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October 2020
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Arsenal are just five goals from being top four.

We are so close.  Don’t let the journalists and bloggers spoil it.

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal, we have been told of late have been awful.   They have a terrible defence and a sloppy attack.  Even the return of Santi Cazorla would have taken us shooting up the league we are told.

But in fact just five more goals would have taken Arsenal into the top four.  And they don’t even have to have been against a top teams – except included in the list is one more goal against Leicester.

In addition one more goal against any four from Watford, Everton, Bournemouth, Palace and Burnley would have done it.  Because each time  that goal would have turned a draw into a win.   Let’s see how it happens.  Here is the current table with Arsenal ten points off fourth place.

Here is the current table …

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 30 2 2 75 26 49 92
2 Manchester City 34 22 3 9 86 34 52 69
3 Chelsea 34 18 6 10 63 46 17 60
4 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 32 59
5 Manchester United 33 15 10 8 56 33 23 55
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 13 13 8 45 37 8 52
7 Sheffield United 34 13 12 9 35 33 2 51
8 Arsenal 34 12 14 8 50 42 8 50

Now of late we have been told that this is because of our catastrophic awful defence.  But actually this table organised in defensive order shows that we are better at defending than two of  the rival top six – Tottenham and Chelsea.

Of course a defence can always be improved.  But we need to be wary of tinkering with it and taking us back a few steps.   Here is the table in defensive order.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 30 2 2 75 26 49 92
2 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 32 59
3 Manchester United 33 15 10 8 56 33 23 55
4 Sheffield United 34 13 12 9 35 33 2 51
5 Manchester City 34 22 3 9 86 34 52 69
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 13 13 8 45 37 8 52
7 Arsenal 34 12 14 8 50 42 8 50
8 Crystal Palace 34 11 9 14 30 43 -13 42
9 Tottenham Hotspur 33 13 9 11 52 44 8 48
10 Chelsea 34 18 6 10 63 46 17 60

Despite the media’s statements otherwise this is not a disastrous defence.   But then we are also told the attack is terrible.  Remember Talk Sprout tells us we need Santi Cazorla back!

Here is the table in attack order.

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Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 34 22 3 9 86 34 52 69
2 Liverpool 34 30 2 2 75 26 49 92
3 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 32 59
4 Chelsea 34 18 6 10 63 46 17 60
5 Manchester United 33 15 10 8 56 33 23 55
6 Tottenham Hotspur 33 13 9 11 52 44 8 48
7 Arsenal 34 12 14 8 50 42 8 50

We have seen the media tell us our defence is useless, AND how we need new attackers, but in fact to get into the Champions League all we need to do is to turn five of those draws into wins.  That means just five more goals.  In fact if we look at the chart based on the number of wins we can see exactly what the problem is…

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 30 2 2 75 26 49 92
2 Manchester City 34 22 3 9 86 34 52 69
3 Chelsea 34 18 6 10 63 46 17 60
4 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 32 59
5 Manchester United 33 15 10 8 56 33 23 55
9 Burnley 34 14 7 13 38 46 -8 49
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 13 13 8 45 37 8 52
7 Sheffield United 34 13 12 9 35 33 2 51
10 Tottenham Hotspur 33 13 9 11 52 44 8 48
12 Southampton 33 13 4 16 42 55 -13 43
8 Arsenal 34 12 14 8 50 42 8 50

So, supposing five of those 14 draws had turned into wins.  One more goal against Leicester would have given us 52 points and them 58.   Then take any four of the draws we have had and in each of those scored one more goal and we would have had four wins not four draws. That would give us eight more points and four more goals.

In total five more goals gives ten more points for us and one fewer for Leicester (moving from a draw against us to a 2-1 defeat).

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 30 2 2 75 26 49 92
2 Manchester City 34 22 3 9 86 34 52 69
3 Chelsea 34 18 6 10 63 46 17 60
4 Arsenal 34 17 9 8 55 42 13 60
5 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 32 58
6 Manchester United 33 15 10 8 56 33 23 55
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 13 13 8 45 37 8 52
8 Sheffield United 34 13 12 9 35 33 2 51

Now of course that didn’t happen, as I obviously know, but that’s not the point.  When people are looking at what we should do in the transfer window, there is always a chance that a purchase of a new player can disrupt the entire balance of the team.  There’s talk of millions and millions being spent which in turn could mean that existing players will leave, as they jostle for better terms and conditions.

We are told daily by the rancid media that our defence is rubbish, our midfield is rubbish  and our attack is rubbish.  In fact all we have, it turns out is two sensational keepers.  And all we need is five more goals.

But we must recall that not so many games ago Mustafi and Xhaka were being talked of in terms of players who should be released from their contracts even if we couldn’t get a penny for them.  Both of them might well still be thinking that they’d be better off without the placard waving boo-boys and the drongos from Talk Sprout and the rest of the media.

So in fact we could also do it the other way and let in five fewer goals.  The result would be the same.

Thus we have been mislead.  In reality all we need is another player poking in the occasional goals to turn four out of 14 drawn games into wins.  That is just over a quarter of our drawn games taking us up to 59 goals.

My point here is that if we see the current situation as a mega crisis and start ripping the whole team apart (and remember our friends who write all the blogs and newspaper columns concerning who Arsenal are going to sign are telling us we are in a mega crisis) that could lose us another season as the new squad beds in.  Whereas one additional striker who has the ability to knock in just a handful of goals a season in the right matches, would get us back on track.  And we’ll still have some money around in case of a dire emergency caused by one of the clogging teams crippling one of our players.

The bloggers and media drongos will keep shouting at Arsenal to buy buy buy and sell sell sell.  And if you have seen our latest transfer chart you will know that they have already tipped 115 players to come to us and in the next chart that number will rise to around 120, probably more.

But I think that with the emerging line up of Martinelli, Nketiah, Saka and Pepe along with Aubameyang staying we will easily knock in those extra goals we need to turn draws into wins, and take us into the top four.

We are so close.  Don’t let the journalists and bloggers spoil it.

 

 

 

17 comments to Arsenal are just five goals from being top four.

  • James

    True, you have to add Emerys infamous record of how many shots per game we allowed against us this season. Those stats were relegation standard, the more shots the more likely you are to concede.

  • Steve Vallins

    Tony l agreed with the media part of your article regarding their view of Arsenal but the rest is if’s and but’s and this is the same for every team , if Bournemouth had won last night they would be a step nearer to safety .

  • Chris

    5 goals or 5 referee decisions that go the right way, not the crooked way…

  • Nitram

    Steve Vallins

    Of course it’s all ifs and buts but surely you can see the point being made here, which is the gross over exaggeration of our perceived inadequacies.

    Ergo we are that close (just 5 goals, or as Chris put it, five pigmol, how shall I put this? Events) from being in a CL spot, yet from the rampant endless negativity you’d think we were as bad as Spurs!

    Talking of Spurs. Isn’t it odd how when a VAR decision goes against them and moanio goes in to one the media are all over it and he gets an apology ffs !

    I thought whinging about refs wasn’t allowed? Surely saying “I’m not going to moan about those terrible decisions“ IS doing exactly that!

    Well he and his ever faithful media have got what they want with a Derby coming up against us, every man and his dog, including the refs and VAR are now in no doubt poor old hard done by Spurs are due so repayment and what better time to give than against Arsenal.

    Back on to this whinging. We get screwed week after week and our manager and talking heads bend over backwards to justify everything that happens and it just gets worse.

    As a few have been saying, our club, our manager and our pundits have to grow some cajones and start saying it how it is, cos it surely can’t get any worse.

    Just one more point, the Sun think is funny how Man Utd keep getting all these penalties.

    Apparently it’s just like the ‘good old days with Fergie’ Ha ha ha.

    Oh yeah, f***ing hilarious.

  • Steve Vallins

    Nitram I total agree with what you stated which I also said regarding the article , I do realise there is 2 sets of rules/laws in the matches we play and media coverage we receive .
    Back when David Beckham was playing you’d have pundits saying how well he could cross the ball and at the same time defending him when he crossed the ball and no player was in the box to attack it , it was the forwards fault for not being there and not he’s fault for crossing a ball with nobody in the box , he couldn’t do anything wrong . It seems you are , as an individual or a team no matter what happens subjected to the whims of the media at the time , I don’t know what Arsenal can do to change this other than get results regardless of the tilted influences in games they play , very difficult .

  • Mikey

    @ Chris

    You beat me to it. Refereeing decisions. Chambers disallowed goal at Palace, Vardy either being sent off or ruled offside this week. A more even handed approach to giving out yellow cards. It’s not a level playing field and it doesn’t even itself out in the end.

    Her’s a quiz question for you. What do Burnley, Norwich, Bournemouth, Southampton, Everton, Sheffield United, Villa, Brighton and Newcastle have in common with Man Utd? The answer of course is that Man Utd have been given nine penalties so far this season and the other nine clubs have also been given nine penalties this season…….between them!

    Of course, the argument will be that Man Utd attack more and have more possession so they are more likely to be fouled in the opponents area. Well Man U have had 55% possession this season for 9 penalties. Compare that to Arsenal who have 53% possession and 2 penalties.

    Man Utd have actually spent 30% of their time in the opposition’s third of the pitch; the same as Southampton and 2% less than Sheffield Utd both of whom have just one penalty each.

    So maybe it’s about how often you get fouled as a team? But Man Utd have actually been fouled fewer times than Arsenal…………and a whole host of teams like Villa (one penalty) or Norwich (two penalties). Interestingly, Liverpool have been fouled the fewest times but have also had more penalties than most.

    So maybe it’s about those who get themselves into goal scoring positions more often. Well Man Utd have had the fourth highest number of shots so that makes some sense……except for the fact that in positions 6, 7 & 8 are Southampton, Everton and Brighton……all of whom have had just one penalty each.

    So maybe it’s about your success/failure rate with your tackles? Well that’s an interesting one and obviously it’s where those tackles take place which counts in terms of penalties but let’s just say that it gives an indication as to how good (or bad) a team is at tackling. Well that I find very interesting in that the least successful team at completing attempted tackles is Man City and they’ve conceded just three penalties this season. (Although in my opinion, their tactic seems very much to be to tackle and foul higher up the pitch as soon as they lose possession.)

    So I next looked at successful tackling and penalties conceded. So the most successful teams in terms of attempted tackles completed are Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Everton (we are seventh btw). The worst tacklers, Man City, followed in equal second place by Villa Bournemouth and…….drum roll…….Liverpool. This is where it gets more interesting in that the team that has conceded the fewest penalties is in fact Liverpool despite their poor tackle completion rate. Having said that, they do commit the fewest fouls (or at least the fewest are given against them) and obviously they play a much lower percentage of the game in their own third than most.

    Now in isolation none of these stats are meaningful and without actually looking at tackles made etc in the penalty area (and much more) these are only some figures to make people think and are not meant to be conclusive. But there is one thing I discovered that made be think.

    There is one team that has been highlighted a lot on this site for committing an above average number of fouls (they are the sixth highest in that regard) but have had a phenomenally low number of cards (fewer than half the cards we’ve had despite committing more fouls). It also turns out that not only are the fourth highest for being dribbled past but they have also conceded the most penalties. Yep, Leicester. They get dribbled past a lot, they foul a lot, they conceded more penalties than anybody else but the still get hardly any cards……..

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say there was something fishy going on down at PGMO head quarters……….

    Anyway that’s another wasted lunch time!! Back to work.

  • Mikey

    @ Steve Vallins

    One comment stuck with me for life in terms of TV and Beckham. In his last season with Man U he failed to make the top ten in the premiership for cross completions (I seem to recall Ray Parlour being about fifth). One of the well know Sky commentators said, and yes I do quote!! “What a fantastic cross by Beckham……if only someone could have got on the end of it.” Uneffinbelievable. I have vague recollections of every cross Parlour made which didn’t end in a goal being defined as, “what a waste of a ball.”

    It just like a late equalizer for some is brilliant because of their ‘never-say-die’ attitude whereas we ‘rescue a point’ or ‘get lucky’ or ‘get out of jail’ (whichever it is, the opposition are always unlucky/robbed). It sucks.

  • Steve Vallins

    Mikey that must have been the same quote I was referring to , different wording from me but same analogy

  • Menace

    Over the years it has been a priviledge to watch football on TV but recently it has become the only way to watch the game (once the Beautiful game). The officiating has always been a bug bear but now it is disgustingly biased.

    How can an organisation like the PGMOL take a knee, control the total officiating of the English Premier League, screw up decision after decision and not be called out by our media? They are an obviously unbalanced, unrepresentative example of the game of football in England. They are the most visible face of the nation in our national sport.
    Where is our stance on fair representation?
    Where is our sporting excellence?

    We should hang our heads in shame that we allow such a select group of bigotted biased people to represent our sport.

  • Menace

    English Premier League !!!
    This is nothing more than PGMOL Blow Football played on turf.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Only Liverpool have less losses than Arsenal!
    Our only problem is that we drew too many games.

  • Menace

    Just for a laugh – Dermot shaved his head and bought a suit from Tesco’s. That don’t make him a Collina!

  • nicky

    I am fearful drawn about the future of the beautiful game in England, while the PGMOL continue to ply their greatly flawed trade.
    Support for change cannot be expected from those Clubs benefitting from the appalling mistakes by match officials. (I use the word “mistakes” advisedly).
    Eventually, I feel that UEFA will have to step in and appoint a pool of referees chosen throughout its domain, to officiate neutrally in the top division of each country. There will be mistakes of course, although the blatant bias currently experienced, should be eliminated.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Lets wait for some egghead to find why is that the EPL being allegedly and arguably the best league around at the present moment ;having probably the worst crop of refrees anywhere; and corelate with why the national team is not able to win anything of note since the 1966 World Cup.

  • Nitram

    Referees around the World try, to the best of their ability to referee to the Laws Of The Game.

    Premier League referees on the other hand try, to the best of their ability to referee to the satisfaction of the media.

    The same with VAR.

    Not the most cohesive of plans, leading to the utterly disgraceful bunch of cheating numbnuts we are currently being screwed by.

  • SteveVallins

    Nitram
    Strange VAR decisions this week .
    The Arsenal game a player gets yellow carded his VAR mate thinks it should be more than a yellow keeps playing the incident till he gets him to look at the monitor and off our player goes .
    3 penalty incidents
    (a) player blatantly pushed over in the box referee waves play-on , a big mistake VAR referee must see this and doesn’t intervene and backs the referee .
    (b & c) 2 penalties given in 2 different games both mistakes VAR referee again must see this and instead of correcting the mistake he’s backing his mate the on field referee .
    VAR apologised for the above mistakes , it’s a shambles you can’t get the correct decisions all the time they are backing one another up .

  • Menace

    THe heart of this poor officiating is there is no financial penalty.

    Until the FA & the Government get some balls and correct this absolute shambles that is making the nation a laughing stock the game in England is damned.