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Is this the closest we have been to relegation after 11 games?

By Tony Attwood

Today, with nearly 30% of the season gone, the league table is not a very enticing thing to look at from an Arsenal point of view.   But if you are a regular reader here you may recall that from time to time I do like to have a look at how we were doing at this same stage in previous seasons, just to see which direction the club is travelling in.

Here’s the current top six.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 11 10 1 0 25 9 16 31
2 Manchester City 11 8 1 2 34 10 24 25
3 Leicester City 11 7 2 2 27 8 19 23
4 Chelsea 11 7 2 2 25 17 8 23
5 Arsenal 11 4 5 2 16 15 1 17
6 Sheffield United 11 4 4 3 12 8 4 16

And to add one level of comparison that I’ve not tried before, the club in 18th position – that is the club in the first of the three relegation places, is on eight points.  That is Southampton.  So we are nine points off relegation.  Is that the closest we have been to relegation in recent seasons?  We shall see.

Of the allegedly “Big Six”, two (Man U and the Tiny Totts) are missing.

Now moving back to last season 2018/19

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 11 9 2 0 33 4 29 29
2 Chelsea 11 8 3 0 27 8 19 27
3 Liverpool 11 8 3 0 21 5 16 27
4 Tottenham Hotspur 11 8 0 3 19 10 9 24
5 Arsenal 11 7 2 2 25 14 11 23
6 AFC Bournemouth 11 6 2 3 20 14 6 20

Again we were fifth, and this time the top six was only missing one of the big six – Manchester United again.   We had six more points than this season, had scored nine more goals and conceded one fewer.  The key difference is the draws of course – three wins from last season have become three draws.

In 18th position were Huddersfield, 17 points below us.  That is compared with nine points this time around.

Moving back one more to Mr Wenger’s last season 2017/18

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 11 10 1 0 38 7 31 31
2 Manchester United 11 7 2 2 23 5 18 23
3 Tottenham Hotspur 11 7 2 2 20 7 13 23
4 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 19 10 9 22
5 Liverpool 11 5 4 2 21 17 4 19
6 Arsenal 11 6 1 4 20 16 4 19

Here we are in sixth again with more goals scored but only two more points on the board than now.  So yes, Mr Emery is doing worse than Mr Wenger did in his last season.   But getting rid of Mr Wenger was the cry of the day from the journalists and their followers on the blogs.  Did anyone other than a few untold writers and commentators think things could get worse rather than better?

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In 18th place was West Ham with nine points, putting Arsenal 10 points above relegation, still making this season the worst in terms of distance from the relegation places.

Finally let’s go back one more to Mr Wenger’s penultimate season.

At this moment in 2016/17 the table read…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 11 8 2 1 30 14 16 26
2 Chelsea 11 8 1 2 26 9 17 25
3 Manchester City 11 7 3 1 25 10 15 24
4 Arsenal 11 7 3 1 24 11 13 24
5 Tottenham Hotspur 11 5 6 0 15 6 9 21
6 Manchester United 11 5 3 3 16 13 3 18

We were fourth, with 24 points – our best position and best number of points across these last four years.  Both the defence and attack were doing better than now as well.  And as with 2017/18 the “Big Six” were in the top six at this moment.

Hull were in 18th position with 10 points – the gap to relegation was 14 points compared with nine now.

So overall, compared with the previous four years this isn’t very good.   We have the smallest number of points and the poorest attack of this time in the season, over these years.   And we are closer to relegation than in the last three years at this stage.

The conclusion is that all the fuss made about having to change managers, all that flying of planes over the stadium with the sign “Wenger out” on the back, all that disruption and negativity, was for… well nothing much so far.  Except to make things slightly worse.

And now there is a group of people who want to try it all again.  Another manager out, another change.

One has to wonder, why, when this whole “get him out now” thing failed so dramatically to make any improvement when it was done through Mr Wenger’s last two years, these people are doing it all again.  For what?  To make it worse again?   Do it often enough and it will be Arsenal getting relegated.  Will they be happy then?  Or do they think that if we do this enough then eventually, by pure chance if nothing else, we must get someone who can do better than Mr Wenger on the money available?

Or could it be that this has nothing to do with the club, but instead gives the people who call for a change of manager a sense of power?  Could it be that their lives are so meaningless that being part of a movement to bring down an Arsenal manager actually makes them feel good?

I can’t see inside their heads of course, so I don’t know, but if not, given that their ploy succeeded 18 months or so ago, and yet has merely brought about a decline, why on earth are they doing it again?

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3 comments to Is this the closest we have been to relegation after 11 games?

  • Mikey

    I always find these analyses interesting…..probably because I’m a bit of a geek too.

    Of course the message we should take from these comparisons is that Man City are in big trouble. In 17/18 they were 22 off relegation, in 18/19 23 off. Reasonably consistent. But horror of horrors they are currently only 17 off, that means they are around 30% worse than in previous seasons. Why on earth haven’t the highly astute football journalists in the media picked up on this dramatic decline I wonder.

    And looking further, Chelsea have slipped from 21 points off relegation to just 15 this season. Disaster!

    As for Man U and the Spuds sitting five points from the drop zone. Well this is extraordinary. Surely, the media should be questioning why we are called the “big six” at all when all apart form Liverpool! are virtually assured of relegation 🙂

    So, looking at things from a different perspective, why is it we are considered such failures, destined to be the media whipping boy for ever when actually it isn’t just us? Answer: because it’s them that set the agenda and a large section of our fan base are gullible enough to believe them.

    No we’re not playing well but then again I can’t remember the last time we played a first choice back four………or two of them for that matter. Add to that, the fact that we have been clearly cheated out of points yet again by the bias of the PGMOL, then none of it is actually as bad as people would have us believe.

    But then again, they may be right. Maybe changing the manager again will ensure all our back four are suddenly fit and match ready and coming back from long-term injures will have no effect; and that all of a sudden Pepe will adapt to English football overnight and that the refs will suddenly become even handed in our games………………..it could happen 🙂

  • MickHazel

    Mikey
    You are absolutely right when you point out that we have a few points less than we should have thanks to the biased refs and VAR manipulating cheats.
    Conversely, and this really riles me, Spurs and Man U have both unfairly got more points than they should have thanks to the incredible generosity shown to them by the same corrupt officials that time after time love to screw us.

  • markyb

    The Palace game was a joke and yet the GX situation gave them something else to talk about thanks to a moronic element in the crowd.

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