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Arsenal only did well after Xmas because the fixtures were much easier

By Tony Attwood

We are receiving more and more messages saying that the notion that the latter part of our season was not good, because we had an easy run-in at the end of the season.

I’ve answered this several times but I thought it might be easier to stop the discussion by publishing the data and then I can just refer those who argue this point back to the facts.   Here is a list of our games against the teams who ended the season above us.

Date Match Res Score Thirds Halves
28 Sep 2020 Liverpool v Arsenal L 3-1 1st 1st
17 Oct 2020 Manchester City v Arsenal L 1-0 1st 1st
25 Oct 2020 Arsenal v Leicester City L 0-1 1st 1st
19 Sep 2020 Arsenal v West Ham United W 2-1 1st 1st
1 Nov 2020 Manchester United v Arsenal W 0-1 1st 1st
6 Dec 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 2-0 1st 1st
26 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 3-1 2nd 1st
30 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Manchester United D 0-0 2nd 2nd
21 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-1 2nd 2nd
28 Feb 2021 Leicester City v Arsenal W 1-3 2nd 2nd
14 Mar 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1 3rd 2nd
21 Mar 2021 West Ham United v Arsenal D 3-3 3rd 2nd
3 Apr 2021 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-3 3rd 2nd
12 May 2021 Chelsea v Arsenal W 0-1 3rd 2nd

If we look at the first half of the season we played seven games against the teams that came in above us and in the second half of the season we played the remaining seven.  No temporal imbalance there.

To do it by thirds in the first third we played six of the teams that came in against us, in the second third it was four games, and in the final third it was four games.

So looked at in halves of a season there was no real difference in terms of playing better or worse clubs.  It wasn’t that we had a run-in exclusively against Sheffield United, Fulham and West Bromwich.

But let us try the analysis against the other five members of the traditional big six.

Date Match Res Score Thirds Halves
28 Sep 2020 Liverpool v Arsenal L 3-1 1st 1st
17 Oct 2020 Manchester City v Arsenal L 1-0 1st 1st
1 Nov 2020 Manchester United v Arsenal W 0-1 1st 1st
6 Dec 2020 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal L 2-0 1st 1st
26 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 3-1 2nd 1st
30 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Manchester United D 0-0 2nd 2nd
21 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-1 2nd 2nd
14 Mar 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1 3rd 2nd
3 Apr 2021 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-3 3rd 2nd
12 May 2021 Chelsea v Arsenal W 0-1 3rd 2nd

Here the two halves of the season absolutely balance – we have five in each half.  In terms of thirds, obviously there can’t be a balance because we are looking at ten games.  But it balances as near as possible in that there were four in the first third of the season, and three in the remaining two thirds.

So it is a total myth to suggest that any part of the season was particularly easy for us.  That is simply not true.

Overall with the traditional big six matches we won two in the first half of the season and lost three.  In the second half of the season we won two, drew one and lost two.  A slight improvement in the second half of the season.

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In measuring the thirds, against the other members of the traditional big six we won one and lost three in the first third, won one, drew one and lost one in the second third, and won two and lost one in the final third.

Our results against the other five members of the traditional top six were not good, but they did indeed improve, and it was not a case of playing tough games at the start and easy games at the end.  Looking at traditional members of the big six we got 

  • Three points from for games in the first third
  • Four points from three games in the second third
  • Six points from three games in the final third. 

All this shows that attempts to demolish the notion that Arsenal had a terrific turn around in the last two thirds of the season, by suggesting we played easy-to-beat clubs at the end, and had difficult matches early on, is fantasy.

Our results were not anywhere near as good as we would have liked them to be last season, but the improvement is there for anyone who can look at the results to see.  We got a better as the season went on, and if you measure the final two thirds of the season we came second.  And during that period we played 60% of our games against the traditional top six clubs.

Why do people seek to deny this reality?  That one I think I’ll have to leave for our next article on the psychology of supporters – and of journalists.

But here’s a thought – denying the validity of the two thirds is a perfect case of gaslighting.  And it was only the other day I suggested we might well see a return of gaslighting in the near future.

 

Gaslighting: how refereeing in the Premier League is manipulated, and why the media never speak about it.

 

1 comment to Arsenal only did well after Xmas because the fixtures were much easier

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Somebody may just blame the Americans for thIS reversal of fortunes, and place the blame squarely on Silent Stan , via his friend Bill Gates , who apparently is now persona non grata in most countries! What a great and god given patsy !

    How did this dastardly deed come into being ? Glad you asked ! Just blame it all on Bill Gates vaccines . Which everyone and his dog by know that is iffy at best. Am sure you have all seen magnets sticking on to injection sites ?

    We have information at UA HQ , that all the PIGMOB referees have been vaccinated , thus rendering them to be prone to mind bending and other nefarious actions by unscrupulous Americans ! Not that they were too clever to start with !

    The American cartel are now in charge of the PIGMOB . Today England , tomorrow, Europe ! Shout it from the rooftops !

    PS , having taken my two jabs , I do not yet feel any super powers as yet . The most I hope for is some more lead in my pencil !

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