Arsenal v Everton: A game with a grand tradition, plus a tradition of accuracy lost

By Bulldog Drummond

Arsenal have beaten Everton 98 times in the 1st Division and Premier League – a record for one club against the same opponent.

Everton have the most seasons in the top level of English football in part because they joined the football league when it was just a northern and west midlands affair in 1888.  They came 8th out of twelve clubs, and escaped applying for re-election by four points.

That gives Everton 118 seasons in the top league, with them being relegated twice – in 1930 and 1951.   In contrast, Arsenal re-joined the first division in 1919, and have not been relegated since, which is why in 2019 we celebrated  100 Years in the First Division.   That link gives the absolute complete story of Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.

So that is why Everton claim to have had more seasons in the top flight than any other club, although it is worth remembering that in season 1 they won nine, drew two and lost 11 games.

However, despite their earlier arrival, they have not really made that much impact on football.  Against Arsenal, they have won 64 matches, to Arsenal’s 108 victories.  46 have been drawn.

They have won the league nine times to Arsenal’s 13 and the FA Cup five times to Arsenal’s 14.    In the last two seasons, Everton have come 12th and 10th.

But despite all this success, we have lost the last three games against Everton, although each by only one goal.   Prior to that we only lost two of the previous 12 league games against them, scoring five in each of two consecutive games in late 2017, and early 2018.   We haven’t lost four times in a row to Everton since 1924 – the time when Arsenal were constantly struggling against relegation.  Fortunately, Chapman joined in 1925, and things took a turn for the better.

In more modern times, Arsenal have lost 13 games in a Premier League season a couple of times before, so this season is not a record, but the BBC is utterly wrong when it says as it does on its website today, “A 14th defeat of the season would set a new club Premier League record for a single campaign.”   In 1992/93 Arsenal lost 16 games in the Premier League.

I know it is a tiny point of detail, but then if we are going to look at statistics, points of detail are what they are all about.  I also know that Untold makes mistakes, but this site is written by fans for the fun of it and we don’t have a team of fact-checkers behind us.  The BBC site is written by and supposedly checked by professionals.

And if an organisation as vast as the BBC can get something as basic as that fact (which can be checked in a matter of seconds) wrong, it is perhaps not surprising they get more about football wrong as well.  Which then makes it more than likely that newspapers which have no fact-checking worthy of the name, get most of their football wrong.

So although I would like to put up another BBC factoid, namely, “Arsenal have won a Premier League record 20 matches on the concluding day of the season. Their win ratio of 69% is also the highest of any club,” I don’t have the time to go back and check this against the actual facts.   Given the error earlier, this item of theirs may be right, or may not be right.  Who knows.

Here’s another one I haven’t got the resources to check…

  • The Gunners are responsible for 31% of the closing day hat-tricks scored in Premier League history: Freddie Ljungberg in 2002-03, Thierry Henry in 2005-06, Theo Walcott in 2014-15 and Olivier Giroud in 2015-16.

And one more not checked from the same source…

  • Bukayo Saka has been ever-present in the Premier League in 2021-22. He will be 20 years and 259 days old on the day of this game, which would make him the second youngest player to feature in every match in a season in the competition – emulating Cesc Fabregas in 2006-07.

However here is one that I can check

  • Everton’s tally of 10 Premier League away points this season is a joint-league low alongside Norwich City.

Away games only…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
18 Burnley 19 2 8 9 16 28 -12 14
19 Everton 18 2 4 12 15 36 -21 10
20 Norwich City 19 2 4 13 11 41 -30 10

So there we are.  Be wary of BBC football “facts”.  They might be right, and then again they might not be.

In reality, this is the problem with football reporting today.   Facts and opinions merge which is really not very helpful.

3 Replies to “Arsenal v Everton: A game with a grand tradition, plus a tradition of accuracy lost”

  1. Yeah Arsenal’s record against Everton has to be a good reason for being pleased that they’ve stayed up and I am.

    I’m sure I read somewhere (maybe I was dreaming?) that there will be no English officials at the next World Cup and if so isn’t that the 2nd time in succession that the PGMOL trained officials have been deemed not to be up to scratch. I can’t say that I’m surprised…

  2. Can they come back from 2 straight defeats? I’d like to think they can but there’s the injury problem again. IMO they had too many injuries this season considering there was no European football. And the subs were just not up the level required. Give the supporters, especially the paying customers who travel great distances ( like Tony Attwood), something to smile about to close the season. COYG!!!

  3. There was an English assistant referee at the 2018 World Cup. His name was Simon Lount.

    He qualified by virtue of the fact that he didn’t work for PGMOL.

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