Arsenal are in trouble because of their remaining away games, says Martin

By Tony Attwood

How Arsenal have risen from the foot of the table to 4th, and how the media has apologised

I have seen a suggestion in the Mirror which says that Arsenal are not favourites to reach the top four because Arsenal have a tougher run in than Tottenham for the rest of the season.

Certainly we’ve not been considering the comparative difficulty or otherwise of past or forthcoming matches in our various calculations, instead we have considered the games played so far.  So time to rectify that and consider who we are playing for the rest of the season and where they are in the league.

For reference throughout Arsenal are currently fourth in the league (but I think you knew that).  Here is our fixture list

Opposition Venue Opposition’s overall position AFC Advantage
Crystal Palace Away 11 +7
Brighton Home 13 +9
Southampton Away 10 +3
Chelsea Away 3 -1
Manchester United Home 5 +1
West Ham Away 6 +2
Leeds Home 16 +12
Newcastle Away 14 +10
Everton Home 17 +13
Tottenham Hots Away 7 +3

So if we don’t count home and away we can see that based on our league position we are playing only one club – Chelsea – who are above us in the league through the remainder of the season.

But now our Martin has brought in the issue of home advantage for the opposition – which of course is to say the team that we are playing is at home, with Arsenal away from home.   Which of those teams might have an advantage over us because they are playing at home and we are away?

Here is the home league table at the moment showing the clubs that currently tend to win more games at home than they lose, with the clubs that we are playing away (which is to say on their home ground) shown in bold.

Home form only

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 14 11 3 0 37 7 30 36
2 Manchester City 14 11 1 2 40 10 30 34
3 Arsenal 15 10 2 3 24 12 12 32
4 West Ham United 15 8 3 4 27 20 7 27
5 Manchester United 15 8 3 4 24 18 6 27
6 Chelsea 13 7 5 1 28 10 18 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 13 8 1 4 23 15 8 25
8 Southampton 15 5 7 3 20 14 6 22
7 Arsenal Away 13 7 1 5 20 19 1 22

So yes, five of our remaining away fixtures are against teams that have a better home record than we have away.  And by way of comparison in the final line is Arsenal’s away record at the moment.   

But if we have learned anything this season, it is that the league table across the whole season can be fairly meaningless for many clubs, because form has varied so much.   So let’s try something more sophisticated.   Arsenal’s away record measured against the home record of the teams we are playing, but just for the last 10 games played at home for those we are playing away in the remaining part of the season.  And then compare that with Arsenal’s last 10 away games.

So, to summarise: the last 10 home games of the teams Arsenal are playing away in the rest of the season (and in red for comparison, Arsenal’s away record again for the last ten games).

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
4 Chelsea home 10 5 5 0 22 9 13 20
5 West Ham United home 10 6 2 2 18 13 5 20
7 Tottenham Hotspur home 10 6 1 3 21 12 9 19
4 Arsenal away 10   6 1 3 19 12 7 19
9 Southampton home 10 4 4 2 16 10 6 16
10 Newcastle United home 10 4 4 2 13 15 -2 16
13 Crystal Palace home 10 3 3 4 15 13 2 12

So yes, three of those away games could be tough for Arsenal on the grounds that the opposition’s record at home of late, is better than Arsenal’s away.  

From this we can say we might expect to lose to Chelsea and West Ham, perhaps draw with Tottenham, and beat Southampton, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.

Three wins, one draw, two defeats.

Now is that a disaster?   What we have to remember is that other teams are facing the same sort of situation, playing teams at different positions in the league home and away.  And indeed I think Martin has made the classic error of just looking at Arsenal’s games and not thinking of other team’s games.

So, there are two key facts here. 

First Arsenal are four points clear of the fifth placed team, with one away game in hand over the teams below.

Second, although Arsenal have played more home games than away, across the last ten games played Arsenal’s away form is only exceeded by Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, suggesting that home and away we are clearly a top four club.

Third, three of our away games are against clubs whose home form is inferior to Arsenal’s away form and in a fourth case, we are just behind on goal difference by two goals.

Fourth, other teams have tough matches home and away; it’s not just Arsenal.  So although it is possible that our good run of away form might end and we might lose some away games, the same could happen to other teams in the rest of the season.

And finally, although Chelsea and West Ham have a better home record over the last ten games than Arsenal have an away record, in each case it is by one point.  Hardly a massive difference.

Martin – I am not sure if you just looked at a home and away table and said what you said, or if you are just parroting lines written for you by a Tottenham supporting BBC researcher, but really it’s not quite as bad as you are suggesting.

Honest, it’s not.

Chelsea and West Ham are doing better at home than Arsenal away, over the last ten games.  By one point.

19 Replies to “Arsenal are in trouble because of their remaining away games, says Martin”

  1. Tony

    “Certainly we’ve not been considering the comparative difficulty or otherwise of past or forthcoming matches in our various calculations”

    Not sure who you mean by ‘we’, and as a regular for over 10 years I would like to think I am part of the ‘we’, or maybe not, but I’ve been doing exactly that on here for quite a few weeks now ? You’ve obviously missed them.

    Anyway, as I say, I must certainly have considered the comparative difficulty of our run ins and have worked out where we could all gain and drop points using a system that takes into account the perceived difficulty of every match based on current league positions. The following is an updated version of my predictions from the 13th of March, which was in turn an updated version of an earlier prediction.

    This how I predict the points need to be gained:


    Against the 1st and 2nd placed teams = 0 per match
    Against the 3rd and 4th placed teams = 1 per match
    Against the rest = 3 per match


    Against the top 4 placed teams = 0 Per match
    Against the top 10 placed teams = 1 per match
    Against the rest = 3 per match

    If we are top 4 I count 5th as the 4th placed team.

    If you look closely there are 1 or 2 anomalies in the system but they are negligible really. Also the predictions do change as teams move up and down the table in relation to previous predictions, but based on where everyone stands as of now this is how I believe the remaining games will play out for Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and West ham and where we will possibly gain points and where we probably wont, concluding in where we will end up points wise.

    It consists of H or A – Team and Current League position – Expected points return against them.


    A C. Palace 9th = 1 pt
    H Brighton 13th = 3 pts
    A South’ton 10th = 1 pt
    A Chelsea 3rd = 0 pts
    H Man Utd 5th = 1 pts
    A West Ham 6th = 1 pt
    H Leeds 16th = 3 pts
    A Newcastle 14th = 3 pts
    H Everton 17th = 3 pts


    A Tottenham 8th = 1 pt

    Total = 17 pts + 54 pts = 71 POINTS


    H West Ham 6th = 3 pts
    H Newcastle 14th = 3 pts
    A A.Villa 9th = 1 pt
    H Brighton 13th = 3 pts
    A Brentford 15th = 3 pts
    H Leicester 11th = 3 pts
    A Liverpool 2nd = 0 pts
    H Burnley 19th = 3 pts
    A Norwich 20th = 3 pts


    H Arsenal 4th = 1 pt

    Total = 23 pts + 48 = 71 POINTS


    H Leicester 12th = 3 pts
    A Everton 17th = 3 pts
    H Norwich 20th = 3 pts
    A Liverpool 2nd = 0 pts
    A Arsenal 4th = 0 pts
    H Brentford 15th = 3pts
    A Brighton 13th = 3 pts
    H Chelsea 3rd = 1 pt
    A C.Palace 11th = 3 pts

    Total = 19 pts = 50 pts = 69 POINTS


    A Tottenham 7th = 1 pt
    H Everton 17th = 3 pts
    A Brentford 15th = 3 pts
    H Burnley 27th = 3 pts
    A Chelsea 3rd = 0 pts
    H Arsenal 4th = 1 pt
    A Norwich 20th = 3 pts
    H Man City 1st = 0 pts
    A Brighton 13th = 3 pts

    Total = 17 pts + 48 pts = 65 POINTS

    So my final points prediction is:

    Arsenal 71 Points
    Tottenham 71 Points
    Man Utd 69 Points
    West Ham 65 Points

    Personally I think Keown has a point. Our run in is tough. On the face of it, probably THE toughest because yes, we do indeed have some difficult away games but as you say, we are not the only ones. The point is we have got ourselves in to such a position that as long as we win the ‘winnable’ games we have the latitude to actually drop some points at those ‘tough’ away games. But looking at those ‘tough’ away games it does become clear just how delicately balanced it is.

    It goes without saying that those 3 key games against our 3 top 4 rivals will be crucial, but as you can see, assuming of course we get the points I predict in the other games, a point from each should just about be enough, but a swing either way could well make all the difference and decide who does, and who doesn’t finish in the top 4. And not forgetting Goal Difference either. If it is going to be as tight as I predict, that too could be crucial.

    Over all I’m confident because of the form we are in, especially away from hope. And it’s that away form that could really swing it for us. Get 3 points at both Crystal palace and Southampton rather than the point my system predicts and we really should be home and dry, in theory. But that is only in theory.

  2. Don’t worry about the opposing teams, good as they are? I’m pretty sure The Arsenal are a hard team to beat, I for one will certainly not undersell my club.
    Red Army….

  3. One game at a time is for the players. What we think/predict is neither here nor there as far as they are concerned. It’s just.a bit of fun. It’s what fans do.

  4. @Nitram
    You predicted the spurds to win against West Ham and they’ve done that today,I like your predictions but in football, anything can happen. I see us getting 3points at either Palace or Soton or both sef and that will just be what will nick Arsenal into 4th.

  5. Stephen

    “…in football, anything can happen”.

    Never a truer word said. If all those predictions I gave were accurate I would be a millionaire, but as we all know they wont be. But what I have found over the years is that the method of prediction I used, by and large, hasn’t been a million miles away, but it’s not an exact science.

    For example Spurs are on track for their points total I predicted a few weeks ago, but they lost against Burnley only to then win against Man city.

    And that’s how it goes.

    As you say, as I actually said, we could very well get 3 points at Palace and Southampton, but equally if we lose form, get some injuries, or find the PGMOB turning up the heat, we could find ourselves getting nothing from those games.

    I am hopeful, verging on confident, but it is going to be tight.

  6. Best betting odds for Top 4 (after Spurs beat WH):
    A. Ars 4/7. (Boyle Sports)
    B. Spurs 5/2. (888 Sports)
    c. ManU 11/2. (888 Sports)
    These Bookmakers have specialists using sophisticated software to offer these odds.
    As such I rather give more credence to their predictions than those of Martin‘s or Nityram’s; and agree with those who advocate “one game at a time”; the same way the aforesaid betting odds will change in accordance to results “one game at a time”. For now until the next Ars game, may I humbly suggest to all Gooners to sleep well with the knowledge that our beloved Ars is rated by those who put their money where their mouths are, as having the highest probability (63.6%) for a Top 4 finish compared to Spurs (28.6%)and ManU (15.4%).

  7. There will be twists and turns to come yet.
    We will lose or draw some games, as will Spurs and Man Utd.

  8. Orbinho (Twitter) posted final league tables using the the results from last season’s corresponding games. Arsenal finished in third place on 74 points.

  9. Did the BBC show Son’s disgraceful attempt to get an opponent carded? Nope.

    What a disgrace. If that isn’t bringing the game into disrepute, I don’t know what is.

  10. A former Highbury regular-I now make models of our ‘old playground’. These 3000 piece miniature Lego replicas are glued to the base & boxed in a transparent box-with lighting. My products do not have any club naming-to avoid copyright infringement. My website has photographs and information.

    BTW -Great to see the boys turn over Villa. The player celebrations with our fans is not something I’ve seen since we left highbury!

  11. 200467

    “These Bookmakers have specialists using sophisticated software to offer these odds”.

    Yes they do. But that isn’t what will of determined those prices that you quote. Yes they do use those tools, which effectively look at historical data, such as form, to predict what will happen in the future, but they use it to enable them to price up an event before it starts. In horse racing it is usually called ‘The Tissue’. But in reality the price a horse, or any other competitor ends up is determined by ‘the market’. Or if you prefer, by how much money is being put on that horse, or competitor.

    So what I’m saying is, those prices you are quoting have nothing to do with the bookies technology, they are determined by the betting public and where their money is going.

    For example if a mega rich Spurs fan put a million quid on them to finish 4th their price would tumble and Spurs would almost certainly become the new favorite. The money determines the price, not a machine.

    So you may like to “give more credence to their predictions” than mine, I mean I’m hardly a genius at these things or I’d be sunning myself on a beach in the Caribbean, but those prices are NOT their predictions, they are the betting public’s predictions.

    If the prices were being done on historical form then Spurs would actually be favorites because as seismic points out, if you take last years form (or to use horse racing parlance, last time out form) Arsenal would come 3rd in this particular 4 horse race, because that is what the historical form tells us. That is a fact.

    So that’s where the skill of the punter comes in. Have Arsenal improved enough from last year to get better results in those equivalent matches ? Possibly. But our form from the start of this year to now is no better than our form was for the last two thirds of last season. So in actual fact, as well as we are playing, we are playing no better than most of last season. (All the statistics for this are in an earlier article)

    I have my little ew on us at the beginning of the season, but apart from that I don’t bet in this type of ‘race’, on football or anything else for that matter. But if I did, looking at the historical form and the matches left, Spurs at 5/2 is a much better bet than Arsenal at 4/7. It doesn’t mean they will finish that way, it just means that in a race that looks like it will go to the wire, 5/2 is a great price.

    One more thing to remember. Okay Arsenal are now favorites but does that actually mean anything? Not really as history shows that in horse racing just 1 in 3 favorites actually win. In other words there is twice as much chance of the favorite losing than there is of it winning.

    NB: Now it is true to say that football, at least over a long period, is much easier to predict. Untold has predicted the winners of all the major leagues in Europe more than once. But outside of Manchester City and Liverpool, predicting premier league results is much more difficult.

    Anyway, the fact is the betting public get it wrong twice as often as they get it right. That is why “you never see a poor bookmaker”, not because the bookmaker is so clever, it’s because the betting public in general are so bad.

    After all that, I do think we will do it, but it is going to be tight, very tight.

  12. Nitram,

    The “Orbinho prediction” puts us in third place in the table at the end of the season – two points above Chelsea.

  13. The Heung-Min Son footage has been taken down, presumably in response to a copyright request. The Spurs cover-up didn’t take long to mobilise.

  14. @Nitram

    I like the way you talk about football,shows you’re an intelligent man,kudos to you and maybe if you don’t mind,you can be giving us or maybe me some football predictions before weekend cos it looks like you’re fine football predictor.

  15. seismic

    Okay, that’s good, lets hope they’re right.

    I have nothing against finishing third, or second for that matter, as I have a couple of quid on us ew at 500/1.

    The method of predicting results I used was from when we were finishing 3rd/4th. If we achieved that level of performance it was usually enough for a top 4 finish. If we perform above that level we may well finish higher.

    But the fact is, however well we are playing, and despite the fact we are closer, we are still falling short against the top 2. We are breaking just about level with our direct competitors for the top 4.

    Over all that suggests a top 4 team, not top 2, which is where we were up until Wengers penultimate season.

    These last few games, this difficult run-in, will tell us a lot.

    If we achieve the results and points my system predicts we should just make 4th. Certainly something to be pleased with and certainly a big step towards where we would all like to be, contesting for the title.

    If we over achieve it and it transpires that we are playing at a level similar to our double winning team, as has been pointed out that we currently are doing, then we could well end up in third.

    I hope we do. I have my doubts, but either way we are looking very strong for next season.

    With a couple of additions to ‘beef up’ the squad, that should be enough to see us comfortably consolidate top 4, and could easily see us give the title a bash.

    Not only that, but as someone suggested, given how extraordinarily well some of our loanees are doing, we may not even need to buy anybody.

  16. Stephen

    “…if you don’t mind,you can be giving us or maybe me some football predictions before weekend cos it looks like you’re fine football predictor”.

    Think you’re being sarcastic there, but not to worry as what I show above is not a ‘prediction’ rather a requirement.

    It is a ‘system’ that gives predetermined requirements for matches based on the current position of our opponent, if we want to finish in the top 4. If we achieved the requisite points the ‘system’ says we need for each game, then history suggests we will indeed achieve enough points.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with what I think will happen. It is not in that sense a prediction.

    But if you want to risk your hard earned cash on what the ‘system’ says, don’t let me stop you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *