Nottingham F v Arsenal: Different lives in different leagues

By Bulldog Drummond

Thinking about Nottingham Forest v Arsenal the opening discussion chez Untold concerned not just how the two teams were doing (which led to an immediate review of the “last six” and “last 10” league tables) but also how the other teams around Arsenal were doing.

For example, we know Tottenham are breathing down Arsenal’s necks in terms of the league position and their games in hand, (something that led to a call for a health and safety investigation), but how can we tell if Tottenham are likely to make the most of those games in hand?

To resolve that we added two more columns to the league table, next to the standard first column showing the current league position, so we could also see the position of each team in the last six and last 10 games table.

Thus Chelsea are second in the league at present, but seventh and fifth respectively in the last six and last 10 tables showing that they are currently performing worse than their league position suggests.  Which in turn suggests that as things stand they might slip down the table.

Arsenal in fourth are also fourth in the last six and third in the last 10 suggesting we are performing at the level our league position indicates.   Tottenham however are now performing at above the position indicated by their league position which would suggest they are likely to do quite well out of their games in hand, and so knock Arsenal out of their current fourth spot.

Now Last 6 Last 10 Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 1 1 Manchester City 21 17 2 2 53 13 40 53
2 7 5 Chelsea 21 12 7 2 45 16 29 43
3 5 2 Liverpool 20 12 6 2 52 18 34 42
4 4 3 Arsenal 20 11 2 7 33 25 8 35
5 8 8 West Ham United 20 10 4 6 37 27 10 34
6 2 4 Tottenham Hotspur 18 10 3 5 23 20 3 33
7 3 6 Manchester United 19 9 4 6 30 27 3 31
8 10 7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 8 4 7 14 14 0 28

Of course we are also not helped by the sort of vitriolic and rabid anti-Arsenal propaganda that we found in relation to the Manchester City match, but this is the sort of thing Arsenal have to put up with all the time so I imagine the players are briefed about it when they first join the club.

But let us turn attention away from weird repetitive journalism and see how Nottingham Forest are doing of late, using the same sort of comparison table.

Now Last 6 Last 10 Team P W D L F A GD Pts
9 6 6 Nottingham Forest 25 9 7 9 32 28 4 34

So yes, doing somewhat better of late than their league position suggests, and this applies in both the last six games and last ten.  Indeed it is hard to imagine a club doing worse than Forest in its first nine games this season in league and league cup, when they won one cup match, drew one league game and lost the rest.  This left them bottom of the league with one point.

The improvement still leaves them six points behind the last of the play off places, but that makes life a lot easier than that opening form did.

So we find a link between Arsenal and Forest, for while the media was raving about Arsenal’s worse start since the charge of the light brigade, for Forest it was the worst start since the black death.  Or to be more precise their worst start in 108 years.

And looking at the media coverage of that period it is interesting to see how similar was the treatment of Arsenal over their opening three games and Forest after nine games.  If you want to get a feel for how it went, the Nottingham Post coverage at the time gives a good insight.  But in summary, Forest took the standard route.  They sacked their manager and then brought in Steve Cooper as the new boss.   The climb up the table then began.

Forest are six points and three positions away from the last of the playoff places, so to make it to the playoffs in the rest of this season they need to keep improving and hope that the clubs above them (Huddersfield, Middlesbrough and the evil Stoke) slip up.  And certainly, from the perspective of many Arsenal fans, anything that stops a return to the Premier League of Stoke is worthy of our support.

More anon…

3 Replies to “Nottingham F v Arsenal: Different lives in different leagues”

  1. I wonder where Arsenal would be in a table of “last ten games” if we’d been able to play seven of them at home. Let’s see how the Spuds do on a more level playing field over the next ten!!

  2. ‘Anything that stops a return to the Premier league is worthy of our support’? You have mine.

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