By Tony Attwood
For this article I’ve looked back over the last ten seasons, comparing the key aspects of each season. Here’s the table for the top six at the end of this season…
It means, as you will of course know by now, that Arsenal have no worries about playing qualifying matches in July for next season’s Europa, if we were to fail to win the Europa this season, and thus get into the Champions League. And the mighty Tiny Totts, so wildly praised by the media all season long, were in fact just one huge point above us. Yes they were above us and they have a better goal difference, but it was still just one point.
Now my interest is in seeing how far forward Mr Emery has taken us, in the light of the ceaseless complaints about Mr Wenger’s management in the past. And to do this I don’t want just to compare this season with last season, but instead look across the last ten years…
I should add that I have included the top scorer on the right, and as you will see the goals figure in the right hand column reflects all major competitions. With one game left to play (the Europa final of course) Auba is our best scorer since RVP in 2011/12 and is actually above Alexis Sanchez in his one brilliant season with us.
So in terms of wins, draws and of course points we are better off than last season, but not better off than any of the eight seasons before than; we are still operating below the normal Wenger level. Of course winning the Europa League will turn this into a very successful season – but for people who are concerned with the league details, no, the change of manager has not made an instant impact.
But yes, in terms of wins and points, this season has been an improvement over last season. Not least because we have Aubamayang knocking in the goals. The defence however has not improved on last season’s poor showing – the worst of any season in the chart, and I would put this down, to a major degree, in the absence of Bellerin and Holding, and the injury to Koscielny which has meant thus far he has only started 13 league games.
To reduce the complexity of this table for a quick analysis here is a best and worst chart for goals, points and goals conceded (noted as “defence” in the table below)
Best and worst chart for the last 10 years, compared with this season
|Best Goals||Worst Goals||2018/19 goals||Best points||Worst points||2018/19 points||Best defence||Worst defence||2018/19 defence|
What the chart does show is how varied is the position the club has to reach in order to qualify for the champions league. In 2013/14 we ended up in a table looking like this – with nine points more than this season.
So fourth place was achieved – although much decried with the fourth is not a trophy notion.
Finally I want to turn to the away game problem
This table shows results only for away games in the league. A look at the last column shows the dramatic deline in points between the first three seasons, and the last two. But it also shows a slight rebound – in the end we were just six points away from home, below the 2015/16 level. So it was not a total turn around, but perhaps we could say it was a half way house.
There are still problems at Arsenal – no matter how close we came to third or fourth, we didn’t get to the position that was regularly taken for granted in the past, and was decried as “not a trophy”. But we only just missed out and we scored more goals away this season than in 2014/15. The defence was the problem away from home – but again with Holding and Bellerin back in the squad, we should be dealing with that issue.
The removal or resignation of Sven Mislintat suggests there were problems behind the team at Arsenal, but if this is resolve with Edu, it could well be that next season the return to normal away form will take us up to 3rd in the league once more.
I am not suggesting more than that, because I suspect both Liverpool and Man City will spend vast amounts of money this summer and go every further ahead of Arsenal – but on the basis of one step at a time, we could return to the top four next year.
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- Yet another example of the way the media tries to put down Arsenal