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July 2021

Making up statistics about Arsenal is ok… until someone bothers to check.

By Tony Attwood

With Arsenal holding the inglorious record of most errors leading to goals for quite a few years running…

That was a new one on me, and if you are a regular reader you’ll know Untold likes statistics.  After all we’ve been banging on about them all summer.  This came from

We’ve never run this one before but the stats are there from the Premier League itself and so easy to find.

Last season the Premier League’s official table for errors leading to goals read

Rank Club Errors leading to goals
1. Liverpool 11
2. Chelsea 8
3. Wolverhampton Wanderers 7
4. Everton 6
5. Manchester United 6
6. Arsenal 5
7. Aston Villa 5
8. Burnley 5
9. Crystal Palace 5
10. Leeds United 5
11. Tottenham Hotspur 5

Which placed Arsenal 6th or 11th – in short mid-table.  The year before we were 15th.  Although really it is not a very interesting table – clubs shoot up when changing tactics – or changing managers.  About one in ten goals can be put down to an error – it doesn’t tell us much.  Arsenal were top for a couple of seasons during the Emery transition – but that happens.

It is of course an old trick.  Take an obscure piece of data, drop it in the middle of an article without any source or comparative data, and the mud sticks.  “Hey guys did you know Arsenal had more errors leading to goals than anyone else last season?”

Well, yes, if you put the clubs in alphabetical order and forget to add any data.

Actually as it goes on after this point, it reads more and more like a manifesto from Arsenal Supporters Trust rather than any sort of rational fact-based piece.   “With Arsenal fans heavily backing an attempted takeover from Daniel Ek” – oh yes?   And how do you know that?  In the same way that you know that a club that lets in five goals from errors has let in more goals from errors than the club that let in 11?

This is what we are getting now.  Made up statistics the errors in which are revealed within six seconds, published on the basis that nobody can be bothered to check because everyone wants to knock Arsenal.

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Negative stories about Arsenal are of course around all the time.  Simple and easy to construct they require no research, just an over active imagination.  And with the pubs open once again anyone who fancies cooking up something negative about Arsenal need only stand at the bar downing the regular six or seven pints for the fantasy tales to come charging in.

Today TalkSport have a goodie in which Arsenal are going to get rid of the keeper who ran the second most effective defence in the league during the last two thirds of last season (and the third best across the whole season).

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 24 20 0 4 62 20 42 60
2 Arsenal 24 14 5 5 43 21 22 47
3 Manchester United 24 13 8 3 43 21 22 47
4 West Ham United 24 13 5 6 41 28 13 44

and replace him with the keeper who ran the fourth worst defence in the league.  And we’re going to pay £30m for the pleasure

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
17 Sheffield United 38 7 2 29 20 63 -43 23
18 Crystal Palace 38 12 8 18 41 66 -25 44
19 Southampton 38 12 7 19 47 68 -21 43
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 5 11 22 35 76 -41 26

Will the deterioration continue?

That is actually what the article asks (although it could well be asked about football journalism in England at the moment).  In a season when we finally unravelled the referee tricks (see Key Data for the details in case you have forgotten) – the article talks about last season being a “painful build-up” rather than a gallop up the league and the introduction of a playing style the likes of which no one has seen before.

Make or Break Season for Arsenal

Yes that is the title, and there are some wonderful lines in the article.  Like “With a squad costing close to £500 million and a wage bill that doubles the likes of 2015/16 champions Leicester City, many wonder just what that money is being spent on.”

Well, no, I think we realised that when the tackling stopped after Christmas, and the club just started doing better than everyone else other than Manchester City we knew what the money had been spent on.  Intelligent players who could adopt to new tactics.

If there was a transfer market for journalists I wonder how much Lewis Johnson would get.  2p anyone?

The Glorious 2021 Revolution

1 comment to Making up statistics about Arsenal is ok… until someone bothers to check.

  • Preetam

    Tony, can u only keep this site accessible to only fans and not anyone else. U r giving away too much arsenal secrets to anti arsenal journalists and the other clubs strategist.

    Just kidding ur doing a great job. Thank god I found this site. Let the other arsenal fans find this site and get updates that all is not gloom and doom about Arsenal.

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