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August 2021
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How Arsenal might still make 6th, although we’ve left it a bit late.

By Tony Attwood

As we’ve been investigating during the interlull, the chances of us getting into the top six to get a place in Europe next year don’t look too good.  However we have noted that because of the curious European rules lurking around it is possible that cup winners’ places might not be taken up if the club has already qualified through another route – and they can go to a team further down the charts.

But those rules are strangely written, and I wouldn’t like to rely on them, so let’s see if we can’t find another way in. Here we are at the moment…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 30 22 5 3 64 21 43 71
2 Manchester United 29 16 9 4 56 32 24 57
3 Leicester City 29 17 5 7 53 32 21 56
4 Chelsea 29 14 9 6 44 25 19 51
5 West Ham United 29 14 7 8 45 35 10 49
6 Tottenham Hotspur 29 14 6 9 49 30 19 48
7 Liverpool 29 13 7 9 48 36 12 46
8 Everton 28 14 4 10 40 37 3 46
9 Arsenal 29 12 6 11 40 32 8 42

In effect we need three out of West Ham, Tottenham Hots, Liverpool and Everton to go for a meander while Arsenal keep up the pressure.

Now if I told you at this moment that a supercomputer had been brought in to work out what will happen if current form continues exactly as now, that might make it sound what follows a lot more impressive.  Of course we know that football doesn’t use supercomputers – they are used for working out what is happening inside black holes, what happens to the economy if corporation tax is cut and whether time can run backwards as well as forwards.

No, in this case it is me working it out with a calculator.

But if it makes you feel better to be told a super computer did all this, please do believe that.

So, here we go.   In my previous piece on Untold I noted that in recent games we had been doing a lot better of late than in the earlier part of the season. I took the last 15 games and compared with the start of the season and saw this…

2020/21 P W D L F A GD Pts
Games up to Xmas Day 14 4 2 8 12 18 -6 14
Games since Xmas Day 15 8 4 3 28 14 +14 28

Although that looks like a journey that is moving in the right direction, it doesn’t help us too much if all the clubs around us have also improved.  So I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the last 12 games of the Premier League.  (I know I counted 15 games in my previous table, but working all this data out is quite hard going, and I found a “last 12” table on line (very much appreciated soccerstats) so here we are.  How are we performing in the last 12.

In fact we are sixth in the League over the last 12 games – not as high as I had hoped before finding the details, but still better than an earlier part of the season.  Except we are actually doing better than Tottenham Hots, Everton and Liverpool – exactly as we need.

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Date Game Res Score Competition
14 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Crystal Palace D 0-0 Premier League
18 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 3-0 Premier League
26 Jan 2021 Southampton v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League
30 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Manchester United D 0-0 Premier League
2 Feb 2021 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
6 Feb 2021 Aston Villa v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
14 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-2 Premier League
21 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-1 Premier League
28 Feb 2021 Leicester City v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League
6 Mar 2021 Burnley v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
14 Mar 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1 Premier League
21 Mar 2021 West Ham United v Arsenal D 3-3 Premier League

However 42% of those games were against clubs in the mix for a place in the top six: Man U, Man C, Leicester, Tottenham, West Ham.  If all things were worked out equal that should be 32%.  So yes, we’ve been having a tough run – which means our run to the end of the season will be easier.

So how have we done in the last 12, despite having a tough run of games?

  P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 33 8 +25 33
2 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 12 4 +8 25
3 Leicester City 12 7 3 2 22 11 +11 24
4 West Ham Utd 12 7 2 3 21 14 +7 23
5 Manchester Utd 12 5 6 1 22 8 +14 21
6 Arsenal 12 5 4 3 20 13 +7 19
7 Tottenham 12 6 0 6 19 14 +5 18
8 Brighton 12 5 3 4 11 8 +3 18
9 Burnley 12 4 5 3 13 15 -2 17
10 Everton 12 5 2 5 14 17 -3 17
11 Leeds Utd 12 5 1 6 15 14 +1 16
12 Aston Villa 12 4 3 5 10 12 -2 15
13 Crystal Palace 12 4 3 5 9 18 -9 15
14 Fulham 12 3 5 4 8 11 -3 14
15 Liverpool 12 4 1 7 11 15 -4 13
16 Wolverhampton 12 3 4 5 10 14 -4 13
17 Sheffield Utd 12 4 0 8 8 21 -13 12
18 West Brom 12 2 4 6 9 18 -9 10
19 Newcastle Utd 12 2 3 7 10 21 -11 9
20 Southampton 12 1 1 10 10 32 -22 4

What that shows is that in the last 12 games we have gained one point on Tottenham, two on Everton and six on Liverpool.  We have in fact got nine games left to go – see what happens if this form continues…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts Extra Final
6 Tottenham Hotspur 29 14 6 9 49 30 19 48 13 61
7 Liverpool 29 13 7 9 48 36 12 46 10 56
8 Everton 28 14 4 10 40 37 3 46 14 60
9 Arsenal 29 12 6 11 40 32 8 42 14 58

The “extra” column reflects the points that current form suggests might be got from the remaining games and the “final” column obviously tells us the points total.

That makes Tottenham 6th, Everton 7th, Arsenal 8th and Liverpool 9th.  So we go up one place, but no more.  But we are only two points behind Everton and three behind Tottenham, so one extra slip on their part or one extra win from  the expected could swing it for us.  But it still looks tough.

However as we have noted we have been overdosing on games against clubs above us, and this will change.   The games we have and the possible points, worked out match by match are shown below.

We need 17 points from the remaining nine games – 1.88 points a game.  0.3 points more per game than in the last 12 matches.  Can we do it?  Here are the predictions: 5 wins, 3 draws, 1 defeat.

Date Game Result AFC points
3 April Arsenal v Liverpool Draw 1 point
11 April Sheffield United v Arsenal Away win 3 points
17 April Arsenal v Fulham Home win 3 points
24 April Arsenal v Everton Draw 1 point
1 May Newcastle v Arsenal Away win 3 points
1 May Arsenal v WBA Home win 3 points
12 May Chelsea v Arsenal Home win 0 points
15 May Crystal Palace v Arsenal Draw 1 point
23 May Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Home win 3 points
Total 18 points

So yes we might still make it, but in truth we have left our revival a little bit late.  But that is what our Prime Minister would call a road map worked out by the Untold Supercomputer (ie Tony & calculator).

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1 comment to How Arsenal might still make 6th, although we’ve left it a bit late.

  • Mikey

    On current form (i.e. the last 12 games) there appears to be no reason why we can’t beat both Liverpool and Everton at home which would bring us an additional four points. We in fact only play one team with better 12 match form than us and as you have suggested, we may well take no points from that game.

    I’ve only had a brief look at the run in for the other clubs we need to overtake and ours is not nearly as challenging as it might be whilst others seem to have a slightly more difficult task. Fingers crossed.