Arsenal v Watford: have Arsenal “finally got going” (the media awakens)

By Bulldog Drummond

Arsenal beating Watford: six great videos from across the years

Who Scored confirms that a lot of Watford players missing, including Kabasele, Etebo, Sema, Baah, Sierralta, and Femenia.   They also note that Emmanuel Dennis is back available after serving a one-match ban in the Premier League last weekend. He will reclaim his starting berth back from Cucho Hernandez.

There is however a really bonkers statement on the Who Scored site in which they say, “With their injury woes behind them, Mikel Arteta’s side have finally got going.  They have scored 2+ goals in each of their last five at the Emirates.”

“Finally got going”?????

You’ll know this already but forgive me for running it again: our results this season

Date Match Result Score Competition
13 Aug 2021 Brentford v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
22 Aug 2021 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-2 Premier League
25 Aug 2021 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal W 0-6 League Cup
28 Aug 2021 Manchester City v Arsenal L 5-0 Premier League
11 Sep 2021 Arsenal v Norwich City W 1-0 Premier League
18 Sep 2021 Burnley v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
22 Sep 2021 Arsenal v AFC Wimbledon W 3-0 League Cup
26 Sep 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 3-1 Premier League
02 Oct 2021 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
18 Oct 2021 Arsenal v Crystal Palace D 2-2 Premier League
22 Oct 2021 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 3-1 Premier League
26 Oct 2021 Arsenal v Leeds United W 2-0 League Cup
30 Oct 2021 Leicester City v Arsenal W 0-2 Premier League

In what conceivable sense have Arsenal FINALLY got going?  We got going on 11 September, continued that tentative revival on 18 September and then really started motoring.  Yes we drew with Brighton and Hove but no club wins every game.  There are only two clubs in the Premier League who have not been beaten in their last six games: ourselves and Liverpool, and Liverpool have only managed that by drawing three of their last six.

What they do admit is that “Claudio Ranieri’s first three games have seen a 5-0 defeat to Liverpool, 5-2 win over Everton and 1-0 defeat to Southampton. Expect a lot of randomness from this Watford side going forward. Ranieri has remarkably only won one of 18 matches against Arsenal as manager.”

And expect a lot of fouling too.  I know we have run this table already but I think it is worth taking note of, especially as no one else will publish it because of its implications that there is something very fishy about yellow card giving in the League this season…

Club Tackles Fouls Yellows Tackle/Foul Tackle/yellow Foul/yellow
Watford 148 135 22 1.10 6.73 6.13
Arsenal 139 94 13 1.48 10.69 7.23

The two clubs’ tackling numbers per game are very similar – they get in one more tackle per game than we do, which is hardly significant in any regard.   But they knock up almost four more fouls a game than we do and almost double the number of yellow cards that we get.

The BBC has an amazing moment on its website preview of the match in which Mark Lawrenson writes, (or maybe dictates to someone to write it down for him), “I was wrong about Arsenal last week. Aaron Ramsdale made some brilliant saves to keep Leicester out, but the Gunners played well and deserved their win.”

Which when we consider that he wrote or dictated last weekend that “I am still not convinced by Arsenal, especially on the road. They are on a nice little unbeaten run but, other than Tottenham, they have not beaten anyone you wouldn’t expect them to – their other wins were against Norwich, Burnley, AFC Wimbledon, Aston Villa and Leeds.

“The Gunners were fortunate to nick a point at home to Crystal Palace too and, although they have turned a corner in terms of results, really you are just waiting for the next poor performance from them – because it will come.”  

So one week we are waiting for the next poor performance “because it will come” and then we have “turned the corner”.   Consistency is shown by the last six matches league table, which is why we have gone over to using it so much.   I think he was using the wrong crystal ball – and the wrong table.   So for his benefit, here it is…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 6 5 0 1 17 2 15 15
2 Arsenal 6 4 2 0 11 4 7 14
3 Wolverhampton 6 4 1 1 9 7 2 13
4 Liverpool 6 3 3 0 20 7 13 12
5 West Ham 6 4 0 2 10 6 4 12
6 Man City 6 3 2 1 9 5 4 11
7 Southampton 6 3 1 2 6 6 0 10
8 Leicester 6 2 2 2 11 11 0 8
9 Leeds 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 8
10 Brentford 6 2 1 3 9 10 -1 7
That is consistency.