By Tony Attwood
Across the last 10 games played Arsenal are second in the league
All we have done here is taken the six league games of this season and the last four league games of last season, to give approximately one quarter of a full season and built the league table.
During these ten games Arsenal have played three against other members of the traditional big six – Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham. So 30% of our games have been against the other big clubs. That is a bigger percentage that in a full season (where it is 26%) so it is not as if we have been having an easy ride.
Of course we don’t normally measure league tables across part of one season and another – but this analysis is helpful when a club like Arsenal receive an endless battering from the media with talk of relegation and the like, and ceaseless, endless, remorseless demands for the manager to be sacked.
Is it really sane to sack the manager of a team that over the last 10 games has the second best set of results in the entire league?
Obviously we started looking at this today because we discovered that in the last two thirds of last season Arsenal were the second best club in the league.
You might recall the table for the last two thirds of last season
|4||West Ham United||24||13||5||6||41||28||13||44|
So the question we were interested in was whether Arsenal would continue this glorious form, in the face of having decided to buy in a new defence. The answer was yes.
And looking back to yesterday, it was glorious. For me arriving at Arsenal stadium 50 minutes before kick off there were no delays and no queues – except at the bars which were and remained horrifically over packed and quite possibly unsafe in terms of health and safety requirements. But since I wasn’t planning to have drink it didn’t matter, and the thought from those sitting around me was: forget the Arsenal Points system on our new club cards; carry on as before. Enjoy being at Arsenal with my pals.
As for the football it was the best first half we’ve seen in a while, and the team structure, layout, organisation, enthusiasm and skill was wonderful to behold. Even the eternal nay-sayers (who would normally be expected to tell us that the opposition was crap, and we wouldn’t get away with this against Chelsea) shut up. It was noisy, it was fun, it was joyous.
It was a pleasure to be at Arsenal.
And it wasn’t just a joy for us, looking at the players it was a joy for them too. They were full of it, smiling, and sharing it all with us. Fans and players, players and fans. Screw the journalists and pundits, we were Arsenal. It was just like old times.
Auba was wonderful of course, but what was sublime was on the one hand the interplay of Ostergaard, Smith Rowe and Saka, and the terrific solidity of the defence which constantly moved from being a back three to a back four. It was Tierney who moved forward when the play demanded it and Xhaka who pulled back; the back three stayed where they were. Solid.
Better, there were partnerships and inter connections popping up all over the place, and this game showed us more than any other the huge benefit of having an ex-player as manager. His explosion of enthusiasm at each goal was an absolute wonder to behold.
It made me forget the horrors of the morning, desperately driving from garage to garage trying to find enough fuel to make the 190 mile return trip that each home game brings for me – but that’s my problem and who cares when the club performs like this?
But more than that – when they perform like this we want to know the reason why and the explanation of how. Not the mindless garbage that the media (who has been telling us that Arteta’s job was on the line) but the real stuff.
Why would any manager’s job be on the line when the club is second in the league across the last ten games? Does anyone (other perhaps than Tottenham) sack a manager who is being successful?
We’ve replaced the defence and built the new lineup into a team that can play with reduced tackling, in order to stop the referees taking control. We’ve built a quick attacking team based on individual talent and quick interpassing. And it works.
Just compare and contrast with “Arsenal warned they are in free fall” from the Daily Mirror. That was published at the exact moment when our fortunes changed. These journalists eh?
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