- On this day in Arsenal’s history: 15 October: George Male’s first appearance at right back and why that’s so important
By Bulldog Drummond
Of course, when we think of 2003/4 we think of Arsenal’s most glorious season, probably forgetting the fact that it was a momentous season for Leeds United too, although for the opposite reasons. For in 2003/4 Leeds were relegated.
But for them, that was just the start. Within three years they were relegated to League One where they remained for three years before winning that league and climbing back to the Championship where they resided for ten years. And worse, for the first nine of those ten years they only once made it above seventh, with 13th to 15th being their favoured positions.
This is Leeds United’s third season back in the top league and in the last two campaigns, they have finished 9th and 17th. Also in the past five seasons, they have exited the FA Cup at the first time of asking – in round three.
But this season they started out as if they really meant to do business, with three wins and a draw in their first four matches (one in the League Cup, three in the League). And that run included the 3-0 win over Chelsea.
At that moment the top of league read…
|5||Brighton and Hove Albion||3||2||1||0||4||1||3||7|
And that looked encouraging until everything fell apart ….
|27 Aug 2022||Brighton and Hove Albion v Leeds United||L||1-0||Premier League|
|30 Aug 2022||Leeds United v Everton||D||1-1||Premier League|
|03 Sep 2022||Brentford v Leeds United||L||5-2||Premier League|
|02 Oct 2022||Leeds United v Aston Villa||D||0-0||Premier League|
|09 Oct 2022||Crystal Palace v Leeds United||L||2-1||Premier League|
As a result, if we take our first look at the “last six matches” table for the season we find them in 16th, while Arsenal are of course second (as the last six includes our one defeat of the campaign).
|6||West Ham U||6||3||1||2||8||5||3||10|
|12||Brighton & HA||6||2||1||3||10||10||0||7|
As I repeatedly pointed out last season I do agree that the “last six” (and as we go on, other tables of this nature) give us the best possible way of predicting how a team will do in the next game. Form does change of course, but it is called form because it continues.
When we remember that the last six games of last season for Leeds gave them results of one win, two draws and three defeats we can see that for Leeds with just three goals scored, we can see that this season’s form is indeed a continuation of the end of last season.
- Leeds v Arsenal. After 9 games Arsenal are doing better than in the unbeaten season
- Leeds v Arsenal. Leeds can foul with far fewer consequences than Arsenal.
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- The media, the League and PGMO. An insidious agreement rears its ugly head