Although measuring the results of games from the start of the season is ultimately what matters – obviously at the end of the season – measuring the last ten games as well as all the games so far this season, can give a better vision of where the team is vis a vis the rest of the league.
And when we do look we can see we stand fifth on the basis of the last ten, on the same number of points as Manchester City and Chelsea and rather surprisingly above Manchester United, as well as somewhat less surprisingly above the pretenders of West Ham United. We are as you might expect rather a goodly distance above Tottenham.
So here is the table of the last ten games, this time not worked out by me, but taken from the excellent thefishy site
|6||West Ham United||10||5||3||2||20||11||9||18|
|8||Brighton and H||10||5||3||2||12||10||2||18|
Considering this it is interesting to see a headline in the Guardian today which reads “United potential not realised as Everton do more with less”, which doesn’t really hold water in terms of “more” either in the current season’s league table or over the last ten games. But Manchester U are certainly showing how it is possible to spend a lot of money and not make that much progress. Their last trophy was the league cup in 1995 and their last league title in 1987.
Ten games of course makes it easy to measure points per game and then compare that with what we have been doing this season alone, and with last season – we are running at 1.9 points per game. Last season through the whole of last season we ran at 1.6 points per game – so a clear improvement although we’ll still hope for better as the defence continues to settle.
But the one thing that is clear, even without all the charts and lists, is that our goalscoring needs to pick up. Our defence at the moment is the sixth best in the league across the last ten games whereas for the whole of last season it was the third best. But once again this is undoubtedly because of the number of new players we have brought into the team.
However we have already had a large level of demand for yet another change of manager, generated I suppose in the rather weird belief that changing managers improves the club. So it is not a bad idea to see if this really happens.
The next table looks at how we have done in the first seven games of recent seasons.
|9||2021 – Arteta||3||1||3||5||10||-5||10|
|9||2020 – Arteta||4||0||3||9||7||2||12|
|4||2019 – Emery||3||3||1||12||11||1||12|
|5||2018 – Emery||5||0||2||14||9||5||15|
|5||2017 – Wenger||4||1||2||11||8||3||13|
|3||2016 – Wenger||5||1||1||16||7||9||16|
|4||2015 – Wenger||4||1||2||10||7||3||13|
This shows again the clear problems we have. We are in need of more goals and the defence is still getting itself together, and yes of course when one says we have issues in defence and attack, that is pretty much most of the team. And when put that way it is remarkable that we are only two points adrift of last year.
But this does show that simply changing managers over and over again on the basis that no one else can be quite as bad as the current incumbent is not a very good policy. The best starts to the season in terms of the first seven games in the last seven years came from Mr Wenger, the second-best from Mr Emery, both of whom were removed.
The third and fourth-best were from Mr Wenger.
Our problem can therefore be put down to changing managers. Yes, it has to be done occasionally, but as the glorious Tottenham Hots show us, only too clearly, most of the time, it doesn’t. They have managed to get through 15 managers (including temporary managers) this century alone, during which time they have won the league cup once and … well, actually nothing else..
And yet despite all these lessons from history the “Anyone but Wenger” campaign achieved considerably momentum (constantly supported by the media of course, who love managerial changes since they mean that the journalist doesn’t have to do any work) – the story is simply there.
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