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November 2020
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Good runs, bad runs, manager changes. How’s Arsenal doing?

By Tony Attwood

There is a lot of doom around at the moment following the defeat to Leicester, as if supporters expected that after winning the FA Cup and Community Shield Arsenal would storm ahead and at least get into the “fourth is not a trophy” spot from the off.

But life in the league is not like that.  For every run that Liverpool had in winning the league through their sensational start last season, there are seasons in which we get all sorts of good and bad runs.

And we haven’t really had a bad run: we won the first five games of the season, and have won three and lost two of the last five games (excluding the Trophy match).

So now we are 11th with just the two Manchester clubs below us, and each of them with a game in hand.

Does that mean we are going to finish 11th?  No, as the article a few days ago showed, how we are at this stage of the season means very little.  Here’s a reprint of that table from a couple of days back…

Season After six games position After six games points End of Season position End of season points FA Cup
2011/12 * 13th 7 pts 3rd 70 pts R5
2012/13 * 7th 9 pts 4th 73 pts R5
2013/14 * 1st 15 pts 4th 79 pts Won
2014/15 * 6th 10 pts 3rd 75 pts Won
2015/16 * 5th 10 pts 2nd 71 pts QF
2016/17 * 3rd 13 pts 5th 75 pts Won
2017/18 * 7th 10 pts 6th 53 pts R3
2018/19 ** 6th 12 pts 5th 70 pts R4
2019/20 *** 4th 11 pts 8th 56 pts Won
2020/21 **** 11th 9 pts

That shows that where we are now has little impact on where we end up.  Although if you believe that where we are now will affect our outcome, precedence suggests we are going to end up fourth.

But I wondered if we really could go any further in this speculation, looking perhaps at the runs that we have had in the season.

So far we are not doing too badly… This list contains all games except Football League Trophy in which our under 21s compete against the first team of League One and League Two clubs

Season Consecutive wins Consecutive without win Best run Worst run Lge pos
2020/21 4 1 1 defeat in 7 2 defeats in 3 11th
2019/20 4 9 (Oct-Dec) 8 wins,1 draw, 1 def in 11 1 win in 15 8th
2018/19 11 3 11 consecutive wins 3 consecutive defeats 5th
2017/18 6 4 6 wins 1 draw 4 consecutive defeats 6th
2016/17 7 2 19 undefeated inc 7 straight wins 6 defeats and 3 wins in 9 5th
2015/16 4 5 1 defeat in 12 5 defeats 1 draw 1 win in 7 2nd
2014/15 9 3 9 consec wins 2 wins in 9 3rd

In each one of these seasons, we had a run of wins, a run without a win, a bad run… none of them tell us much.

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Consider the season in which we came second.  Our longest run without a win was longer than our best run of consecutive wins.  But we still came second.  In 2018/19 we had 11 consecutive wins, and still ended the season in fifth.

More extraordinary, in 2015/16 when we came we had a run of five defeats, one draw and one win in seven games.  Indeed only twice has our worst run been worse than our best run.  In 2015/16 we had five consecutive games without a win, while our best winning streak was just four.

Runs of this type, and our early form, rarely tell us much about what will happen.

If you do want to worry what you consider would be this.  After two seasons in which we finished outside the top four Mr Wenger was persuaded to move on.  Since then we have come 5th and 8th.  If we don’t make it back to the top four this season those who argue that Wenger was the problem will now have to work out something else to say.

It is a bit like the injury scenario.  If we keep on having more injuries than most other clubs in the League we will have to find a way to explain why, given that the injuries were (according to the media) all Wenger’s fault.  If we keep coming fifth and sixth, we’ll have to find a new way to explain that, given that our failings in 2017 and 2018 were all Wenger’s fault.

1 comment to Good runs, bad runs, manager changes. How’s Arsenal doing?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I will want the situation for Arsenal whereby Mikel Arteta the Gunners boss will strike the very correct balance in his 18, or is it 20 or 21? Whichever, Arsenal matcday squad team for the Gunners home match against Dundalk in the Europa League match tonight.

    While at the same vain as he keeps an eye in his mind for Arsenal big away match to Man Utd in the PL next Sunday, he will not falter in his 2 teams selection for the 2 important games by avoiding a kind of overloading his Europa League team selection for Dundalk with all top Arsenal first team players so as to win the match to not take any chances because it is Dundalk the Irish PL minors team.

    But let him bear it in mind that the Gunners after the 3 days that they’ve played against Dundalk have a big game match to play against Man Utd at Old Trafford in the PL next Sunday. Which I am sure Mikel Arteta will bear it in mind.

    Nevertheless, this Man Utd match is a match that Arsenal have to win by all possible means if the Gunners are to avoid losing 3 big games consecutively at away so far in the PL this season irrespective that referee Mike Dean the stunchest anti-Arsenal match referee in the PL will be the centre referee for the Man Utd match should not constitute any excuses for the Gunners to not beat the Red Devils in the match.

    For, the Gunners and Mikel Arteta in his game plan for the match MUST find a way to nullify any obstacles that Mike Dean and the Red Devils could and will pose to Arsenal in the match to beat the Red Devils and beat them to the collection of all the 3 points that will be at stake in the match.

    And I don’t think Arsenal playing to a draw game in the match will be liked by the Arsenal supporters worldwide. For, that is not the option the Gooners have in mind for the Gunners to take in the match. Talkless of them to lose the match, but a win in the match by them is the only option that the Gooners have in their own minds considered viable for the Gunners to take compulsorily in the match as far as they the Gooners are concerned.

    Therefore, I strongly advice Mikel Arteta to get his team selection for the Dundalk game spot on so that the Gunners will beat them. But not at the expense of Arsenal not beating the Man Utd next Sunday in the PL as a result of a possible game playing fatigue in the Dundalk match suffered to the senior team Gunners who Arteta might have played in the match. And play them again in the Man Utd match just after 3 days interval. Whereas, Man Utd will even have an extra day rest to Arsenal none. And coupled with the Gunners will have to cope with referee Mike Dean in the match, will be unfair to Arsenal as this isn’t a level playground in the match at all.

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