightest contact and it’s a justifiable award.

    But this is all just a message to the refs that enoughs enough.

    NO MORE PENALTIES TO ARSENAL UNLESS THE HEAD HAS BEEN COMPLETELY REMOVED.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If only Ramsey would have been injured with a serious neck injury with a broken neck vertebra some would have seen the danger of the foul. Rose wasn’t seriously injured at all when Torreira touched him but still a red card was given. Because it could have seriously injured him. The same goes for the Pogba foul. You don’t have to wait to see a limb hanging in a strange angle before you give a red card.
    And I have played football for more than 10 years till my leg was hanging in a strange angle and have refereed for 18 years now. But probably I just tell drivel.

  • TomP

    @walter. Lol, but frankly many times I’d say your last sentence is about right.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think that Pogba was just pissed off at Ramsey for some reason or rather , and showed his displeasure by wanting to clip him around the head , but ended by nearly breaking his neck !

    Could it be that he was jealous that Ramsey is off to join his old club , Juventus and to be playing with CR 7 ? Or that he would no longer be subject to the bias and crap refereeing by the BIGMOB ? Or is it that he will be earning mucho moola at the Old Lady?

    While Ramsey is off to greener pastas ,……sorry , pastures , Pogba is livid and green with envy .

    I do hope that we send him off by winning a trophy , and by celebrating another St. Totteringham’s Day . Dreams do come true .

  • goonersince72

    Tony

    The Media v AFC would be a benchmark case if it ever got to the courts. Having said this, I think there’s some chaos at the Club that you haven’t addressed recently. Off the pitch. The absentee owner, the comings and goings in the positions related to recruitment and signings, etc. Unai Emery has the team playing with some grit and changes players and tactics dependent on the opponent. A little too much to my liking but he’s getting results and I won’t be critical (not to mention I’m not qualified).

    What is ownership/management’s plan going forward? How will AFC compete for the top places when a new 60,000 seat stadium and increased TV revenue cannot provide enough funds to stay with the likes of Chelsea, City, and the Debtors of Manchester? Kroenke WILL NOT SPEND. He owns myriad teams in various sports in the States and the common thread throughout is KROENKE WILL NOT SPEND. Even the recent Super Bowl appearance by his L.A. Rams in the NFL hasn’t changed this, although the coffers have been filled to bursting. Yes, I’m in despair. re AFC going forward.

  • Mikey

    @ TomP

    It’s becoming pretty obvious you don’t support the club. Why do you put yourself through the torture of coming on this site? What bothers me is that you put the rest of us through a similar torture too!

  • Nitram

    goonersince72

    “Kroenke WILL NOT SPEND. He owns myriad teams in various sports in the States and the common thread throughout is KROENKE WILL NOT SPEND.”

    What a surprise:

    This from the time Kronke took over:

    Gazidis, meanwhile, has moved to reassure fans about Kroenke’s intentions as regards his shareholding:

    “Stan is a long-term holder in everything that he does. In the sports arena he has never sold a share in any team he has had an interest in. I have spoken to Stan and he has a long-term interest in Arsenal and, as I have said, believes in the philosophy of the Club. He is going to ensure we have continuity in the traditions of the Club.”

    And Kroenke himself has seconded that sentiment in a typically brief statement:

    “After having been invited to join the Board last year I am delighted to be able to increase my shareholding in Arsenal. I will continue to work closely with my Board colleagues to maintain the stable environment in which the Club operates and to preserve the self-sustaining business model enjoyed by the Club.”

    AND PRESERVE THE SELF-SUSTAINING BUSINESS MODEL

    It couldn’t be clearer, and what’s more it was stated from the very outset, and has been repeated many many times over the years, and bellow are just a couple of examples:

    14th October 2012

    Arsenal the model of self-sufficiency | The Independent

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/arsenal-the-model-of-self-sufficiency-8210358.html

    19th October 2018

    Arsenal are “confident” that their “self-sustaining business model” is capable of financing major success, the club’s new managing director said.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45921441

    So why the shouting that Kronke will not spend?

    Why the surprise?

    Why the anger?

    I don’t get it.

    I’ve known about, and agreed with the self sustaining model ever since we embarked on the Emirates Stadium project.

    If I felt I’d been lied too regarding the model Arsenal were intending to implement maybe I would be angry, but I wasn’t and I am not.

    I still support Arsenal in what they are doing.

    Yes at times it’s frustrating but I have said many times, and I still maintain that there is absolutely not credit in winning the Premier League on the back of state sponsorship to the tune of £1 Billion nett loss on transfers alone.

    Others feel different, I know that, and that’s up to them, but why the surprise and anger when Arsenal are just doing exactly what they said they was going to do from the start. I don’t get it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Nitram – Well put !

    And I agree with all of your points. I would love to believe that this club will sustain itself for a very long time. Whoever it is in charge.I would not welcome worthless baubles and trinkets, in place of the loss of our club’s place on the main table.

    Yes , I would love our club to be competitive and be in the running for all the trophies , but not by wasteful spending and knee jerk responses. It would make me proud if we win things with most of the team being youth blooded through our system.

    Rather than depending solely on Stan for financing , I would love to see our income increase by shrewd management of our resources , and increased advertising with strategic partners.Or our own fans putting their money where their mouths are. Anyone ?

    I am quite surprised that most people don’t seem to understand the concept of self sustainability . And this is not only for football, but life in general. Most are very selfish in wanting it all right now , and damn the consequences.

    The planet is being poisoned and ruined, but as long as they get what they think they have to now , let tomorrow take care of itself. The meek are yet to inherit the earth , but in most places , the fools are in charge !And have the morons in tow .

    Being a loyal Arsenal supporter since season 1971-72 , I have had much joy and quite a few disappointments over the years , but I still look forward to each game with optimism and renewed hope. The day it no longer becomes fun, I’d walk away and find some other interest .

    But till then , Up the Gunners !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Some humourous off the mark financial advice –

    This is allegedly a letter to an ‘Agony Aunt’ column, and the reply .Names have been changed to avoid any legal repercussions !

    Dear …… ,
    I’m married 17 years now. Every time my wife and I have a misunderstanding she demands transport money for her 3 brothers who stay in I@#$#%& to come and beat me up here in E*+ .

    After they beat me , I must still give them transport money back to I@#$#%& .

    What can I do please ? I’m spending a lot.
    -K….

    Dear K….,
    I completely sympathise with you. I suggest you and your wife just move to I@#$#%& to save costs .

  • omgarsenal

    Nick…..let’s see YOU write an article on UA about your interpretation of the modern game and its Laws….we’ll see what drivel you are capable of drooling…but wait…you don’t do writing more than 2 sentences at any time…..right!

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