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Watford v Arsenal: media reveal why they haven’t tackled the home/away issue before

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

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Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 17 11 5 1 29 10 19 38
2 Tottenham Hotspur 17 11 0 6 33 21 12 33
3 Manchester City 15 10 2 3 28 9 19 32
4 Manchester United 17 9 2 6 31 24 7 29
5 Chelsea 16 9 1 6 23 24 -1 28
6 Leicester City 17 7 3 7 25 25 0 24
7 Crystal Palace 17 7 2 8 26 26 0 23
8 Watford 17 5 5 7 24 27 -3 20
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 17 5 5 7 17 22 -5 20
10 Arsenal 15 5 4 6 26 28 -2 19

The one spark of light for the match against Watford is their home form

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 17 16 0 1 55 12 43 48
2 Liverpool 16 14 2 0 46 10 36 44
3 Arsenal 17 14 2 1 39 12 27 44
4 Chelsea 17 11 5 1 34 10 24 38
5 Manchester United 16 10 5 1 32 20 12 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 16 11 1 4 31 13 18 34
7 Everton 17 8 4 5 24 21 3 28
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 16 8 3 5 24 20 4 27
9 West Ham United 17 8 3 6 27 25 2 27
10 AFC Bournemouth 17 7 5 5 29 24 5 26
11 Watford 15 8 2 5 23 20 3 26

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…

Date Match Res Score
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

Date Game Res Score
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

Leno;

Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal;

Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Kolasinac;

Mkhitaryan, Ozil;

Lacazette

Goonernews goes with

Leno,

Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac,

Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey,

Aubameyang, Lacazette

The Guardian has

Leno

Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal

Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac

Mkhitaryan Iwobi

Lacazette

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.

 

8 comments to Watford v Arsenal: media reveal why they haven’t tackled the home/away issue before

  • Sue

    If only they were “determined to play well” last week at Everton. Those 3 points dropped were huge.. so costly… if we play as badly as last week and go onto lose, then it’s goodnight vienna & will have to give our all in EL.
    Why are things never straight forward being a gooner??!!

  • colario

    Sat 15th April 1989. Hillsborough 95 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

    Our hearts go out to our Liverpool family as we share in their painn of the loss of their loved ones.

  • jjgsol

    It is interesting to note that of all the teams above us in the away table, only 2 have lost less than we have and 4 have lost more.

    We have also played 2 less than most.

    is it a tactical problem or a psychological one?

    We seem to be nowhere near dealing with it.

  • Gord

    Why does there have to be a why?

    Someone could notice a correlation with time of day the games are being played at, whether the day of the month (or year, or Julian Day Number) is odd or even, whether the long axis of the field is at an odd or even number of degrees, or any number of other things.

    The medja brings out just about every medical study which presents a correlation between different qualities. What is needed, is to find a causal relationship. Until a causal relation is found, it is pointless to study the correlation looking for insight.

    Home versus away has seen lots of correlations. We bang on referees a lot, but there are correlations between how referees treat the home and away teams. Maybe something changes with the players. The lineup doesn’t have to be submitted long in advance. Maybe there is something a person can measure, which leads to a player who many expect to play; to not start? But even if the manager were to employ this extra knowledge, the fans would turn it around the first time it didn’t work and start demanding the manager do things “their way”.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Would it be better for Arsenal if the lazy in Arsenal away matches in the PL this season Ozil start this Arsenal match away to Watford in the PL tonight from the bench? Ramsey could start the match in place of him starting it I am tempted to opin.

    Forget it, have Watford qualified for the Europa League Cup next season already by reaching the FA Cup final or until they win the Cup? But for the ego and moving up to 7th in the table tonight, would they still want to beat Arsenal tonight in the PL at Vicarage Road Stadium to make their qualifying for the Europa League Cup competition next season through the League a possibility, and not only by reaching the FA Cup final?

    If Arsenal want to beat Watford tonight, then the Gunners should be very careful to play differently from the lacklustered way they played in their last match against Everton at away in PL last week when they were spanked 1 nil.

    Watford will not be shy to carry the game to Arsenal. Therefore, Arsenal should not be shy either to carry the game to Watford. But in doing so the Gunners should forsake any kind of profigancy in front of the Watford’s goalmouth in the game but score from the chances they will create in the game and from the ones that fell to them by chance during the match. And more importantly, the Arsenal defending in the game MUST be resolute in defending to not concede any goal to Watford in the game. And above all, the Gunners should be wary of the PGMO to deal with any anti-Arsenal match referring against Arsenal in the PL in the match that could arise in the game in the form of anti-Arsenal match whistling and flagging from the PGMO’s match officiating officials for the match. If Arsenal does all these to the letter in the match, surely, all the 3 points at stake in the match will become theirs.

  • I gave up suggesting we ought to be playing Mavrapanos because it never seemed to happen, and now here he is. How about that!

  • Gord

    How to go Aubameyang!

    No idea on assist. And in the next thing posted, I guess Deeeeeeeeeney showed too many cojones, and was dismissed!

    COYG!

  • rondejonge

    this is great!!!
    Auba 0-1
    Deeney off with red!