By Tony Attwood
Curiously, following our piece on Arsenal against the other members of the top six, there appeared an interesting little note from the utterly daft P. Morgan on Twitter saying, “Arsenal fans need to temper their irrational over-excitement about Arteta’s ‘process’ until we stop losing to City/Liverpool/Chelsea every time, home & away. Even 4th place looks a tough challenge now with no top striker.”
Of course, that Morgan comment wasn’t a reply to my piece, because my article used a few long words, and lots of numbers, but even so, I thought I’d explore what he is saying by looking at a few facts.
“A top striker is needed to score goals”. Indeed it is true that in terms of goals Arsenal are seventh although in terms of goals per game we are actually sixth.
|Pos||Team||Pld||Goals||Goals Per game|
|6||West Ham United||29||48||1.65|
So on the goals per game basis, we are just behind Manchester United and West Ham United. Although not that far behind them, for if we were to win our next two games 2-0 and 3-0 we would not only be considerably above those two clubs in terms of points, we’d also be equal with them on goals scored.
Indeed given that there are 11 games to go, and given that our overall performance has been improving all the time that would seem likely.
So to see just how much we have been improving, we can use the last ten games as a guide to our current form.
Which is to say Arsenal are the third hightest goal scoring club in the league over the last ten games – which is a good guide to the club’s current form.
But of course, the league table is based not only on points and goals but also on goal difference, although I suspect that such a detailed and complex analysis of subtracting goals conceded from goals scored is totally beyond Mr Morgan, otherwise he would not have pontificated in the way he has done.
You can see at once we are the third-best team in the league for goal difference over the last 10 games, but let us see where Arsenal are in terms of goal difference across the whole season, in case the man of little brain and even littler analytic ability thinks we are going to come unstuck there.
|6||West Ham United||29||14||6||9||48||36||12||48|
In fact, we are fourth on goal difference, as we are on points, so even over the whole season we are not doing too badly for a club that reconstructed its defence last season.
Now I rather suspect Mr Arteta thinks that the Morganesque manifestation has an IQ fractionally below that of tarmac, although as I say that is just my suspicion. But anyone looking at the tables will surely realise that both in terms of points and goal difference we are on course for fourth. Maybe third if Chelsea get distracted by political doings.
So what about this business of tearing up the entire approach of the team that Mr Arteta has crafted because, “Even 4th place looks a tough challenge now with no top striker”. Obviously that is either a deliberate lie or a revelation of an utter misunderstanding of how the league table is constructed.
We are comfortably in fourth, and looking back at the last ten games we are currently the third-best performing team. In terms of goal difference, we are the fourth-best team in the league this season and over the last ten games we are the third-best team in the league. If you want to go further we are also the fourth-best team in terms of goal difference in the last 20 games. (Oh yes and third best on points – ahead of Chelsea).
So what of this notion that a centre forward who scores the goals is a good idea? Let’s see how that works, because our whacky neighbours Tottenham have one of these. In the league, Kane has scored 22, Son 12 and Moura six. No one else has got more than three.
Arsenal have seven players who have scored more than three.
Tottenham has scored 44 goals to Arsenal’s 43 but Tottenham have played one more game than Arsenal. So there is every chance that when Arsenal play their game in hand the clubs will have an equal number of goals, or Arsenal may turn out to be a little ahead.
So does that prove that having a top scorer in the team actually makes success? Clearly not. Tottenham are seventh and Arsenal fourth with a game in hand. The clubs have virtually identical goal-scoring prowess but if Kane is injured, Tottenham are screwed. If our top scorer (Smith Rowe) is injured we have replacements.
But let’s return to Ben Husband writing in the Mirror.
This man has written 6,891 articles for the Mirror (yes that is right – it is on Muck Rack – nearly seven thousand) and the average length of these is around 62 words. You can read some of them here, but please do check that you have medical insurance before you do.
Of course just because an article has a lot of words that doesn’t mean it is interesting, important or accurate. But what this man does is write about five of these articlets (they are not really articles at all). Now I suspect the idiot Morgan reads them not realising that they are not really reflections of reality at all, but part of the Mirrovian fantasy world constructed to discredit Arsenal, destabilise the club, and ultimately force the manager to leave. After all, these manifestations have done it before, so why not again?
- Everton v Arsenal: extraordinary figures seen in the last 6 games table
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- With Balogun will Arsenal be heading toward goalscoring records
- Everton v Arsenal this saturday lunchtime: just what are Everton playing at?