Watford v Arsenal – the Arsenal team and the youngest team of the season

By Bulldog Drummond

It is seemingly impossible to find any commentator who is not expecting an Arsenal win, although the BBC tries to find some Watfordian hope by noting that Watford “have only lost one of their last three home matches versus the Gunners.”   But they do also admit that “have scored in all 15 of their Premier League games against Watford – the only team they have a better record against is West Brom, scoring in all 26 meetings.”

It is also noticeable that through the games against Watford in the Premier League Arsenal have scored first in every game except one.

The BBC do however like to find some classic statistics noting for example that “Watford have won 15% of their Premier League fixtures played in March (W3, D3, L14), the second-lowest win rate in the month of any team to have spent more than three seasons in the competition.”

But what we need to note also is since Hodgson became manager the club has started to get some lockouts with the games against Burnley (0-0), against Aston Villa (a 0-1 away Watford victory) and also away against Manchester United (0-0).

However, we can also note that if Emmanuel Dennis scores, Watford will lose since no one has scored in more Premier League defeats this season than he has.

But when it comes to Arsenal, the statistics can be kept a lot simpler.  Since those two defeats at the end of the year to Manchester United and Everton, we have gained 22 points out of 27 which is why the “last 10” table is looking so good at the moment see below)

However here is one other stat that I think is quite interesting, again from the BBC…

“Emile Smith Rowe is their top scorer in the Premier League this season with nine goals. He could become just the second Arsenal player aged 21 or under to reach double figures in a Premier League season, emulating Nicolas Anelka in 1998-99.”  YouaremyArsenal and the HardTackle have exactly the same sentence which is quite a coincidence.

That was the season we came second in the league, one point behind Manchester United.  Anelka made 45 appearances all told and scored 19.  Bergkamp got 16 and Overmars 11 that season.

The Evening Standard gives us their lineup as


Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe;


Football.London have come up with two possible line ups…


Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka;

Saka, Lacazette, Smith Rowe.

with the “Chief Arsenal correspondent” offering


Cedric, Gabriel, White, Tierney,

Xhaka, Partey, Ødegaard,

Pepe, Saka,


which is an interesting variation meaning that both Smith Rowe and Martinelli miss out from the second line up.

The Express manages to squeeze Martinelli into the team however giving us


Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney;

Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli


And that is pretty much it for the variations.  Every other prediction I found came up with one of those above.   But what a luxury to have either Smith Rowe or Martinelli on the bench read to come on and torment the Watford defence for the last half hour.

Meanwhile and as a footnote, after the last 10 games the league table shows us not only third but securing that position and only three points behind Manchester City and just one below Liverpool.

Premier League Form (Last 10)
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 8 1 1 24 8 16 25
2 Liverpool 10 7 2 1 23 7 16 23
3 Arsenal 10 7 1 2 21 7 14 22
4 Manchester Utd 10 5 4 1 17 9 8 19
5 Southampton 10 5 3 2 18 15 3 18
6 Newcastle United 10 5 3 2 13 12 1 18
7 Chelsea 10 4 5 1 15 7 8 17

Which raises the question, is the media endlessly telling Manchester City that they need a new squad?  Arsenal have indeed scored two goals fewer than Liverpool and three fewer than Manchester City in this run, but we have conceded one fewer than Manchester City, and the same as Liverpool and (looking down the table) Chelsea.

We do indeed also have the youngest average aged team this season at 25.01 years according to the National News, at 25.01 years.   Among the other teams in the upper reaches of the league table the average team ages are

  • Tottenham Hotspur: 26.23 years
  • Manchester United: 27.05 years.
  • Manchester City: 27.12 years
  • Chelsea: 27.70 years
  • Liverpool: 27.80 years
  • West Ham: 28.79 years

So I would suggest it is looking good not just for this season but for the future.

29 Replies to “Watford v Arsenal – the Arsenal team and the youngest team of the season”

  1. Off topic but a reminder that our Women have a 12:00 kickoff against Birmingham. It is being shown on BBC2.

    Im currently on my way to the ground and waiting for the final train of 3 at West Hampstead. A nightmare with hardly any trains running so Ive spent longer on platforms than moving.

    I’m certain to miss the first 15 minutes but will try and post a half time update

  2. Sorry to go off topic so soon but I was just having a look around the interweb thingy to see what was occurring only to find The Mirror giving us a perfect example of their shit stirring double talk, and all within one article. In fact one paragraph at times. In fact it seemed in one sentence at times. It’s a small piece about how well Saliba’s loan is going at Marseille and whether he will return to Arsenal or not next season. This is a perfect example of just how pathetic these rags are. It would be quite funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

    This is the headline:

    Mikel Arteta has already given Arsenal’s answer to Marseille after William Saliba request.

    -So no doubt, no mystery, no questions. Arteta HAS already given an answer. We continue:

    “There are question marks over William Saliba’s long-term future at Arsenal and whether he will return to the fold next season as Marseille monitor the situation”

    Aaah. So Arteta HASN’T given an answer as there ARE still ‘question marks’? We continue:

    “Mikel Arteta has already given Marseille an answer as they look to make their loan move for William Saliba permanent in the summer.

    -But wait. So NO question marks then ? Arteta HAS given his answer after all. We continue:

    “The Arsenal defender is excelling on loan in the south of France and has been one of the best defenders in Ligue 1 over the course of the campaign. There are question marks over his long-term future at the Gunners, however, and whether he will return to the fold next season”.

    -But wait a moment. “There ARE question marks” over his long term future. So Arteta HASN’t given an answer. We continue:

    “There is a chance Arsenal could cash in on the defender while his stock is high which is something Marseille would like to explore given how well he has performed for the French side”.

    -Well that’s it then. Sounds like he could well be off as we “Could cash in’ on the defender.

    I’m glad we got that sorted. But wait. We continue:

    “Marseille president Pablo Longoria has announced his intentions to sign him, despite Arteta already giving a verdict on his future”.

    -So it’s still up in the air after all. HAS he or HASN’T Arteta given an answer? We continue:

    “Arteta has already provided an answer to Longoria and Marseille, however, as the Spaniard made it clear Saliba would be a part of his plans next season as explained his reasons for sending him out on loan”.

    -So he HAS given an answer. He’s staying then ? Or is he? We continue:

    “Arsenal fans have kept a close eye on Saliba in Ligue 1 so far this season and they will hope Arteta will stay true to his word as they look forward to seeing him in a red and white shirt next term”.

    -So after all that it does seem as if he MIGHT be staying, but that of course all depends on Arteta ‘Keeping his word’?

    Well we better all hope Artetas not a lying little toad then !

    I’m so glad The Mirror got that all sorted for us.

  3. Arsenal 1 – 0 Birmingham City

    After being parked in the Birmingham half throughout we finally get the breakthrough as our Brazilian Souza scores her first for the Gunners with a header from a corner that bounces high into the left hand corner of the goal.

  4. 31 Minutes

    Arsenal 2 – 0 Birmingham City

    Miedema scores her 100th goal in the WFL. The first Women to do so. Congratulations to her.

    The endless pressure tells again with a scrappy goal.

  5. HT Chit Chat is again so insane.

    The first question is. Do you think Arsenal deserve their lead?

    Yeah. Birmingham have had their chances on the break (no they haven’t) but Arsenal deserve their lead.


    Possession 72%

    Shots 11

    OT 4

    Corners 3

    Goals 2

    Birmingham have mustered 1 shot off target. Everything else baring saves fouls and cards are zero.

    I think even asking if we deserved the lead is laughable.

  6. Half time at Borehamwood and we are leading by 2 nil. Rafaelle with a header from a corner for her firstArsenal goal and Miedema with a shot from inside the six yard box forthe second. Birmingham with 10 behind the ball virtually allthe time. I would guess we have had something like 75% possession and over 50% in The attacking third. Zinsberger hasnt had a shotto save. A couple of backpassesand a few goal kicks. A virtual spectator.

  7. what a goal
    our wild bunch oozes confidence
    that’s what last-second victories like the wolves one do to teams
    young, wild, and classy – Premier League, you’re not ready

  8. Final score Arsenal 4 Birminghan 2. We made far harder work of this victory than we should. Full report when I get home and warm up.

  9. what a game, actually
    one more wonderful assist for the skipper – hope he’ll teach that craft to eddie before he goes
    as for bukayo it’s been a long time since i ran out of words

  10. SHameful that rolling around and holding the face because of a hand on the shoulder after White’s header back to Ramsdale.

  11. what about a top-corner-cleaning sunday?
    marti is instinct embodied – a bit raw though, i was about to write he brought down the overall technical level of the team!!
    laca’s umpteenth assist … he’s on his way to matching mesut’s records i think; MA should be given one too imo, how’s that for streetwise?
    agre with you @goinggoinggooner, how can the VAR not yellow him for that ludicrous show??

  12. A lot better link up between our back line and the midfielders, today.

  13. @LeGall,

    that yellow ?
    What about the penalty on lacazette ? Even the idiots on french TV who’ve been criticizing Arsenal to no end all game where incredulous that VAT did not award a penalty.

    Anyway, we’ve got 4th for a few hours at least.

  14. Sadly, that one was because of the silly cross field square ball by Xhaka 🙁

  15. attack purring, defense coughing, a few minutes of non-league football in the end but well done lads
    chelsea we’re coming for you

  16. In the end…we saw it out pretty comfortably.

    I liked our link up play from the back to the midfield and although we had a lot of almost plays up front, I think I can see that our midfield and attackers are starting to know where each other are and the plays are becoming almost instinctive. That back heel from Odegaard to Saka and the return pass was exquisite.

  17. @GGG,

    well they can bitch, pester, criticize, argue….we’ve got a GD of +12, 4 wins in a row and 4th for a few hours unless Manure win.
    Whatever happens, what we are seeing is a team of mates who look more and more like they could play in the dark.
    The TV idiots did make an interesting comparison, I’ll admit to that. To them Laca and the Young Guns around him were reminiscent of Bergkamp and his knack for creating goals for others.

    I hope/wish they keep Laca and convince Nketiah to stay. It is still much cheaper then any new players who will have to learn the Arsenal play and the PL specifics. Auba’s salary is not there anymore, they should be able to have space for these 2 guys. I’d rather the money be spent on players we know and the team knows, wo work the butt off for the team and are absolutely bettering the team.

  18. Chris GGG

    As a ‘Striker’ the fact Laca isn’t scoring would normally be a massive concern, but rarely does a ‘striker’ contribute as much as he does to everything around him.

    On this form he would be a massive loss.

    As for Nketiah, the more I see the more I like.

    I wont say we ‘must’ keep them, because I have a lot of faith in Arteta, his team, and where they are taking us, but it does, to me as a laymen at least, seem the sensible thing to do.

  19. Asked the OED “What’s an Odegaard?”


    An Ozil that tracks back

  20. well, just need the spurs to lose tomorrow and we’ll be able to say Arsenal had a perfect week-end !

    Who would have thought we’d be here ! Arteta and Edu I’d say…

  21. Hi fellow Gooners,
    Ref. ‘Striker’ @ Chris, GGG, Nitram, etc.: Can we just ask our Martin Odegaard to talk to his friend and the national team mate to join the Young Guns, a nice bunch of the same generation, who may play a major role in English and European football for 4-5 years to come?
    Erling Haaland anyone (;-) ? You have read it first on Untold Arsenal by Nekuhan
    PS: By the way => So far a very good weekend (:-) !!

  22. WOO HOO , HOO ! Was a close one , this ! But 3 points in the bag . Was having trouble watching on my stream . But was listening in on the Arsenal commentary.
    Still ended up being nervy at the end. But well done to the team.
    Just hope we have good news from the Spuds game tonight !
    Up the Gunners !

  23. Hey am with you Brickfields Gunner. I do hope the Spuds falter tonight. Point of correction, I actually hope they fall flat on their faces.

    Be afraid Chelsea. Be very afraid…

  24. The Sky Sports commentator was mortified when Watford’s “goal” was disallowed. He described it as “sensational” and “just offside”.If that is just offside I would like to know what constitutes an obvious offside! On 15th October 2016 Moss sent Xhaka off in the 70th minute against Swansea City for kicking a player on his leg from behind. Jota committed exactly the same offence at Anfield on Saturday.Only a caution on this occasion. Perhaps Moss didn’t fancy the wrath of Klippity Klopp. Yet again inconsistency or cowardice at Anfield – take your pick.

  25. I watched the Liverpool/West Ham match on Saturday. I thought Moss had a great game from a LiVARpool perspective, although from a West Ham point of view, not so much.

    That match offered a perfect explanation for Liverpool’s low foul count and high fouls per yellow ratio this season.

    Moss’ “free” interpretation of the obstruction law was a fantastic illustration of modern refereeing failing to enforce the rules.

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