By Tony Attwood
Here’s the updated Big 7 table, showing as before, the points per game in the final column in order to accommodate the fact that the number of games played between the teams varies between three for Chelsea and six for Manchester United.
Arsenal, as you can see are still top of the mini-league, and Tottenham, tipped by so many pundits to do wonderful things this season, are at the foot of the table based on points per game.
We can also compare that table with the full league table… and we can see that as a result of this weekend’s games, all seven teams are in the top eight in the full league table. The one interloper is Brighton and Hove Albion who we play in the league cup on Wednesday.
|6||Brighton and Hove Albion||13||6||3||4||22||17||5||21||1.61|
What is particularly interesting is that for the Big Seven the positions in the league are the same as their positions in the Big Seven table. And this is not the case when we look at the last six games for these teams. For there we see a rather different picture.
Indeed the only table in which Arsenal slip up is the “last six games” table; the points are the same but Newcastle have let in one goal fewer.
|7||West Ham United||6||3||0||0||7||1||0||1||2||1||3||4||10|
|12||Brighton and Hove||6||1||1||1||4||2||1||0||2||4||7||-1||7|
But what the last six table does give, and this is why I keep coming back to it and why I think it is so helpful, is a guide to the next games: Brighton in the league cup and Wolverhampton in the league.
And we might notice that our final opponents before the idiotic break – Wolverhampton – are not listed. They are currently bottom of the “last six” chart. But more of that later.
Of course, not everyone is able to agree – for there is something in DNA of Football.London that says even if Arsenal are doing well, the praise can only be faint. So their headline is “Arsenal break unwanted 10-year Premier League record following impressive victory over Chelsea.” They then quote an “official twitter page” (how can you have an official Twitter page? They are all just twitter pages), that states that “the Gunners had won three consecutive Premier League games against fellow ‘Big 6’ opposition for the first time since 2012.”
Now I am not at all sure why that matters. The league table matters because it is a summary of the season so far. Tables based on recent results matter because they show where the club is heading and gives an indication of the likely outcome of the next game.
And yes the Big Six or Big Seven table for the season shows how we are doing against the big teams which is important since because of the vagaries of the fixture list some teams can rise up the league without playing many of their main opponents, thus possibly giving a false picture of where they have got to.
But the “three consecutive” statement doesn’t really tell us much at all. On the other hand, the Big Seven table at the top of this page does give a clear indication that a) in regards to these teams playing each other, the fixture list is not evenly balanced and b) when one takes that into account by adding a “points per game” column, Arsenal are top.
The Mirror however will have none of that saying,
“While Arsenal lost to Manchester United earlier this season, they have since beaten both Liverpool and Spurs at the Emirates Stadium and broke the record after their narrow victory at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, matching the run from 2012 where the Gunners beat Spurs 5-2, Liverpool 2-1 and Manchester City 1-0.” And that really doesn’t tell us much at all but if you want to see the results from that season they are here.
On the other hand, a table the media almost certainly won’t publish but which would be interesting would be the number of players per Premier League club who get injured during the World Cup. But no, that would highlight the sheer insanity of a World Cup half way through a season, and they won’t be doing with that. Any more than they will be focussing on Fifa corruption.
- Why the media’s new statistical analyses of football is just a trick to stop you noticing what’s going on
- Yesterday’s game: how Arsenal won, and where the journalists got things wrong
- Brentford v Arsenal: past exploits and the Arsenal team news
- French authorities issue arrest warrant over awarding of World Cup to Qatar
- Brentford v Arsenal: the history and the build up, with some extraordinary odds