By Tony Attwood
Through the summer Untold has found a couple of big reasons to be cheerful. Neither have been reported in the media, and instead we have had an endless stream of negatives. This group of examples were published within an hour of each other this morning….
If you are an Untold reader you will know that contrasting with those opinions, we’ve published two rather important facts this summer.
Two: Once Arsenal had changed their tactics the results took off dramatically. In the last two thirds of the season Arsenal gained the second highest number of points, had the second best defence and the second best attack in the league.
If you want to know what the refs were up to and what Arsenal did to overcome them, then you might like Shocking Ref Stats Show Outright Bias (2020/21 review) and The audacious tactical change that sent Arsenal charging up the league table.
But the media didn’t like all these stats, and they utterly won’t ever criticise referees. so instead they said we needed to kick out most of our players and start again.
But then Football.London tried to take us on in terms of stats, with headlines such as “The stats behind Arsenal’s woeful season and why things are as bad as they look for Mikel Arteta.”
After that they moved on to, “Legitimate questions being asking about whether Arteta is the right man to take the club forward beyond the end of this season.”
Their comment was that “those who have analysed their season on a more granular level opine that things such as below par finishing and poor goalkeeping performances, two key components in both boxes, are the main reason why they haven’t been able to turn good performances into more positive results.”
Which I have to admit caused the breaking open of an extra can of Guinness in Untold’s little office, when we read this. For while we were using actual events like goals scored, goals conceded and points gained, they were using events that DIDN’T HAPPEN. Like expected goals.
In the real world, rather than the fantasy land of expected goals, across the course of the season Arsenal had the third best defence in the league. Across the course of the final two thirds of the season (when the club got its new “no tackling” approach working) Arsenal had the second best defence in the league.
In the final two thirds of the season Arsenal conceded 21 goals in the league. One more than Manchester City who had the best defence across those final 24 games.
But defence is only part of the deal. What about the attack? Here is the league table based on goals scored in the last two thirds of the season.
|6||West Ham United||24||13||5||6||41||28||13||44|
We can also do this on goal difference and Arsenal are second in the last two thirds of the season. So measure points, measure goals scored, measure goals conceded, measure goal difference in the last two thirds of the season Arsenal were second.
AND THE MIRROR QUOTES EXPECTED GOALS TO PROVE WE WERE USELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I know this is only two thirds of a season, but it was the last two thirds after the major tactical change was made. Expected goals for and against can be interesting, but it is a measure of what didn’t actually happen. Our measure of the last two thirds of the season is a measure of what really did happen.
Given the way that “Arsenal are useless” is the theme of the day it was no surprise to see the article from 90min.com “Arsenal’s worst defeats under Mikel Arteta (so far)” turn up recently.
And then (and this is yet another screamingly funny moment from a season of screamingly funny moments) the Mirror pompously asked, “Have they been better than their results suggest this year?”
The answer of course is no. We are merely as good as our results.
If Arsenal got something wrong it was taking the whole of the first third of the season to get the new style of football (a style of football already perfected by Manchester City where Mr Arteta worked, if you recall) working for Arsenal But since no club has ever tried this before, it is hardly surprising that such a move took this long.
But still the bonkers approach of the media has given us a few laughs in these days when laughs are hard to come by. Try this one…
And if you want to go further…
How newspeak took over football and stopped proper debate
- A perfect example of football propaganda and not much to do with reality.
- How viral lies about Arsenal are amplified by the media on a daily basis
- As football supporters we are being brainwashed
- Arsenal: “a disappointing end to what started as a promising campaign.”
- If this were you, and if this were Arsenal, what would you do?
- Arsenal have benefitted by the world cup break: allegedly.
- Arsenal and Tottenham: which has had the easier ride so far this season?
- Arsenal v Tottenham: not exactly a battle of equals.
- Death by 300,000 passes: how the Arsenal transformation started 2 seasons ago.
- Approaching derby day we recall when Arsenal helped Tottenham get into the league