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The strange statistics that emerge as a result of the lockdown

By Bulldog Drummond

We know from all the research we have been able to unearth just how ghost games influence the referees.  Now with teams having played several games since the resumption of football after the lock down phase of the season, we can start looking at just how the experience of playing ghost games is influencing teams.

However there is a problem because the number of games played without crowds present is very different between the clubs in the Premier League.

I started by thinking that since Arsenal had played five post lockdown games, that would be a good number of matches to look at, recognising of course that one of those had been an FA Cup game.

Our results were

Date Game Res Score Competition
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
25 Jun 2020 Southampton v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
01 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Norwich City W 4-0 Premier League

And comparing us with other clubs we see a league table like this covering the last five games of each team in the league (irrespective of whether they were played before or after lockdown).

Team W D L F A +/- Pts
5 4 1 0 7 2 5 13
5 3 2 0 10 2 8 11
5 3 2 0 9 2 7 11
5 3 1 1 12 7 5 10
5 3 0 2 13 4 9 9
5 3 0 2 8 5 3 9
5 3 0 2 4 5 -1 9
5 2 2 1 4 6 -2 8
5 2 2 1 3 6 -3 8
5 2 1 2 6 8 -2 7
5 2 1 2 4 7 -3 7
5 2 0 3 7 7 0 6
5 2 0 3 6 8 -2 6
5 1 2 2 6 4 2 5
5 1 2 2 7 8 -1 5
5 1 2 2 2 5 -3 5
5 1 1 3 5 6 -1 4
5 1 0 4 1 9 -8 3
5 0 2 3 2 8 -6 2
5 0 1 4 4 11 -7 1

This table is showing some positioning that we would expect.  Without having considered the results in advance, finding Wolverhampton top of the league was a surprise although Tottenham’s decline was perhaps more predictable.  Liverpool! for all their pomp have in the space of five games become a mid-table team.

Of course psychology plays a big part in Liverpool’s decline and Arsenal clearly took two games to adjust to the ghost game situation.  But it is a handy table to see considering that our game tomorrow is away to Wolverhampton.

So what else is there to find here?

Wolverhampton have in fact only played three of the five matches that take them to the top of the table above, since the resumption; against West Ham, Bournemouth and Aston Villa, teams occupying positions 16th, 18th and 19th in the league.  They won them all but then that was hardly surprising.

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This sent me scurrying for another chart… Liverpool’s last nine games

18 Feb 2020 Atlético Madrid v Liverpool L 1-0 Champions League
24 Feb 2020 Liverpool v West Ham United W 3-2 Premier League
29 Feb 2020 Watford v Liverpool L 3-0 Premier League
03 Mar 2020 Chelsea v Liverpool L 2-0 FA Cup
07 Mar 2020 Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth W 2-1 Premier League
11 Mar 2020 Liverpool v Atlético Madrid L 2-3 Champions League
21 Jun 2020 Everton v Liverpool D 0-0 Premier League
24 Jun 2020 Liverpool v Crystal Palace W 4-0 Premier League
02 Jul 2020 Manchester City v Liverpool L 4-0 Premier League

How about that… nine games, five defeats, one draw, three wins.  In five of those games Liverpool failed to score – that is not a statistic you hear told very often.  And those three wins were against, West Ham, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.

It does show that quite probably the chart most worth considering is that of games played since the resumption of football.  And for Wolverhampton that gives us

Date Game Res Score Competition
20 Jun 2020 West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 0-2 Premier League
24 Jun 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth W 1-0 Premier League
27 Jun 2020 Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 0-1 Premier League

Three wins without conceding a goal – but all three against opposition clubs having a tough time of it at the moment.  And they have managed only four goals in those games against very feeble opposition.

Arsenal have been much busier…

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
25 Jun 2020 Southampton v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League
28 Jun 2020 Sheffield United v Arsenal W 1-2 FA Cup
01 Jul 2020 Arsenal v Norwich City W 4-0 Premier League

Two defeats and then we started to get it together.  Nine goals scored, six conceded.

More on tomorrow’s match anon.  Kick off is at 5.30pm and it is on Sky.  Sadly it is not available free.  The free Sky game on Saturday is Leicester City vs Crystal Palace at 3pm.  At least we will be able to see if Leicester’s dramatic decline is continuing.  Watch for the number of tackles, free kicks and yellows.

 

 

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