Bournemouth v Arsenal; Arsenal v Everyone

“The jury is still out on Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, he’s done a decent job, but not a great job, says Danny Mills.”  So pronounced the Sun on 28 April 2022.   With a total refusal to take any statistical evidence, as ever, the paper focussed on a nay-sayer, as always.  And was wrong, as always.

And of course they won’t the only ones.

Mikel Arteta sack deadline revealed was the headline in Team Talk on 23 August 2021.

“Mikel Arteta had a NIGHTMARE start, fell out with the captain HE picked and failed to replace him, while his players lacked discipline and imploded… how Arsenal fell to pieces” the Mail told us.

And it continued.    Arsenal should replace Mikel Arteta with Patrick Vieira  said the Mirror on 7 March THIS year.   (See Daily Mail, we can do sudden bold caps too within a sentence, not just you.)

So it goes.  The vitriol, and at times the pure hatred of Arsenal and everything it does, poured forth day after day from the media.

And sometimes it was even a bit funny. 

“Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal make worst start in their 118 year history”. said the Sun on 22 August 2021 while after another defeat it became “Arsenal slip to WORST start to a league season in 67 years”    Not quite sure why the date changed, but then, it’s the Sun so it happens.

In fact one could feel the glee pouring from the media a year ago as all their dislike of Arsenal was given an outpouring.

But to return to today, and just to add a little more fun to the moment here’s something most outlets won’t mention: the league table for Premier League 2 as of this day.

 

Position
Club
P
W
D
L
F A GD
Pts
1 Arsenal 3 3 0 0 10 4 6 9
2 Crystal Palace 3 2 1 0 10 5 5 7
3 Fulham 3 2 1 0 8 3 5 7
4 Everton 3 2 1 0 6 2 4 7

 

But to return to the Premier League it is really not just a turn around THIS season.  (OK that’s enough Daily Mail thank you).   Here is the last 10 games table:

 

Premier League Form (Last 10)
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 8 2 0 35 8 27 26
2 Arsenal 10 8 0 2 25 13 12 24
3 Liverpool 10 6 4 0 20 9 11 22
4 Newcastle Utd 10 7 1 2 13 8 5 22
5 Tottenham Ho 10 6 3 1 20 6 14 21
6 Brighton & Hove 10 6 3 1 18 9 9 21

 

And that’s including the end of last season when Arsenal “fell apart” according to the media.

And yes of course Arsenal have had easier fixtures than some clubs.  And one can commiserate with Bournemouth having had games against Manchester City and Arsenal as the second and third games of the season.  But curiously I can’t find anyone pointing out that with a completely new defence installed last summer, and the rebuild continuing as the season began, Arsenal had a tough start in 2021/22.  No it was all “worst start in xxx years”.  (The number was variable).

And I mention all this because at this moment apologies from a wide range of commentators would be in order, but no, all we get is a denial of what was written before, as if it never happened.

But Untold will always go its own way (as it has done since we began in January 2008) because it reports what is untold elsewhere (that was after all the reason for the blog’s title being chosen).  So let’s compare with the last time we had a really flying start – although it is largely forgotten that we lost the opening game that season on penalties.

That Unbeaten season started with that defeat in the Community Shield and the BBC report of the match said, “It was Arsenal’s defensive frailties that were once again highlighted”  And remember we were about to start the Unbeaten Season!   “Once again” indeed!

That season the first three league games gave us eight goals for and one against…

 

Date Match Result Score Competition
10 Aug 2003 Manchester United v Arsenal L 1-1 (4-3) FA Community Shield
16 Aug 2003 Arsenal v Everton W 2-1 Premier League
24 Aug 2003 Middlesbrough v Arsenal W 0-4 Premier League
27 Aug 2003 Arsenal v Aston Villa W 2-0 Premier League

 

Here was the top six after three games

 

Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Arsenal 3 3 0 0 8 1 7 9
2 Manchester United 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
3 Portsmouth 3 2 1 0 7 2 5 7
4 Manchester City 3 2 1 0 7 3 4 7
5 Chelsea 2 2 0 0 4 2 2 6
6 Blackburn Rovers 3 1 1 1 9 6 3 4

 

This season it is

 

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 3 3 0 0 9 2 7 9
2 Tottenham Hotspur 3 2 1 0 7 3 4 7
3 Manchester City 2 2 0 0 6 0 6 6
4 Fulham 3 1 2 0 5 4 1 5
5 Brentford 3 1 1 1 8 5 3 4
6 Newcastle United 2 1 1 0 2 0 2 4

 

So yes we have scored more this season in the first three league games than in the unbeaten season, although we have also let in two goals as opposed to one in 2003.   Interesting though how some other clubs have slipped a bit since then.  Whatever happened to Portsmouth and Blackburn?

Although in one sense it is interesting how few of the clubs have changed.  For also in the PL that season were Bolton, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Charlton.  In total just six clubs in all who are not in the PL this campaign. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

And for that we can be thankful.  But of course, we don’t know where this season is going, and we may still not get what we want, but at least all those people screaming for Arteta to be sacked will be quiet for a little while, probably pretending they never said what they did.  And we sure know they won’t apologise.

5 Replies to “Bournemouth v Arsenal; Arsenal v Everyone”

  1. Frankly, all these deadwood journalists are like flies looking for their pile of manure and it’s come to a point where I don’t care. I do have fun reading some of the positive pieces, even if they always find a way to try to throw some negative stuff into them.

    The importante thing that is happening is that the Gunners are clearly becoming contenders for a top spot, are playing an evolution of Wengerball, are clearly having fun, look set to stay together for a longer period of time. They have a coach who is a meritant successor of Mr Wenger, they have club owners who against all odds have put their money where their mouth is – 300 million in 12 months ? They have a real number 9, recruiting him was a stroke of genius.

    So frankly, do we have anything reason to be unhappy ?!?! It’s a wonderful sunday, that’s what I feel !

  2. Whilst the media generally give us some credit for our decent start to the season, after all how can they not, they inevitably throw in a “but it’s only three games” type caveat so as to avoid being too positive about us.
    But strangely I don’t remember the “but it’s only three games” type caveat being used last year after our first three games.

  3. Tbh, Tony, I’ll never have enough of those grumpy failed managers fuming after yet another Arsenal win
    Media moguls: just keep bringing’em on, please!
    But as they do that, they also “fail” to underline the fact that at the end of thisTW, the best recruit made by a club, will be a 21-y-o CB, for whom exactly 0 pound will have been spent, because his development was looked after with with unbelievable professionalism and intelligence
    I’m not the best – far from it – at analysing stats, but William’s yesterday’s ones are just mind-blowing
    Hats off to the fans: none is more deserved than the boy’s inebriating chant

  4. I think we are all happy that we can see progress. The ever grumpies will say that we are declaring victory after three games but that’s not it. We probably would have beaten Bournemouth with last year’s squad but yesterday it looked so comprehensive. Sure we slowed down and they picked up over the last half hour but that is to be expected and but for some tight flags we would have had more. We don’t know how the season will go or where we will finish but it’s nice to look at the horizon and expect rainbows instead of stormclouds.

  5. Looking at the results makes for interesting reading. Chelsea sure look to have a problem.
    Funny to read a commentary saying Arsenal by winning it’s 3 first games was back in the top 4…. seriously ?!?

    That said, squad depth will be, IMHO, the one element that will be decisive with the accumulation of games being the other part of the equation.

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