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Imagine living in the same house as a Daily Mirror football columnist!

By Tony Attwood

Imagine living in the home of one of the Daily Mirror’s football writers.  Every morning there would be a call for breakfast.  But it wouldn’t be a call saying, “breakfast is on the table”, it would be a “make or break” call telling you that you are going to have a tough start of a make or break day, and this is your only chance for food – which will be removed in the next five seconds.

Your parents (who I guess is the people most Mirror columnists live with, given the quality of their knowledge about Arsenal) would look on worried, and eventually you’d get out your crayon and scribble (while eating your make or break breakfast)…

Mikel Arteta’s make-or-break run as Arsenal handed tough start to 2021-22 season

But let’s get out our Big Boys Book of Numbers and check.

In the Premier League there are six clubs that are traditionally considered to be “big” – imaginatively known as the Big Six.  Traditionally they are Man C, Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hots, and Arsenal.  How did we do against them last season?

So if we look at the opening matches of Arsenal what we find is that in August and September we have six games of which we would expect on average two to be against other members of the Big Six.

In fact this season three are against our rivals: games against Chelsea (home), Manchester City (away) and Tottenham Hots (home).

Thus one game more than we would expect if everything was worked out in an exactly average. Hardly earth shattering.

But rather than dissolve into the total panic which is the starting point for the average common-or-garden Daily Mirror journalist, we could look at these fixtures in a slightly more peaceful manner and consider last season’s results against these mighty warriors of the Premier League.

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Last season our games (including cup matches) against the Big six were…

Date Match Res Score Competition
29 Aug 2020 Arsenal v Liverpool W 1-1 (5-4) FA Community Shield
28 Sep 2020 Liverpool v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
1 Oct 2020 Liverpool v Arsenal W 0-0 (4-5) League Cup
17 Oct 2020 Manchester City v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
1 Nov 2020 Manchester United v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
6 Dec 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
22 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Manchester City L 1-4 League Cup
26 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 3-1 Premier League
30 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Manchester United D 0-0 Premier League
21 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-1 Premier League
14 Mar 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1 Premier League
3 Apr 2021 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-3 Premier League
12 May 2021 Chelsea v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
Arsenal’s results were 6 wins, 6 defeats and one draw.  A win ratio of 46%.  As near as damn it the same as across the whole league season where we won 47% of games.
But let’s be fair on the little treacle tarts at the Mirror and do it just with league games…
Date Match Res Score Competition
28 Sep 2020 Liverpool v Arsenal L 3-1 Premier League
17 Oct 2020 Manchester City v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
1 Nov 2020 Manchester United v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
6 Dec 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
26 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 3-1 Premier League
30 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Manchester United D 0-0 Premier League
21 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-1 Premier League
14 Mar 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1 Premier League
3 Apr 2021 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-3 Premier League
12 May 2021 Chelsea v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League

Here we had 10 games.  4 wins, 5 defeats and one draw.   A win ratio of 40%.

In the league through the whole season we got 47%.  So we were a bit worse off playing against the traditional top six clubs.  By 7%. Could be better, but not too awful.

But there’s another statistic here that I find much more interesting.

In the first third of the season (ie up to Christmas Day) our results against the traditional top six clubs were in the league were Played 4, won 1 lost 3.  A win rate of 25%

In the final two thirds (ie the rest of the season) the results were played 6, won 3, drew 1 lost 2.  A win rate of 50%.

Last season against the other members of the traditional top six the win rate was 40%. In the two thirds of the season after Christmas Day it was 50%.  

So a bit down on our results against the hoi polli, but not much to worry about.  As long as we don’t follow the Mirror’s advice and kick out all those players who did so well in the last two thirds of last season, and replace them by those untrained in our new tactics we’ll be fine.  If we do kick them out, then we could be in real trouble.

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2 comments to Imagine living in the same house as a Daily Mirror football columnist!

  • NorwegianBlue

    Living in the ZOO, eh? Journalists are monkees.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Wouldn’t you like to mess with the mind of a Daily Mirror football columnist ? I would !
    I’l try to influence them into believing that there is more that meets the eye than players just removing strategically placed COKE and Heineken drinks at the EUROS 2021.

    Was Cristano Ronaldo sending a subtle message regarding his next club ? Well it will probably be to club that PEPSI are sponsoring . Very subtle that move of his !

    While Progba may just not like beer or its taste , or maybe , just maybe , that he hates the Spuds ! They are the only club I can off hand remember that advertise for Heineken!

    Or maybe they are playing some Gallic – Iberian chess game ?