By Sir Hardly Anyone
So the news is out and spreading. Since Christmas Day Arsenal has been performing as a top four club. That’s a fair amount of time to cover (not a matter of six or seven games that the pundits like).
And now we’ve looked at exactly where we would be if the season had begun on 26 December. The answer is third.
Thus we can be happy in the knowledge that we have got our “fourth is not a trophy” club back, and the “Wenger Out” mob can brush down the old arguments that we ought to be doing better than fourth. Or third. “Emery out!” Of course.
Better still for us real supporters, the lack of a European competition next year will give us a bonus – fewer matches to be crippled by opponents. OK it will be less of a chance to bring the youngsters through, but we can put more into our League Cup effort instead.
Yet the tricks remain the same – ignore the fact that Arsenal’s form has really improved since Christmas day and instead do the old claim that the journalists and (allegedly) biggest supporters groups know what’s what – it’s all bleedin’ obvious – it’s just the idiots running Arsenal who don’t get it.”
Football.London, the 20 Arsenal stories a day machine, are telling us that Arsenal may well let defender Dinos Mavropanos stay at Stuttgart – and why this would be a huge mistake. And the evidence – well one sentence from Stuttgart manager Pellegrino Matarazzo: “He’s our gladiator! He’s a monster in terms of physique. And when he makes a mistake, he hums around some Greek swear words. I like that. He’s just a tough dog.” (Sorry, four sentences).
There are the endless stories about the goalkeeping position too. But let’s have a look at our defence since Christmas Day and compare it with others. Here we take the league table on Christmas day and then see how many goals each of the top ten plus Arsenal have conceded since.
|Pos||Team||Conceded before Xmas||Conceded since Xmas|
|10||West Ham United||19||26|
Now I know this is a bit complicated but let’s do a league table of the defences since Christmas for the teams that have been lurking anywhere near the top half of the league
|Club||Goals since Xmas||Position|
|West Ham United||26||7|
So let’s be clear about this and do a bit of the spelling out.
Arsenal have, since our great turn around on Christmas Day, got the third best defence in the league.
Not as good as Manchester City that is true, and one goal more conceded that Chelsea, that is also true.
And yes we are equal with Manchester United, another truth. But still we have the third best defence in the league across this part of the season.
But maybe you think I am fiddling the figures, trying to bemuse you by numbers, trying to get you into the Toppled Bollard public house in London’s docklands and ply you with alcohol so you don’t notice what I am doing.
OK, let us look at the league table for the WHOLE SEASON. Only I am going to run it in the order of goals against. To be clear – goals we have let in this season, OK?
We still have the third best defence in the league this season. So why get rid of the goalkeeper? In fact why change the defence at all? If anything is seen to be lacking in that table above it is the attack.
Have you seen or heard a journalist other than from Untold Arsenal and a few other blogs comment on how we have got the third best defence in the league? Have you ever heard those two supporters’ groups who each claim to be the biggest supporters’ groups say, “don’t touch the defence”? No, of course not. They all want and love turmoil to further their own personal ambitions.
So what we see are endless demands for getting rid of Xhaka, getting rid of the keeper, getting rid of Holding, getting rid of Chambers, getting rid of Bellerin…. It goes on and on and on and on, day after day.
And why – when we have the third best defence in the league?
Coming up shortly: the perfect example of journalistic misinformation.
- Arsenal are once again a top four club, and the figures since Xmas prove it
- So what can we do about Arsenal next season?
- What has happened to two of last season’s goalscorers?
- Arsenal transfers: Gnabry return, White a disaster, Martinez a loss?
- Why do journalists get so fixated on scoring in double figures?
- Buying players does not mean success as last season shows…
- All change with PGMO and the refs.. But what change?
- The last five years proves one big thing: nothing is guaranteed.