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:
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 (
- Former Arsenal striker issues damning verdict on Unai Emery’s first season in charge (
- Has Unai Emery failed at Arsenal? (
- Sherwood: Chelsea and Arsenal to miss out on top four (
- Preview: Arsenal and Manchester United slug it out for fourth place at the Emirates (
- Jurgen Klopp slammed for ‘strange’ Liverpool decisions – ‘Arsenal don’t even do that’ (
- ‘Arsenal are worse now than under Wenger!’ – Gunners slammed by Nicholas (
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.
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- Arsenal’s 25 man squad – is it already full?
- Yet another example of the way the media tries to put down Arsenal
- The Continental Tyres Cup 2022/23 quarter finals: Arsenal v Villa