Untold Arsenal providing stats for the Guardian? Well yes, so it seems

By Tony Attwood

Summer is always the time for a bit of a meander around the subjects we’ve plodded through during the past season, looking for bits we’ve missed and issues that maybe we could take a bit further.

And of course it is also a time for taking a deeper look into what other people have said on topics we have covered.

Usually that simply means reading different opinions – we are after all “Untold” Arsenal so there is not much point us covering topics that other people write about, but I was intrigued to see an article in the Guardian which appeared getting on for two weeks ago (16 May to be exact) which ran the headline “Crystal Palace: the Premier League team who are better away from home.”

That interested me because for some 18 months we’ve been paying special attention to home and away form, both as predictors of results and for the issue the difference between the two raises for Arsenal.

And we took a particular look at Palace in the article A lesson in how a club should not treat its core fans and therein noted the home and away difference of the club.

In a subsequent article on Arsenal v Palace we wrote, “Incidentally Crystal Palace’s home form is awful – only Huddersfield have a worse home record.  And this is not a one off caused by the supporter rebellion we talked about earlier in the season – it is the sixth season running where Palace have been better away from home than at home.

That was on 21 April this year, so it was with interest that I turned to the Guardian’s article on 16 May which ran the big bold headline “Crystal Palace: the Premier League team who are better away from home”

Of course the issue is not a secret, but the article did seem to make rather a lot of the issue – not least because it was not in any way tied to a match – it was just a piece out of the blue.  It read…

“Crystal Palace were the only team in the league who won most of their points from away games – and this is not a new trend…”

“They have finished higher in the away form table than in the home form table for the last five seasons”

A certain similarity one might say – and of course it is just a coincidence that they have picked up on this story noting this oddity about Palace – even if they did it without the context of a particular game (as you may have noticed, the league season is over).

The Guardian article however had nothing in it about the issue raised in our “Core fans” article.  Here we noted the dispute between the Holmesdale Fanatics, the hard core noisy group, and the club.

The noisy gang asked Palace if they could move from their position at one corner to behind the goal, to create more impact on the game.  The club made positive noises about the scheme, then turned it down, on the grounds the move was unworkable.   The “fanatics” claimed the club reneged twice.  The manager Roy Hodson made matters far far far worse by saying, “If there’s a small band of people who for some reason are in some sort of dispute with the club, I hope that will get sorted out in the best possible way. But it won’t affect me, it won’t affect the team and it certainly won’t affect the atmosphere because, as I say, we’ve got 24 and a half thousand people who make the atmosphere and not just a particular group…”

Eventually some sort of arrangement was made and I understand the fans returned, although I didn’t go to Palace away this past season so I can’t say for sure.   We shall see.

But it is interesting that very slowly and very occasionally writers are picking up on the notion that we have been running, that studying home and away form can give an interesting insight.

And specifically, if one is going to criticise certain players for being not good enough, it is worth looking at the separate issue.  For two seasons there has been a much bigger disparity between Arsenal at home and Arsenal away than we would expect.   We were the third best team in the league last season if one only counts home games, but if we build a league table based on away games we were eighth, below such luminaries as Leicester City and Crystal Palace.

If two of those eight away defeats had been draws, we would be in the Champions League for sure.

As for the Guardian, we have plenty of other articles here if they’d like to follow up one or two of them.  And if they could actually add some new research, or perhaps update the research we did, that would be even better.


8 Replies to “Untold Arsenal providing stats for the Guardian? Well yes, so it seems”

  1. This is no surprise and very much in keeping with the decline The Guardian is experiencing. I have seen headlines with words repeated next to each other, mis-spellings also within headlines. I wonder whether there are any true journalists still working for media outlets as the quality sinks lower by the day. I am now using “scribblers” when referring to those receiving cash for their contributions of content as they seem to not complete the most basic of tasks such as reading what one has written. I offer my support to Untold at this difficult time and sincerely hope this go no further. The only stories they need to be replicating are those about the poor performances of our very limited ageing referees but as they all wish to keep their free entry press passes I doubt if we will see any real data or analysis of such matters

  2. Interesting Tony, the Palace fans are well known for their continuous chanting through matches. I remember the Arsenal vs palace away game last season and was really taken with how much atmosphere they generated and I was then thinking how poor arsenal fans are (myself included) at singing and chanting through a match. Yes we cheer jump to our feet etc but it not the same no way near as palace. Then I started noticing them every time I watched a Palace game, and you look at their fans away from home and they continue their home form and really do generate an intimidating atmosphere. I’m delighted Palace didn’t allow them behind the goal can you imagine Leno in front of that for 45 mins. Any club should take advantage anyway they can, just glad they didn’t, idiots in suits.

  3. @Sammy,
    Especially if we win, mate. Then the imagined excuses will have to out-weigh the praise.

  4. “Crystal Palace were the only team in the league who won most of their points from away games – and this is not a new trend…”

    I trust they are aware that “new” in and of itself cannot also be a “trend” at least not yet.

  5. Arsenal poor away form in the PL which did not transcend to their away form in the Europa League except just once when they fell on the road in the competition should see the Gunners overcome the Blues to win the ELC final that’ll be played at away on Wednesday night where Arsenal have proved to be strong as they beat the big club sides of Napoli and Valencia in successive matches at away to reach the final.

    However, Chelsea cannot be push overs when it comes to win the Europa League Cup as they’ve won it before. And have looked strong all round in the competition thus far not losing any match home and away to reach this final match on Wednesday night.

    Therefore, Arsenal should be careful to not taking beating Chelsea for granted. For, Chelsea have played very well to reach the final and they will play to beat Arsenal to lift the Cup.

    But Arsenal should be hungry to win the match than Chelsea should be I would imagine. Besides, Arsenal need to win this final and be desperate to win it than Chelsea are in need to win the final. Chelsea shouldn’t be desperate to win the Europa League Cup on Wednesday night. But playing against their London rivals club side Arsenal, and win a title after qualifying for the CL next season could give them the motivation they need to win the ELC again. So, much will depend on the Arsenal attacking duo of Aubameyang and Lacazette and the support they will receive from Ozil to split the Chelsea defence to see Arsenal through successfully in the match. Chelsea also have Olivier Giroud whose dangerous ball heading ability Arsenal will contend with to neutralise him. Petrol and Hazard can be dangerous for Chelsea when they go forward. Therefore, the Gunners MUST keep these Chelsea duo quiet throughout the 90 minutes + of the match. Willian can also be dangerous going forward for Chelsea. The Gunners should restrict him in his game to render him inept in the match. David Louis and Azipilicuatue will certainly be overlapping into the Arsenal area/box during the machine to cause havoc. Therefore, the duo MUST be blocked by Arsenal from source when any of them try to incurs into the Arsenal area. If they managed to escape from being blocked from source i.e. around the midfield area, both the Arsenal base defenders and the back-four or the back-three defenders should mop them up to stop them from casing any damage to Arsenal in the match.

    To this mop up end, would Emery like to play the trio of Torreria, Guandouzi and Xhaka as three DMs in the match to effectively do a mop up work for Arsenal in the match. Would he because of playing 3 DMs at the same time at the base of Arsenal defence start a back-three defense-line in the match? And among this back-three, will the tall Mavropanous be among them to contend with Giroud’s aerial ball powe?

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