Arsenal: The 19 game analysis

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Before Geoff comes on this morning, we have a guest post from blog resident Gambon. It outlines the massive challenge we have ahead of us if we’re going to pull ourselves out of this crisis.

19 Game Analysis…

I thought you may be interested in a little analysis I have looked at concerning Arsenal’s current position. It makes pretty grim reading, and in my opinion shows that we are not experiencing a ‘blip’ as a lot of fans have convinced themselves, but that we have a real long-term problem.

As you know I am not a Wenger fan, but this isn’t intended to be a slight on him, however I think the facts point out that right now we are being very, very badly run.

I have analysed our half season form, which is pretty significant. In any statistical analysis a sample size of 50% is certainly enough to give genuine insight into a long-term trend. I have looked at the performance of all 17 teams in the PL that have played both this and last season, to make it fair. So this is the last 19 games for all teams:

League Table (Games & Points)

1- Man Utd – 41
2- Man City – 39
3- Chelsea – 37
4- Everton – 34
5- Liverpool – 33
6- Spurs – 30
7- Aston Villa – 27
8- Wolves – 26
9- Fulham – 26
10- Newcastle – 25
11- Wigan – 25
12- Stoke – 24
13- West Brom – 24
14- Arsenal – 23
15- Bolton – 19
16- Blackburn – 16
17- Sunderland – 15

Goal Difference

1- Man Utd (+26)
2- Man City (+23)
3- Liverpool (+14)
4- Chelsea (+13)
5- Everton (+11)
6- Aston Villa (+4)
7- Wolves (+4)
8- Fulham (+4)
9- Spurs (+2)
10- Newcastle (-1)
11- Stoke (-2)
12- Wigan (-5)
13- West Brom (-6)
14- Arsenal (-6)
15- Bolton (-8)
16- Blackburn (-10)
17- Sunderland (-13)

Interestingly these tables are fairly correlated, suggesting we havent just been getting unlucky, we aren’t scoring enough goals in comparison to what we concede, and vice versa….and many of these games were in our ‘easy run in’.

We have all known our defence is weak for a long time, but how weak has it been over half a season? This is worrying.

Goals conceded:

1- Chelsea (18)
2- Man City (18)
3- Man Utd (19)
4- Everton (20)
5- Liverpool (20)
6- Aston Villa (23)
7- Stoke (23)
8- Fulham (24)
9- Newcastle (25)
10- Spurs (28)
11- Wigan (29)
12- Wolves (30)
13- Blackburn (32)
14- Bolton (34)
15- West Brom (34)
16- Arsenal (34)
17- Sunderland (36)

This shows us that we aren’t just struggling, we are literally one of the worst teams in the league defensively.

Finally I have looked at league position in comparison to wage spend. So many fans talk about how Arsene works wonders financially and bemoan the unfair financial doping that goes on, well let’s see if that’s true. I have ranked every team in terms of the differential when you compare their annual wage bill with their league position, to show who is under achieving and who is over achieving financially. For example if a club was 3rd in wage bill spend and 7th in the PL their score would be -4, if the wage bill was 12th and they were 3rd they would be +9.

Wage Spend vs Position:

1- Wolves (+8)
2- Everton (+5)
3- West Brom (+4)
4- Wigan (+4)
5- Stoke (+2)
6- Man Utd (+2)
7- Newcastle (+1)
8- Fulham (+1)
9- Spurs (+1)
10- Man City (0)
11- Aston Villa (-1)
12- Liverpool (-1)
13- Bolton (-2)
14- Chelsea (-2)
15- Blackburn (-4)
16- Sunderland (-9)
17- Arsenal (-9)

This highlights 2 things. Firstly, that we as a club, and Wenger, are certainly not performing well financially. Secondly, that we aren’t even close….we are miles off of everyone bar Sunderland over a 7 month period.

I think it’s massively significant that we are right at the bottom of every table of the last 19 games. And to those who say it is inaccurate, well the rest of the league looks fairly in line with what you would expect (It has to be said Moyes continues to be proved a very good manager).

I have noticed a lot of fans saying “we are now competing with Liverpool & Spurs” etc. Well on the basis of 19 PL games, 7 months, half a season, we are not even close to competing with them. We are competing with West Brom, Bolton, Wigan at the foot of the table. We shouldn’t go down, as the promoted clubs, and clubs like Sunderland & Blackburn will take the bottom spots, but make no mistake, over a fairly large sample size we are in the 11-16 bracket as nothing more than an average club, the only difference being we have a £120m wage bill, and the best paid manager in the PL on £7m pa.

I hope this opens some fans eyes up to the fact that we may not be able to afford to wait til January/May to evaluate where we are as a club. If we can underperform so enormously for our last 19 games, there’s absolutely no reason we cant do it for the next 19 games, especially when our poor form has seemingly accelerated in the latter half of these games (our last 9 games have been much worse than our first 9/10 in this run).

As an aside, i would comfortably predict no-one in power at the club (IG or SK) actually know these stats or understands the significance of them), if they did I don’t think there would even be a decision to make.

Heres to the forlorn hope that we will see some change and kick on this weekend with a much needed victory.

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107 Responses to “Arsenal: The 19 game analysis”

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  1. IvoryGoonz

    I hope they all do.
    This way you will clearly know who keeps ignoring basic stats.
    Thanks Gambon, good read.

  2. Mark

    Great article. I keep on at people saying that this run is from last season. Everyone forgets that we have only won 3 PL games since February.

    You are completely right – this is not a blip – fundamentally this team is not good enough to compete.

    I keep hearing we will finish 4th. I very much doubt that, I reckon we will do well to finish 10th and your article backs this up.

    The answer, Wenger removed and I would like to see Moyes replace him. The AKB will think otherwise but I really do think this is the only way forward. 1 point from the next 2 games should end Wenger’s tenure at the club

  3. Matt

    Everyone in the world knows these statistics. I would be stunned if IG & SK don’t. As a result it baffles me that IG can come out and publicly say that Wenger’s job is not under threat. Or that Wenger an come out and say he won’t answer questions about defence as he has been a coach for 30 years.

    It’s a horrible situation to watch unfold. It is not ‘bad luck’ but bad management. From everyone. I don’t necessarily want Wenger to go but a new injection of ideas, tactics and personnel has to come from somewhere.

    Good post.

  4. TT

    I very much doupt that Ivan or Kronke are not on top of all the stats that are relevant. It is more likely that they are ready to let things stay as they are as long as the fans keep on lining their pockets and dont make to much noise. Only when we start boycotting games and merchendice will they listen. Writing blog on blog will not make an iota of a difference. Good read though and very interesting stats.

  5. Dove

    Clear and pure fact. On the basis of the last 19 games, we are close to be relegated. Let us see what will happen in the coming games. I think it is now beyond any sort of intervention to think of a top four finish. I am not sure change of manager would do that. The new manager will need time to settle and so on.

    So, let us give the manager this year and by the end of the season, the club will have time to assign someone else.

  6. Hashim

    This stats have rammed home the truth about Wenger. If things don’t improve,even the vote of confidence aint going to save him.He has only himself to blame.
    He must have a change of philosophy. Otherwise the risk of the sack will increase unless he can start winning.

  7. The Noise

    Fantastic work lads and finally something to ram down the throat of the dying breed known as the AKB!

    Cracks me up how that fucking snake Gazidas can come out and dismiss sacking a manager that’s been in charge for the worst run in 50 years, the worst defeat in 96 years, first team in top flight history to through away a 4 goal lead, losing a cup final to a now relegated team, losing your 2 best players at the 11th hour and now currently sitting 17th in the league!

    If all that doesn’t at least warrant a ticking off, then there is something SERIOUSLY fucking wrong with our club!

  8. JonAS

    Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.
    Winston Churchill

    You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.
    Winston Churchill

  9. TT

    By the way have the traveling fans to Blackburn been offered a refund? After that capitulation they should be reinburst, maybe Kozzer and Song could refund some of it with the Manager picking up the tap for the rest…..

  10. henry

    So the truth will hurt those in Arsene we trust. We still have seven to eight months to go .Wenger has a limited time frame.Hopefully he can bring the gunners and in January and embark on a transfer to get the top quality players who will make a difference.
    He also has to adapt tactically and make the gunners less predictable.Failure not an option and will be an earth shaking event.

  11. buchi

    We have a manager who suffers from tunnel vision.For all those 19 games we have largely played the same formation home and away.
    No ideas!!!Spurs played 2 in attack against liverpool at home.
    Use your brains Arsene and earn your salary!!!!!

  12. Mark

    Yes sherlock,

    you have sold the problems. you are much better at running a club than all of those paid to do the job.

    I hate both sides of No and Yes with Arsenal right now.

    We are in a f£££g mess and it does not matter how much we hate it but the management including the board will be there.

    AKB and AKA(Arsene Killing Arsenal) must unite and stop the abusive language that has been prominent here.

    we have 2 choices here:

    1. Accept the situation and support the team

    2. Gather a force and demand a change in a show of force together with fans from other sites.

    anything other than that is just pure show of “I told you so” and “I predicted this and that”

  13. A(D)KB

    Well done Gambon excellent work sadly the work by the Board and Management falls well short of your efforts.

    I am hoping for the weirdest Birthday present I have ever wished for in 56 years – Spuds to spank us on my birthday and for AW to do the honourable thing and to resign. Since supporting Arsenal in 1964 I have always wanted us to spank spuds but AW has caused such anger and frustration wit his continuous spin/lies that I now for one day only hope spuds win.

  14. Thomas. it's up for grabs now...

    I keep pointing out to people that the overall spend should be taken in context of transfer fees and salaries… It is shown that way in the annual account.

    Someone pointed out to me that Sunderland spent more than us in the league on players.. When I mentioned that we spent 110m and they spent 46.6m in 2010 on wages he just murmered something incomprehensible.. that’s almost 65m more in one season.. One season.. that adds up over 4-5 seasons! and actually puts Arsenal at the very top of the spending league. (Top 4). So I keep saying finishing 4th is not an achievement compared to spend on players.. rather it is achieving the ‘expected’ or the minimum requirement.

    Arsenal have pretty much ‘cornered’ the Market in attracting the bright young talent… (and to be fair, they are bright young talent when we get them) Oxo, Theo, Ramsey etc.. we get them in cheap but on a good salary.. yep, I know how much Oxo cost! Story has it only the salary attracted Ramsey to us against Man U.

    So, we have actually cornered let’s say one segment of the player market.. Young players are also ‘advised’ to come to us because of the potential for them to get game time much quicker than at other clubs and thereby increase their value and earning power. It is often described as ‘their development under Arsene Wenger’ by their advisors.. but it also translates to future wealth for the player. It is in the young players best interest. Do you think Theo would be getting as much game time now if he went to Utd and failed to produce week-in week-out? Sporadic good performances don’t cut it at top clubs..

    Good post Gambon and I’m glad to see this aspect of our spending highlighted. Fact is we are way ahead of the clubs we are often compared to in player spending.. We have almost double the spending of the spuds on salaries.. Double! Now who is over-achieving?

  15. wattsy65

    Good morning Pedro and all Grovers, what you have put together here will doubtless attract it’s critics, but as a snapshot it highlights what must surely be the majorities view on the running of Arsenal.Like you I’m no lover of Wenger, and find it increasingly difficult to understand why he still attracts the support of many fans and so called experts in the press and media.What he achieved in past is no longer a viable argument for him staying in office, the last 5 years has seen a relentless downward spiral in our fortunes, and there is, in my opinion only one person to blame for this. On a regular basis we have ex players and football pundits
    saying sacking Wenger is not the solution, I wonder if they would be saying this if for example it was Fulham or Bolton in the frame, I suspect not.
    There is strong evidence to suggest that Arsenal will not be capable of fighting for a trophy of any sort for the forseable future, so if not Wenger, who or what is to blame. In all other business spheres he would have been sacked several years ago, never has a man lasted so long on his past performances, it’s incredible.
    My prediction is that our club will not come close to any success for the remaining period of Wengers term in office, which is potentially some years ahead, this is depressing in the extreme. There are only two courses of action which will change this, one of course is for Wenger to resign and or be sacked, I would accept either, or for him to admit he path is wrong, and to accept help and advisement, and we know how unlikely that is. He does not think we need a defensive coach, yet week after week he watches the pathetic attempts of our back four to get even the basics right, has his 32 years of coaching taught him nothing?
    Wenger has moved us forward in many ways, some wonderful teams, and a superb stadium,but it’s all history now, and time for a new man to take us forward. All dictators fall in the end, mostly in a bloody fashion, Wenger can save himself from that fate, but if not a bloody coup will surely happen.

  16. Mark_

    Yes sherlock,

    you have sold the problems. you are much better at running a club than all of those paid to do the job.

    I hate both sides of No and Yes with Arsenal right now.

    We are in a f£££g mess and it does not matter how much we hate it but the management including the board will be there.

    AKB and AKA(Arsene Killing Arsenal) must unite and stop the abusive language that has been prominent here.

    we have 2 choices here:

    1. Accept the situation and support the team

    2. Gather a force and demand a change in a show of force together with fans from other sites.

    anything other than that is just pure show of “I told you so” and “I predicted this and that”

  17. Old French Lover

    I am ready to leave the club. I don’t want to watch or put up with this rubbish. In particular, players dawdling about as though it is a training run. When the team plays in 5th gear they beat Barca, Manure and Chelski. But they always wnat to play in 2nd gear and lose to Newcastle and Bolton. The same old lies from Wenger. Stop lying to the fans abut mental strength. Yes Arsenal have been great under AW so I will give him this last chance. Or I may as well follow Swansea to see fantasy football.

    The team should be:






    The way Arsenal play this has to be the only system other than trying to play Wenger’s way of 5-5. Where everyone is a midfielder.

    This allows for the triangles to happen on the edge of the box as teams park the bus. This was the way the Invincibles.

    RvP. Is he really a centre forward – lone striker? He should play on the wing. The first ever cross (to Chamakh) I have ever seen from an Arsenal team that did not go into the car park.

    Theo. One-trick-pony. A stupid buy. (Park, RYO, Vela can easily do his job)

    Arshavin. Small, weak and slow. One hit wonder. A stupid buy. (Park, RYO, Vela can easily do his job)

    Diaby. Good for beach football only. A stupid buy. Although good practise for the medical staff.

    Ramsay. Another side-ways Denilson.

    Rosicky. Like Benayoun. A fragile Stradivarius. Fly-weight division.

    The Defenders. The lights are on but there is nobody home.

    Viera, Henry, Pires etc were lucky buys and they only come around once in a lifetime. That house was built on solid foundations.

    AW deserves to be given a chance. He has earned it. I trust things will change but let’s be prepared to see how much damage is done in the mean-time though.

    Maybe the time is right for the Old French Lover to leave. Some luscious kissing and beautiful foreplay but no penetration. Au Revoir.

    Time for some weight to thrust ratios…

  18. faiz

    umm…this is not some ground-breaking sh!t. We have been terrible in the last 7 pet dog knows about that. All you done was come up with a fancy way of telling us old news. What a waste. Not an ”AKB”, in fact I hope we get rid of him if we can get someone like Klopp in but to suggest we are now competing with Wigan and West Brom is nothing less than idiotic.

  19. Goonerfied85

    Great stuff Gambon.

    F ing love that.

    Them stats are hard to argue with.

    I know then run stretches further but I have hear we have only taken 15 points from our last 16 games truly shocking,

  20. Thomas. it's up for grabs now...

    And to those who complain about.. ‘stats’…. when… you offer ‘an opinion’ you are told to STFU because you are anti-Wenger… or just a bad news merchant… Now when stats are offered they are said to be manipulative! Works both ways.. iF someone says well we finished 4th.. is that not a ‘stat’ also?

  21. The Prophet

    Gambon, sir, you have scared the shit out of me! I’m no AKB, but I never knew it was this bad!!
    Our board needs to man up and shape up or ship out.
    My goodness, this is rather dreadful!

  22. Goonerfied85


    I don’t agree with what Wenger is doing & frankly can’t stand him as a manager any more, but I completely agree with you we should not be shooting down other gooners.

    If someone wants to fight the rights of Wenger let them but don’t call them c**ts for doing so. I would not expect to be called one for saying Wenger should go as he is past his best for us now.

    Completely agree us gooners need to get together & get behind the team now as we are in this current sittuation for thr foreseeable future.

  23. Alex

    Great job man, thats interesting stuff and its not going to be dramatically better because of his stupid stubborness. Im not calling for his head only for now if this is not going to change there is no other way to sack him.
    07/08 31 goals conceded in 38 games, ratio at 0,82
    08/09 37 goals conceded in 38 games, ratio at 0,97
    09/10 41 goals conceded in 38 games, ratio at 1,08
    10/11 43 goals conceded in 38 games, ratio at 1,13
    11/12 14 goals conceded in 5 games, ratio at 2,8
    Thats even we signed some top class defenders like squillaci. He is just greedy and what barcelona done to us with fabregas he wanted to make it to bolton by offering 6mln for cahill its laughable like 29mln for fabregas. about 50mln still in the bank because we dont have to spend it because they didnt rectified better players then the ones that are currently at the club surely we have only world class players. this thing with wages is just hilarious he is moaning about it while he gets more then anyone, what for? not to mention players like denilson, bendtner, almunia and squillaci who earn high wages too. Contract situation with nasri wasnt solved and we had to sell, anyone dreaming about that were going to sign new ones with Van Persie, Walcott and Song? yeah of course we do!
    Hes done great things for the club and were thankfull for that but long time ago, we are in decline just read the numbers.

  24. charliegeorge

    Is it just me or is the Yank sounding eerily more like AW every time he opens his mouth?

    Arsenal Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis insists Wenger will stay “When it goes well we must not completely believe what people say – and when it does not go as well, we must not completely believe it.”

    Absolutely uncanny!!

  25. pharo9ja

    and that gambon, is a post worth commenting on. I dare say u knw ur onions bt of more importance is the poser of how we can get these stats sent to the people that need to be looking and digesting it. I fear for this glorious institution. Good work g-man.
    PS: wonder what was edited at the end. Just looking back, can wenger come close to wining the PL as he did with the 07/08

  26. Honest Bill

    The wage bill differential bit is a hell of a stretch, and yet so typical of Gambon to be posting the most inane stats ever to be illustrating his point.. How come you didn’t factor in average league position over the entire 19 game sample size? either all 19 games are important, or only the last 5 are, you can’t have it both ways.

    The rest however, i totally agree with. This is an unacceptable downward spiral,and big clubs do not display this kind of form. They also do not persist with fielding players who don’t cut the mustard.. They also don’t sell their best players and still pretend they are a big club (and that last bit was not even my assessment, apparently Arsene agrees with that)

    And what the hell was with Djourou getting the captain’s armband during such a poor run of form?

    What kind of message does that send out? I appreciate that it is essentially just a piece of material and does not in itself effect actual leadership on the pitch, but one cannot overlook the impportance that it has symbolically and psychologically on a player. Who probably felt quite patronised, i know i would have.

    The captain’s armband should have been given to one of the experien….. oh wait, that’s the problem isn’t it? Only one veteran player in there and he is brand new to the club.

    The truth is, we have continued with the trend of playing inexperienced players in key ares of the field, and expecting them to magically come of age without the proper help or guidance necessary. This in turn gives the player’s confidence a knock, thus commences the downward spiral.

    Arsene has famously said, that he doesn’t want to buy ready-made players as it will kill the careers of the young up-coming players.. I say that’s absolute nonsense.. Not buying them is killing their careers, as they are shoved in at the deep end and then given the captaincy and told ‘It’s all down to you’ Of course they are fucking making mistakes.

    What was wrong with the old system where players got through if they were good enough, and not before?

    If you lower the bar, don’t be surprised at the inevitable decline.

  27. Murt

    Why use 19 games? Oh because thats near our Birminham loss last year, that equals a story. If you wuld take, all games since christmas last year, all stats would be different. But hey, then Arsenal would not look crap like you want it to. Its clear to all we suck right now, but this is as close to maniupulating nubers without calling it manipulating. I dont disagree with the numers, they are probably right, but they are conveniently selected to get the bad result the writer desperatly wants and that is to put Arsenal in a negative light (especially with the spending table).

  28. charliegeorge

    Hugely insightful read, gambon. Those statistics are actually quite shocking.

    Here’s wishing someone might send a copy to the Yank and his bumboy. Not that it would make a difference. Down at Arsenal, it’s a classic case of the blind leading the blind. AW would have to murder somone before he were removed.


  29. pezman33

    we are top of the league though in mental spirit and toughness over the last 19 games though! we have reached a point where if we dont get top 4 i actually doubt we can afford to sack wenger, so the question should be raised does he actually want to be competitive???

  30. charliegeorge

    Come on guys. gambon is pointing towards the TREND. And the trend is absolutely, undeniably frightening. We are a weaker team than last year, so expect those results to trend as they have been.

  31. telarse

    Luckily the tables above don’t matter a fuck and I’ll judge him in May…and maybe December..possibly in January transfer window too…actually it’ll probably be a rolling judgement based on results, performances, purchases, sales and all the usual stuff but not the tables above.
    Stats are there to juggle and cherrypick from to suit your mood and that of your audience so well done.
    I’m happy after the result on Tuesday (maybe I should draw up tables based on all performances from 7pm – 10pm on Tuesday past!!!!), I’ll be depressed if we don’t get one on Saturday and the rollercoaster may well continue but I’ll wait and see.

    Uh Oh…I think I may have an opinion of my own…RELEASE THE HOUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Philbet

    LoL an the ‘anti Wenger’ mob on here, The reason your argument is so hollow is you never put up a viable alternative, you just want change for changes sake,it always ‘Wenger out’ you can and will not ever agree on who to put ‘in’
    Its easy saying sack the manager but he has to be replaced and we all know all the moaners will still be on here moaning about who gets the job, I can still see the ‘rhetoric’ reused from the Graham/Rioch era, whoever come in will not be good enough for you lot and the AKB lot all no it, so write something constructive and show you support the club for a change….

  33. northern Gooner

    isn’t your analysis based on the end of last season and the start of this; that is not half a season, it’s the part of two seasons. And if I rememer right we beat both Liverpool and Spuds last year and the season before, and before, and before…

    But I do agree – the trend you show is worrying

  34. Geoff

    Philbet don’t mix up anti Wenger with pro Arsenal, you are in denial

    Wenger loves stats, he wouldn’t like those those would he?

  35. Northern Gooner

    This is absolutley spot on and I for one can not see it changing anytime soon. Every game for us is now a cup final and the team is weak in pretty much all areas with no one prepared to take responsibility for the mess there is no Plan B and Wenger is now blaming the players !! someone buy him a fuckin mirror !! You have to feel sorry for chezza in all this its like he is a one man defence !!! Needs fuckin sorting out and very quickly !! THIS HAS BEEN COMING FOR A LONG TIME WHY THE HELL HAS IT NOT BEEN ADDRESSED

  36. gambon

    Honest Bill

    What on earth are you talking about?

    Over 19 games we are 14th out of 17. If i get killed tomorrow I could say that in the last 365 days ive been alive for 364, im still dead though so it doesnt help.

    Im highlighting that we are in real trouble. You think a team that picks up 23 points in half a season is gonna get the 70 points required to finish top 4? Tell you what, bury your head back in arsenes arse, sorry I mean sand.


    no we didnt beat Liverpool last year, or spurs (bar the CC which means little)

  37. TaeLuvTW14

    Some analysis you have there!!! So where does it lead us? Sack Wenger? and replaced by whom? Then we start your 19 games analysis all over again. Then we get some excuses like the Manager is new, he has to blend with the players, he has to instill his style of play to the players etc. All this will not solve our problem at a go, just as you think our present problem wont go away at a go. All we need do now as a fan is to keep supporting this team, and I am sure they will get it right.

  38. northern Gooner

    I just want to clarify that Northern Gooner 9:12 is not the same northern Gooner as northern Gooner 9:06. There is aparantly two from the north now…

  39. pharo9ja

    and that gambon(u cunt), is a post worth commenting on. I dare say u knw ur onions bt of more importance is the poser of how we can get these stats sent to the people that need to be looking and digesting it. I fear for this glorious institution. Good work g-man.
    PS: wonder what was edited at the end. Just looking back, can wenger come close to wining the PL as he did with the 07/08

  40. Alexander

    This is half a season. It doesn’t matter if it’s half and half. In fact, it’s probably better because we still had Cesc and Samir for most of these games, and we certainly haven’t replaced their quality.
    Looks like Moyes would be even better than I first thought!
    Wengers job is safe… What about if we finish 14th Ivan?

  41. chris

    I liked this post very much – thanks, Gambon

    I also thought it benefited massively from not being a personal attack on Wenger.

    I absolutely agree that form from the previous year is a strong identifier of form for the following year (and that goal difference is a strong indicator of overall quality of a team).

    As to positive points that might turn things around, we’re left with:
    Wilshere is coming back soon
    Thomas Vermaelen ditto
    The new guys, especially Mertesacker will hopefully settle in and improve the defence
    Alex O-C may turn out to be the real deal and busrt onto the scene
    Competition from Coquelin and Frimpong may improve the DM position and maybe open the door to playing 2 DMs as a way to improve the defence

    None of it is shouting Top 4 unfortunately, though.

  42. Honest Bill

    gambon, so if previous form doesn’t help, then why not go from the point you died and just talk about the last game we played at Blackburn?

    It’s yet another classic example of you using inane stats to back-up which was actually a decent point.. If your hatred for Arsene didn’t cloud your mind so much, you might have read on and seen that i actually agree with your post on the whole, and the nature of it was spot on, i agree that the good games from last season aren’t really relevant, but guess what, neither are the bad ones.

    This is why football gets divided into seasons. The only results that are actually relevant, are the last 5, because they are the only ones that can impact us now, and truthfully, they are shocking, and yes we are on an atrocious run of form.

    Seriously, you were actually doing quite well, until you pulled out that ridiculous and irrelevant wage differential thing, there is only 1 day in the season where position actually counts for anything, and that’s right at the last day.. You’re always looking for stats to back-up your argument rather than basing your arguments around the stats.

    Even if your argument is right in this case, which is that we are playing pathetically, and it isn’t just a blip, but a continuation of poor form which has stretched back since last season

  43. sarge

    Dave T – No its not. It’s an objective fact based assessment that supports the subjective and emotive view of our club’s performance over a sustained period. Put another way, during this calendar year, we have won less than 20% of our league games. If you can find something positive or constructive be my guest

    That kind of performance in any other walk of life would start alarm bells ringing and call for some action. Not our club, it continues to naval gaze, recognises the symptoms but fails to prescribe the right remedy. To continue blindly in the hope that we might turn the corner is total negligence.

    Wenger may not be a broken man, but he’s hardly the epitome of success either.

  44. pharo9ja

    I’m also a victim of “post- editing”,gambon! Pedro is making me out to be ur blog b***h. I actually threw in the “c” explective which he removed,but every other word in me comment is original. Informative post right there. Its a pity that alot of the fans cant quite grasp reality. WTF am I saying, we seem to have majority Ghadafi mindsets in the fan base!

  45. Victor

    I disagreed with the findings as its bias. The result will be very different if you dont take last 19 matches as your starting point. One can argue, why not take the whole of last 6 yrs matches that was played etc. Never ending argument isnt it?

    Having said that, Wenger must go for he has delivered nothing in the past 6 yrs and his project youth is a complete failure. But try telling that to profit driven Silent Stan. The last person he would want to get rid of is Wenger for he is perhaps the only manager in the world that can generate profits for the owner. Ask yourself….will u sack Wenger if you are silent stan?

  46. Phantom Gunner

    Excellent post Gambon and very worrying. We’ll struggle to finish in the top half this season and I can’t see any big name players wanting to join us in January. Let’s hope the board has a moment of clarity and gets rid of Wenger in the summer. Bring in someone who understands that defending is important and can lure the target players we deserve to see at Arsenal!

  47. Victor

    Wenger is no fool…he is masking his inability to deliver silverware by delivering profit for owners so that the owners will find it extremely difficult to give him the boot. At the end of the day, You dont kill your golden goose. Wenger is one fat golden goose who will dilligently lay golden eggs for Silent Stan. Fark it. The more I write, the angrier I get.

  48. timao

    what is the point of this article, who can possibly not be aware of our run of terrible results stretching back to the CC final? you really believe that the MD and chairman don’t know this though. it shows just how deluded you have become.

    but you could also have mentioned the refereeing analysis that shows many of those results last season were unfair and that with half-decent/honest officials we would have finished 2nd not fourth. and how this trend continued with the Newcastle game in which we were denied a clear penalty and suffered red card instead.

    it has been a tough summer, losing two key players and with wholesale changes in the squad so it really doesn’t make sense, statistically, to lump these 19 games together either.

    defensive lapses this season are a concern no doubt about that. we can only hope that mertesacker, santos, jenkinson, will soon get it together and we can start defending as a unit. djourou is not good enough and i think his carling cup selection and subsequent performance means wenger finally realises this.

  49. Danish Gooner

    As i have mentioned before Arsenal wil struggle in every single game to secure a win,gone are the days where we are 3 up at the break and cruising.It didnt matter that we signed Merte he has been turned in to a dud in professeur Wengers zonal disaster defending experiment

  50. Wolfggang

    To any neutral,this analysis is spot on.The performnces of the team been dissected and it is without doubt a reality check.Wenger may sound defiant but surely he can’t gloss over the fact that the gunners have been underperforming and his management poor.
    Assuming he survives until Jan,don’t be surprised he finally goes on a tranfer plunge unseen of for years.Btw if there is no movement it could be finally the board may have decided to move him upstairs.

  51. observer

    Which fool on earth will need anything more to be convinced that we need(ed) changing our Manager and Coach!!

    What is the problem? Doesn’t Arsenal have better options? Or is it plain indifference?

  52. Tasos

    Lies, damn lies and stats.

    I don’t deny its a poor run of form from the club and the tables you have complied concerning goals conceded and league position are a cause for worry, however it is flawed by the fact we recently beat the newly promoted Swansea City and therefore not an exact analysis of recent form.

    I must also take you to task on the wages spent v position table.

    Each club will release its annual wage bill around April/May of that year. What relevance can this have in your analysis for the last 19/20 League games. An error of massive proportions when you take into account the likes of Arsenals top earner, Cesc Fabregas has been taken off the clubs wage bill and others added, plus have you considered all the comings and goings of the other 16 clubs and how that has effected their finances and thus position in your table?

    Nonetheless I do appreciate your work but I believe it fails to unearth any ground breaking scientific analysis.

    Not for the first time under Wenger’s reign, we are in a transitional period, results are not what they should be but years of history dictates that our recent poor form is only temporary.

    BTW I’m not sure where this US V’s THEM culture amongst Arsenal fans came from. We are all following the same team.
    Why the division?

  53. singaporeangooner

    Dude, I would only agree with you here if this performance of ours continues for the next 3 months.

    And let me tell you that the goals conceded and the goal of difference of Arsenal, barring the 8 goals against ManU and the 4 goals against Blackburn would have put us in the 6th position on the league tables for goals conceded and goal difference respectively.

    I still believe we have a quality managers who knows Arsenal to their roots, and regarding conceding goals, a goalkeeper who is on course to becoming the best in the premier league and Mertesacker (who’s just 3 games old) and Vermaelen (let him come back). All this is because of Wenger….

    Have faith Gooners!!

  54. finestcuts

    Great stats compilation Gambon, and great nitpicking Tasos, they give a broad general picture.

    In summary, we’re inefficiently allocating our wage resources. We have too many players paid on potential rather than on merit which is unacceptable, Arsenal need to get more bang for their buck, something that SK should understand and deal with ASAP.

    I don’t want the club to lose it’s Champions League status, I love the creme de la creme of European football and want Arsenal to be involved and our defence is awful by Premier League standards, which is the yardstick that Arsenal need to be measuring themselves by.

    I don’t agree with the clubs’ policy of getting value at the expense of giving half of our new first team a pre-season. “Footbalistically” this is a major faux pas and should never be allowed to happen again. I do believe we’ll improve, I just hope we won’t have too many more Guantanamo style, playing Rock and Roll at full blast at 2am style upsets before we get into shape. 3 red cards in a row to start off with, 2 own goals last week…….even at conference level this would be a major cause for concern. The only acceptable response is to sort it out now.

  55. Ibby

    I have fucking had enough. Lets protest. This is a jack, inflated prices, so we pay out, the club goes down the toilet, and the board line thier pockets. Fuck this.

  56. gary

    Them stats are worrying as this is on our current form but also a point which is fact is that AW was asked by the board to balance the books for at least 3 years after moving to Emirates ..In the words of david dein(That means a net spending of roughly zero) so in that respect i think he over achieved by getting us to 4th..Any one who thinks a new manager is going to get us higher than 4th is not true..The money them 3 can spend on transfers and wages means we aint getting them top top players anymore..may be the odd 1 or 2 (And no i’m not this akb bollocks, i believe he’s made quite a few mistakes)

  57. Tasos


    Are we inefficiently allocating our wages?

    Last season Arsenal were the 5th highest in terms of wages.
    With £110m and not £120m spent on annual wages as Gambon suggests.
    Still this hefty amount falls behind the usual suspects, Chelsea, City, Utd and surprisingly Liverpool.

    So you could say the club overachieved by finishing 4th last season or did it reach its true financial position, potentially?

    In general Gambon has produced a decent article here. If I find some of it factually incorrect then excuse Me for daring to address it.

  58. victor

    In this day and age ,no one not even the red faced ,I repeat not even the red faced ,is indispensable.You are judged on results ,results,and results alone. Fans and the club bosses don’t bother if you win.How you win is not important.. The latest is the Inter boss has been sacked because he aint winning that btw is just five matches into the season.
    Wenger faces an uphill battle to bring the gunners up. It’s obvious his style of s occer aint working and he must embrace changes to give them another shot.If not and the gunners continue to misfire and lose ,he will fade into the background.
    This is the stark reality facing him.If he thinks he is doing nothing wrong,he is deluding himself.The best way for him to get the critics eat their words is by starting along winning run. It’e easier said than done but nothing is impossible but the axe is poised if he fails to galvanize the gunners.r

  59. G_AFC

    Gambon great post great stats.Send this directly to gazidis.You never know he just might give you a job.
    Seriously those stats are an eye opener.How no one at the club has done the research you have done is beyond me.I’m sure if AW saw them he would be horrified.But then again as long as they make enough money out of transfers etc do they really care.I’m wondering if the board actually have any passion for our beloved arsenal.

  60. Othello

    stupid an boring post, and wrong stats as well.

    Gambon, I m sure you want to cause more damage to Arsenal as you are clearly an ManU fan.

    Le Grove, you are dissapointing.

  61. bade the gooner (bernard)


    great effort, great piece mate

    when you put it this way it is even more astonishing than i thought it firstly…..

    you’r not an arsene fan, great. you’r an arsenal fan, we all supposed to be an arsenal fans….

    ps, see gambony, you can be very informative and substantial, and no bad word on all of it!

  62. Phil

    Very good post Gambon, and when coupled with the stats provided by Alex @8.41, proves Impossible to ignore.
    We are leaking goals at an alarming rate, and until that’s resolved we will continue to slide down the ladder into an abyss that will take years to recover from.

  63. Northern Gooner

    This board’s only passion is for cash !! why else would they accept comments like finishing fourth is a TROPHY !! and price rises are totally justied it’s a complete joke !!

  64. Thomas. it's up for grabs now...

    Tasos says:
    September 22, 2011 at 12:29

    Are we inefficiently allocating our wages?

    Last season Arsenal were the 5th highest in terms of wages.
    With £110m and not £120m spent on annual wages as Gambon suggests.
    Still this hefty amount falls behind the usual suspects, Chelsea, City, Utd and surprisingly Liverpool.

    I see what you mean.. but the 110m figure quoted in that article is actually from the previous season.. 2009-2010. The accounts for last years.. season 2010-2011 have not actually been released yet. I would think the 120m is actually a fair figure.. I certainly don’t expect a decrease. The last published accounts mention future upward pressure on player wages. So I expect the accounts for last year to show an increase on this 110m.

    The accounts for last year.. (to May 11) have yet to be released. They are expected any day now..

    And what of Man U winning the title in front of Chelsea & City? Overachieving?

  65. Waldo

    Interesting but… Do the numbers include transfer fees and do the account for profits from selling? If not then which wage structure is he using? Post summer profit then panic sell/buying? Or end of last year wages? What is the numbers is you deduct the last day panic buys?

    Also, does Wenger get profit sharing which could motivate him to continuously buy teenagers?

  66. Stephen Walnuts

    Splendid piece of work Mr Gambon and thanks for enlightening us all with your efforts.

    Unfortunately the nature of statistics allows for them to read and be interpreted a number of different ways. Just look at how all our corrupt politicians continually argue the toss over the same sets of figures for unemployment, GDP, taxation etc etc. We’ve all heard Wenger quoting a variety of stats in such a way that makes him look good or right and i’m sure he would do the same with these.

    However the results we’ve had over the last 19 games are absolute FACT and cannot be disputed regardless of how much possession we had, or how many chances we created or indeed how many times Koscielny tripped over his two left feet. The point is, we are in the brown stuff and posts like yours only serve to highlight just how serious this has become.


  67. Clive Hill

    I’m shocked by the blind faith shown by some here. Along with the nit-picking. We know we’ve been in decline for years and the rot that set in since the CC Final is only an extreme example of what has happened for the past four years. The stats compiled bring that into sharp relief. (Has anyone thanked the people who use their spare time to put this all together!?)

    “Give Wenger time; he’s earned it; all he’s done for the club. A few more buys in January and he’ll set the ship straight”. Really…do you all really think that!? Or just believe that? The character and confidence of the squad is shot through. Defence is a team job (look at Barca) and its been ignored. Remember when we used to fight like ferrets to get the ball back. We’ve invested years in small, listless players not suited to the English ga…No, not suited to making a full team. I was disgusted to see that useless idiot wearing the captain’s armband Tuesday. But who else is there? And therein lies our problem. OC was brilliant but I hope the considered opinion isn’t that he’ll be able to do that to international class defenders. Once again, we’re likely to wet our collective knickers over a player with tons of potential and claim that we are the way forward. Arsne knows best after all. Give me a break.

    And all those who say we just moan and bleat “manager out”, without any idea as to a replacement. Off the top of my head: Hiddink, Vaan Gaal; Moyes; Mourinho. Not the most imaginative list but its a start. Porto don’t seem to have any problems hiring diamonds in the rough. We’ve done it once. Then again I’m not sure the buffons in control now could pull-off a similar masterstroke. Bring back Dein anyone?

    Wenger will not change effectively. He wasn’t going to buy a CB before Vermaelen got injured and the transfers that were made were foisted on him. His only personal victory now would be able to say “I told you so.” That’s what he’s fixated on. Do we really want to wait around for him to never be able to say that?

  68. solid liquid

    Good bit of homework from mr gambon!
    I’d luv to put these stats in front of wenger and see what he’d have to say..probably a whole bunch of excuses as per usual. NOT having it mate..your time is up….
    I mean..the tables are enlightening but not surprising really..we all know we’ve been shit since february. The last table (salary/position) is the most significant for me…mr wenger really does know how to run a club into the ground huh?! During the shrewsbury game the other day the fans were singing his name…are they madd or what! What will it take to make ALL the fans see were going downhill and need a change…like now o’clock.
    How people think we wont/cant go down is beyond me,our form is relegation form and once your in the mix..your in the mix.
    Arsene has to come to a mutual agreement with the board and walk away whilst we can still be saved..’Cos the board will never sack the feeling (especially after hearing ivan gazidis the other day) that they got a little clique up there…bunch of snobs!

  69. BacaryisGod

    What’s so annoying about this (other than giving a larger platform do the most abusive and hostile fan) is that it’s completely irrelevant. If we had exactly the same squad and exactly the same opponents as last season, it would be relevant.

    Wake up. We’re in a new season and are off to a dreadful start. However, we have had massive changes and so we need to see how they pan out.

    The only true half-season sample that matters is where we are after 19 games this season. I guarantee you that you’ll be looking at an entirely different set of statistics 14 games from now.

  70. BacaryisGod

    One other thing Gambon. You can’t have it both ways. You and others have been screaming for wholesale changes. Now that they have happened, you want to focus largely on the last 14 games of the previous season. What a joke.

  71. victor

    Arsenal can win provided they don’t waste time e build up to the final third.And the defence is a team effort. All players must help.If youlook how other teams play against the top teams,they hound the latter’s players with the ball. Then theseguys won’t have time and space.In mho that’s how the lowly unnnerve the big guns.
    Losing against Bolton is not an option.But Wenger must not and should not play kami kaze style like he did agaginst MU and Chelsea.Losing to Boton would be disastrous and would trigger more fans to ask for Wenger’s .