By Sir Hardly Anyone
Aubameyang made his final appearance for Arsenal on 6 December 2021 for the away game at Everton, which Arsenal lost, 2-1.
Arsenal at this point were seventh in the league – with none of the games in hand that were subsequently to become our hallmark. We were four points behind West Ham in fourth, having a goal difference of minus 4. In rough and ready terms Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea had all scored around twice as many goals as Arsenal – and that after just 15 games!
Here is the league table for 6 December 2021.
|4||West Ham United||15||8||3||4||28||19||9||27|
Our last four matches resulting in the table as shown above, were three defeats and one victory – that one victory being over Newcastle who at the time were very firmly at the foot of the table with not one single win in the league after playing 13 games. Here are those last four games (readers of a nervous disposition may like to skip this chart.)
|20 Nov 2021||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-0|
|27 Nov 2021||Arsenal v Newcastle United||W||2-0|
|02 Dec 2021||Manchester United v Arsenal||L||3-2|
|06 Dec 2021||Everton v Arsenal||L||2-1|
Then, with Aubameyang on the sidelines Arsenal went on a bit of a run in terms of league games.
|11 Dec 2021||Arsenal v Southampton||W||3-0|
|15 Dec 2021||Arsenal v West Ham United||W||2-0|
|18 Dec 2021||Leeds United v Arsenal||W||1-4|
|26 Dec 2021||Norwich City v Arsenal||W||0-5|
|1 Jan 2022||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||1-2|
|23 Jan 2022||Arsenal v Burnley||D||0-0|
|10 Feb 2022||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal||W||0-1|
|19 Feb 2022||Arsenal v Brentford||W||2-1|
|24 Feb 2022||Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers||W||2-1|
|06 Mar 2022||Watford v Arsenal||W||2-3|
Now, much was made at point of Auba’s departure as to how we were letting go our most expensive player, and getting nothing in return – except we were saving money on his salary which was quoted as being of astronomical proportions.
But let’s compare the table when Aubameyang left and now.
|7||AFC with Auba||15||7||2||6||18||22||-4||23|
In fact we got more points in the 10 games without Aubameyang in the squad than we got in the 15 games with him in the squad.
But where does that leave us in terms of the value of the squad?
The website Transfermarkt.co.uk gives a value for members of the current squad of each of the 20 Premier League clubs. It shows that Manchester City has the most valuable squad, followed by Liverpool in second place.
This accords of course exactly with the position of the two clubs in the league. But does that mean that bringing in ever more valuable players will bring success on the pitch? Certainly not in the case of Aubameyang, but let’s look in a little more detail.
To work that out I thought it might be interesting to compare the current value of the top clubs with the number of points so far earned in the league to get a cost per point and thus work out an efficiency level.
|Pos||Club||League points||Current value||£m per point||Efficiency|
|10||West Ham United||45||£315.68m||£7m||1|
The “Efficiency Level” is of course just my invention, but it looks at the value of the squad according to Transfermarkt against the number of points gained. West Ham spent the least amount per point gained, while Everton who are crashing downward, the most. (The chart does not include last night’s match).
Thus Arsenal are the second most cost-effective club in the top half of the league – and that is without taking into account the fact that we still have between one and three games in hand of the clubs around us.
So for all those wild ravings in the media about how Arsenal always waste money, we are absolutely not doing that when compared with our results and other clubs. Auba may have gone for nothing, but our results since he left have improved, so it was a good move.
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