By Bulldog Drummond
It is quite interesting that as with previous articles that analyse Leicester’s tackling figures we do get a number of comments from apparent Leicester supporters telling us we are wrong, but not saying where the figures are wrong. Even more interesting, we can’t publish these because the writers generally don’t give a valid email address etc.
Of course we do have their IP address so can avoid seeing more of their comments but it is odd that Leicester seem to have more of these supporters who will indulge in abuse rather than debate, than other clubs. Although to be fair, most clubs haven’t been involved in two sets of data (the tackling levels and the number of penalties) which look highly odd, so maybe there is an excuse for some agitation. Although not for the abuse.
Anyway, let’s move on… Leicester had an interesting end to the season. Across the last dozen games they won four, drew four and lost four. But if we look just at the last four which were all league games, played after they were knocked out of the Conference League, they won three and drew one.
|14 Apr 2022||PSV Eindhoven v Leicester City||W||1-2||Conference League|
|17 Apr 2022||Newcastle United v Leicester City||L||2-1||Premier League|
|20 Apr 2022||Everton v Leicester City||D||1-1||Premier League|
|23 Apr 2022||Leicester City v Aston Villa||D||0-0||Premier League|
|28 Apr 2022||Leicester City v AS Roma||D||1-1||Conference League|
|1 May 2022||Tottenham Hots v Leicester City||L||3-1||Premier League|
|5 May 2022||AS Roma v Leicester City||L||1-0||Conference League|
|8 May 2022||Leicester City v Everton||L||1-2||Premier League|
|11 May 2022||Leicester City v Norwich City||W||3-0||Premier League|
|15 May 2022||Watford v Leicester City||W||1-5||Premier League|
|19 May 2022||Chelsea v Leicester City||D||1-1||Premier League|
|22 May 2022||Leicester City v Southampton||W||4-1||Premier League|
However a closer look does show that those last four games were against Norwich and Watford (who were heading down), Southampton, who had a very dodgy end of season (they were the worst performing club of those that didn’t go down during the last ten games), and Chelsea who themselves were wobbling, so perhaps that result was not as major an upset as one might think.
But overall their end-of-season form in the league was poor. Here’s the bottom half of the table based on the last ten games of last season. And this is particularly interesting given that as of today, the club has not managed to buy in any new players.
And although of course they might well be buying someone as I write this, what they will not have had is a proper pre-season to integrate the player and adjust him to the team and vice-versa.
Here is the league form across the last ten games, excluding the relegated clubs but including those promoted from the Championship.
|17||West Ham United||10||2||2||6||12||17||-5||8|
Leicester’s first match this season was a 2-2 home draw with Brentford. And pausing for a moment it is interesting to see just how low Manchester United and Wolverhampton had sunk by then.
As in previous seasons, we will also do a home-and-away comparison for forthcoming matches…
|15||Leicester City away||19||4||6||9||28||36||-8||18|
As we can see there is a huge difference between the two sides last season in terms of Arsenal at home and Leicester City away, and with Arsenal’s additional firepower purchased during the window thus far, we should be looking forward to a positive result.
Since Leicester City rose from the depths of the championship they have come, in sequence, 14th, 1st, 12th, 9th, 9th, 5th, 5th, 8th. And it is interesting that in the last season they scored 68 goals, the same number as they scored in their title-winning season. Proof if ever it were needed that simply scoring a lot, while entertaining and helpful, is not a guarantee of success.
So two trophies in eight seasons, including the league title, which of course Arsenal have not been able to achieve since the Unbeaten Season. But to balance that a little bit, Arsenal have won three major trophies during this same spell, so it is not all doom and gloom for us.
The biggest difference on the pitch between the two clubs last season, aside from the issues of tackling, was the top goal scorer. Theirs was Maddison with 18, ours was Saka with 12, which was incidentally the lowest number of goals by Arsenal’s top scorer since Alan Sunderland got the same number in 1981/2. The last time the top Arsenal scorer got lower than that was in 1975/6 when Brian Kidd was top scorer with 11.
More analyses later.
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- Arsenal squad for Europa League game
- The abuse of female footballers is appalling, but there is a wider context
- Why Arsenal v Glimt might be tougher than the game against Tottenham
- Is the team that passes the most, the team that gets the best results?