By Tony Attwood
Arsenal are probably going to finish about half way down the league, quite possibly the worst finish since 1982/3 – the worst for 38 years…
|5||West Ham United||34||17||7||10||55||44||11||58|
If worse than that it is going to be worse than 1975/76 making it the worst for 45 years when we ended up 17th, and we were rather close to relegation for part of the season.
So the question is, what can be done about this? Having a new owner looks rather impractical since the value of all football clubs is rising. As our owners don’t need the money that would come from a sale, why should they sell now, if the club is going to be worth more next year and possibly double in ten years time?
Indeed as the Glazers have shown at Manchester United, even committing the most heinous crimes against a club and thus really ramping up the hatred against the owners, doesn’t actually affect the owners.
A quick look at the Manchester United accounts shows what owners can get away with. In 2020 Manchester United’s debt rose by £127.4m to a grand total of £429.1m – and that rise was in just one year.
The rules of Manchester United mean that the the Glazer family, who exclusively own the B shares, get a payout of around £18m a year – despite these losses.
Now some Manchester United supporters have been denouncing the Glazers constantly without success – despite the modest triumphs on the pitch….
|League||FA Cup||League Cup||
Champions League – QF
Champions League – Group; Europa League – Round of 16
Europa League – Winners
Champions League – Round of 16
Champions League – QF
|2019–20||3rd||SF||SF||Europa League – SF|
Seven season, three cups, and league positions varying from runners up to 7th and one season out of Europe. Which would be fine for many teams but is clearly not acceptable for the Manchester United supporters.
Yet despite their protests, a game disruption and their range of managers (five in the last eight years) they are not at a level that they feel is acceptable.
Arsenal has actually done slightly better for trophies, winning the FA Cup four times across this period. But this season our point average per game is likely to end up at around 1.44 points per game. Adjusting all seasons to three points for a win and one for draw we can see this is not as bad as 1975/6 or 1982/3 but still not very good.
- 1975/6: 45 points under contemporary points or 1.07 points per game
- 1982/3: 58 points or 1.38 points per game
- 2020/21: 49 points from 34 games or 1.44 points per game.
So no, we have not sunk to the level of 1976 or 1982, but we are a long way away from the level of success (even in the “fourth is not a trophy” seasons, that Mr Wenger managed.
But what needs to be done to make Arsenal more successful?
A new owner? Well, that didn’t work when the Hill-Woods and others sold out to Kroenke.
A new manager? Let’s compare Arsenal with the fourth place finish that Mr Wenger was so fiercely criticised for achieving. And the “fourth is not a trophy” seasons are important because we need to get back into those before we can launch an assault on the top position.
*For this season I have estimated what the remaining matches will yield, based on the average across the season.
The four figures in red (goals scored, points, position and goals by top scorer) are those that are the worst across this whole period. In essence we need to score more goals, which will probably bring more points that will take us up the league table. Nice and simple. As I have said so often, “it’s not the defence” that is the problem despite the media’s insistence that it is.
Indeed only three of the last 10 years have been better than this season in terms of defence. If we get suckered into the wild ravings of the blogs and the media we could waste millions on improving a situation that doesn’t need improving while doing nothing about the situation that needs resolving.
But what of new attackers? We have been sitting on this low level of around 56 goals for two seasons. Which needs we must change any or all of these three…
- The attacking line up – bringing in one or two new attackers
- The better use of players that we have – using Martinelli instead of refusing to play him, while having Saka playing in a forward position, not at full back.
- The style of play
It is simple: goal scoring is what has to be fixed.
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