The desperate need to sort out Arsenal’s away form

By Tony Attwood

Our next match is again going to be on Pay TV with Sky at £14.95.  The protests continue, money is being sent to local foodbanks, and the dreadful Sky and the BT Sprout continue with their doomed venture although this might be the last weekend of it.

But whereas with football there is normally a tunnel at the end of the light (at least according to the media) there might be light at the end of the tunnel this time, with lots of rumours circulating that the two controllers of football (Sky and the Sprout) are going to move away from the £14.95 model.

And calling them the controllers of football is right, because that is exactly what they are.  They now have the Premier League by the throat.  The League depends on these two companies that have nothing to do with football beyond the fact that they broadcast it, to stay afloat financially.  With match day revenues gone, and with vast amounts of money owed to the broadcasters because of the clubs’ failure to put an effective force majeure clause in the contract with the TV companies, nothing can be done without their agreement.

Worse, the revelations about the perfidious nature of the PGMO in terms of claiming its level of accuracy in decision making, which through a comparison of results with no fans present is shown to be false, the whole credibility of Premier League football hangs in the balance.  Sky and BT clearly have a deal with the PL not to focus on referees and referee decision making.  If that deal fell apart then the credibility of the league would be compromised, and so would its popularity.

That doesn’t mean that if the public in general came to realise that there was something fundamentally amiss with football refereeing they would stop supporting their clubs – when the scale of corruption in Italy became known people still supported their teams.  But it would change the worldwide perception of the Premier League.

So, in effect Sky and BT Sprout have the power, and that power is only broken when regular supporters stop watching games on their channels – as has happened with the £14.95 deal.  Or when people start realising that there is something odd about the way the results have changed now games are played without any spectators present.

The difference between the £14.95 deal and the questioning of (for example) why there are more points won by away teams than home teams, is that the newspapers and their websites have no trouble questioning the £14.95 deal, and supporting the boycott of those matches.  But they are seemingly forbidden through their contracts with ever questioning the role of PGMO.

That’s not to say that they ought to be following the stats shown on this site, but it is an issue, and they might at least show an interest rather than saying, totally falsely, that the home advantage has been restored.

Certainly Arsenal could do with some help for its away performances.  From our very decent away performance in 2015/16 we have sunk right down, and now would be a time to rise back up the away table.

Season Away wins Away goals for Away goals aggregate Away pts Away pos
2015/16 8 34 25 31 3rd
2016/17 9 38 28 30 6th
2017/18 4 20 31 16 11th
2018/19 7 31 35 25 8th
2019/20 4 20 24 20 10th

The self-evident fact is that we need to score more away goals.  Do that and we would get a hefty lift up the league.  Seven away wins in a season ought to be an absolute minimum, with nine being a reasonable baseline target.  As 2016/17 showed that isn’t enough to guarantee a move to the top four (we missed it by one point that year), but it gives us something for our home performances to build on.

The improvement in away form generally this season is revealed by looking at the current league table for away games only…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Leicester City 4 4 0 0 13 3 10 12
2 Tottenham Hotspur 3 3 0 0 12 3 9 9
3 Chelsea 4 2 2 0 9 4 5 8
4 Manchester City 4 2 2 0 6 3 3 8
5 Southampton 4 2 1 1 8 7 1 7
6 Manchester United 2 2 0 0 7 3 4 6
7 Aston Villa 2 2 0 0 4 0 4 6
8 Leeds United 3 2 0 1 7 4 3 6
9 Arsenal 4 2 0 2 5 4 1 6

Six teams are unbeaten away this season, and since we aim for the top four overall that is clearly what we should be aiming for.  But although we have the best defence in the league, just seven goals conceded home and away, lower than any other club, we only have the 12th most effective attack.

OK that will change over time, but sooner rather than later I hope.  And as for this weekend, the team we play tomorrow has won both its away games and not conceded a goal in either match.



3 Replies to “The desperate need to sort out Arsenal’s away form”

  1. Comes Sunday’s evening tomorrow at the Emirates Stadium in the PL, the now looking be rejuvenated Arsenal and hungry to be winning matches after their surprise home loss to Leicester. Which they recovered from with an away win against Man Utd will certainly beat the somehow now looking to be erratic Aston Villa. And climb up to 15 points in the table before the next international break comes up again this season.

    Climbing up the table to 15 points won’t be bad for Arsenal. But what will not be acceptable nor tolerated by us Gooners will be if the Gunners drop 2 or all the 3 points in the match to Aston Villa to collect them, which will be atrocious falling by the Gunners.

    And this will be astonishing to us Gooners if the Gunners do this failing. Therefore, they should eschew playing the kind of the Leicester game they played at home that cost Arsenal all the 3 points that were at staked in the match.

    I think Aston Villa will attempt to play a Leicester game against Arsenal in the match tomorrow. But since once bitten is said should be twice shy, the Gunners should therefore be shy in the match tomorrow to not allow themselves to fall pray to the Villains in the match having learnt their lesson in the Leicester game.

    And to prevent the Villains doing a Leicester to them, I advice Mikel Arteta the Gunners gaffer should make the Gunners to undergo a big game training preparation for the Astob Villa match. So that the Gunners will be in a win win situation in the match if the Villains turn up big or erratic in the match. The Gunners will be more than ready and able to deal with the Villains in the game in whichever form they happen turn up in the match and come out victorious in it over the Villains collecting all the points at stake in the match.

  2. In fairness though, two of our four away games have been against two of the top teams in Europe, let alone England! One of those teams hasn’t lost at home for over three and a half years. The other has spent more on players than any other club in the world. So, exclude those two clubs since the vast majority of teams will not win when they visit, and we’ve won 100% of our other away games this season!!

    If you look at away games against premier league clubs (in whatever competition) since football resumed after lockdown 1.0, I believe we’ve won five and lost six. Being a little liberal with one’s interpretation of an “away” game, we weren’t at home for the cup final or semi-final (cheeky I know), that’s 7 wins and six losses. So that’s 54% which if replicated in the league would be 10 away win in the league. That’ll do me if we could pick up a few draws too.

  3. Mikey

    That’s similar to a point I was making yesterday about how, no 9th position, on the face of it, isn’t where we’d like to be, but alone that doesn’t tell the whole story, because as you say, when you take into account who’ve we’ve played, and where (away from home), being just 4 points off of top spot isn’t actually that shabby. As usual context is everything.

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