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Premier League Betting and Odds

Is Arsenal more erratic in its performances year by year than other teams?

By Tony Attwood

Across the past six years, Arsenal’s position in the league has indeed been varied.   And thinking on this I have been wondering if the variations in Arsenal’s performances have been mirrored by other clubs, or whether Arsenal has had more of an up and downtime than most.

At our lowest point, we had 46 points after 33 games (that was last season) at our highest we had 66 points in 2019.  A 20 point difference across just two seasons!  So I wondered, is this normal or is this just Arsenal?

To answer this I have run the same table as I have been running on this site in recent months, but for other teams.

First the Arsenal figures…

Pos Team / Year P W D L F A GD Pts
4 Arsenal 2022 33 19 3 11 52 40 12 60
9 Arsenal 2021 33 13 7 13 44 37 7 46
7 Arsenal 2020 33 12 13 8 49 41 8 49
4 Arsenal 2019 33 20 6 7 66 40 26 66
6 Arsenal 2018 33 16 6 11 62 45 17 54
6 Arsenal 2017 33 18 6 9 64 42 22 60

Not only have our best and worst seasons been 20 points apart, but our goal scoring has also varied by 22 goals.  Our defence however has been more consistent – just eight goals difference between the best and worst of these six seasons after 33 games.

Everton

I chose Everton next because I knew they had fallen quite a distance from last season – but even with that expectation I was surprised just how far they had slipped compared with last year.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
18 Everton 2022 32 8 5 19 34 55 -21 29
8 Everton 2021 33 15 7 11 45 42 3 52
11 Everton 2020 33 12 8 13 40 48 -8 44
9 Everton 2019 33 13 7 13 46 42 4 46
9 Everton 2018 33 11 8 14 38 53 -15 41
7 Everton 2017 33 16 9 8 60 37 23 57

Also we can see an astonishing 28 point difference for Everton between best and worst.  And an amazing 23 point fall just across one season – although to be fair they have yet to play their 33rd game.  But even if they win that they will still be down by 20 points on last season.

Everton have clearly suffered both in terms of attack and defence – both are their worst across the period measured.

Tottenham

Tottenham are regularly the pundits favourites for improvement, either because of a new manager, or the cleverness of their chief executive, or the brilliance of their new stadium, or the fact that the beer enters the glass from the bottom or…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
5 Tottenham 2022 33 18 4 11 56 38 18 58
7 Tottenham 2021 33 15 8 10 56 38 18 53
8 Tottenham 2020 33 13 9 11 52 44 8 48
3 Tottenham 2019 33 22 1 10 64 34 30 67
4 Tottenham 2018 33 20 7 6 65 30 35 67
2 Tottenham 2017 33 22 8 3 69 22 47 74

Tottenham’s point difference between best and worst at this moment over six seasons is 26 points between 2017 and 2020, which shows that this was not an oddity about Everton.  Their league position was stable across 2017 to 2019 but then dropped from 3rd to 8th.

Chelsea

Chelsea are of course one of the teams who, at least until now, have had all the money they needed, and then some, so we might expect some more stability from them.  But over the six seasons, at the 33 game mark they have a 21 point variance from 78 points in 2017 down to 57 points in 2020.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
3 Chelsea 2022 33 19 9 5 68 28 40 66
4 Chelsea 2021 33 16 10 7 51 31 20 58
4 Chelsea 2020 33 17 6 10 60 44 16 57
4 Chelsea 2019 33 20 6 7 57 34 23 66
5 Chelsea 2018 33 18 6 9 57 33 24 60
1 Chelsea 2017 33 25 3 5 69 29 40 78

Chelsea’s goal scoring has varied by 17 and their defensive capability by 16, which doesn’t sound too much but does mean that their goal difference has moved by 24 across the seasons.

So let’s try and compare this by looking at the highs and lows

Club Points difference Goals scored difference Goals against difference
Arsenal 20 22 8
Everton 28 26 18
Tottenham 26 17 22
Chelsea 21 18 16

What stands out is that these clubs have all changed by a similar amount across the six years measured.   Which emphasises the fact that Arsenal are behaving much like the clubs around them in the league.

But now let’s consider the most popular demand concerning Arsenal, in this regard: Arsenal need a new centre forward.  That we hear over and over again.

Yet Arsenal have scored more by this stage of the season, than last year, or the year before.  And our current situation has meant that we have our second-best points total in the last six years, by this stage of the season.

Thus overall these figures do not suggest that a total overhaul of the club or the squad is needed.  Indeed after the last two years we are making progress – which is exactly what Untold predicted after noting the incredible turnaround last season when we performed as the second-best team in the league during the last two-thirds of the campaign.

And that’s perhaps the most interesting point.  That transformation has been taken forward.

Of course, there is a long way to go, because even if we repeated the leap forward of the past 12 months across the next season, we would still only end up third (assuming the top two continue to perform as they are now).  But third, although like fourth, is not a trophy, third is another step forward.

Another 14 points by this stage next season would make the table look like this

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 33 25 5 3 80 21 59 80
2 Liverpool 33 24 7 2 85 22 63 79
3 Arsenal 33 22 8 3 72 34 38 74
4 Chelsea 33 19 9 5 68 28 40 66

Of course this is fantasy league stuff, but it does show just how much improvement we have made, and how much further there is to go.

The main danger is probably those people who call for Arteta to be sacked.  He certainly needs more time in my opinion, because there is still a difficult road ahead.

3 comments to Is Arsenal more erratic in its performances year by year than other teams?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic

    A reminder that it is our U23’s last game of the season tonight at the Emirates against Wolves. Kickoff is 19;00 and the match is being streamed live on Arsenal.com

    Sadly we can’t win the league, a win will cement is finishing third. I’m on my way to the game now. Will do a report over the weekend all being well.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    We are of course playing Leeds tonight not Wolves. Kickoff soon and on Arsenal.com

  • bushido

    thanks for the notice Andrew

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