What does the season so far tell us about the top clubs?

By Tony Attwood

Last season, as I am sure you will recall, the media made a huge fuss about Arsenal’s opening three games.  Less fuss is being made about Arsenal’s good start to this season, with a number of comments instead noting that it has been an easy start.  Last season it wasn’t particularly noted  that the start of the campaign was tough but rather “these are the sorts of teams you have to take points from if you want to compete at the top”.

You may also have noted that we’ve done a couple of articles concerning what this start might mean for Arsenal in the season ahead, by looking at how teams who have previously won the first three in a row have done.  It was an article that was copied in part by other websites, which we always take as a compliment.  (If only they would copy our articles about the issues that the media won’t cover, that would be better, but they won’t.)

In our piece, we showed that just winning the first three games really doesn’t tell us very much as to where the club will end up in the league.  It turns out that winning the first three doesn’t even guarantee to finish in the top half of the table!

But I thought we could go a little further and consider goals scored, goals conceded and actual points achieved per game, comparing last season’s average across the whole season, with the average this season across just these first three games.

So to translate, in the table below Manchester City scored an average of 2.61 last season, and have an average of 3.00 goals scored per game this season.

This season they have let in 0.68 per game, whereas last season it was 1 goal a game.   Last season they have 2.45 points per game,  this season it is 2.33 for  the three games thus far.

Looking at Arsenal we can see every number moving in the right direction.  Last season we scored an average of 1.61 goals per game across the whole season, this season it is three.   We conceded 1.26 goals per game on average across the whole season, this season it is 0.66.   Last season our goal difference across  the whole season was 1.82, so far this season it is 3.00 so far.

 

21/22 22/23 21/22 22/23 21/22 22/23
Pos Team Scored scored let in let in GD GD
1 Manchester City 2.61 3.00 0.68 1.00 2.45 2.33
2 Liverpool 2.47 1.33 0.68 1.67 2.42 0.67
3 Chelsea 2.00 1.00 0.87 1.67 1.95 1.33
4 Tottenham Hotspur 1.82 2.33 1.05 1.00 1.87 2.33
5 Arsenal 1.61 3.00 1.26 0.66 1.82 3.00

 

Arsenal as you would expect from the results, is doing better all round.  The number of goals scored is approaching double.  The number conceded is cut in half, and the goal difference is 65% better.

And yes of course this is three games, and you might be tempted to shout at the computer that I’m a stupid f***wit for trying to compare three games with the whole season.  But this is what the media did last season – they were drawing conclusions on the first three games, but since they won’t do it this season, I’m doing it for them.

But there is an important point here.  Of course, we can see that Arsenal are doing better than in the opening three last season, but then so are Tottenham Hots.  Liverpool and Chelsea are doing worse and Manchester City is up in goals scored, but also in goals conceded.

Now of course I know that we have had an easier start this season than last, but there again one can only play who the Great Overlords decide we have to play.

And there is another point.   Every single one of the pundits who made predictions about the league table at the end of this season (including the moronic dopes who kept on talking about using a super computer – (something that I would bet my mortgage on being utterly untrue; supercomputers are used for defence of the realm and weather forecasting) predicted the league table will end with the top five exactly the same as last season.

As we pointed out each time this forecast came up, this exact repeat from one season to the next has never happened before.   Instead we used the segment tables – for example that running through the last 35 games, the last 10 games and so on, to show just how much Arsenal had improved during the campaign.  So we predicted in the end that Arsenal would come third.

And I would say the start of the season suggests we are on track.   And here’s a new table we have not used before.   A predicted final table based on the scores so far, courtesy of Footballwebpages…

 

P W D L F A +GD Pts
C Arsenal 38 30 7 1 94 12 +82 97
2 Manchester City 38 26 8 4 91 31 +60 86
3 Leeds United 38 18 12 8 85 28 +57 66
4 Newcastle United 38 15 21 2 73 19 +54 66
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 18 12 8 81 28 +53 66
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 13 23 2 33 8 +25 62

 

And let me assure you this is not what I think will happen.  But it still makes more pleasant reading than the stuff that was thrown at us last season.

2 Replies to “What does the season so far tell us about the top clubs?”

  1. Check out the latest version of that footballwebpages table now (after the Fulham result). We have been upgraded to invincible status.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.