How the vendetta against Arsenal is run with a total disregard of the facts

By Tony Attwood

In response to my post yesterday about how Arsenal were doing in the last six games, and how the media insisted on ignoring this, (instead focussing on the disaster that they proclaimed our transfers window was in January), Matthew Campbell wrote in with the league table for the last 19 games.

The point being, that the media has proclaimed that Arsenal’s January transfer window was a disaster (Daily MirrorPain in the Arsenal etc) just like it was the January before (Sports Lens), and last September (Team Talk).   Yet Matthew showed that if we took out the first three games of the season, which were games in which our first team was decimated with illness and injuries, we could see how well Arsenal had done thereafter.

And the 19 games is long enough to see just how much of a reconstruction of the entire squad that the media called for, was or is needed.

Unfortunately, the program used to run this blog does not carry forward formatting in the comments section so the league table Matthew presented was very difficult to follow and I said I would publish it again today.

So here it is: the league table for the last 19 games.  (Data from TWTD)

Pos Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester C 19 8 0 1 24 6 8 2 0 25 7 36 50
2 Liverpool 19 6 2 0 21 5 6 3 2 28 13 31 41
3 Arsenal 19 7 2 1 18 6 5 1 3 16 10 18 39
4 Chelsea 19 4 5 1 21 10 5 2 2 15 7 19 34
5 Wolverhampton 19 4 2 3 8 7 6 2 2 11 7 5 34
6 West Ham U 19 5 1 3 16 13 4 2 4 15 12 6 30
7 Manchester U 19 4 2 4 10 14 3 4 2 15 14 -3 27
8 Tottenham H 19 5 1 4 16 15 3 2 4 9 14 -4 27
9 Southampton 19 3 5 1 13 9 3 2 5 13 22 -5 25
10 Brighton & HA 19 2 5 2 8 9 2 7 1 12 11 0 24
11 Aston Villa 19 3 2 4 17 18 4 0 6 9 11 -3 23
12 Crystal Palace 19 3 4 3 18 15 1 5 3 9 12 0 21
13 Leicester City 19 4 3 4 20 18 1 3 4 12 18 -4 21
14 Leeds United 19 3 3 3 11 12 2 3 5 12 23 -12 21
15 Newcastle Utd 19 3 5 3 14 18 1 3 4 6 14 -12 20
16 Norwich City 19 2 3 5 6 17 2 2 5 6 19 -24 17
17 Everton 19 4 1 5 15 16 0 2 7 6 19 -14 15
18 Brentford 19 3 1 6 9 13 1 2 6 9 22 -17 15
19 Burnley 19 1 6 2 8 8 0 5 5 8 17 -9 14
20 Watford 19 1 1 8 8 23 2 2 5 12 13 -16 12

As you can see, excluding those first three games when we had a new defence and a substantial number of players out through illness and injury, we have been coasting along in third position, five points above Chelsea in fourth, and 12 points above the wannabe clubs like Manchester United and Tottenham Hots.

But of course, it will be argued (because it always is) the season is the whole season, and you can prove anything with statistics.

To an extent such notions are true, but when deciding if a club needs to splash out tens of millions of pounds, or perhaps hundreds of millions of pounds on new players, it is important to know how the team has been doing through the bulk of the season, and not how it did at a time of exceptional illness and injury.

A look at the team we put out in that first match and the team we put out in most of our recent game, shows how much of a makeshift team those opening games saw…

Bernd Leno

Pablo Marí, Ben White, Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney

Granit Xhaka, Albert Sambi Lokonga

Nicolas Pépé, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli

Folarin Balogun

And here is the team for our victory over Wolverhampton

Aaron Ramsdale

Cédric Soares, Gabriel, Ben White, Kieran Tierney

Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey

Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli

Alexandre Lacazette

The men who played in both games were the newly arrived Ben White, plus Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka, and Gabriel Martinelli.

In short, since the opening game of the season, badly affected, as I noted, through illness and unavailability of players, the lineup is now utterly different.   So it makes sense to see how the current team has been doing before suggesting we need to buy more and more and more players – as the media were doing through January.

The suggestion that Untold has been making throughout this season is that we have a team that is developing well, particularly with the way youngsters such as Ramsdale (age 23), Saka (20), Martinelli (20), Smith Rowe (21), and Odegaard (23) are developing.

Indeed in the table below we can see that Arsenal doesn’t just have the lowest average age for the starting XI (a year lower than the next lowest club (Brentford) and 3.7 years lower than West Ham, but also have the smallest squad of any team.  Considering both these factors it is hardly surprising we lost the first three games when the squad was further decimated by illness and injury.  (Data adjusted from TransferMarkt)

Club Squad Average age squad Average age Starting XI
21 24.5 24.2
25 25.5 25.2
26 26.3 25.4
21 26.5 25.7
25 25.7 25.8
24 24.8 26.1
23 25.7 26.3
22 25.5 26.4
27 27.0 26.5
23 26.9 26.7
26 28.0 27.0
27 26.6 27.1
30 26.9 27.1
26 27.3 27.2
25 25.7 27.3
28 28.1 27.4
27 26.9 27.6
24 28.7 27.9
30 27.6 28.5
24 29.8 28.7

In short the fact that Arsenal are third in the league across the last 19 games, shows just how well we are doing with this small, young squad.   And it shows that although it might be handy to bring in a few more reserves, probably the best way to do this is by promoting from the youth team.

What we don’t need is the hysterical level of panic buying that the media universally told us Arsenal needed during January and is now telling us we need in August.

Today in Arsenal’s history: 15 February 2015: 85 years after beating Middlesbrough in the cup Arsenal did it again



13 Replies to “How the vendetta against Arsenal is run with a total disregard of the facts”

  1. Mathew and Tony

    Great work lads. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve tried to expand on your work just a little to emphasize even more just how well we actually have been doing.

    Like Mathew I am a bit worried about how my formatting will turn out so apologies in advance if it ends up looking like Spaghetti.

    Any way, as I was saying, it’s not as if this type of analysis is being clever in hindsight. As we all know Tony pointed out at the end of last season the remarkable turn around there was after Christmas. The first table below is the table Tony produced in May showing just how well we had done with a link to one of the many articles explaining the turn around.

    1 Manchester City…….25 21 0 4 64 20 44 63
    2 Manchester Utd……..25 13 9 3 45 23 22 48
    3 Arsenal……………24 14 5 5 43 21 22 47
    4 West Ham United…….24 13 5 6 41 28 13 44
    5 Chelsea……………24 12 6 6 29 22 7 42
    6 Leicester City……..24 11 6 7 42 33 9 39
    7 Liverpool………….24 11 5 8 32 23 9 38
    8 Tottenham Hotspurs….24 11 4 9 43 31 12 37

    This next table is a combination of the 2 tables. Mathews one in the article showing how well we did after those initial matches this season and Tonys from the end of last season. For simplicity I’m only including matches played and pts. Then after that we have a table combining last seasons turn around with ALL this seasons results,including those first three.

    Tony’s and Mathews combined:

    1 Man City…………..44 – 113
    2 Arsenal……………43 – 86
    3 Liverpool………….43 – 79
    4 Chelsea……………43 – 76
    5 Man Utd……………44 – 75
    6 West Ham…………..43 – 74
    7 Tottenham Hotspurs….43 – 64
    8 Leicester City……..43 – 60

    So as you can see, excluding those injury and illness ravaged matches we are easily the 2nd best team on form over a 43 match period. But if people don’t like that and think ‘we can all be selective like that, there’s this, and this is the most telling of all.

    I have combined the previously shown table from last year showing our turn around, with EVERY game this season:

    1 Man City…………..50 – 126
    2 Liverpool………….48 – 92
    3 Chelsea……………48 – 89
    4 Man Utd……………49 – 88
    5 Arsenal……………46 – 86
    6 West Ham…………..49 – 85
    7 Tottenham Hotspurs….46 – 73
    8 Leicester City……..44 – 66

    So okay, yes we are 5th, but we have a minimum of 2 games in hand on all the teams above us. Our average points per game return is just over 1.5 so lets assume we maintain that return over those 2 matches giving us a return of 3 points. That puts us on Played 48 for 89 points, sitting joint 3rd with Chelsea.

    This is over a seasons worth of matches. That is a far indicator of a teams quality in anyone’s book.

    Those figures suggest anything other than a team, a club in crisis. This suggests a team that is very very good. This suggests a team that clearly isn’t in need of wholesale changes.

    I would suggest a tweak here and there. Maybe an expensive tweak, I don’t know. Maybe a World class striker? Maybe a Midfield monster? Maybe one of those is already with us waiting to make that final step ? I don’t know.

    All I know is we are nothing like the catastrophe we are painted out to be. We are nothing like the incompetent bunglers we are portrayed as.

    I’m not here to dis anyone else, but like Mathew and Tony I just want to point out what the real World looks like as opposed to the one portrayed in the media and that is so sadly lapped up by way too many of our own fans.

    We should be proud of our team and our club and we should shout it from the rooftops, and I’m proud to be a part of the Untold community that is always quite happy to do just that.

  2. @Nitram,

    “We should be proud of our team and our club and we should shout it from the rooftops, and I’m proud to be a part of the Untold community that is always quite happy to do just that.”

    RIGHT ON !

  3. Morning Tony and Nitram!

    Was expecting to see comments about how can’t just look at selected data, and “THE SEASON IS 38 GAMES!!z!”, but the point here is about finding insight about the direction of travel.

    The insight from the above data is that we now seem to be playing at a very solid 2pts per game standard, which is about what you need to get Champions League qualification, and that is where we need to get to first.

    The next project is to get the players who can take us beyond 2ppg, and building a mindset that we go into every game expecting to win. That is task for the summer.

  4. And they are still at it today in their fantasy World:

    The Mirror

    In a discussion about the top 4:

    “The Gunners have endured a roller coaster of a season, where they have simultaneously impressed but also collapsed on multiple occasions”.

    As has been pointed out, after those initial 3 matches we are the 3rd best team in the league, losing just 4 more matches in the last 19. That’s 5 less than Spurs, 3 less than West Ham, 2 less than Utd and just 1 more than Chelsea.

    How does that constitute ‘Multiple collapses’ ?

    So even with such great form it has to be tainted with criticism.

  5. The mirror , football London and their sister Birmingham live are desperately trying to hype up a wedge between Arsenal and Wolves over the celebrtions last week .
    No doubt they want a fracass to fill the back pages and News Now .

  6. Made the mistake of looking at Arsenal Twitter, and the one completely misguided perception that seems to be everywhere is that Arsenal are going to drop points in the next half-a-dozen matches because we can’t score goals.

    And yet, looking a last six league games as a form guide, we have scored 13 goals, more than Man City. And Liverpool. And everyone else.

    Just plain weird.

  7. Mathew Campbell

    It’s because of the endless negativity poured out in the media on a daily basis. All the stats that yourself, Tony and I have reproduced in this article alone suggest we are a great side well capable of achieving a top 4 finish.

    But as I pointed out above with The Mirrors take on us. Despite how well we’ve been doing it is still negative, and a lot of our fans believe it.

    That’s all it can be because reality, as demonstrated above, gives them no reason to say what they are saying.

    Then we have posters coming here questioning why we challenge this media narrative suggesting ‘nobody believes it’ which is clearly not the case.

  8. Nitram,

    we must however aknowledge that the so-called media are using our catastrophic start of 2022 against us.
    Sure, in the PL it went ok, but we fell out of the FA cup and the Carabao.
    Sure enough they are not trophy competions as soon as we win, but this year they suddendly are missing trophies for Arsenal and Arsenal only.
    Add to that the red card record run and they have all the ingredients to look at the tree and not the forest.
    Not that they ever look at the forest…..

    And I am not saying this to defend them. They are manipulators and liars, they clickbait and as it is there is no more popuar team in the worls then Arsenal. It such were not the case, they’d do this with other teams. Fact is they are not.

  9. It was posted😁 Now to the main point,i recently came across this site Untold Arsenal whenever i try looking up for Arsenal news online, and you guys have been the best,I have loved reading every of your piece. Your positivity and truthfulness have been what i loved most. You guys are doing a great job,keep it up and God bless you. Stephen from Nigeria

  10. Stephen: when a person posts from a new email address or a new location, then the post is held in pending until one of us checks it to make sure it is not an advert or spam.

  11. The reality is Arsenal are so damned good even the slope has been altered to double yellows and a red to get our standard down. I am glad that we celebrated like we won the World cup after beating Wolves and PGMOL and sincerely hope they celebrated after catching the cockeral with two goals in the North London coop.

    I believe Arsenal will keep winning and scoring goals with the process that Arteta has put in place. The passing is improving and the confidence and cohesion is super. It puts the opponent into a mess that forces them into mistakes that we can exploit.

    I’m hoping that Silent Stan improves his investment in Arsenal now that his LA Rams have won the SuperBowl and his $5billion stadium has made its mark. He needs a magnificent victory in England to exalt his sports empire.

  12. Not wanting to rein on your parade, but we get this same kind of article every season on untold. It usually comes after we have picked up form and are doing very well. I remember one year, the race was that we were the best team across a full calendar year. What was funny was that since a season starts from the middle of one year to the middle of the next, for us to have been the best across a calendar year and still end up best at 3rd/4th over the 2seasons that calendar year included, it means we needed to start one season poorly, recover in the second half to finish 3rd/4th; start the next season on fire, then tail off to struggle to hold on to 3rd/4th… You guessed right.. we did just that. Almost every big club can come up with this kind of stats done at a period when they’re in form. I think very few people will argue about our quality, however we have to work on our consistency. If not we’ll continue to look for stats like this when the big boys are content with looking at the official league table. Meanwhile I think you’d like this article from if you have not seen it yet

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