By Bulldog Drummond
Brentford are one of the small number of clubs that have beaten Arsenal, more than Arsenal have beaten them. We’ve won four, four have been drawn and they have won six – including of course the first match of this season.
After a Woolwich Arsenal cup game in 1902 which was a draw at Griffin Park and then a resounding 5-0 victory in Plumstead, the clubs didn’t meet until Brentford were promoted to the first division for the first time in 1935. This was of course Arsenal’s heyday when we won the league five times and the cup twice in a decade. Except we didn’t do that against Brentford. Arsenal played them eight times in the 1930s and drew two and lost five of the first seven!
|13 Dec 1902||Brentford v Woolwich Arsenal||D||1-1||FA Cup|
|17 Dec 1902||Woolwich Arsenal v Brentford||W||5-0||FA Cup|
|2 Nov 1935||Brentford v Arsenal||L||2-1||Division One|
|4 Apr 1936||Arsenal v Brentford||D||1-1||Division One|
|3 Sep 1936||Brentford v Arsenal||L||2-0||Division One|
|9 Sep 1936||Arsenal v Brentford||D||1-1||Division One|
|15 Apr 1938||Arsenal v Brentford||L||0-2||Division One|
|18 Apr 1938||Brentford v Arsenal||L||3-0||Division One|
|8 Sep 1938||Brentford v Arsenal||L||1-0||Division One|
|6 May 1939||Arsenal v Brentford||W||2-0||Division One|
|12 Oct 1946||Arsenal v Brentford||D||2-2||Division One|
|26 May 1947||Brentford v Arsenal||W||0-1||Division One|
|26 Sep 2018||Arsenal v Brentford||W||3-1||League Cup|
|13 Aug 2021||Brentford v Arsenal||L||2-0||Premier League|
However, we’ve also been looking at form guides a lot of late because they are the best indicator of what is likely to happen in a match. And in doing so we started to wonder exactly why most pundits don’t use the form guides more extensively.
I rather suspect that the reason they are not particularly used in football journalism is because they are so helpful to punters, that gambling companies that put so much money into football these days don’t like them, and so put a little pressure on the media to lay off any serious use of form guides. Wild journalistic opinions and predictions help the bookies rake the money in.
However, we have grown increasingly to love the form guide because unlike the media’s prognostications of Arsenal’s appalling season, total failure and desperate need to buy a new squad, the form tables do give us a clue as to what really is going to happen next. Of course, all runs come to an end, but if they are genuine runs they do give an indication of what’s what. Here’s our favourite that we have been using all season… the “last six league games” table.
|7||West Ham United||6||3||1||2||10||8||2||10|
|10||Brighton & Hove Albion||6||2||3||1||8||7||1||9|
Of course we don’t normally print the whole table, but this time we need to bring in Brentford which means going to the bottom. But it is also interesting just how far down Tottenham Hots have sunk of late, despite the media endlessly doing their best to talk them up. Leicester likewise have been in a decline having lost the ability to swing their two favourite tricks of recent years: tackling with impunity and the Vardy direction change in the penalty box in order to get penalties.
But part of the reason for the Brentfordian collapse is who they have been playing of late… They have been defeated by Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City in that run. Their one draw in the last seven league and FA Cup games was a goalless affair at home to Crystal Palace.
However, since this has been a particularly bad run of late I thought we ought to extend the analysis to 15 games and look at both home and away results to see if that gives us a better clue as to what is going on. Here is the whole league table.
As you will expect, across the last 15 Arsenal are right up there with the major teams, showing us five points above Tottenham and eight points above the media’s darlings, West Ham. Home and away form are fairly evenly matched although our defence is better at home these days.
|8||West Ham Uni||15||4||1||2||14||11||2||2||4||10||11||2||21|
|11||Brighton and H||15||1||4||1||5||4||2||5||2||11||12||0||18|
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