The worst start to a season: why is that so important? WBA v Arsenal – the team

By Bulldog Drummond

“The worst ever start to the season” is one of the most common phrases that one reads about Arsenal at the moment, but why is it important?

It would be important if losing  the first two matches in a campaign meant that we then got relegated, but this is not so.   The last time we lost the first two matches (which again was heralded as the worst start ever) was August 2018 – just three years ago, meaning these worst starts to a season come round quite often.

We lost the first two games of that season and then went on an 11 consecutive match winning streak and a 22 match unbeaten run.    Also showing the lack of importance of the worst start to a season, is the fact that in our relegation season we drew our first game of the season with Manchester United, thus making it not the worst start to a season (although it was the worst season).

But we are going to have endless “worst start to a season” comments if we don’t at least get a draw – except of course League Cup matches can’t end in draws so we will have to have a penalty shoot out.

On top of this, the habit of the media of publishing headlines that are quite simply false is growing, and I for one find it annoying. West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal live score, H2H and lineups is one such, and within that article (at least when I looked this morning) there was nothing to indicate the lineups.

This habit of headlines that have nothing to do with the article is something that of course cannot be stopped and I wonder if we might start creating headline with the words “True headline” to indicate that it is not a made up one.  Or “May contain fantasies” for the contrary.

Our injury epidemic table published earlier showed Nketiah, Partey, Gabriel, Bellerin and White all out with Lacazette, Tierney and Martinelli recovering slowly.  But some of the media are reducing the number of injured down to just Gabriel, Partey and Bellerin, presumably in the hope of making the matter look even worse if things don’t go our way.

The Independent gives us a line up of


Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tavares;

Elneny, Xhaka;

Maitland-Niles, Odegaard, Saka;


And they actually predict we’ll win.

Sportsmole go for a 2-2 draw with Arsenal winning on penalties and offer a starting XI of


Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Mari, Tavares;

Xhaka, Elneny;

Nelson, Smith Rowe, Pepe;



I think in the issue of the centre forward I would go for Aubameyang myself because he needs to get himself fully up to speed, and the propaganda fall-out from another defeat would be rather damaging, not to say annoying.

The Evening Standard has a variation on the theme


Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tavares;

Elneny, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;


So thus far we can conclude that Ramsdale will play in goal, Chambers, Mari and Tavares will play in the back line, Xhaka and Elneny are going to stay as the solid wall in front of the back wall.   Which leaves the attacking line as the debating point.

Anyway, back to the issue of Arsenal’s worst start to a season.  It was, as far as I know, the relegation season, and in case you want to compare how badly things are going with that campaign, here are the opening results…

Date Match Result Score Competition
2 Sep 1912 Woolwich Arsenal v Manchester United D 0-0 Division One
7 Sep 1912 Liverpool v Woolwich Arsenal L 3-0 Division One
14 Sep 1912 Woolwich Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers L 1-2 Division One
16 Sep 1912 Woolwich Arsenal v Aston Villa L 0-3 Division One
21 Sep 1912 Sheffield United v Woolwich Arsenal W 1-3 Division One

I doubt it will get that bad, but with the rampant negativity from the media and some “supporters” these days, you never know.  And certainly if it isn’t that bad, they will pretend it is.

16 Replies to “The worst start to a season: why is that so important? WBA v Arsenal – the team”

  1. Re “The worst ever start to the season”
    The strange thing is that when pointing out that our record last season after Christmas was second only to Man City we were flooded with comments saying that the season should be judged as a whole not just the good part to suit our argument/agenda. Now those same critics are judging us on two tricky matches both played with a severely depleted squad.
    What a bunch of idiotic hypocrites.

  2. Arsenal starting XI: Ramsdale; Tavares, Chambers, Holding, Kolasinac; Elneny, Xhaka; Pepe, Odegaard, Saka; Aubameyang.

    Arsenal substitutes: Leno, Mari, Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette.

  3. @mick shelley – the amazing comments on TV and in the media from former players really gets to the truth. They are thick and stupid to see in front of their noses. They cannot tell the truth if it hit them in the face. Only Klopp seems to be strong enough to tell it as it is.

    The reality of corona and injury impacting so many players of our first team seems to have been ignored by most. My opinion is that together with the slope that PGMOL create, the first two games are examples of how we will be officiated and we have to rise above the opposition including the officiating and win our games. It will not be easy but nothing worth while ever is.

    Despite all the resistance, Arsenal will come through to being the best team in the EPL.

  4. When you think of it the doom mongers were out after ONE game.

    Anyway, 3 up and playing well.

    Obviously the standard of opposition has to be taken into account but enjoyable nonetheless.

  5. “World class” punditry. How truly awful they are. The referee (David Webb – who?) has been bad too. Unbalanced application of advantage law, and lets a stamp by a WBA player go completely unpunished.

  6. Let’s think about the situation the idiots writing on the web are in. Auba scoring 3 goals means what ? he wants to leave and so shows he can still score ? He is back in a better form and wants to kickass ? He scores in the carabo and not in the PL because he is unhappy with his manager and wants to send a message ? He just proves he does not care because he should/could have score last week-end ?

    Wonder which negative spin they are going to put on it ? We ought to prepare a line-up of probable negative headlines….

  7. Well played lads. Needed that just to get a bit of confidence, and just like to say well played West Brom.

    Young lads up against it but never gave up and never resorted to anything nasty, which can happen if you’re feeling a bit humiliated.

    6 goals, clean sheet for our new keeper who settled well after a slightly nervy start, returning players and it looks like no new injuries.

  8. Chris,

    How about Arsenal lucky?
    WBA priority is the league?
    Auba only plays well now and again and only against weak opposition?
    Lacazette sharpness proves he did not really have Covid?
    Only a stay of execution for Arteta?
    Man City would have scored 10?

  9. The stamp on the shin of a young Arsenal player is truly aweful. The League has to punish both the official and the perp.

  10. here are the first results, I won’t cite the idiots, no need to get them trafic

    How Martin Odegaard performed on second Arsenal debut as Emile Smith Rowe rivalry renews
    ‘They have panicked’: Paul Merson stunned by Arsenal’s contract call on 28-year-old

    None other so far, but don’t hold your breadth

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