Across the last quarter of the season, Arsenal are top of the Premier League

By Tony Attwood

FURIOUS Arsenal fans blocked Mikel Arteta’s car and told him to “do yourself a favour” and leave the club after Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea.

That was the headline in the Sun earlier this season while the Mirror weighed in with “Arsenal set Mikel Arteta sack deadline.”  Even the bookies got involved with Paddypower running, “Time to get your coat? Mikel Arteta odds-on to be next manager sacked.” 

I wonder how many idiots lost their money (or got run over).   But it wasn’t just the Sun and Mirror who were doing this.  “Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has no more time to get it right” reported the Metro, although “reported” is perhaps an exaggeration.

It was all a bit like SportCal announcing “English Premier League back on Match TV in Russia from 2022-23”, adding that “Match TV, the Russian sports broadcaster, has regained exclusive rights in its home market to English soccer’s Premier League from the 2022-23 season onwards.   A senior employee at the broadcaster, owned by Gazprom Media, is quoted as saying that the deal … runs for six years.”

Of course, misinformation and ludicrous fortune-telling are what football journalism is all about.  “Mikel Arteta will leave Arsenal before the end of the season” said the Sun, while as late as this January this year the Express was still running the barrage of untruth with Arsenal face transfer emergency as exits could leave Mike Arteta with just 17 outfielders”.

And what actually happened?   Of course the media won’t mention it, but if you are interested in the form of various clubs (which is rather important if you are wondering a) can Arsenal retain fourth place or b) can Arsenal overtake Chelsea and get into third is actually important) the answer lies in the form table.

Now some have said the last six games table we have been running off and on is too short term, so let’s go to the last ten games table.  Ten games is just over one quarter of a season, so not a bad measure of form.   Here is the table.

Premier League Form (Last 10)
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 10 8 1 1 23 7 16 25
2 Manchester City 10 8 1 1 24 9 15 25
3 Liverpool 10 7 2 1 23 7 16 23

We are top by virtue of goal difference, having performed better than Manchester City and Liverpool across the last ten games, and yet curiously I haven’t heard any commentator mention that, let alone run the table.  Of course, someone might have talked about it while I nipped out to the loo, just before an away game on TV (I get to the home games these days but rarely the away matches), but I have also been reading the newspapers fairly assiduously and there hasn’t been any mention there that I have seen.

So it must be a fluke mustn’t it?

But on the other hand we do, across this last quarter of a season, have the most wins, the second-most goals scored, the best defence and the best goal difference.

So, you may ask, what of Chelsea, that most highly spoken of club among the media elite, tipped to be back in the time this season.  And what of West Ham, the journalists’ favourites, the club who never got their stadium for nothing with no rent to pay, from Boris Johnson, when he was London mayor?

And of course Tottenham, who Team Talk recently told us “pulled off a masterclass in January as data analysts have claimed they signed one star for less than half his transfer value” because “With ConteSpurs are getting a manager who is known to have his sides extremely well-drilled and versatile”.

Looking once more at the table for the last quarter of a season we find…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
6 Chelsea 10 4 5 1 15 7 8 17
7 West Ham United 10 5 2 3 16 11 5 17
8 Tottenham Hotspur 10 5 1 4 17 13 4 16
9 Manchester United 10 4 4 2 15 12 3 16

Actually, we might also like to note that not only are we fourth in the league with games in hand, our goal difference has been improving too.

Only five teams in the league have a positive goal difference and we are in fourth on that measure…

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
2 Liverpool 27 19 6 2 71 20 51 63
1 Manchester City 28 22 3 3 68 18 50 69
3 Chelsea 26 15 8 3 53 18 35 53
4 Arsenal 25 15 3 7 41 29 12 48
6 West Ham United 28 13 6 9 46 35 11 45

although as noted above in the last ten games we are equal top in terms of GD.

Of course, as we have regularly pointed out, the media has been saying that Arsenal have a harder run-in than other teams, so fourth is not only not a trophy but not even a likely outcome (they say).  I’ve already shown that is a total fantasy and a complete load of nonsense (The idea that Man U have the advantage over Arsenal in the run in, is twaddle).

And now, suddenly, according to the Mail “Manchester United have 99 problems, but Cristiano Ronaldo is only one… there isn’t a single element of the club right now that is functioning as an elite team should.”

So maybe it is Tottenham who are going to be our biggest challengers to get fourth place.  For they really were the media’s favourite until such a short time ago.  Yet even over there, it’s all gone a bit quiet.

7 Replies to “Across the last quarter of the season, Arsenal are top of the Premier League”

  1. Just wait for stories telling us that with someone else then Arteta and Edu at the helm, Arsenal would be fighting it out against City for the Pl title, like:

    If Arsenal want to have a chance at title, they need a coach like Guardiola/Mourinho/Rodgers/Ferguson (tick your choice)

    Just reading the 10 talking points in the Guardian this morning and not seeming to find a negative in the Arsenal paragraph seems like this is fake news does it not ?!? Or maybe it is the Twighlight Zone ?

  2. Garth Crooks is saying that “talent like this shouldn’t hang around”. He is referring to Bukayo Saka. Why does he like sticking his nose into Arsenal business on such a regular basis?

    Is it that he is jealous of Arsenal’s achievements and hopes to bring our club down to Tottenham levels?

    Is it that he is having difficulty finding anything positive to say about Spurs?

    Is he suggesting that Spurs “talent” doesn’t deserve the Champions League?

    I am confused by his inane rambling.

  3. Tony

    I know you get people saying things along the lines of ‘you win nothing over 6, 10, even 20 matches, it’s about a season’, and of course they are right. But I don’t think that’s the point being made by you, or me.

    For my part at least, what I’m trying to do is simply counteract the raging, endless negativity we are faced with on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, which often has no relationship with reality at all. What I am trying to do is put some perspective into the argument.

    For example the disproportionate way the first 3 games of this season was reported and analysed, as demonstrated above in Tony’s article, is a prime example of what I’m talking about.

    It appears irrefutable conclusions of our demise could be drawn from just those 3 matches, whilst at the same time the last 24 matches of the previous season that saw us achieve the 2nd best points return in the premiership were completely ignored, or we were told meant nothing.

    So 3 matches are indicative, 24 are not ? Utter tripe, as we here on Untold actually told anyone prepared to listen.

    So okay, if 24 matches aren’t enough to prove the doubters wrong, how about 52 ?

    What I have done bellow is add the last 24 matches of last season to the matches played so far this season.

    I have done 4 columns. Team. Points total of last seasons final 24 matches added to this seasons points. Then in the final column, Pts Plus, I’ve added an average 2 points per match in hand to put everyone on 52 matches. I added 2 points because that is just about the average points per game all the teams in the table are achieving, more or less. It doesn’t make much difference to the conclusions in any case.

    Team: Played – Pts – Pts Plus.

    Man City: 52 – 129 – 129

    Liverpool: 51 – 101 – 103

    Arsenal: 49 – 95 – 101

    Chelsea: 50 – 95 – 99

    Man Utd: 52 – 94 – 94

    West Ham: 52 – 89 – 89

    Tottenham: 49 – 79 – 85

    So as you can see over 52 matches, which as you know is well over a seasons worth of matches, even without taking into account games in hand, Arsenal are equal with Chelsea in 3rd. With just 1 point from our game in hand over them we are clear 3rd best team in the Premier League over 52 matches.

    If both ourselves and Liverpool achieve our average points from our games in hand we will have a return of just 2 points less than Liverpool over those 52 matches. F

    Just 2 points difference !!! If you were an alien and had been reading the press coverage of us both over the last year you would not only of thought we were miles behind but that we were actually in 2 different leagues. It is that ridiculous.

    I know none of this wins a medal, I’m not trying to say it does. But what it does show is this constant ridicule of our club that we have faced over the last year, and longer, by not only the media but many of our own fans, is so far removed from reality as to be laughable.

    The problem is people don’t laugh, they actually believe it. You only have to visit Untold after a defeat to see the same old names popping up winging and whining to see just how some people are taken in by it.

  4. From The Boot Room Summer last year:

    “It’s been another difficult season at Spurs. If Kane does decide to leave, we wish him well – but if he decides to stay then he deserves a top-class manager and a top-class team,” Crooks commented.

    From Today:

    “If Arsenal can’t provide Champions League football for the youngster then I suggest he finds it somewhere else. Talent like this shouldn’t hang around.”

    And where did Spurs finish last season ?

    So he doesn’t advise ‘talent like’ Kane to leave Spurs, despite no Champions League football, he just wishes him well if he does. But when it comes to ‘talent like’ Saka he should leave if Arsenal don’t achieve Champions League football?

    I can only conclude from this Crooks doesn’t rate Kane as highly as Saka as he seems quite happy for Kane to hang around habitual bottlers Spurs despite how trophy-less they actually are.

    And anyway, I thought it was all about winning things and 4th just meant getting the piss taken out of you ?

    Surely he should be saying ‘If Arsenal cant offer Saka a trophy he should leave’ ?

    Or maybe Wenger was right about this top 4 malarkey after all ?

  5. Arsenal are the top performing team in all of Europe’s big five leagues in their last 10 games. The first of these 10 games was against Southampton.

    What happened just before the Southampton match?

    I leave you to work it out.

  6. seismic

    I wouldn’t pay it any heed. Crook’s ‘inane rambling’ is precisely that.

    At the heart of it is a massive disrespect.

    He can see the photographs of Saka as a child learning his game at Arsenal, he could think to himself Saka is doing exactly what he has always dreamt about doing, he is doing it with his family and friends and community and what he has seen all of his life still around him.

    Crooks wants him to give up all this, to do what he always wanted to do, and become a cork bobbing in the water, his route defined and explained by money and the praise of the likes of Crooks. When he’s finished what does he become?

  7. @Seismic,

    funny idiot this Crooks guy….because if you think about Kane, what would you say ? Talent like this should not hang around ?
    Well he was made to hang around – he did sign a contract to that effect, so it was his decision – and you’ve got the result…. forcing a player if he really wants to leave is most of the times a shot in your own foot.

    Or think about it, what about Rashford ? Why is he hanging around Manure ?
    Or why did Gerrard stay 17 seasons ?

    His ramblings are those of a jealous idiot making it sound like he is an expert in things he’s got no idea about – like most of the so-called experts. I do remember Mr Wenger commenting Wolrd Cup games…there you had an expert talking sense about football.

    What these so-called experts do is just throw shit at the wall hoping some of it sticks.

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