Arsenal: another defeat. What has gone so wrong after last year’s triumph?

By Tony Attwood

Nitram’s comments after the game yesterday told us a lot of what has gone wrong.  He quoted the average statistics from our last 3 matches:

  • Arsenal Possession = 70%
    Opponent Possession = 30%
  • Arsenal Shots = 55
    Opponent Shots = 23
  • Arsenal Shots On Target = 13
    Opponent Shots On Target = 11

Thereafter Nitram made two telling comments I felt:

“So under 1 in 4 of our shots hit the target. Our opponents hit the target with almost 1 in 2. Pretty much twice as accurate.

“Scoring ONE goal from 55 efforts whilst letting in half the shots on target is not going to get us anywhere near where we want to be.

“The truth of the matter is, as I have shown a few times, as good as our young guns are they are a long way from where they need to be with regards to assists, and more crucially goals scored.”

These seem to me to be valid points, which in turn raise the question: how did it come to this?  My answer is that to try and understand what has been going on we need to bring further statistics into the equation…

Everyone knows (not least because the media is still reminding us of it) that Arsenal lost the first three league games of the season.   Then in November / December we lost three games in four.  In January we lost three and drew two, in five consecutive games,  and now in March / April we have lost four and won just one.

Date Match Res Score Competition
The first run  
13 Aug 2021 Brentford v Arsenal L 2-0 Premier League
22 Aug 2021 Arsenal v Chelsea L 0-2 Premier League
28 Aug 2021 Manchester City v Arsenal L 5-0 Premier League
The second run
20 Nov 2021 Liverpool v Arsenal L 4-0 Premier League
27 Nov 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 2-0 Premier League
02 Dec 2021 Manchester United v Arsenal L 3-2 Premier League
06 Dec 2021 Everton v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League
The third run
1 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Manchester City L 1-2 Premier League
9 Jan 2022 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal L 1-0 FA Cup
13 Jan 2022 Liverpool v Arsenal D 0-0 League Cup
20 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-2 League Cup
23 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League
The fourth run
16 Mar 2022 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-2 Premier League
19 Mar 2022 Aston Villa v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
4 Apr 2022 Crystal Palace v Arsenal L 3-0 Premier League
9 Apr 2022 Arsenal v Brighton and Hove L 1-2 Premier League
16 Apr 2022 Southampton v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League

So the issue is not just talking about defeats, but runs of defeats.  And of course we can do this the other way around and talk about runs of victories.

  • Eight wins in two draws in September / October
  • Five consecutive wins in December
  • Five consecutive league wins in January / February

This is, to say the least, erratic and suggests a lack of leadership on the pitch.  And although there can be explanations of injuries in part, there is still something very odd in the way that we can veer from success to failure in such extremes.

I would suggest the explanation can be found in the fact that this is also the time in which Mr Arteta has laid down his disciplinary approach in a way that is the opposite of the Wengerian style through which everything was dealt with quietly and internally.

Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi, Emi Martinez, William Saliba, Willian, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang… there may have been good reason to move some of them on, but to move on so many players, in some cases at a huge loss to Arsenal, seems not so much like good discipline but on occasional petulance.

In 1996/7 Arsene Wenger moved on six players of note, the most well-known being John Hartson, Paul Dikov and Steve Morrow.  And he brought in two youngsters: Patrick Vieira and Nicolas Anelka.  Not a bad exchange.

But it was not until the second season that the major changes – including some raising a few eyebrows – happened.  Out when Paul Merson and in came the likes of Overmars and Petit.

In 1998/99 it was Kanu and Freddie who joined us, while Ian Wright left.

Now the difference between this approach and that of the current manager is that the changes were in both defence and attack – not all in one section, there were far fewer signs of falling out.  In 1996/7, signing Vieira to sort out the defence and Anelka for the attack.   Same again the following season: Overmars and Petit.  Only in 1998/99 was it two strikers in – but then also one striker left.  We need did a total reconstruction of the club in one go.

It is this removal of players because of a public falling out and attempts at a wholesale change in defence while just moving out attack-minded players but not replacing them that has given us a potential weakness, it seems to me.

Plus the fact that in 2020/1 during the last two-thirds of the season Arsenal were the second-best performing team in the league.  Indeed you might remember me boring you stupid by running that league table from Christmas to the end of the season, over and over.  The last 24 games of last season…

P Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 24 20 0 4 62 20 42 60
2 Arsenal 24 14 5 5 43 21 22 47
3 Manchester United 24 13 8 3 43 21 22 47
4 West Ham United 24 13 5 6 41 28 13 44
5 Chelsea 24 12 6 6 29 22 7 42
6 Leicester City 24 11 6 7 42 33 9 39
7 Liverpool 24 11 5 8 32 23 38
8 Tottenham Hots 24 11 4 9 43 31 12 37

That table showed us having the second-best defence in the league in the last 24 games of last season and the second-best attack in the league.

This season we have the seventh-best attack in the league and the fifth-best defence in the league.  Yet we were the top spenders in the last transfer window. Part of that must be down to players leaving for what seems to me to be managerial petulance.

But then what do I know about football management?

34 Replies to “Arsenal: another defeat. What has gone so wrong after last year’s triumph?”

  1. thanks, tony (and nitram), for trying to make sense of an indeed mind-boggling season
    “you have authority up to the moment you use it”; that’s what i’ve always thought, i don’t think you can bully a group of youngsters into improving … there’s always a moment when abuse of power backfires, this may be where we are standing right now indeed
    this is a very sad song this club’s singing at the moment, i can’t help thinking of arsène, who must suffer like us because of the results, but most of all because of the blak-and-white, slow-motion 1950’s football we produce in attack; where has our fire gone?
    lastly, on top of all the players you mentioned and who were shown the door, there’s rob holding, a top-class defender, fearless warrior: the way he’s been treated, if we have any pride left, should be enough to put our dear club to shame

  2. As I mentioned after the Palace defeat, it’s the Manager of the Month curse.

    It’s always bad news to follow

  3. Tony

    “It is this removal of players because of a public falling out and attempts at a wholesale change in defence while just moving out attack-minded players but not replacing them that has given us a potential weakness, it seems to me”.

    I tend to agree, but often as not these things are really difficult to nail down. More often than not it’s a combination of many things, as I think is currently the case. I believe as well as the problem you highlight it is a combination of many things that have all come together at one time that have caused this run of results. A perfect storm if you like:


    We are a young, inexperienced squad. Not only that but a thin squad for reasons mentioned above, so having so many players out at one time was always going to hurt us. Personally I think the lose of our 2 fullbacks has been the most crucial loss.

    Managerial error or club policy ?


    As I think everyone knows young players are notoriously inconsistent and prone to losses of confidence. Those two things often go hand in hand and are self perpetuating. It is for this reason it is very rare for a team so young to do that well. As someone once famously said “you never win anything with kids”.

    NOTE: In essence that statement is true, but as we all know a certain group of Manchester United ‘kids’ did actually do very well. But some may recall that some time ago I posted a comment on that particular achievement that showed, that while it was impressive, it wasn’t quite as miraculous as it seemed, because within that title winning squad Manchester United had FIVE players, that at the time of purchase, cost World record fees. So yes it did have a liberal sprinkling of youth, but that youth was ably supported with extreme talent and years of experience. Now with all the best will in the World it cannot be said that our young lads have anything like that caliber of class and experience around them them.

    Managerial error or club policy ?

    3-BAD LUCK

    Now yesterday I used the word ‘terrible’ when it came to our finishing, and I stand by that, but even so with just the tiniest bit of luck we still could easily of won yesterdays match, as we could of the Brighton game, and even the match against Palace although with such a dire first half display I concede that is a bit of a stretch. But a draw ?

    I’m not trying to say we played brilliant, or take anything away from our opponents, but any team who produces the amount of shots we have must be doing something right. And usually with that amount of shots at goal something would break your way. A lucky deflection ? A goal keeping error ? A rebound falling at your feet 2 yards out ? Something. But it seems nothing is going our way.

    I know they say you make your own luck and to a point that is true, but how do you make your own luck ? Well you keep hold of the ball (we do) and you just keep banging away (we do). But alas still no luck.

    Also who could expect what Brighton did for example ? Their finishing had been woeful. They play us and score two Worldies ! Who could believe it?


    Still getting absolutely nothing from them.

    So all in all it is not easy to actually nail down what exactly is going wrong, and who, if anyone, is to blame, because despite a small and now extremely stretched squad, AND not playing at anything like our best, the numbers suggest that with just a little bit of luck we could easily of got something out of each of our last 3 games, and truth be told, nobody could of complained if we had actually won all 3.

    I still have faith in Arteta and this very young squad, but I do believe it needs additions. Who and where I don’t know. I’m no manager. I’m certainly not a tactician. But the young lads need some proven experience around them and the squad needs to be a little deeper.

    I said recently I still wanted Champions League football, but these last 3 matches have shown me that I think that would be too much for this squad, even with additions.

    As we have seen with such a young team confidence is extremely fragile and they are not ready to face Europe’s elite. We already tend to struggle against Englands elite.

    But the Europa League could be the perfect next step, but unfortunately even that may now be beyond us.

  4. Well written John L. I agree with all that you mentioned. It is so refreshing to read an article on Arsenal that was just football related. Delving into pros and cons of those footballing issues backed with some facts and figures. But without the added personal hate agendas that goes on which in its self is counter productive ( other than to wind up a fan base )

  5. You ask a basic question highlighted by these comments
    So under 1 in 4 of our shots hit the target. Our opponents hit the target with almost 1 in 2. Pretty much twice as accurate.

    “Scoring ONE goal from 55 efforts whilst letting in half the shots on target is not going to get us anywhere near where we want to be.

    “The truth of the matter is, as I have shown a few times, as good as our young guns are they are a long way from where they need to be with regards to assists, and more crucially goals scored.

    Perhaps the anawer lies in the training and the style in which we play . For years we were accused of trying to pass the ball into the net , such comments were derided but they do hold water . We have scored a few from Gabriel headers but mostly we do tend to try the open body side foot shot to the far post .
    Saka yesterday a classic example , he hit it high side footed and powder puffed and not the first time thi season . When we do shoot from distance there is little or no accuracy .
    Do we practice this or play 5 a side style training ?
    I don’t know as I am not there but I suggest that we do. One touch passes that lead to nicely placed shot look great and sometimes we are good at them , but when you look around how many other teams pick up on half hit deflections ? Frank Lampard made a living out of them
    We used to train at a county league level in games where you could only score from outside the penalty area , firstly it got you shooting more accurately and it was also good for the keepers too.

  6. porter

    Some good points, but without being there who knows what goes on in training ?

    For all we know the guys are walking it in the net with subtlety and skill. Or maybe they are hitting the top corners from 25 yards on a regular basis? Maybe both. We don’t know.

    I cant imagine for one second they don’t practice both every day. It is their job after all.

    The problem is transferring what happens on the training ground to the pitch is often easier said than done.

    Nerves ?

    Pressure ?

    The crowd ?

    The opponent ?

    Luck ?

    Anyone who’s played sport of any kind must know that half the battle is in the head. Unfortunately young heads are much more fragile than old ones, and we have a lot of young ones.
    I think it is that that lies behind these ‘runs’ of victories and defeats. When confidence is high these young lads feel they can take on the World. When it is knocked they tend to withdraw into their shell and become afraid of the ball. Everything becomes rushed. You feel every eye in the crowd is staring at you and you alone.

    Half a dozen World Class ‘oldies’ around them would shelter them from a lot of that pressure. Unlike when Man Utd introduced their group of ‘kids’, we haven’t got half a dozen world Class ‘oldies’ to protect ours, that is a fact.

  7. Slight change of subject, but watching the ladies in the early stages of their FA cup semi final against Chelsea one of the first things the commentator mentioned was how Chelsea didn’t like how we ‘over’ celebrated in a match earlier in the season.

    So that’s three times, twice with the men and once with the Women, that Arsenal players have been criticized for over celebrating a victory. FFS !!

    I have never ever heard any other team, ever, get critisised for that in all the years I’ve been watching football, yet we get it THREE times in one season.

    If that isn’t evidence of an ongoing agenda to criticise anything and everything our club does, then I don’t know what is.

    Good start from the ladies by the way. Looking dangerous.

  8. @Tony, for long we’ve been accused of being inconsistent, since the 2nd half of Wenger’s reign, nothing new about that. What’s new is that probably for the first time you have conceded that it’s truly the case. Not a case of ref bias or other conspiracy theories

  9. One step forward, two back.
    A young team, an international break, an incendiary two weeks where the Arsenal ensemble, collective, playing is shredded by the differences between the Arsenal shirt and the international shirt. The ensemble players return to the Premiership and first Tierney goes, and then Partey.

    What unravels is that template Mr Arteta and the team instilled and developed. A team playing for each other as a collective. A team tested as a collective. Without that being present as the coherent driving force behind the team, each will fall into the hapless pot shots, hit it and pray, the stats Nitram has admirably given us.

    I’m a little uneasy about the word ”petulance” in relationship to Mr Arteta. As a player he was an experienced ‘mercenary.’ He spent a good few years as a working man plying his trade in another country. He knows better than most the spectrum of commitment a player is willing to give.

    ‘Brusque’ is a better word than ”petulance.” He doesn’t want to explain himself. He doesn’t see that he has to explain himself. It’s between him and the player. These are the work conditions of a modern footballer. We – the great British public – want everything and expect everything.

  10. The real issue is blogs like this that one that have been blowing smoke up Arteta’s ass with rose.tinted glasses.

    Arteta has.never been good enough to manage Arsenal. It has been three years of utter failure.

    He has failed to the implement a proper attacking system which creates anything for central Strikers and AM. Hence why Auba numbers were flat for te only to me he n his career. The fault was not with Auba or even laca, or Pepe, or William. The fault lies.squarely with Arteta. Tie e.pmaywrs.know he is not up to it. Tie youngsters have gone as far as they go and not progressing further.

    All seniour players not really playing to potential. Defense worst than last year by far after wasting 130m on defense. Out attack is non existent now after give Ng away Auba, who has literally been tie fastest player to 10goals in Barca history (yes.let that sink in).
    Our midfield is nonexistant.
    In short Arteta has decimated our squad, mismanaged our players, destroyed many players confidence.

    His race is run at Arsenal. There is no way back from this. It’s completely over for him. He has failed in every way

  11. I think we have been using this age of the team thing as an excuse for far too long. If the age of the team is a factor in a team not achieving it’s current goals then for me it’s an issue of “managerial error or club policy error”.
    There have always been and will always be the issue of talented young players knocking on the door of a team. It’s the job of the manager/club managing how the player gets used in the team in a way that benefits both the player and the club. Getting the balance right may be difficult but someone must still take responsibility. You get it right (Fabregas etc) you take the glory. You bungle it (Gnabry etc) you take the flak. It’s common saying that “if you’re old enough, you’re good enough” I believe this was used especially with Rooney breaking through. Before him it was true for prodigious youngsters like Owen, The Ronaldos, Anelka and since then it’s been true for youngsters like Messi, Mbappe etc. The manager has to decide if the player is good enough, how best to use him, what matches to play him and for how long to balance the needs of the player with the ambition of the club. All big managers and big clubs have the problem. Guardiola seems to have succeeded with Foden but obviously lost with the likes of Leroy Sane, Eric Garcia, Jadon Sancho. You can develop players without sacrificing the ambitions of the club, but it requires good club planning and proper managing by the manager. This myth of a young squad growing up together is a myth, yes SAF achieved something close to that, but that’s the exception not the rule. Before I wrote this comment, I looked at our squads in these last 6-7years and I could see many young players then who made significant impact in the club as young guys but who still went on to become less influential and most were eventually moved on look at the 2015/16 season, we had the likes of Bellerin, Elneny, Iwobi, AOC, Joel Campbell, Calum Chambers, Welbeck making significant appearances. Where are they now? The next season the likes of Xhaka(23) Holding ((20) Mustafi(24) joined that lot in making significant appearances, the next season it was the same story with AMN(19), Kola(24). Yet where are all those players today in terms of importance to the Arsenal?

  12. Free, it would be nice if you had given some evidence. We have on this site after all provided masses of statistical evidence to show that in the last two thirds of last season Arsenal was the second best club in the club. That utterly contradicts your fundamental point and you do nothing to overcome that statistical argument.

  13. Debs your labelling of ref bias as a conspiracy theory says nothing other than the fact that you don’t bother to read much of what is in this blog. We have provided a lot of statistical evidence for the arguments put forward here. Those who dismiss such points put forward no evidence and label our points “conspiracy theories”. This in fact quite common, and indeed rather interesting: the notion that evidence can be dismissed simply by labelling it “a conspiracy theory”

  14. I feel a manager should not give the players too much leeway (Wenger did) and a manager should not be too hard on the players ( Arteta did). There has to be a middle ground and balance. With Arteta’s tough stance, we have let go players we probably shouldn’t have and acquired players that may not be better replacements. Arteta let both Lucas Torrera and matteo guendouzi go. He got Thomas Partey who has been great, and he got Sambi Lokonga who has been average at best. Let’s check the statistics for these four midfielders to see if it made sense to make these changes. Guendouzi played 32 games for Marseille and scored 3 goals with 6 assists and has a Fotmob rating of 7.28, Marseille is 2nd on the league table; Torrera has played 27 matches for Fiorentina and scored 5 goals with 1 assist, he has a Fotmob rating of 7.22, Fiorentina is 6th on the table with a game in hand; moving on to Thomas Partey, he has scored 2 goals and has 1 assist and has a Fotmob rating of 7.33,Sambi Lokonga has scored 0 goals and he has 0 assists and he has a Fotmob rating of 6.93, Arsenal is 6th on the table with a game in hand.
    So looking at the midfield it made sense to get Thomas Partey who has the highest rating but offers the third best threat in attack. The next ranked players here are Guendouzi and Torrera respectively, although Torrera has cored the most while Guendouzi has assisted the most.While the order of rating of these players may change at the end of their careers, there is no guarantee it will, and as things stand, it’s obvious Lokonga was not as good as both Guendouzi and Torrera, so why spend money to make the team weaker? Makes no sense. Both Guendouzi and Torrera are playing regularly for their teams, so if Guendouzi’s attitude was so bad, how has he been able to get so many games in his team? I feel his situation could have been managed better. After all Unai Emery managed him well without issues. I don’t know why Torrera was sent on loan, still doesn’t make sense to me. Every time I saw him play for Arsenal, I felt he played well most of the time.
    Looking at the defence, we sent Saliba away on loan to Marseille,he has played 31 times, he has a Fotmob rating of 7.38, he hasn’t scored or assisted, but he had a goal ruled out for offside against PSG yesterday, we bought him for 27 million and has been loaning him since. Looking at Ben White, he has played 29 matches for Arsenal,he has a Fotmob rating of 7.08, he hasn’t scored or assisted and we payed 50 million to buy him. Saliba has a higher rating, so was there a point in spending 50 million on Ben White? Looking at the left back position, we had Sead Kolasinac as a reserve left back, he was released in January and he joined Marseille on a free transfer in January, he has played 9 matches and he has 0 goals and 1 assist. He has a Fotmob rating of 6.31, Nuno Tavares has played 16 matches for Arsenal and he has 0 goals and 1 assist, he has a Fotmob rating of 6.76. While Tavares has a higher rating, it’s not by much, so is the change worth it? Did we have to spend money on a reserve left back who is slightly better? Currently, the manager does not even trust him, and with his reaction to being substituted in some games, I won’t be surprised if Arteta again let’s him go and looks for another reserve left back. The Aubameyang situation that we couldn’t handle well has led to the loss of a fine player who has scored 8 goals and has 1 assist in just 9 matches with a Fotmob rating of 7.66. Arsenal does not have unlimited funds, and while Arteta might have learnt his no nonsense attitude to discipline from Man city, Arsenal does not have the resources of Man city, and we can’t be selling every player that falls out with the manager only to spend money that could have been invested else where on replacements that are mostly worse or not significantly better than players we let go.

  15. I see Debs comment on here many times, and rarely if ever does she provide evidence.

    As a Doctor, who’s entire career is based on scientific experimentation and the constant analysis, evaluation, and re evaluation of the data it produces, I find it very odd how she constantly ignores and dismisses all the evidence provided by untold, simply in favor of her own ‘opinion’.

    You would think if there was anybody that would appreciated the value of statistics in support of a theory you would think it would be a Doctor. Alas it seems not.

  16. Debs

    @Tony, for long we’ve been accused of being inconsistent, since the 2nd half of Wenger’s reign.

    Have we? By who ?

    Wenger inconsistent ? In what way ?

    You are talking complete nonsense. And that’s not just my opinion it’s what the facts tell us.

    Our last 13 seasons under Wenger:


    If you ask me that is the epitome of consistency. Okay, it may not be ‘consistently’ good enough for some, but nobody in their right mind can call that inconsistent.

    As I say Debs, just your opinion, and what’s more, an opinion that has absolutely no relationship with reality.

    Unless of course you have some evidence to show me otherwise?

  17. @Nitram once again you create your debate then go ahead to argue it. I usually can’t be bothered to debate with you, there’s no point. However if you would really like to know who have called us inconsistent in the past and why they have done so(not the league positions we’ve ended up, not even sure how that has anything to do with the debate), then a simple Google search with “arsenal and inconsistent” as key words is all you need. I expect a long retort, I’m sorry I’ll be too busy to read
    @Tony, I have read untold since 2009. A lot of what you call evidence is your opinion. Like the ref reviews Walter used to do(complete with video clips), or your tackle/foul/card stats where you analyse numbers of fouls Vs number of cards and deduce ref bias, when everybody knows cards are a product of quality and not quantity of fouls

  18. As ever Debs given that you disagree so profoundly with so much of what is written here I am completely overwhelmed by your dedication to reading the site. I mean, of course it is good to read what those you disagree with say, so as to get an overview, but to be so persistent, well, I’m honoured by your dedication

  19. Debs

    Maybe I could google it, but I asked YOU to provide the names and show me the articles.

    You have failed to do so.

    I also asked YOU to provide evidence of inconsistency.

    You have failed to do so.

    I provided evidence of consistency.

    Basically you have no evidence, no statistics and no facts to back up your opinion. No wonder you don’t want to debate with me.

  20. @Debs, I understand your unwillingness to debate with Nitram, normally I wouldn’t bother too, LoL. Of course it’s a common accusation that arsenal is inconsistent. In fact some pundits have been known to use the term “doing an arsenal” to describe a football team disappointing you when you least expect them to. Tottenham also have that reputation. In fact last week I can’t remember the pundit that said he still expects man utd to make top 4 bcos arsenal and Tottenham have been known to mess up at the wrong time.
    So what do they mean when they say arsenal is inconsistent? Unlike what Nitram posted which is end of season placing on the league table, arsenal being inconsistent simply means today they can play the best football and get a great result against a great team for example winning 5-1 at inter Milan, 5-2 at Chelsea, 3-1 at Munich,1-0 at Madrid, 3-0 at home to Milan etc. Yet tomorrow they’re losing 3-0 to Everton, 6-0 to Chelsea, 8-2 to Man utd, 3-0 to inter, 4-0 to Milan, triple 5-1s to Bayern. Many times producing stinkers against much more unfancied opposition like crystal palace, Brighton, Bolton etc You never can tell which arsenal is gonna show up, today they look world class, tomorrow they look like a Sunday league team. You would have thought that was obvious though, not someone showing us the final league positions which is a consequence of the inconsistency rather than the inconsistency itself. Infact Tony has been harping about this all season, he just didn’t term it inconsistency, but we do LoL. What do you think pundits call it when a team has a stinker for the first 3rd of the season, then picks up in the remainder two thirds of the season rallying to finish 8th, being 2nd best in that period? Then starts the next season with another appalling first 3/4 games then pick up the 3rd best overall results in the next 20 or so matches?… INCONSISTENCY
    As for Debs and other people not giving evidence, that also seems like personal opinion, all you need to do to find out is as she said “google”. This time type in “Debs untold” and check out all her previous comments, there’s enough of them with reliable stats. I had to say this because everytime someone dissents, the usual suspects come and feed us with the “you didn’t give evidence” thing while not giving evidence themselves.

  21. John L

    Thank you, exactly.

    So now what the journalists say and think is evidence !!!

    You couldn’t make it up, oh but they do !

  22. John L

    Also just to say, John, I really don’t think they understand what consistency means.

    The way we have put ‘runs’ together is the epitome of consistency.

    Last year we were poor for a third of the season. Approximately 13 games. That’s CONSISTENTLY poor.

    Then we were the 2nd best team over the next 2/3rds of the season or around 26 matches. That is CONSISTENTLY good.

    Then we had just 3 defeats on the bounce. Again consistent. Followed by a run that lasted again for about 2/3rd s of the season that saw us again performing at the top level

    So basically over a consistently good run lasting over around 50 matches we CONSISTENTLY performed at the top level, baring a run of 3 defeats and apparently that makes us inconsistent. Really ?

    And in any case, you can only throw an accusation of inconsistency at a team if you compare them with other teams of similar status to put what they do into some kind of context.

    Okay, we are not as ‘consistent’ as Liverpool or Man City but that’s because they are better than us. It’s as simple as that. They are consistently better than just about every team they play, unfortunately we are not. We win, lose and draw, not because we are inconsistent but because we are only good enough to do that. And we are not the only ones.

    Let me show you what inconsistent is.


    Win away at Watford

    Lose away at Chelsea

    Win at home to Morecambe

    Lose at home to Chelsea

    Win away at Leicester

    Lose away at Chelsea

    Win at home to Brighton

    Lose at home to Southampton

    Lose at home to Wolves

    Win away at Man City

    Lose away at Burnley

    Win away at Leeds

    Lose away at Middlesbrough

    Win at home to Everton

    Lose away to Man Utd

    Then 4 good wins followed by defeat at home to Brighton.

    That’s: W L W L W L W L L W L W L W L W W W W L

    If that isn’t inconsistency I don’t know what is.

    Within that Spurs had a LOSS at HOME to Wolves, followed by a WIN AWAY at MAN CITY, followed by a LOSS AWAY at Burnley.

    Again, if that isn’t inconsistency I don’t know what is.

    Not only that but within that run of results we have them spanking West Ham 3-1, Newcastle 5-1 and Villa away 4-0. Then they follow that by losing 1 – 0 at home to Brighton without managing a SINGLE shot on target.

    Yet again, if that isn’t inconsistency I don’t know what is.

    Now for Wenger’s ‘inconsistency’. Lets do some seasonal comparisons shall we ?

    Lets compare the consistency of Wengers last 10 years with the last 10 years of Spurs Man Utd and Chelsea as well as Liverpools performance over the same 10 year Wenger period.

    Ars’l: 4 – 3 – 4 – 3 – 4 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 5 – 6

    Spurs: 4 – 5 – 6 – 5 – 3 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 6 – 7

    Man U: 2 – 1 – 7 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 2 – 6 – 3 – 2

    Chels: 6 – 3 – 3 – 1 – 10 – 1 – 5 – 3 – 4 – 4

    Liver: 2 – 7 – 6 – 8 – 7 – 2 – 6 – 8 – 4 – 4*

    *Liverpool’s stats are over the 10 year Wenger period, not the last 10 years.

    Only once did we have a deviance between seasons of more than 1 place. Our range of finishes is between 2nd and 6th over 10 years. The absolute epitome of consistency if you ask me.

    Spurs on the other hand had 2 deviance’s of more than 1 place and a range of finishes between 2nd and 7th. Both indicative of more inconsistent performances than Arsenal.

    Man Utd are even more inconsistent having 5 deviance’s of more than 1 place. On one occasion falling 6 places then the very next season climbing 3 places. On another occasion dropping 4 places then immediately jumping back up 4 places. The epitome of inconsistency if you ask me.

    Chelsea have had 6 deviance’s between seasons of more than 1 place. On one occasion finishing 1st 10th 1st 5th. If that isn’t inconsistent I don’t know what is.

    Then we have Liverpool, who as you can clearly see, over the 10 years it is claimed Wenger was so inconsistent, are up and down like a yo yo. Again the epitome of inconsistency.

    So again I say, you can only throw an accusation of inconsistency at Arsenal and Wenger if you put what they or he did in context with what others did and do.

    Debs and ukp

    You have not produced a single piece of evidence, or a statistic, or a fact to support what you claim.

    Citing the media calling Arsenal inconsistent as some how evidence or proof of that is frankly ridiculous.

  23. I wouldn’t say I disagree “profoundly” or “with much” of what you write. Where I disagree though, I point out. I also can’t say if it’s remarkable persistently reading untold, for years I’ve had a number of arsenal sites that I read quite often, untold being one. I’m indeed a dedicated reader of all things arsenal.
    By the way Tony, a fellow reader of untold sent me a copy of his response to your claim that I don’t post evidence. His write up had enough evidence to show that arsenal was inconsistent, funny he says he posted this days ago, yet I can’t see it the comments section. I’ve looked over and over through it and can’t find any abusive sentence. Are you refusing to post it because it has evidence for a contrary opinion? If that’s the case just know I stand 100% in agreement with Ukp’s write up. If you don’t publish it Nitram can go on saying evidence Is never given for every opinion contrary to his

  24. @John L says “so the evidence is based on statements of pundits” and Nitram agrees. Are you guys kidding me? It’s either you’re blatantly being ridiculous just to be disagreeable. Why then did he post those historical arsenal results? The good, bad and ugly? If that’s not evidence of inconsistency how then does Nitrams record of season ending positions show consistency?
    I don’t like arguments online, but sometimes you guys say stuff that’s just ridiculous.
    Nitram in response to Deb saying we’ve been known as inconsistent since the 2nd half of Wenger’s reign(which I totally agree with) asks “Have we”? By who?”, Someone answers and says by pundits.. you twist it just you want to be disagreeable. Who were you expecting him to name for the answer to be satisfactory? Proudkev? Please let’s all adults be reasonable. Thank you Tony

  25. Debs you should know that I do indeed publish comments that I disagree with, and sometimes I argue back against them. However Untold, like many blogs, gets a load of posts that are irrelevant (for example advertising sites of a sexual nature), comments that are racist or otherwise abusive, or are completely off topic. So, in common with many sites we have automatic filtering systems.
    But what is also true is that my email address is widely available and people can write to me with details of the post that was not posted and I can look into it.
    One common reason for not posting however is either a fake email address of the sender or a misleading IP address, so the sender cannot be traced. In common with quite a few other sites where we receive posts that break the law through being threatening or racist or otherwise illegal we do pass them on to the authorities.

  26. OK Chris you are dissatisfied and I accept that but I will answer one point, and hope we can just say we don’t see each other’s point of view.

    I’ll take your comment: “we’ve been known as inconsistent since the 2nd half of Wenger’s reign(which I totally agree with”)

    On this site we posted at the end of the 2020/21 season, the record of Arsenal across the last 24 games of the season “” showing Arsenal to be the second best team in the league over that period. That was a run of 24 games in which Manchester City was the only team that was better than Arsenal. So it seems to me to be reasonable to say we were consistent over that period.

    Thus to agree that Arsenal has been inconsistent since the end of Wenger’s time at the club, is completely wrong. If a person wants to argue that they really need to put up evidence, just as I have done commenting on the last two thirds of last season. And show why that run of 24 games can be called inconsistency. No one has done that.

  27. @Nitram, when you talk about arsenal matches these last two seasons, you conclude that is consistency. Wow! That for the rest of us is evidence of inconsistency. Obviously your definition of the word differs from ours. U give Tottenham’s results as wlwlwlwlwlwl… according to the logic which you used for arsenal results that suggests consistency. You can even predict the next result. After a win comes a loss then a win.. consistently. But of course once we’ve made up our minds that we must be disagreeable, then we can spin anything however we want it. My conclusion, You can consistently come 4th at the end of the season (consistency) by playing well today and getting a good result, only to play horribly tomorrow and lose(inconsistency). So maybe we can be called consistently inconsistent.
    I’ll end by referring you to article

    “It appeared at one stage that the INCONSISTENCY THAT HAD BEEN HOLDING THE GUNNERS BACK FOR FAR TOO LONG would be shaken in 2021/22…”

    Wether you agree with their opinion or not is not the contention. What is in contention is wether or not many people have considered arsenal inconsistent for a while. This answers that. For further checks, Google you’ll see others like Rio Ferdinand, Wenger(on several occasions like on 16 Apr 2017), Arteta in Dec 2021, Jamie redknapp, Hargreaves, Paul Mersin have all said so. So that many people have said it is a fact, whether you agree is your business

  28. Tony Wenger left at least 4years ago. Between then and now we’ve played over 200 games, and you pick only 24? If we add the second half of Wenger’s reign to the equation, I’m sure we’ve played over a thousand, so because you went on a 24game run doesn’t give you a character, that’s hardly half a season. We have gained a reputation earned or not as inconsistent. The evidence of what people think about you is what they say. You might not agree with them in which case it’s your job to state your strong points. But you can’t just come and ask us “Have we?By who?

  29. Tony are you saying all the results Ukp posted are not evidence? You gave an analysis of 24game run spanning half a season and you say that’s acceptable evidence, yet UKP gave results of at least 12 matches spanning several seasons and that’s not acceptable evidence? Tony you being judge and jury in your own debate. You’re not being straight

  30. Chris, this is where it is getting silly. I answered your point about consistency in my last reply. I will spell it out one more time but that’s the end. In the last two thirds of last season we were very consistent, and in fact the second most successful team in the Premier League.
    We then changed the entire defence, and that consistency was broken. It has returned in a couple of runs, but we haven’t got back to the 24 match run of the previous season. Those are the facts.

  31. I am sorry I have not made myself clear to you Chris, but given the limitations on my time I can’t go much further. To say that 24 games is hardly half a season is just so silly I can’t think of an answer. So tell yourself you’ve shown me to be an idiot, because your notion of logic is just so different from mine there is no way to debate.

  32. Nitram

    20 April 2022 at 4:38 PM
    The point is, what is trying to be said is that Arsenal are inconstant, and therefore they are somehow different from everyone else, who by definition are all consistent.

    The inference being that somehow this inconstancy that is somehow unique to Arsenal is a flaw with Arsenal that no others have.

    Quite clearly I have shown that Arsenal are no more inconsistent than Chelsea, Spurs, Man Utd or even Liverpool were during Wengers last 10 years, and whether Merson or anyone else in the media says we are doesn’t change that.

    The fact that you would take anything he or anyone else in the Sun, The Mirror, Talksport or any of the other rags seriously, is very worrying.

    And I’m afraid to say if you want to make an argument that winning losing winning losing winning losing winning losing winning losing is actually a team being consistent, by way of being consistently inconsistent, then you really are a lost cause.

  33. Sorry for the delay Nitram, I think you got caught up in a new security addition to the site. You should be ok now if your email address and IP address doesn’t change.

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