by Tony Attwood
Arsenal are top of the league. And so not just top of the league after 37% of the season, but top by five points.
And not just top but 14 points above where all the glorious pundits in the newspapers suggested we would be.
And not just top but our goal difference is getting very close to that of Manchester City – we’re just four goals behind.
And with the best defence in the league.
|7||Brighton and Hove Albion||13||6||3||4||22||17||5||21|
The BBC preview of the season said, “It’s a big season for Arteta but he has the complete faith of the Arsenal board and they have looked a million dollars in pre-season. He needs a top-four finish and to be challenging for trophies and I fancy Arsenal might just do that. I do not see them as title contenders, though.” Not everyone agrees.
Of course, it is too early to crow but we can do a little bit of comparison to see how this current Arsenal team looks in relation to others.
Last season on 14 games the top team, Chelsea had 33 points – four below Arsenal today after the same number of games. The ultimate winners were Manchester City who after 14 games had 32 points.
What is particularly interesting is that Manchester City had scored four fewer goals than Arsenal at this stage of the season, although they had also let in three more.
But above all we should note that ultimately Manchester City had 93 points – or 2.45 a game. Arsenal are currently running at 2.64 points per game.
Thus of course we are reminded just how different things can work out. But we also have to remember that Arsenal can do well in the latter two-thirds of a season.
After 14 games in 2020/21, the table Liverpool were top with 31 points (six fewer than Arsenal today). Today they have 15 points fewer than Arsenal. Everton were second at this point in 2020/21 Everton ended that season in 10th. They ended 2021/22 in 16th. Today they are 17th one point above relegation.
So of course we shouldn’t get carried away, because the situation after 14 games doesn’t predict the final outcome although it is hard not to be utterly delighted with the current league table and the progression from 2020/21 to 2022/23.
In my view it is interesting to compare Arsenal this season after 14 games with other league leaders after 14 games in recent years, so here is the table…
We don’t have to go any further to realise that the top position after 14 games is a state that is immensely variable. The points total by the top club ranges from 29 to 40.
So Arsenal in achieving 37 points is not in record-breaking mode but is one of the better teams in this range.
As for goal scoring, it is possible for teams to score 10 or 11 goals more in these first 14 games, but in five of these eight seasons, 33 goals is around the norm. Likewise, Arsenal don’t have the best defence, but again 11 goals is mid-range for the top team at this stage of the season.
Overall we can see that this is not a particularly good season for the top team, nor a particularly bad season. But let’s finish with one other question. Where did the top team after 14 games end up?
|season||Top team||final position|
So if the dream was to get into the top four (something all the mainstream media predicted was not going to happen to Arsenal this season) then we are on track. None of these teams topping the table after 14 games ended up outside the top four.
If the thought now is to win the league then three of the four teams who went from top after 14 games to winning the league did have more points than we do at this stage. But in 2016/17 Chelsea had three fewer than Arsenal today and did indeed win the league.
The conclusion is simple. We are doing far better than any of the pundits predicted and recent history suggests we most certainly won’t finish outside the top four. Winning the league is possible, but is not guaranteed – others in recent years have been doing better by this stage of the season.
Although not much better.
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3 Replies to “With 37 points from 14, are Arsenal likely to win the league?”
Looking back, there is one thing I believe is not mentionned enough : the transfers done since Arteta came in.
Edu and Arteta must be commended. I mean, which incoming player this summer has deceived ? They have all slotted in, the most senior ones producing immediately, the younger ones showing their possibilities more and more.
I can see no one who has been a deception, which is quite amazing.
We are in very good shape , barring some misfortune befalls us during the WC . Even G. Jesus is not scoring , but is contributing . Am hoping that he returns as a World Champion , and with the hunger to go on and do better , as per scoring goals. Am hoping that he wins this season’s Golden Boot.
In the meantime have to grin and bear the pall that is the WC !
Win the league? Of course we can…