By Bulldog Drummond
So it is Mr Arteta’s first game as complete manager – his first pick of a team. And he comes to the game knowing that our away form is indeed modest, with the draw being the favoured result of the team…
Away games only
|7||West Ham United||9||3||3||3||8||11||-3||12|
Bournemouth at home are however in more difficulty than we are away – although only just.
Home games only
|17||West Ham United||8||2||1||5||11||17||-6||7|
But truthfully the difference between their home form and our away form only comes down to a couple of goals, and it could well be that both sides will expect a draw.
However, the Arsenal forward line really ought to be able to concoct more goals than it is managing at the moment. If the league were measured just by goals scored we would be eighth having scored fewer than half the number of goals Manchester City (at the top of the scoring table) have scored.
Since late September Bournemouth have won just two games:
|25 Sep 2019||Burton Albion v AFC Bournemouth||L||2-0||League Cup|
|28 Sep 2019||AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United||D||2-2||Premier League|
|06 Oct 2019||Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth||L||1-0||Premier League|
|19 Oct 2019||AFC Bournemouth v Norwich City||D||0-0||Premier League|
|26 Oct 2019||Watford v AFC Bournemouth||D||0-0||Premier League|
|02 Nov 2019||AFC Bournemouth v Manchester United||W||1-0||Premier League|
|09 Nov 2019||Newcastle United v AFC Bournemouth||L||2-1||Premier League|
|23 Nov 2019||AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton W||L||1-2||Premier League|
|30 Nov 2019||Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Bournemouth||L||3-2||Premier League|
|03 Dec 2019||Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth||L||1-0||Premier League|
|07 Dec 2019||AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool||L||0-3||Premier League|
|14 Dec 2019||Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth||W||0-1||Premier League|
|21 Dec 2019||AFC Bournemouth v Burnley||L||0-1||Premier League|
But what is interesting is who those games were against: Manchester United and Chelsea. But that does make it one win in the last seven, so it is still something of a poor run. Indeed one might have expected that after the Chelsea game Bournemouth would thump Burnley, who like Arsenal have scored only 10 away goals. But no, Burnley won.
Arsenal are however top of one League – that for yellow cards…
Both clubs have accumulated one red card. (Tottenham are top of the red card league with 3).
Which is all rather odd since what Bournemouth don’t do is make tackles – they have made the lowest number of tackles of any club in the Premier League with just 239 tackles all season. Arsenal are on 303 so far and top of the tackling league are Leicester on 365. Leicester however have only 19 yellow cards this season – the only team with fewer is Liverpool with 18.
Which raises an interesting issue – are Leicester and Liverpool near or at the top of the league because they don’t commit any fouls, or because they have each found a way to commit fouls without getting yellow cards?
And on that interesting question I shall leave matters for the moment.
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