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The great Arsenal untruth, and does it matter?

By Minser Double

“To say it was a tough season for Arsenal and Arteta last season would be an understatement because he was probably lucky to survive it without being shown his P45.”   That was HITC on 5 July.

I don’t suppose HITC worries about its inaccuracies, after all they have already reported 42 players that they say Arsenal are preparing to buy this summer, which even if it were an all time record summer for signings would give them an inaccuracy rate of over 75%.  And if it is a normal summer that will probably rise to over 97% inaccuracy.

Besides they are not the only publication going down this route.   Rivalling HITC is Football.London who have been talking of the “overhaul that Mikel Arteta promised after Arsenal failed to qualify for European competition for the first time in a quarter of a century.”

The Mirror joined in with “Arsenal endured a disastrous first full campaign under the inexperienced Spanish boss, failing to build on the high of their record 14th FA Cup triumph,” and Talk Sport had “STRUGGLES: Arsenal have only endured a worse Premier League season than this ONCE”

Football London then came back with, “The stats behind Arsenal’s woeful season and why things are as bad as they look for Mikel Arteta.

“It can sometimes be the case that a team’s results don’t always align with their performances, with things such as bad luck and small margins going against them for large parts of a campaign. A good example of this in the Premier League this season is Brighton.”

“In terms of that aforementioned xP metric, Arsenal rank as the seventh-best side, a slight but unremarkable increase on their actual position in the table of ninth.

“Another good indicator of a team’s general performances is analysing the number of shots they both generate and concede. The Gunners have attempted the ninth most on a per 90 basis…”

OK that doesn’t sound good… but hang on, why not consider not the number of shots, but the actual number of goals scored and conceded?   I mean yes shots are important, but surely goals are more important aren’t they?

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And if you’d agree that goals rather than shots directly affect points gained and lost, then let us look at the number of goals conceded.   Last season it was 39 goals conceded in the PL.  So how did this compare with Arsenal’s past, and the goals against for Arsenal’s rivals this season?

Out of the last ten years only three seasons have had fewer goals conceded – and each time by only two or three goals.  37 conceded in 2012/13, and 36 in 2014/15 and 2014/15.   So yes they were fewer, but only by two or three and only in three years out of ten.  So this last season, from the perspective of Arsenal’s history was one of the better ones.

But what about Arsenal compared to the rest of the Premier League?   Well, we’ve run this table before but obviously FoLo were not looking at the time, so here it is again.  The top of last season’s table in the order of goals conceded.

(And yes this is the actual top of the whole table – not just the listing of the “big six”)

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 38 27 5 6 83 32 51 86
2 Chelsea 38 19 10 9 58 36 22 67
3 Arsenal 38 18 7 13 55 39 16 61
4 Liverpool 38 20 9 9 68 42 26 69
5 Manchester United 38 21 11 6 73 44 29 74
6 Tottenham Hotspur 38 18 8 12 68 45 23 62

Yes, Arsenal had the third best defence in the League and FoLo is complaining that our defence is awful.

So let’s ask “why?”

The most obvious reason is simply awful journalism, and indeed they are knocking Arsenal all the time in this way – which is why Untold has to spend so much time unravelling all their nonsense and producing the real facts.

I suppose they attack Arsenal either because of pure laziness (that is they have no ideas what the facts are and so make them up) or they really dislike Arsenal, and so want to knock Arsenal all the time.

And of course all this comes before we think about the fact that Arsenal’s entire approach to defence was changed in the past season by Mr Arteta as a way of overcoming the fact that PGMO have given multiple games to the referees that give out the most cards against Arsenal, while ensuring that the referees who don’t give Arsenal players multiple cards get very few games.  Shocking new referee statistics suggest outright bias against Arsenal has all the details on that one.

The Glorious 2021 Revolution

5 comments to The great Arsenal untruth, and does it matter?

  • Johannes

    There is also a fact the most of the people seem to completely miss.

    Arsenal had a bad first part of the season, but they had a very good second part of the season which give you hopes that this is only a beginning for the better.
    If you make a table from the last 19 games (half season) of the premier league. Can you guess where Arsenal is in that table? I bet many people don’t realize it.

    It just shows that there are currently more competition on the league than ever. You don’t have a luxury to have a bad spell of games during the season. It is interesting to see how Arsenal replace Xhaka, Odegaard and Luiz which were essential players during better part of the season and can they bring in even more upgrades than their replacements. Rumours have been good, but no one has come in yet.

  • Zedsaunt

    Came across this on twitter today, written by Rosalind Bull

    ”Am getting sick of having to mute sport because of the pointless, incessant, drivelling inanity of the commentators who add nothing to one’s understanding or enjoyment But of all of these wastes of time, John Inverdale is the worst. #bbctennis”

    A marvellous tweet but it does need to be said – some of us have been saying this for ten, fifteen years, watching games with the sound muted, not listening to pundits before and after games and at halftime, but, at some point, ‘the pointless, incessant,drivelling inanity of the commentators’ becomes visible and palpable as a permanent diversion, a screen of idiocy across the back of your brain.

    You might start watching the sport, sooner or later you might start poking behind the picture to get some kind of idea of what reality might actually look like.In the years I spent as a union rep 95% of what management told us was a diversion, lies, bullshit, with one intent – to get us to believe them more than the experience of our own lives.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    At least they have given up on the “Lucky Arsenal ” and ‘ Boring Arsenal ” quotes !
    Or have they ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am glad that no new ” OUT !” banners have been unfurled of late.
    For me I wouldn’t mind more women ‘outing ‘their tits when their national teams win .
    So how about it you lassies ?
    Come on Denmark !

  • Menace

    @Brickfields – super idea the outing!! Lets hope the Spanish and Italians set the precedent. Nothing better than a pert nipple pointing the way forward!!