By Bulldog Drummond
Prelude: The Arsenal History Society has published collections of historic videos for matches against many of our regular rivals. Below Here are the Wolverhampton Wanderers videos.
Day by Day the videos – An Arsenal video for (almost) every day of the year in order.
Day by Day the stories– a key moment in Arsenal and footballing history for each day of the year (this series is still under construction – stories are listed from 1 December onward).
Here are the Wolverhampton videos…
2 December 2003; Arsenal 5 Wolverhampton Wanders 1. League cup
7 February 2004 Wolverhampton 1 Arsenal 3, Premier League
and most recently
So what else can we glean ahead of the game? If you have been following Untold of late you might have noticed the piece Checking the pundit’s accuracy: How Lawrenson gets Arsenal oh so wrong. That shows that the BBC’s favourite pundit is not at all favourable to Arsenal, and I suspect that spreads throughout the Corporation’s statistical department.
Thus they tell us that “Arsenal are winless in four Premier League home matches versus Wolves – including three draws – since a 2-0 victory 11 years ago.”
Now does such a run make any difference? Arsenal have won 59 games against Wolverhampton (and note the BBC’s persistent use of the familiar slang for the club, which they rarely use when speaking of Arsenal), while they have won 32 against us. 28 have been drawn.
If we look at the last eight games, all of which were in the Premier League results are evenly balanced
|11 Apr 2012||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal||W||0-3|
|11 Nov 2018||Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers||D||1-1|
|24 Apr 2019||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal||L||3-1|
|02 Nov 2019||Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers||D||1-1|
|04 Jul 2020||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal||W||0-2|
|29 Nov 2020||Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers||L||1-2|
|02 Feb 2021||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal||L||2-1|
|10 Feb 2022||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal||W||0-1|
Three wins each and a couple of draws. But prior to that was a 20 match run stretching back to 1980, when Wolverhampton didn’t win a single game against Arsenal. Indeed back in the late 1980s the club decided to spend a couple of seasons in Division 4 (Tony actually went to one of their games at that time).
But still the BBC have to find the negatives for Arsenal noting that if Wolverhampton win today, they will win successive away games against Arsenal for the second time in their history. However, to be fair they do also note that Arsenal “have scored in 28 matches in a row versus Wolves in all competitions. They last failed to do so in a 1-0 top-flight defeat at Highbury in February 1979.”
Actually, researching some of this I realised there is an issue we have not looked at previously, and that is the progress of home form.
|3||Arsenal home 2022||12||8||2||2||20||9||11||26|
|8||Arsenal home 2021||12||5||3||4||16||13||3||18|
|13||Arsenal home 2020||12||4||5||3||18||18||0||17|
|3||Arsenal home 2019||12||9||2||1||26||10||16||29|
We have had a couple of years of serious slippage at home, and although currently behind the position we had got to in 2019, there is a real improvement going on for home matches.
And while we are at it, the one more clean sheet this season will equal the total number last season. This is yet another statistic that shows that the wild mindless ravings of the media through this season should be treated with disdain. Here is the clean sheet table for so far this season…
But one final note from the BBC before we stop… “Bukayo Saka has scored five goals in his past six Premier League appearances,” and “Alexandre Lacazette has provided an assist in five of Arsenal’s last seven Premier League matches.” So the centre forward as an assistant, and the midfielder as the goalscorer. That works for me.
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