Why the idea that Arsenal need to spend £££ on defenders is completely daft

By Sir Hardly Anyone and a pineapple*


Arsenal have £250m transfer budget as club closes on 2 midfield signings

So announces SPORTbible although they then immediately change the message and tell us that “Arsenal are reportedly prepared to spend £250m on at least five new signings this summer, as Mikel Arteta’s huge transfer rebuild begins.”

Quite why a club that spent months re-training its squad into a new tactical approach and then had a final two thirds of a season as the second best club in the league should want to throw all that away and bring in “at least five new signings” is not explained, which is a shame, because I’d like to know the logic there.

For although we’ve been fulsome in our praise of the way Mr Arteta has so ruthlessly carried through his transformation of the club (and indeed managed to hide it from the media in a most amusing way) there is a danger that some young scamps jotting notes in the garden shed have missed the statistics that led to the discovery.

However the quarter of a billion pounds is back in the headlines and if we were going to buy even a tiny fraction of the 112 players we are tipped to be signing we are going to need every farthing.

Anyway they are now getting excited about James Maddison, of whom it has often been said.

Elsewhere the whole thing about the defence being totally changed is continuing but I thought I’d go back for a moment to those figures for the last two thirds of last season, and look again at the defence.  I mean we know we had the third best defence in the Premier League across the whole of the season, but what about that era after the transformation of the tactics was complete…

In this table the clubs are ranked by the goals scored against them across the final two thirds of the campaign….

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 25 21 0 4 64 20 44 63
2 Arsenal 24 14 5 5 43 21 22 47
3 Chelsea 24 12 6 6 29 22 7 42
4 Manchester United 25 13 9 3 45 23 22 48
5 Liverpool 24 11 5 8 32 23 38
6 West Ham United 24 13 5 6 41 28 13 44
7 Tottenham Hots 24 11 4 9 43 31 12 37
8 Leicester City 24 11 6 7 42 33 9 39

As that table shows, in the last two thirds of the season Arsenal conceded just one more goal than Manchester City and ten fewer goals than Tottenham Hots.

As we have pointed out before, it is therefore the attack that needs a bit of extra ooomph (to use the technical term) meaning that we need to get Aubameyang back to his earlier form, and ensure that he gets a regular solid supply of usable chances via Saka, Smith Rowe, and I would argue, Willock.

However what Sport Bible says instead is “Leno to move on?”

Now the vague meandering gibberish that passes for journalism in England at the moment has focused on this one too as 101 Great Goals has said, “The German endured a somewhat hit-and-miss campaign last time out, with a series of high-profile blunders.”

Quite how does that balance out with the fact that with Leno in goal Arsenal had the third best defence in the league through the entire season, and a defence that let in only one more goal than Manchester City in the final two thirds of the season?  It is an argument that seems to have all the logic of a pineapple.*

*to avoid an accusation of bias other fruit may be used from time to time as illustrations within our effort to understand what some of these blogs are saying.

As we say, there may be more on this anon.

The proof that something is seriously wrong with both football refereeing and reporting

11 Replies to “Why the idea that Arsenal need to spend £££ on defenders is completely daft”

  1. Tony

    There a table that lists the most goalkeeping errors that led to a goal last season:

    Pickford is 2nd

    Lloris is 7th

    De Gea is 8th

    Martinez is 9th

    And Leno ? Well he trails in at a dismal 27th.

    Honestly Tony the b00££0cks the media talks just gets worse by the day

  2. In fact according to the Premier League’s own table from which I took the rankings Leno made 1 mistake that led to a chance. Hardly a ‘series’ of mistakes the is it.

    And as for ‘High Profile’ well that’s just that old trick of reporting yourself because if as a publication you keep repeating something, no matter how ludicrously inaccurate, of course it becomes‘ High Profile’ because you yourself have made it so.

    And why would you do that? Why would you take a single incident and exaggerate it. Why would you take that one players statistics and give ithem absolutely no context in regards to how he compares to everyone else?

    You would only do that if you had malicious intent.

  3. Tony
    Please stop highlighting the media bias it makes me throw-up each time and extremely soul boring to death. Am not a blogger nor a professional writer or journalist but if not a mental disorder issue why would you wake up everyday printing one-liner thoughts scratching your poor head to change the words to fill pages just to make someone or some people look bad. In the Era of social media and Google search facts, details, tables, evidence are all available for all to see and find and yet Arsenal are always bad in every facets of running, coaching, recruiting, medical care, management, selling and buying of players. Whatever Arsenal does are made mockery for it and once others join Arsenal are accused of being stagnant and not progressing.
    Just want football back, let me go and support my team Win, Draw, Lose, score goal, concede goal, anyhow they do it just want my Arsenal to be thereselves and nobody else .

  4. Could we ask the idiot writer who accuses Leno to itemise the series of mistakes he says he made.
    From the dictionary…
    Series… a number of similar or related events or things, one following another.
    I can certainly recall a series of first class performances from Leno, but only a single so called ‘high profile’ blunder.
    The imbecile shouldn’t be anywhere near a keyboard.

  5. mick shelley

    The thing is they know. They have access to the same data it took me 30 seconds to find. They just don’t care. They WANT to slag Arsenal and anything to do with Arsenal off as often as they can and they care not one iota about the legitimacy of what they say, and as I said before, one of the reasons they do it is that they know a way too big a number of our fans swallow it hook line and sinker.

  6. Of all the comments made here, just one question for whoever wrote that story.

    Where did this £250m information come from because I know no club will reveal their transfer kitty.

  7. Nonny

    “Where did this £250m information come from?” Good question.

    This from the Express on the 20th of June:

    “This is a view seemingly shared by Kroenke, who is prepared to bankroll a comprehensive summer rebuild to the tune of £250m, according to 90min.”

    This from 90Min on the 18th of June:

    “90min has learned that Arsenal have been given the green light by the Kroenke family to spend nearly a quarter of a billion on new faces ahead of the 2021/22 campaign”

    Unforetuneately they do not reveal where they ‘learned” about the £250 Million so it could actually of been from Weee Jock Poo Pong McPlop, the winner of last years Mr Madness competition.

    This from Caught Offside at the end of June or thereabouts:

    “Arsenal could reportedly be ready to hand manager Mikel Arteta as much as £250million to spend in the transfer market this summer”

    Aaaaaarh. REPORTEDLY. And where do they say it is reported?

    “Arteta is set to be backed with a budget of £250m, according to 90min” Them again.

    So it seems all roads lead to 90min who appear to of been the first to have ‘Learned’ about this as yet mythical £250Million, but unforetuneately they fail to tell from whom they ‘learnt’ it.

    I’m sticking with Weee Jock !!

  8. Nitram
    Why don’t we ask Untold’s transfer expert Sir Hardly to make up a ‘reportedly’ transfer completely fabricated story, put it up on Untold and see how far it gets. The source could be from a made up publication in Croatia for example, I mean who would bother to check. I am sure Sir Hardly would be more than capable of writing a credible story, and you never know it may eventually get into the mainstream online media, just like 90min’s load of tripe.
    Wouldn’t that be a hoot telling the Express it was all a load of codswallop and they have been made fools of.
    If 90min can get away with it why not Untold.

  9. mick shelly

    “I am sure Sir Hardly would be more than capable of writing a credible story”

    I think you’re coming at this from the wrong angle. ‘Credible’ has very little to do with it. In fact I would argue the more ‘incredible’ the better.

    Whilst on the subject of incredible, by coincidence, a source close to Arsenal has told me that Harry Kane is a done deal. Now usually I wouldn’t reveal my sources but what I will say is, he’s a very small, intellectually challenged Scot with a distinctive aroma not dissimilar to that of the WC on platform 1 at Glasgow Central station.

  10. Nitram
    I agree, what was I thinking of, credible was entirely the wrong word to use!

  11. Of course Arsenal need to spend some money this summer in order to maintain what they did. 3 of the top 5 forward in terms of minutes last season are now 30 or older, David Luiz had the most minutes of any of the defensive players, and the big minute logging midfielder is quickly approaching 30 as well. Arteta has some promising young players to work with, but without a few reinforcements, this squad isn’t going to go 38 matches without running into injury or fitness issues.

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