Arsenal v Palace. Patrick’s arrival reminds us how we have fallen (according to some)

By Bulldog Drummond


Of course, all the negative coverage about Arsenal is continuing in the face of Patrick Vieira’s return with lines like “Mail Patrick Vieira’s significant contribution to Arsenal was not enough to earn him a post-retirement return to the club he served with such distinction for nine years.”   That is in the Mail.

And there is “Crystal Palace Vieira credits Man City not Wenger for coaching career” in the Guardian who, just in case you didn’t get the message with that one charge in with a second negative story of “Vieira’s return will remind Arsenal of their leadership deficit”   Does the sports editor not think he has hammered Arsenal enough?

At least David Seaman in the Mail provides some balance saying, “I wish I was going, that will be amazing, because the reception that Patrick will get from that crowd will be quite emotional for him,.  They will give him a fantastic reception because of what he did when he was there.

‘He came right at the beginning of Wenger, stayed there for a long time, won a lot of trophies, captain of the “Invincibles”… he will get an amazing appreciation and I wouldn’t mind if they gave him five minutes applause before the game!   ‘He must be really looking forward to it. Will he feel he’s got a chance of nicking something? I bet he does. 

‘With Arsenal, though, coming off the back of the game against Brighton… for me that result was a better result than what they got credit for with that weather. Because it was absolutely torrential rain all the way through.

‘I know Brighton had a lot of chances but normally under those sort of conditions and being as physical and as good as they are, Arsenal would have lost that game but I think we’ve turned a corner now in terms of what Arteta is doing. And I think the fans are getting on board with that.

‘It’s going to be a great game to be at just to see the return of Mr. Vieira but for me it’s still going to be an Arsenal win.’

We also know that the goals have to start coming at some time, and usually after a goal drought as we have had (five goals in seven league games in case you have missed it) the gates have to open some time.

But not our worst start to a season in terms of goals as some have said…  Try this for an opening eight games: two wins and four goals.

Date Match Result Score Competition
23 Aug 1986 Arsenal v Manchester United W 1-0 Division One
26 Aug 1986 Coventry City v Arsenal L 2-1 Division One
30 Aug 1986 Liverpool v Arsenal L 2-1 Division One
2 Sep 1986 Arsenal v Sheffield Wednesday W 2-0 Division One
6 Sep 1986 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur D 0-0 Division One
13 Sep 1986 Luton Town v Arsenal D 0-0 Division One
20 Sep 1986 Arsenal v Oxford United D 0-0 Division One
27 Sep 1986 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal L 1-0 Division One

After that run the league table looked like this…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Nottingham Forest* 8 6 1 1 23 7 16 19
2 Norwich City 8 5 2 1 17 11 6 17
3 Everton 8 4 3 1 13 8 5 15
4 Coventry City* 8 4 3 1 9 4 5 15
5 Liverpool 8 4 2 2 16 10 6 14
6 Tottenham Hotspur 8 4 2 2 10 7 3 14
7 West Ham United 8 4 2 2 14 13 1 14
8 Sheffield Wednesday* 8 3 4 1 13 11 2 13
9 Wimbledon* 8 4 1 3 10 10 0 13
10 Luton Town* 8 3 3 2 8 7 1 12
11 Queens Park Rangers* 8 3 2 3 9 11 -2 11
12 Watford 8 3 1 4 10 8 2 10
13 Southampton 8 3 1 4 17 18 -1 10
14 Oxford United* 8 2 4 2 7 10 -3 10
15 Arsenal 8 2 3 3 5 5 0 9

Seven of those 15 clubs (marked * – including half the top ten) are no longer in the top division.

And at least this season we can say that as with as then we have a fairly decent defence.  And we are unbeaten in the last four league games. 

However we do tend to win on a monday – we have won the last seven Premier League monday fixtures, and in doing so have scored an average of over two a game.  We’ve let in just two.   Oh yes and Auba has scored seven in his last eight Monday games (thanks to the BBC for that one).

One particular thing we do have to look out for however and that is the fact that four of Palace’s last five Premier League goals have been scored by substitutes.   So the moment Patrick starts telling a sub to get ready, we need to pull everyone back into defence.

Next up, the teams.


3 Replies to “Arsenal v Palace. Patrick’s arrival reminds us how we have fallen (according to some)”

  1. According to the Daily Mirror “[last season] saw Arteta and co slump to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League”.

    They had one job, and reporting facts isn’t it.

  2. All this talk of a slump is so over the top. The fact is, yes we’ve now been 5 years out of the top 4, which was always something to be ridiculed anyway, but during those 5 years we’ve won 2 FA Cups and 2 Community Shields to boot, and 4 over the last 8 years, with 4 Community Shields to boot.

    Personally, though not what we would all like, it’s not actually that bad, especially if you compare it with say Spurs never ending failures, who get nothing like the abuse we do, or even Liverpools demise in the last decade.

    Lets have a look at an 8 year snapshot of Liverpool back in that decade:

    After finishing 2nd in 2008-2009, from season 2009-2010 Liverpool finished: 7th-6th-8th-7th-2nd-6th-8th over the following 7 years. Even with that 2nd thrown in there that’s an average finishing position of 6.2. They finished out of the top 4, 6 times. Over this period they won ONE League Cup, and that’s it.

    Arsenals last 5 years, (not 6), outside the top 4 equated to an average finish of 6.4, almost identical, but the difference is, as I mentioned above, is we won 4 FA Cups and Community shields, which after all is what it’s all about, or at least so we were told when we wasn’t winning them.

    My point is, I don’t recall Liverpool getting anything like the abuse we get, and arguably, given the lofty heights they had reached, that was a bigger fall than ours ever was.

  3. And just another example to show that what Arsenal are going through is not only NOT unusual, it is not unusual among the best, as I showed with Liverpool. Now Manchester United:

    After they Finished the 2012/13 season as Champions the following 6 seasons went as follows:


    Not quite as bad as Arsenal or Liverpool, but never the less an average finishing position of 5.2 over the period compared to Arsenals 6.4 with 4 seasons outside the top 4 opposed to our 5.

    But to balance that slightly better Premier league record, 1 FA Cup, 1 Europa league plus a league cup and community shield doesn’t match our 4 FA Cups and 4 Community shields.

    And again given the lofty heights they occupied that is a bigger fall from grace than ours, and they haven’t had the same vitriol aimed at them, PLUS over that period they spent an Astronomical £500 Million Net on transfers, which makes our not insubstantial 5 year outlay of £248 Million look pretty paltry.

    Basically we have nothing to be ashamed of and certainly don’t deserve the abuse we get.

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