By Bulldog Drummond
Arsenal are seven points and ten places above Watford in the league at the moment, and yet both clubs have scored the same number of goals – 12 each. Watford however have let in five more than Arsenal.
But when we compare home and away figures the clubs are slightly closer – for two of the three games Watford have won this season have been away.
Yet while Arsenal, since 11 September, have won seven and drawn two of the league and cup matches played, Watford have won two, drawn one and lost five. Perhaps most humiliating of all was a defeat to Stoke City.
But in the midst of all this Watford beat Everton away 2-5. How did that happen? Curiously up to the 78th minute in that game Watford were winning. After that, they simply disintegrated, and the fans left the ground – which never helps a club trying to recover from a couple of mistakes. In fact, even Alex Iwobi was booed when he came on as a sub – and that booing was before he even touched the ball.
So the general consensus is that Watford struck lucky; Everton were awful on the day. It happens.
Except for one oddity: Watford, as they generally do, committed 50% more fouls than Everton. And yet when it came to the yellow card tally Everton got 50% more yellow cards than Watford. This was the sort of oddity we picked up when looking at the tackles, fouls and yellow card rates in general. And as we showed earlier, Watford commit more fouls than any other team in the league.
All of which brings us to the issue of how things have been going of late. As we know following saturday’s games Arsenal now are top are of the league based on the last six games, and Watford are…
… 12th having gained exactly half the number of points that Arsenal have secured across those last six games. They are still seen to be in touching distance with us in terms of goals scored (11 to Arsenal but 9 to Watford) and yet they have almost three times as many goals scored against them as we have.
We have the third-best attack and second-best defence in the league across these last six games.
But we should also note that there is a real Watford oddity revealed by their figures.
You will recall that last season the league suffered a reversal of its normal results in terms of home and away wins. Now as you will know if you have been paying attention home and away results have NOT returned to the old normal this season. In fact 49% of the points that are won, are won by the home team and 51% by the away team. Between 2018 and 2020 the figures were 57% to 58% for the home side. So home advantage is not there.
Mind you looking at that last six games table you can see why the media at large is so keen to ignore it. It would throw all their prejudices out the window.
The build up
- Arsenal preparing for another step up the league table this weekend.
- How Arsenal avoided the apocalypse and came good this season
- Arsenal prepare for Watford: the team that foul more than any other in the league.
- Home and away results have NOT returned to the old normal this season
- Arsenal v the team that will present a giant toothbrush to our captain
- Arsenal squad for Europa League game
- The abuse of female footballers is appalling, but there is a wider context
- Why Arsenal v Glimt might be tougher than the game against Tottenham
- Is the team that passes the most, the team that gets the best results?