By Bulldog Drummond
As we recently saw, 24 points is the best we have had at this stage of a season for at least 10 years. Indeed only once in the past decade has any team had more than 24 points after nine games was Liverpool in 2019 when they had 25 points from nine games (eight wins and a draw).
But what about the famous 2003/4 season? How were things looking then after nine games? I had the thought of just showing Arsenal’s position after nine games – and musing on the fact that this season we are actually doing better after nine games than we were in the Unbeaten Season.
But then looking down the Premier League table after nine games I thought it was rather interesting to see who the top ten were on that occasion, so here is the whole top ten..
2013/14 top 10 after nine games.
What fascinates me (and it may well be just me and no one else) is which other teams are in that top nine – and which ones are not. No Tottenham Hots for example (they were 12th). No Liverpool, (they were 11th). Leeds who we are about to play were in the Premier League but were 17th.
And here’s a funny thing. The bottom two on that day (21 October 2003) were Wolverhampton and Leicester City. Leicester are bottom again today, and Wolverhampton are just one place above where they were in 2003 – today they are in 18th.
So for ease of comparison here is the current position of Arsenal and the club’s position after nine in the last league-winning season here are the two sets of data
So yes there we were and here we are… Arsenal are actually doing better this season so far, than in the Unbeaten Season. This season we have more games won, more goals scored, a better goal difference and more points. The only thing that isn’t better as of today, is the defence – we have let in three more.
The tenth game in the unbeaten season was away to Chartlon Athletic. Chartlon got a penalty on 28 minutes, and Henry equalised with our own penalty on 40 minutes. The Arsenal team was
Cole Campbell Toure Lauren
Pires Gilberto Silva Parlour Ljungberg
We’ll come to Arsenal’s team tomorrow morning, but for now, let’s do the usual consideration of injuries.
We have three players ruled out: Smith Rowe, Elneny and Zinchenko. The last bit of information we have on Zinchenko was last week with the statement, ‘He’s had another muscle injury. Let’s see how it evolves in the next few days.’ Smith Rowe is due back after Christmas. Elneny is probably due to return in the new year.
Leeds have five players injured and one ready to return from injury. The five injured are Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw, Leo Fuhr Hjelde (who had his appendix removed so is recovering from surgery rather than injured), and Archie Gray. Luis Fernando Sinisterra is suspended and returning from injury is Hector Junior Firpo Adames.
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