by Bulldog Drummond
The last six league matches chart is obviously less relevant than normal when we are playing a tier-three team, but it does give an indication of the feeling around the club…
While I would expect few of our regular first-teamers to appear in the game tonight against Sunderland, the feeling of progress and doing ok is one that will seep through the whole squad. What’s more, those not playing in the league matches will undoubtedly want to put on a good show either to force their way into the starting first team for league matches, or as an advert for clubs who are on the prowl looking out for new players.
The fact that we are still near the top of the “last six” table shows not only how we are holding up as the league progresses, but also how our goal difference is improving. Sure we are not as good as Manchester City or Liverpool yet, but we have the third-best goal difference over the last six games, which is another improvement. We are also third on goal difference over the last 10 games, which again shows that this is a long term improvement, not a temporary upwards blip.
And if we do get through, as I certainly expect along with everyone else, we will in the semi-final most likely play one of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham or West Ham. Tottenham seem to be in a bit of a tizz at the moment over being kicked out of the Europa Conference – although I must say their argument of not being able to field a team, when they could certainly have put out a collection of youngsters as Arsenal have done in that competition, doesn’t really sound right.
Meanwhile, It is being reported that in the Telegraph that the league cup semi-finals could be played as single-leg affairs – especially if more matches are called off because of covid.
But at the moment the aim is to have the first leg of the semi-final played in the week starting 3 January 2022 with the second leg one week later.
Chelsea have of course got themselves into trouble as well, having decided to play in the Club World Cup in February. Tottenham are also finding themselves with a growing number of fixtures to complete in a more limited timespan than they would like – although it may well be that knowing that they were going to get thrown out of the Conference (in which they had been performing with only minor success despite the extreme modesty of the opposition) has eased their concerns a little.
Next Monday is the two year anniversary of Arteta joining Arsenal, and so this is also a good time to see how he has done in comparison with other managers at the club.
Certainly like every other Arsenal manager since the first world war, there have been demands that he should be sacked. But it is curious that the three managers who have managed over 25 games and have had the best win percentage are the three most recent managers of Arsenal. All of whom have faced resourceless demands from alleged fans that they should be kicked out.
|Mikel Arteta||22 Dec 19||Present||102||55||20||27||175||109||53.92|
|Unai Emery||23 May 18||29 Nov 19||78||43||16||19||152||100||55.13|
|Arsène Wenger||1 Oct 96||13 May 18||1,235||707||280||248||2,156||1,147||57.25|
It is an extraordinary record for these three managers and the fact that the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal mob from Black Scarf, AFTV and Arsenal Supporters Trust, all became involved in their separate ways in trying to get Arteta out, just as they had with Emery and Wenger shows what a bunch of tangerines they are. Find the best managers we have had and demand they go. That simple fact tells us quite a lot about them.
Up next: the team for tonight’s game.
- Arsenal v Sunderland: difficult years for the opposition on and off the pitch
- Arsenal v Sunderland: a contrast in statues
- Sunderland are given over twice as many yellow cards as Arsenal per game
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- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women
- Which 4 Arsenal transfers are being mentioned the most by the media?