By Bulldog Drummond
These are not the best of times for Southampton at home or Arsenal away. Indeed in terms of Southampton at home we are looking at the bottom of the league.
|18||West Ham United||15||4||3||8||23||28||-5||15|
Arsenal away is not quite as bad in terms of a comparison with other clubs (Arsenal at 13th in the league on away form) but adding the two clubs together we have 30 games played and just six wins between them, with ten draw and 14 defeats. Adding together the goal difference of the two clubs we have the grand total of -21.
If it was possible to have a game in which both teams would lose this would be it.
|15||Brighton and Hove Albion||16||2||6||8||15||25||-10||12|
|16||West Ham United||16||3||3||10||12||26||-14||12|
Southampton’s recent form has not shown anything of an upturn with them having lost six, won three and drawn 1. Only one of their wins was at home – a 2-0 win over struggling Aston Villa. Otherwise they have beaten Crystal Palace away and Norwich City away
|18 Jan 2020||Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers||L||2-3||Premier League|
|21 Jan 2020||Crystal Palace v Southampton||W||0-2||Premier League|
|25 Jan 2020||Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|01 Feb 2020||Liverpool v Southampton||L||4-0||Premier League|
|05 Feb 2020||Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton||L||3-2||FA Cup|
|15 Feb 2020||Southampton v Burnley||L||1-2||Premier League|
|22 Feb 2020||Southampton v Aston Villa||W||2-0||Premier League|
|29 Feb 2020||West Ham United v Southampton||L||3-1||Premier League|
|07 Mar 2020||Southampton v Newcastle United||L||0-1||Premier League|
|19 Jun 2020||Norwich City v Southampton||W||0-3||Premier League|
With that sort of form Arsenal should stroll through this match. But Arsenal have the self-inflicted wound of having bowed to the pressure of card carrying protesters and changed their manager twice of late. Although the last ten results still look ok, despite the two ghost game defeats.
So taking the last ten Arsenal games as a whole we see three defeats, one draw and six wins. But none of the wins is an away league win. Indeed for the last Arsenal away win in the league we have to go back to 9 December 2019 and West Ham 1 Arsenal 3.
Here is Arsenal’s recent record
|27 Jan 2020||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||W||1-2||FA Cup|
|02 Feb 2020||Burnley v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|16 Feb 2020||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||4-0||Premier League|
|20 Feb 2020||Olympiakos v Arsenal||W||0-1||Europa League|
|23 Feb 2020||Arsenal v Everton||W||3-2||Premier League|
|27 Feb 2020||Arsenal v Olympiakos||L||1-2||Europa League|
|02 Mar 2020||Portsmouth v Arsenal||W||0-2||FA Cup|
|07 Mar 2020||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||1-0||Premier League|
|17 Jun 2020||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||3-0||Premier League|
|20 Jun 2020||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||L||2-1||Premier League|
So three defeats in the last five, and the two wins being against Portsmouth and West Ham. Things do need to change.
A look at the league table overall gives us a view of how huge the task is for getting into the top six or seven (depending on Manchester City’s fate at the hands of CAS.
Arsenal need to be sixth to get into the Europa League or seventh if CAS do their duty and throw Manchester City out of European competitions. So we are five points behind with a game in hand. A win would take us up to ninth. But Tottenham have a better goal difference (plus nine to our zero) so we need not only to win and keep winning, but also we need to be knocking in the goals.
And of course we need Tottenham, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Everton to be slipping up. Maybe we would be better of focusing on a another FA Cup win.
The alternative, as we have noted before, would be to allow the club to slip out of Europe for a season, and use the extra time afforded by not having to play those Europa games to rebuild the club – exactly as Liverpool did when they dropped out of Europe after coming 8th in 2015/16. Indeed it is easy to forget that Liverpool has built this current record breaking season from 2016/17 outside of Europe, and using that as a platform.
Mind you they were also flagrantly breaking the child protection rules at the same time.
What do Arsenal have to do to win the league?
- When it comes to Arsenal we are being totally misled
- What is it that the recent serial League winners in England have in common?
- Being a visionary is not as easy as it looks
- Fifa appeals to Swiss courts against Court of Arbitration in Sport ruling
- 6 years late, media finally starts to admit there is a refereeing problem in the PL.
- Arsenal have only three players who have scored in double figures!
- Welcome to the new age of football: cunning, manipulation and a simple desire for power