By Bulldog Drummond
In the Guardian today we have the following commentary…
“Aside from the quality that has been added since, Arsenal seem to have developed a grittiness that has served them well in recent weeks.”
Grittiness indeed – that seems like a bit of a feeble get out after the months of attacking Arsenal and telling us all how the club desperately and urgently needed to buy, buy and buy again, sell the rubbish, and get a new negotiating team (although to be fair the Guardian hasn’t quite put it that way, and has been one of the more moderate papers in this regard).
Brentford have won three of their last 15, and also got three draws, but none of the wins as you can see has been away from home. (The “last 15” table is published in the previous article in this series).
As that table showed, their goal difference in the seven away games is -12, while our goal difference at home in the last eight home league games is + 9.
The other table we’ve used over the last few seasons is the home and away comparison across the whole season to date, and if we look at that, the difference between the clubs is confirmed. Our two home defeats this season in the league were against Manchester City and Chelsea. None of the lower order teams have managed to beat us at home, although Burnley’s 12 men behind the ball (their 11 players and the ref) did manage to get a goalless draw in the last game at the Arsenal stadium.
Of course injuries and suspensions can play havoc with teams so let’s consider who is out.
The outrageous and technically wrong sending off of Martinelli has not been removed so he misses this game. Leno, as backup keeper has coronavirus and may not be fit.
Takehiro Tomiyasu has are recurring calf injury and it is not at all certain that he will be ready for this game. Otherwise the squad seems ok.
Brentford appear to be without Mathias Jorgensen, Tarique Fosu, Christian Eriksen and Julian Jeanvier, with doubts about Ivan Toney.
Moving on to the issue of tackling, fouls and yellow cards, we can see that Brentford put in more tackles per game, commit more fouls per game and get more yellow cards per game than Arsenal.
|Club||Tackles per game||Fouls per game||Yellow cards per game|
But they can get away with more tackles before a foul is called, more tackles before a yellow card is given and more fouls before a yellow card is given! The numbers are not huge but across a season they mean that Brentford can put in 38 more tackles without a yellow card than Arsenal can.
One wonders why!
|Club||Tackles per foul||Tackles per yellow||Fouls per yellow|
So they won’t go utterly overboard on kicking us to bits, but they will be slightly more relaxed about the tackling than Arsenal players can be.
I’m going to focus a little on the BBC predictions about this match now, having discovered the other day that these pre-match reviews are then overwritten by the BBC with the match report, thus not allowing us to see how accurate or inaccurate they are.
Their key point is that “Brentford are hoping to become the first promoted side to complete a Premier League double over Arsenal since Blackburn Rovers in 1992-93.”
But here’s a sudden adventure: “Since the end of August, only Manchester City and Liverpool have won more Premier League games than the 12 by Arsenal.”
Note that: “Since the end of August”. That is exactly what Untold has been talking about. Take out those opening three defeats, and look at the record of Arsenal and the rest of the Premier League from September onward, and you get an idea of the form.
And they really are doing their homework finding these snippets…
“Arsenal are unbeaten in their past 28 Premier League home matches kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday.”
“They have also gone 32 home league games without defeat against promoted sides since a 1-0 loss to Newcastle in November 2010.
“Arsenal kept a clean sheet in five of their six most recent Premier League home fixtures.”