So far Arsenal have been on five different runs this season. What next?

By Tony Attwood

As the media continue with the view that signings are good and no signings are bad (which might seem reasonable if one doesn’t look at the impact the signings of last summer had) it is perhaps time to consider Arsenal’s season to date in a slightly different manner.

And here, the point is that we used to have games of two halves.  Then last season we had a game of one third (the first third wherein we ended up 15th, and the last two thirds in which we were second).

Now we have a season of five fiths – and that is only so far.   And really this is doing us no favours at all.  Here’s a quick rundown.

Part 1: Disaster but illness and new squad explain

This part is easy to remember because the media made such an enormous fuss.  It consisted of three defeats in the league and one simple win in the league cup which for the media in its glee, didn’t count.

Date Match Res 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

That made all the headlines and there was talk of Arteta being thrown out.  Little was made of the fact of the number of injuries that we had and indeed the number of covid cases.  TalkSport in particular was full of glee and it was a happy time for the media indeed who predicted the manager’s demise and did not in any way whatsoever predict…

Part 2: the unbeaten run

This run consisted of eight wins and two draws…

Date Match Res Score Competition
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
2 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
7 Nov 2021 Arsenal v Watford W 1-0 Premier League

No one mentioned it other than to note that we didn’t play any big opposition (unless of course you count Tottenham a club which even the media seemed to have given up on).

Part 3: The blip

Three defeats and just one win followed the autumn run of wins…

Date Match Res Score Competition
20 Nov 2021 Liverpool v Arsenal L 4-0 Premier League
27 Nov 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 2-0 Premier League
2 Dec 2021 Manchester United v Arsenal L 3-2 Premier League
6 Dec 2021 Everton v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League

Part 4: The winning run

Everyone watching the previous four games knew that we had to get out of that run of results as fast as possible and we did that in style scoring 19 goals in the next five games in which we had five straight wins.

Date Match Res Score Competition
11 Dec 2021 Arsenal v Southampton W 3-0 Premier League
15 Dec 2021 Arsenal v West Ham United W 2-0 Premier League
18 Dec 2021 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4 Premier League
21 Dec 2021 Arsenal v Sunderland W 5-1 League Cup
26 Dec 2021 Norwich City v Arsenal W 0-5 Premier League

Part 5: the sad new year

After the winning run, three defeats two draws was indeed a sad return to old ways making the start of the new year look like the start of the whole season…

Date Match Res Score Competition
1 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Manchester City L 1-2 Premier League
9 Jan 2022 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal L 1-0 FA Cup
13 Jan 2022 Liverpool v Arsenal D 0-0 League Cup
20 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-2 League Cup
23 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League

The obvious conclusion is that we can’t win against the teams at the top, and when we don’t, we are liable to carry over the resultant defeat into matches against lower teams.

Indeed our results against the other members of the traditional big six in league and cup show us six defeats, with just the one win at home to Tottenham.   We have conceded 19 and scored six.

Can we find an excuse for this?   Of course, we can say it is a young team and our defence was completely reformed this season, but we might have hoped that they could have settled down a bit more by now.   The “sad new year” programme suggests not.

Now we have a further problem in that we have, in terms of experienced players, a smaller squad.  Still, perhaps there is a plan within the plan which we haven’t seen.   That is certainly possible since it took Untold Arsenal quite a bit of time to work out what was going on last season with the tactical change, and even now seemingly no one except us refers either to that drop in yellow cards or the transformation in results after Christmas.

Maybe for this season we just need some more analysis to give us a clue.

One Reply to “So far Arsenal have been on five different runs this season. What next?”

  1. Of course having a member of Riley’s mob brandishing a red card in the majority of games against the other big clubs (but only against us, of course) doesn’t help!

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