By Bulldog Drummond
- Everton v Arsenal: how this referee treats the home and away team
- Everton v Arsenal and the oddity of referee behaviour
- Everton v Arsenal this saturday lunchtime: just what are Everton playing at?
We’ve done a lot of crowing at how we managed to predict Arsenal’s return to the higher reaches of the league and thus to next season’s Champions League while all the mainstream media foresaw nothing but further seasons in the Europa at best for Arsenal. And we got it right by taking into account the way Arteta handled PGMO’s attitude toward Arsenal and the subsequent yellow card crisis, in order to make the defence work far more effectively.
So now we find ourselves with the second-best defence in the league, five points clear at the top with a game in hand – quite a change from having only the eighth-best defence in the league a couple of years ago.
Although before going on I ought to issue a word of warning. For on New Years’ Eve, Manchester City played Everton in Manchester and the score was 1-1. It was the only game in a run of nine in which Everton avoided defeat!!!
But setting that warning aside for the moment, for the game on Saturday between Everton and Arsenal, it is the difference between the two attacks that really stands out. For this match is going to see the second-best attack in the league against the second-worst. 45 goals this season for Arsenal against 15 goals scored by Everton.
However, as we always note, clubs can go on runs, good and bad. Indeed it was only last season that there were screams from across the media for Arteta to be sacked after the first three league games of the season. Remember the league table then?
Oh how amusing the tiny Totts found that, and how their friends in the blogs and mass media kept running it over and over and over and …. well I am sure you remember. Failing of course to notice that Tottenham had won each game just 1-0. They then lost their next two league games 0-3.
As for today, the last six games table does have a real top and bottom feel about it. Indeed so extraordinary is the last six games table I’m going to run the whole table, rather than just the bits with Arsenal and Everton in it.
You may care to note the position of the journalists’ favourite Tottenham H who are now languishing in 12th in this table, with half the number of points of the mighty Brentford. Liverpool and Chelsea are still not staging their giant recovery programmes which are regularly predicted, and our opponents tomorrow are indeed bottom with 15 points fewer than Arsenal across the last six games.
Indeed even Newcastle who have been powering themselves into contention for Champions League places have slipped of late. Unbeaten, yes, but half of their last six games have been draws. No goals against, that’s true, but they are scoring at the same rate as Southampton, Leicester and West Ham, which is not Champions League form.
|9||Brighton & Hove||6||3||1||2||15||10||5||10|
|16||West Ham United||6||1||1||4||5||10||-5||4|
What we have also done from time to time is got a broader perspective and looked at the last ten league games in a table…
This still shows Arsenal top, and Manchester City in third and Everton in… 19th. So incredibly, of late Everton have done the seemingly impossible and have got even worse, sinking down to the foot of the table. Here we see the “big seven” and our opponents tomorrow across their last ten matches…
Even if we look at home and away figures across the last ten games Everton don’t see any hope. Everton have won one of their last six home games and lost the others. Arsenal have won five and drawn one of their last six away games.
On the basis of these games we once again reach the conclusion that Arsenal will win 1-2. Or perhaps more.
- 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