If current trends continue Arsenal will finish 3rd, and Chelsea 4th

By Tony Attwood


Of course all projections and predictions include all sorts of assumptions and those I am using to consider what might happen between now and the end of the season are based on one giant assumption: that what has been happening of late, will continue until the end of the season.

But, having taken the train back home after the Leicester match, and been forced to listen to some extraordinarily boorish and rather childish behaviour from some Leicester fans who seemed to have a very limited grasp on normal everyday reality, I thought this morning I’d set such matters aside that try and do a bit of predicting.

First off I have taken a look at the league table after the weekend’s games and worked out the average points per game through the season up to this moment – an approach that is helpful to deal with Arsenal’s “games in hand” situation.  Then in the normal way, this is rounded up or down into a whole number.  For Arsenal, that number shows we are averaging two points per game across the season.

But the averages also show that in the last ten games Arsenal have actually averaged 2.5 points per game.  So we are obviously still on the up.

The next step involves a big assumption, however: the assumption that for the remaining games all teams will maintain the points per game average that they achieved in the last 10 games.   So we assume that Arsenal will get 2.5 points per game from now to the end of the season, on average.

Of course, there is no such thing as 2.5 points per game, but averaging this out over four games, for example, Arsenal would get 2.5 x 4, or 10 points.   Which could indeed be achieved by three wins and one draw – which means that there is a link to reality.

This gives Arsenal30 points more points by the end of the season, to add to the 51 the club already has.  And the same approach has been used for the other top clubs.

Thus in the table below…

  • “Pts” is the points now,
  • “PPG” is the points per game thus far. 
  • “Last 10 PPG” is the points per game in the last ten matches.
  • The final “up/down” column tells us if the club is improving or declining of late.

Arsenal, as we can see is making the most improvement.

Pos Team Pld Pts PPG Last 10 PPG Up / down
1 Manchester City 28 69 2.5 2.5 0
2 Liverpool 28 66 2.4 2.5 +0.1
3 Chelsea 28 59 2.1 2.1 0
4 Arsenal 26 51 2.0 2.5 +0.5
5 Manchester United 29 50 1.7 1.9 +0.2
6 West Ham United 29 48 1.7 1.7 0
7 Wolverhampton W 29 46 1.6 1.8 +0.2
8 Tottenham Hot 27 45 1.7 1.5 -0.2

End: that would give Arsenal a final total of 81 points one more than Chelsea.

Pos Team Pld Pts PPG Last 10 PPG Up / down Pts to end Final pts
1 Manchester City 28 69 2.5 2.5 0 25 94
2 Liverpool 28 66 2.4 2.5 +0.1 25 91
3 Arsenal 26 51 2.0 2.5 +0.5 30 81
4 Chelsea 28 59 2.1 2.1 0 21 80
5 Manchester United 29 50 1.7 1.9 +0.2 17 67
6 West Ham United 29 48 1.7 1.7 0 15 63
7 Wolverhampton W 29 46 1.6 1.8 +0.2 16 62
8 Tottenham Hots 27 45 1.7 1.5 -0.2 16 61

And to put that into the issue of the final league table, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal go straight into the Champions League, while Chelsea go into the final knock out 3rd preliminary round for ending in the “fourth is not a trophy” position.

Manchester United and West Ham go into the Europa League.  Wolverhampton Wanderers go into the Conference.  Tottenham Hots get a holiday away from Europe – which is appropriate given that this year they were thrown out for refusing to complete their matches.  (I wonder, did they get a further punishment for that?  Probably not).

The number of English teams in Europe will be extended however if an English team wins any of the Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference.

Obviously, this making predictions is just a bit of fun – a source of debate on the train on the way home, but there is a second point here and that is the issue of what Arsenal and other teams need to do in the summer transfer window.

In that regard the prime issue to remember is that aside from Arsenal’s extraordinary evolution since the opening three games of the season, the club has the youngest team in the league in terms of average age.  So by and large we would expect many of the players to be improving.

Second, if we have a look at the actual league table rather than our “expected results” table above, what we can see is that top four is once again quite clearly Arsenal’s position.  It would take quite a change in form of Arsenal and one of the teams below, for us to sink back down to the level of say Mancheseter United, West Ham, Wolverhampton, or God forbid, Tottenham Hots.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 28 22 3 3 68 18 50 69
2 Liverpool 28 20 6 2 73 20 53 66
3 Chelsea 28 17 8 3 57 19 38 59
4 Arsenal 26 16 3 7 43 29 14 51
5 Manchester United 29 14 8 7 48 40 8 50
6 West Ham United 29 14 6 9 48 36 12 48
7 Wolverhampton W 29 14 4 11 29 23 6 46
8 Tottenham Hots 27 14 3 10 42 35 7 45

However, we are still sixth in terms of goals scored, fifth in terms of goals conceded and fourth in terms of goal difference across the season.

The question then is, have those figures been improving as the season continues, or are those all-season figures a true reflection of where we are.  These are the sorts of questions that the management will be considering when thinking of player changes in the summer, and I’ll be trying to consider them in forthcoming articles, along with thoughts on reactions to Chelsea and Newcastle’s political situation.

If you have been, thank you for reading.


15 Replies to “If current trends continue Arsenal will finish 3rd, and Chelsea 4th”

  1. Oh come on. Arsenal finishing 4th or 3rd? This is ridiculous. Arsenal FC are bottlers, they are untrustworthy, they are weak. Arsenal FC should be in top 4, but if they do, they don’t deserve it. Man Utd and Tottenham are better because they have better players. 80M defenders are great defender because the price said so. Ronaldo scored a hattrick. A hattrick was never done before in the EPL. Didn’t you know? Listen to Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and the rest of the amazing pundits in the media. They are smart and sensible intellectuals.


  2. Not sarcasm – didn’t an Arsenal player once score 4 against Pool! ? Or am I mistaken which is possible as memory does play its tricks ?

    I’d say your sarcasm is well placed….

  3. If current trends continue, Chelsea will will the Premier League 4 times, the Europa League twice, the Champions League twice and the World Club once before Arsenal win anything more than the FA Cup.
    You will note I haven’t attributed those as I suspect even that I’d a draw.
    You lot are pathetic and only just above Spuds celebrating a top six finish.
    Please do continue to enjoy your Russian Oligarch money as he slipped the net before exposure.

  4. May will soon come up. Man U will only do well with referees behind them. They lead in penalties awarded and Mike Rileys, Deans, Atkinsons and Atwells are still in the system but we shall still prevail.

    You just look at our red cards records and offences committed by Man U players and one wonders the role officials in Man U victories for years. 80% of their titles were won for them by Mike Dean and his cliques. Is an untold secret.

  5. I think the comment from winner is a fair reflection of the cultural position of some (although to be fair not all) supporters of Chelsea. Interesting articles in newspapers, as contrasting in their political position as the Guardian and the Telegraph, today on the issue, and I’ll come back to those shortly, but I do think it is good to see what some Chelsea supporters are thinking and their attitude toward the current situation.

  6. 80m defenders?

    Van Dyke of Pool cost 72m and Allison cost 75m. Two Pool defenders cost 147m so what are you talking about? Arrogance isn’t? The first time Pool won the Premier League was 2 seasons ago and they now think they are the best that ever happened in the EPL. 30yrs without EPL untill recently. Don’t gloat, your fall is coming with your ageing players

  7. There is no trend that covers the PGMOL specials like the Newcastle penalty that wasn’t seen nor given. Shearer was pissed and criticised Riley (glorious thief of our 50th) for apologising to Lampard. I wonder if U. Renee (black official who red carded Shearer and never saw EPL again) is aware of Shearer’s complaint on unfair officiating. Take a knee PGMOL.

  8. Winner/winner,

    FYI, Arsenal had an oligarch own part of the shares, a decade or so age, but, contrary to what was done at Chelsea, he never did spend money for Arsenal. Bought shares, sold shares, made a profit doing so, but he did not finance anything as far as we know with Arsenal.

    Then, had he, it would be peanuts compared to what was done at Chelsea. And I guess the wholl press would be raving mad about it.

    And as far as I am concerned, if evades me why supporters cannot just sit back and recognize that blood money was used and that it was not right. And pretending they, the suppoters are suffering when one sees what happens in Ukraine is way beyond obscene.

    I wonder what would have happened to a football team owned by the argentinian junta in 81 when the Falklands were invaded….. or by Saddam Hussein in 2001. Would you be defending that club like you defend Chelsea ?

  9. @ Chris

    If you recall, Baptista also scored four at Anfield, in the League Cup in 2007 as well as Arshavin in the league in 2009 🙂

  10. The team that finishes fourth doesn’t have to go through a qualifier anymore, it’s been that way for years

  11. Welll, Tony has already put it there that it’s all projections and predictions,not assuming that it’s what will happen but according to stats and form,who says it can happen and mind you Arsenal knows how to play very well and win games towards the end of the season since even the time of Wenger,so something like that can still happen again, Arsenal can decide to go on an unbeaten run till the end of the season.

  12. What the club does need for the upcoming season is more depth. This squad would be stretched thin if it had played in Europe and had not been out of the FA Cup so early. There’s not a lot of rotation. It would be hard to see any of the recent starters being replaced, although out of contract players like Nketiah and Lacazette might be going. I’d keep them , Lacazette for sure. To gain as many points as Arsenal have in the last ten you’d have to be City. So, this group is very successful together. The goals come from across the squad. Everyone defends! Haven’t seen that from Arsenal in years. And I don’t have words for Ramsdale. Unbelievable talent and so full of the love of the game. He’s having the time of his life and taking all of us along.

    Let’s not forget that this is the youngest team in the League. There will be ups and downs. But mostly ups. It would be hard not to qualify for Europe, so I’m sure Edu and Arteta have a plan. Let’s support the plan.

    *forgot to mention the football is just wonderful!

  13. goonersince72

    “…….Everyone defends! Haven’t seen that from Arsenal in years”

    Hmm. Not sure about that? Last year for example was our 5th best goals against tally in the last 13 years. We conceded just 39 goals or 1.02 per match.

    In the 9 seasons between season 08/09 and 16/17 our average goals against was 40 per season or 1.05 per match

    This season we have let in 29 in 26 matches or 1.11 per match

    So in actual fact this year we are letting in goals at a slightly higher rate than the average across all those 10 seasons, including last, so ‘as a team’ or not, somebody was defending our goal.

    The only time our defense fell bellow that level was for just 3 seasons. Wengers last, 17/18, and both of Emery’s. Over those 3 seasons we let in a total of 150 goals or 50 per season or 1.3 per match.

    So okay, not great for 3 years but I’m not really sure that constitutes ‘In years’ though?

    Yes this team is progressing, and our current form is very good, as has been our form over the last year or more in fact, but we must keep this in perspective.

    Our defense is now performing at a level that Wenger had us performing at for years. Our attack has as yet to achieved Wengers level.

    I’m only making this point because I’m never sure that on the back of the excitement created by current ‘good times’, suggesting things in the past were worse than they actually were is fair.

    So, as much as it is true that our ‘current form’, or last 10 games, has us at the top, our form over the last 52 matches, as I showed elsewhere, is that of a team that finishes 3rd or 4th.

    In other words it seems that Arteta has in fact finally got us back to where Wenger had us up until his penultimate season.

    The big thing with this squad is, as you say, it’s average age, and therefore it’s enormous potential.

    Again as you suggest, a little strengthening in depth in the summer should see us fit and able to consolidate ourselves back in the top 4, as well as giving Europe a shot, in whichever tournament we end up in.

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