by Bulldog Drummond
I am interested to see that finally, after about 2 years of commentary on the subject from Untold Arsenal, some of the media are actually waking up to the fact that the easiest way to think about Arsenal’s next game is to consider whether it is home or away.
Of course in finding a new topic they have to turn it into a full-bloodied disaster area, the Sun being typical with the headline, “Stats reveal Arsenal’s extreme contrast in home and away form threatens to see them blow it against Napoli”. Well, yes, but the stats were there last season too and indeed all through last summer Untold was saying, if Arsenal could just get their away form back to the norm of earlier seasons, we’d easily make the top four.
Sadly, as we know, this hasn’t happened – although I must admit I can’t see why. We had years and years of excellent away form – and now we don’t. And yet our home form is right up there with the top two.
Mind you some of the reporting on the topic – which in typical journalistic style has suddenly been rushed through without any thought – is utterly hilariously, pathetic and stupid – as per normal. Take Football London who have come up with the headline
Alexandre Lacazette reveals why Arsenal’s home and away form differs so much
After seven pathetically pointless meandering paragraphs which don’t address the headline in any way whatsoever we get to what Laca said, and it was, “At home we are more confident because the fans are behind us. Away we feel shy for some reason. I can’t explain it. We are determined to play well in our next game away like we do at home. That’s important to finish the season well.”
Which rather makes a mockery of the word “reveals” on the headline. “I can’t explain it,” isn’t exactly a revelation.
Anyway, there is a huge amount of this rubbish on line at the moment, and yes it does reveal why they haven’t tackled the home and away issue before. First, because they haven’t noticed it until now. Second because they haven’t got a clue as to what the cause is.
But then, when did they ever have? Causes, reasons, explanations and answering the question “why” is not exactly the journalists’ strong point.
Anyway, our away form now shows us half way down the league
The one spark of light for the match against Watford is their home form
|9||West Ham United||17||8||3||6||27||25||2||27|
Watford have got more points at home than we have away (26 to them and 19 to us) but they are mid-table at home as we are mid-table away. They have scored 23 and conceded 20 at home, we are on 26 to 28 away. So they better than Arsenal in this regard, but it is narrow. (Mind you it was narrow against Everton, and we narrowly lost, so this is not a claim that all will be well.)
Arsenal’s away form this year in the league…
|12 Jan 2019||West Ham United v Arsenal||L||1-0|
|03 Feb 2019||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||3-1|
|09 Feb 2019||Huddersfield Town v Arsenal||W||1-2|
|02 Mar 2019||Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal||D||1-1|
|07 Apr 2019||Everton v Arsenal||L||1-0|
A single victory against Huddersfield and a draw with Tottenham, balancing three defeats.
Watford at home this year
|19 Jan 2019||Watford v Burnley||D||0-0|
|09 Feb 2019||Watford v Everton||W||1-0|
|03 Mar 2019||Watford v Leicester City||W||2-1|
|02 Apr 2019||Watford v Fulham||W||4-1|
None of the top teams have been played in this period, but they have managed to win three and draw one of the four games since 1 January.
So, how do we cling to hope? First they are in the cup final, and history suggests that most teams, especially most mid-table teams, do poorly in the league after reaching the final. Second. of their other games against the top six clubs at home, Watford have lost all of them – except the game against Tottenham which they won.
As for the team, the Stats Zone predicts
Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal;
Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Kolasinac;
Goonernews goes with
Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac,
Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey,
The Guardian has
Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac
As ever yer pays yer money and takes yer choice. I’m pinning my hopes on the fact that Watford players are so excited about the cup final that they won’t want to be injured or suspended and will be pulling their punches in the tackles. As for my prediction, it is that we will get yellow cards, quite simply because, we always do.
A win takes us back to fourth.