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January 2021
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Arsenal reduced to the level of wolves

by Bulldog Drummond

The league table this morning shows something of an odd sight – and I don’t just mean the situation at the top of the league….

Team P W D L F GA D Pts
6 Everton 9 5 1 3 19 16 3 16
7 Aston Villa 8 5 0 3 19 11 8 15
8 West Ham United 9 4 2 3 15 10 5 14
9 Wolverhampton W 9 4 2 3 9 10 -1 14
10 Newcastle United 10 4 2 4 12 15 -3 14
11 Manchester United 8 4 1 3 13 14 -1 13
12 Arsenal 9 4 1 4 9 10 -1 13

As you can see Arsenal and this weekend’s opponents Wolverhampton W have identical goal situations – each having scored nine and conceded  ten.  The only difference is they have one more draw and hence one less defeat than we have.

We are not the lowest scoring team in the league but we’re certainly near the bottom

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 4 2 3 9 10 -1 14
12 Arsenal 9 4 1 4 9 10 -1 13
18 Fulham 9 1 1 7 9 18 -9 4
19 West Bromwich Albion 9 0 3 6 6 18 -12 3
17 Burnley 8 1 2 5 4 12 -8 5
20 Sheffield United 9 0 1 8 4 15 -11 1

I don’t know when the last time was that we were among the lowest scorers  in the league, but I suspect it was quite some time ago.  Having scored the same number of goals as Fulham was not what we expected.

It is interesting that by contrast in the Europa league (which is of course a different kettle of fish) only Leverkusen (with 14), Villareal and Hoffenheim (with 13 each) have knocked in more than we have.

In the summer our one transfer in the forward department was Willian on a free.  Wolverhampton also bought one.   Here is there list of transfers in, during this last window…

  • Matija Sarkic: Goalkeeper — from Aston Villa: free
  • Fabio Silva: Forward — from Porto: £35m
  • Marcal: Defender — from Lyon: £1.8m
  • Vitinha: Midfielder — from Porto: loan
  • Ki-Jana Hoever: Defender — from Liverpool: £9m
  • Nelson Semedo: Defender — from Barcelona: £27.6m
  • Rayan Aït Nouri: Defender — from Angers: loan

We have noted before how just prior to the pandemic Wolverhampton borrowed sums on the agency market equivalent to this season’s first TV instalment, but then got caught by the delays to payment of the second instalment last season.

They therefore went on a selling spree including Diogo Jota to Liverpool for £41m, Costa to Leeds for £16m and Doherty to Tottenham for £14.7m.  (Figures as ever from the Guardian).  So with that situation they ought to be fairly pleased to be holding a mid-table position.  With our expenditure of over £67m net, we might have expected better.

Interestingly, although results in the under 23 league (PL2) have been disappointing (we sit ninth out of 13 having played a couple of games more than the teams around us), we’ve scored 17 goals in 10 games – which is a slightly better ratio.

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So do we have a cavalry coming to the rescue on the goalscoring front?

Well there is Nikolaj Moller, rather ludicrously called ‘the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic’ presumably on the grounds that he is quite tall and scores goals.   He joined us from Malmo on deadline day, he’s 18 and he is playing with the under 23s.   In fact he has played five and scored five, which is not bad.  Apparently he has played in Italy with Bologna and is 6’4″ tall.

Then we have Folarin Balogun, who we saw in the Europa, and Saka who can play in the forward line.   Beyond that we await the return of Martinelli.

Wolverhampton had a good record away from home last season winning seven, drawing seven and losing just five.  This season it is won two, lost two.   But as we know, away teams now have the advantage over home teams when there is no crowd.

If we compare Arsenal at home and Wolverhampton away they have the same records this season right down to the goal difference:

  • Won 2
  • Lost 2
  • Goal Difference -2

That makes it look like a nailed on 0-0 draw.  Here’s the other group influencing play…

  • Referee: Michael Oliver.
  • Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett. Fourth official: David Coote.
  • VAR: Andre Marriner. Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.

More anon…

 

 

4 comments to Arsenal reduced to the level of wolves

  • Until Arteta realizes we need to score to win, we’ll keep drawing and losing. If Willian starts we lose 100%. shockingly bad signing.

  • Zedsaunt

    ”That makes it look like a nailed on 0-0 draw. Here’s the other group influencing play…”

    I’m going to take an afternoon walk and have a think about that! Must be an argument against it somewhere…

  • Ben

    @Stephan – Willian started our first game v Fulham and if you look it up we won so not 100% we lose.

  • Menace

    If ever there was a critical viewer of players I would think it would be me (perhaps more critical of cheats!!). The Arsenal players have been good in what they have done without knowing Artetas instructions.

    I, like most supporters would like us to be more aggressive and attack without as much ‘after you’s’. The chances have been made but the opportunities have been squandered by excessive team work.

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