Sh*te data and straw men

by .

I am BACK in New York after spending some time in the very beautiful Savannah. I highly recommend if you are ever in Georgia, what a place.

Back home, I was again pondering the weirdness of the criticism that continues to rumble around the new regime. It doesn’t come from serious people, but it is always shocking to me how fucking atrocious internetters are when they’re let loose with bad data.

Comparing Unai Emery to Mikel Arteta is, firstly, a very dumb proposition barely 11 games into his tenure. It’s so dumb, Liverpool fans actually did it when Jurgen Klopp took over from Brendy and started a #KloppOut campaign off the back of it.

This tells you two things.

1. Don’t replicate Liverpool fan behaviour
2. Don’t play the data game unless you are really fucking sure you have a robust argument.

Here is the math for the Spurs fans that were up in your Whatsapp groups with the ‘analysis’ of Arteta courtesy of Champagne Charlie in the comments.

You’re comparing Emery’s point average in a 13 game sample to Arteta’s 8 games. Won’t bother rehashing the old ‘sample argument’ that was brought front and centre with the embarrassing xGA stats previous, will just illustrate with the following:

11 points in 8 games = 1.38
We win our next game = 1.56
We win the game after that = 1.7

The state of trying to pull trends in data with fluctuations like this 😂😂

Also, just like to remind you that Emery was operating with 12 months in the job and 150 mil of talent to supplement HIS football ideology. Mikel Arteta by contrast is picking up pieces mid season.

Another swing, another glaring miss.

Data points you ‘should‘ probably like.

We’ve kept 3 clean sheets on the bounce, 5 in 11 (with two games that we went down to 10 men) with a hodgepodge of teenagers, players we thought were dusted, and plenty of non-defenders mucking in. We can celebrate that. So when certain types say ‘I don’t see an improvement’ ask them if they ever felt like they were watching a team that was tough to break down under Emery, or if they ever felt like they were witnessing something even close to competency when it came to Arsenal defending.

You might also ask who the only team in Europe is to be undefeated in 2020? It’d be Arsenal. Again, not a totally electric statistic because we’ve drawn a lot of games, but when you add in further context, like, say, ‘Emery oversaw our worst start in 30 years and Arteta started in late December’, it starts to feel saucier. Low Scoble rating for sure, but we’re definitely spicier than a Heinz Ketchup at the moment.

Sure, there are lots of things we’d all like to see improve. We’re still making mistakes in dangerous places, our attack is hardly Liverpool fluid, but if you are out here complaining we’re not champions elect form at the moment, you’re a fucking idiot. I’m really sorry to be so blunt, but I absolutely mean it. That Liverpool thing didn’t happen overnight, I can assure you.

Additional areas of improvement to point towards.

You might not like Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil or Luiz… but you cannot argue their performances have dramatically improved. Shkodran Baresi looked like he’d rather snort a Wuhan sneeze than play a few weeks ago, now he’s operating at a very, very good level of football. Granit Xhaka keeps getting better, I’ve been a vocal anti-advocate of him, I called him a mistake terrorist, but he’s doing well. David Luiz looks reborn, a frizzy-haired warrior. Mesut Ozil is slowly but surely feeling his way back into elite-level football. It’s not a longterm solution, but however you chop it up, players that were once deemed bin-worthy are now delivering hardworking performances. Even players we liked but thought were ill-suited are upping their levels… remember when we assumed Torreira was too small to hack it in the league? That Dani Ceballos was a write-off because his hair was too neat for the UK? It’s great that these players are showing their true colours now they are motivated and fired up about the vision.

‘The Uncoachables’ was such a ridiculous excuse, cooked up by the Emeryista, who still weirdly fetishise a manager about as sexy as a septic cock ring. No elite-level player is uncoachable. Sam Allardyce has made a living training bags of rotten potatoes to keep clean sheets. Hardly a shock that Arteta can make World Cup winners look a little better.

Finally, the kids. You can’t knock ’em. They are stepping up to the plate, learning hard lessons, and rarely hiding. To repeat, Ceballos looks like he might have a future, Guendouzi is a mess but he’s learning from someone that won’t tolerate his drama, Saka looks absolutely elite, Gabriel is inconsistent but taking praise from nobodies like Ronaldinho, and the others are showing they have teeth. Not perfect, but at least they are getting game time and a proper chance under a proper coach.

Moaning we’re not he complete package is such a base strawman argument. No one ever thought we’d be where we needed to be in 2 months. However, we’re starting to get better results, we’re hard to beat, and we’re slowly but surely finding our way in attack. We’re doing all of this without a proper preseason. We were in a process under Emery that wasn’t ever leading to a better Arsenal. That has all changed. Under Arteta it’ll be bumpy, but we’re heading in a direction that’ll take us places. We will need a good summer, lots of hard work, and a good start in August, but I don’t think we’ll be making excuses in May 2021. Unless we fail, then I’ll be blaming hair pills and dry grass for our problems.

Anyway, let’s keep it positive.

We have a chance to show our mettle at home against an Everton side that will give us a very good game at the weekend. Carlo has his players focused, better structured, with bit more bite to their game. He’ll be desperate for the win this weekend, but so will Arsenal. Our club needs momentum, win that game and the next 8 look far more attractive, drop points and it’ll feel like a miserable step back.

I’m still looking for more fluidity in attack. I don’t think we’ve cracked it by a margin, but at this point, I think it’s more about repetition and muscle memory than anything else (with this squad). We need a few sexy goals and a real ‘wow, this is the future’ performance to start the ball rolling there. A simple improvement would be finding the target a little more often. I think the type of chance we’re creating is improving, but some of the shooting has been less than ideal… and from players you expect more from. Imagine me as the coach?

‘Erm, guys, could you try and shoot the ball at the actual goal. Thank you.’

Right, big game tomorrow, fingers crossed we smash them and the Gypsy King deals with the Bronze Bomber. x

1,189 Responses to “Sh*te data and straw men”

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  1. Dissenter

    Eddie has been great, totally justified the mangers trust and Pierre’s adulation.

    Makes easier to sell both Auba and Laca in the summer.

  2. Danny

    February 23, 2020 18:20:42
    Fuck me we are going about this the hard way.
    Yeah but it made for an exciting final 5 minutes!
    Well done lads!

  3. Bamford10

    Hard-fought win. Kudos to the players. But that was none too convincing. I still don’t see this team moving up the table very far, and I definitely don’t buy that this is a top three or top four quality team. No chance.

  4. Jamie

    Never in doubt.

    Invest in:
    Manchester United 1 Watford 2
    Arsenal 2 Everton 3
    Wolves 1 Norwich City 2
    And you wont be too far away.

    87% Donkey, 13% Potato.

  5. Dissenter

    We were playing a decent side who are on the upward swing as well.
    We played on Thursday , Everton were fresher.
    3 wins in one week, that’s what the doctor ordered.

  6. Guns of SF

    Torreira did not do great
    I would have kept Dani C on… he really got us going in the second half.
    hope to see more from this nasty man

  7. Nelson

    That was a hard fought win. For me, Ceballos, Mustafi and Auba are the best. Saka was good the 1st half. He looks tired in the 2nd half.

  8. CazOnARola

    As expected their fresh legs have them the edge in the last 20 min but they couldn’t make it time. Creatively they are a bit shit.

    Auba missed a few easy passes, but my word the finishing from him today.

    Xhaka had a shocking second half, probably leggy as well as he probably ran the most in the last 3 games.

    Saka the same. Gave away the ball 4 times which could have resulted in begin goals.

    But we hung on for the win.

  9. raptora

    3 points all that matter vs a really even Everton opposition. At this moment of time, with the managers we have and the time they have spent with their players a really close game that could have went either way. If it was on Goodison we would have probably lost. Happy with the points and the effort. But a lot of work to do. And far from perfect.

  10. Wasi

    Since Carlo took over.
    Everton have collected 2nd(Or 3rd not sure) most points in the league after Liverpool.

    A team that was clearly high on confidence. Needed to show passion and work hard today. Did that.
    Mustafi was a beast today.

    Relieved Andre Gomes didnt play the full 90 today.
    Looked like peak Pirlo in his brief cameo.

  11. Graham62

    Dug in.



    What the hell, we won against a team that were on a role and fresh.


    Win again, and Chelski lose, and we’ll only be 4 points off 4th.

    One can dream.

  12. Paulinho

    Everton simply became a better team than us with the subs.

    A half-fit Andres Gomes is still the most talented midfielder on the pitch, and Bernard is better than Iwobi.

  13. TheLegendaryDB10

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    I knew we would do it!!!

    A poster mentioned this last Thursday: we are resolute.

    And this is what is so great to see. We are no longer giving in!!!

    And up the table we go. 9th.

    Come on The Arsenal!!!


    Stop being so negative. Had you bet 3-2 to The Arsenal, you would have one your bet.

  14. Guns of SF

    Wonder what would have happened if Kola stayed on.
    My guess is not good….
    His defending is hrrible..

    Worry about Saka tho, burnout for sure happening now.
    When the hell is soares back??? or Tierney????
    These young men – should be able to heal fast but damn…. ezpecially about Tierney

  15. Wasi

    Saka started the turnaround so don’t know where ur coming from
    Second half not so good sure but his delivery for the first goal was ad good as it gets.

  16. Pierre

    We were weak down our right hand side in the last half hour.
    Arteta should have tightened it up over there.
    6 or 7 times they broke through in that area , if it wasn’t for Mustafi we would have lost that game.

  17. China1

    I think ozil and mustafi has their best games of the season

    Bellerij was horrific today. He might as well have not been on the pitch. Their entire offensive strategy was just to play long balls out left to richarlison and watch bellerin either fail to collect them or be nowhere near him

    I felt bad for mustafi who spent 80 of his 90 (excellent) minutes covering for a non existent RB

    Saka also was poor but at least he got a wicked assist

    For me MOTM was ozil though. He was flawless from minute 1 imo, he was at his best today.

    I was impressed with Eddie as well. He provides all the industry and link up laca does but with a much better engine and more pace. Scored a nice goal and was very unlucky to hit the bar. Very decent game for the lad

    Auba was very good. Pepe was his usual self and quite peripheral but if you give him a bit of space and player in the box to aim for he’s a nailed on assist.

    Xhaka was solid. Ceballos started poorly but warmed into it very well. Must have had great defensive numbers by the end

    I think bellerin was the main culprit for us looking weak at the back tho. We might as well have had 3 at the back he was so far off the pace

  18. raptora

    Worry how we’ll fare without Auba if he leaves in the Summer. Insane player. Him and Leno are the players we cannot afford to lose to nasty injuries if we want to do good and try to finish top 5 and win Europa.

  19. Dissenter

    “Wipe that egg off your face CG.”

    He makes his ommeletes on his face
    That’s why he’s such a miserable prick 😊

  20. Nelson

    Ist half we were clearly the better team. They relied on spot kicks and their tall players. 2nd half our team looked tired. We are playing third game in a week and they have rested almost two weeks.

  21. S Asoa

    What so many posters been speculating about Pepe in wing and Auba instead of the obsession Laca.
    Oziel and Ceballos been combining. Plus Ceballos ” innocuous” looking fouls were quite an art.

  22. Dissenter

    Auba can be replaced, it will be difficult
    It’s the prospect of losing him for free in 2021 that is the more scary proposition.

  23. Valentin


    Still Bamford is not convinced.
    Used stats to disparage Arteta, now that he can’t I wonder what will be the argument.

  24. Wenker-wanger

    How lucky are man utd?…Watford should’ve got at least a draw…..but they seem to just fck up defensively or offensively…
    Man utds luck will run out surely.

  25. Champagne Charlie

    Mustafi and Xhaka playing well is such a burden on some here, absolutely love to see it 😂

    The uncoachables march on.

    Granit Xhaka v Everton (H):
    86 Touches
    66 Acc Passes (90.4%)
    9/11 Long Balls
    3/3 Dribbles
    6 Ground Duels Won
    1 Clearance
    1 Tackle Won

    Shkodran Mustafi vs Everton
    7 clearances
    2 interceptions
    3 tackles
    84.3 % pass accuracy
    4 ground duels won
    4 aerial duels won
    Dribbled past 0 times

  26. MidwestGun

    Auba on pace to win the Gold boot again. He will be difficult to replace. Was our captain today as well. I thought he lead by example.

  27. Dissenter

    This game was always going to be about hanging on because we are playing a form team that haven’t played in 15 days!
    That the mitigating factor that has to be considered.

  28. Bamford10


    What you just watched IS this team’s “running”. That’s as good as this team is going to get this season — IMO, at least. Barely holding on against Everton at home. Barely beating Olympiakos.

    Now, don’t get wrong; that’s better than not winning these same games. But it’s not going to get you CL football, it’s not going to win you the EL, it’s not really even going to move you up the table much, and it’s not at all what you would see from a genuinely “top four quality” team.

    That would be my point.

  29. Bamford10


    “1.56 points per game. Clear improvement confirmed.”

    Right. Slightly better than the sacked manager did in the season in which he was sacked. So that would be slightly better than sackable results, I guess? Keep trying, mate.

  30. Jamie

    Ugly win, but needed. We allowed 17 shots, 5 on target. We took 9 shots, 4 on target. That was anything but a resilient defensive performance. The players looked absolutely gassed at the end.

  31. Champagne Charlie


    That’s Arteta’s points per game at 1.56 vs Emery’s 1.38

    You can admit the improvement in your own time hahaha now chirping up about wins away in Greece and at home to Everton. You should be happy, your team beat Watford today.

  32. Wenker-wanger

    Arteta is working with players that emery couldn’t manage and players the hopeless Wenger put together in the first place.
    This is the best manager we have had for a decade…’s a work-in-,progress….. We are way off top two quality but arteta will get the maximum out of this squad.

  33. Graham62


    I wonder what Everton would have looked like if they had played the same three games in one week?

    The fact Arsenal won is a massive confidence booster, even though we were very ragged.

  34. Leedsgunner

    Rotate heavily and play the fringe players against Olympiakos and against in the FA Cup. Give Saka, Auba and Leno a break!

    AMN on the left out of necessity? Or do we have any U23 younster able to make the step up?

    Well done Arsenal.

  35. MidwestGun

    Invest in:
    Manchester United 1 Watford 2
    Arsenal 2 Everton 3
    Wolves 1 Norwich City 2
    Hahaha just saw this.. CG is almost to Red levels of trolling. Step up your game Red.

  36. Northbanker


    Can’t find the post but did you put money on your predicted Man U , Wolves and Arsenal defeats

    Wish we all had your insight

  37. Northbanker

    See Redtruth and Bamford quick to post with their negative and pointless posts cos we only won by a goal

    Unbelievable !

  38. TT

    I said this Friday and Ill say it again. This squad is good enough for 4th place.
    Our next 4 Games WestHam H Brighton A Southampton A and Norwich at home are all winnable. Not bankers but very winnable.

    Both Manu and Chelsea have more difficult 4 games ahead.

  39. That Dreamcast Kid

    the racing analogy is quite apt

    now to take care of fuel management so that we can finish the race as close as empty as possible but also as close to pole position as position

    we won’t get that so we’re trying to overtake this teams that are side by side with us

    they will take the wrong driving line sooner or later they will crash against each other sooner or later

    we have to take advantage of that

    just be on the pace drafting them for the time being

  40. Zfree

    We should be able to trot out the below team for Thursday and be fine:

    Pablo Mari or Rob Holding
    Reiss Nelson

  41. Dissenter

    “Outshot 17 to 9 at home against Everton. Yes, we won, but that should give people pause.”

    There’s not pause
    Everton haven’t played in 15 days
    Arsenal have played three games in the last 8 days. We only had less that 72 hours after playing in Athens before this game.

  42. China1

    Bamford if ole’s Utd has just played the exact same way and got the exact same result you’d have been saying ‘see, that’s the kind of resilience utd have which we dont’

    Those are 3 good points in a tough game against a very in form team.

    Good day in the office in spite of room for improvement

  43. James wood

    Good workman like win fitness levels up.
    But Watching Pepe and Bellerin is like watching
    Eboue and Walcott.
    Pepe’s right foot is non existent he slows play with
    the drag back on to his left .
    Bellerin just as bad when did he last go past someone..

    I’d take that Gomes fellow as well and my old favourite

  44. Paulinho

    Graham – You seem to have forgotten we had a two-week break specifically to refresh the batteries. Arteta explicitly stated he played a strong team on Thursday because of the break. There was also rotation and with the subs, very few actually played the ninety minutes in both games.

  45. That Dreamcast Kid

    fuck me I typo’d a lot in excitement like a kid just first time wanking

    *now to take care of fuel management so that we can finish the race as close to running empty as possible but also as close to pole position as we can

    we won’t get that so we’re trying to overtake these teams that are side by side with us

  46. Champagne Charlie

    If anyone was to read these comments for the first time there’s not a chance in hell they’d see Banford as an Arsenal fan.

    Such a bitter guy, picking holes in wins and talking down future possibilities in the league.

    Desperate to fit us into his “8-10th best team” nonsense.

  47. Dissenter

    This is one of those wins you take and just move on.

    Now I’m glad we won away at Athens because the manager can afford to rotate carefully.
    Saka needs a lot of time off. He’s looking jaded.

  48. Major_Jeneral

    I think we need a change in goalkeepers, maybe martinez needs to take Leno’s place. Bar the defending of the ball by the players, Complacency and inconsistency is setting in for Leno.
    In one game he is out of this world in another he is doing an “Alumina” in the air.

    This match is there for the taking., there is the only threat for Everton was set pieces in the first half.

    Generally, there is need to limit were fouls are committed so the team don’t concede dangerous free kicks. In terms of mistakes, Saka gave possession 4 times in the 2nd half. but I will forgive him because he has been a good player in his first full season. It is still a learning curve for the 18 year old.

    It is clear now that rebuilding job undertaken by Arteta is not a two month process, we definitely need changes in some areas to eliminate mediocrity but we must give kudos where it is due.

    Leno made mistakes but he recovered well. Organization when a set piece is being taken by the opponent must be improved.

    Players cannot always be 100% but one’s baseline shouldn’t be one in which players are lacking concentration at certain times. Especially in the beginning and ending of a half in a match. Since the match at Watford, I think this is the only match where we gave the opposing team more chances in the second half. The team will learn from it

    Upwards. Good win Tor the Gunners

  49. Wasi

    Since Aubameyang’s arrival we’ve dropped out of the top 4 and stayed out.
    He won’t be missed if he left…

    Elite level thinking.

  50. Graham62


    Ffs, everything about you exudes a problem upbringing.

    We were not the better team, but we won. That’s a bonus don’t you think?

    Anyway, who gives a Castlemaine xxxx what you think.

    Your love affair with negativity and the utmost contempt you have for almost everything Arsenal has become so fudging tedious.

    Enjoy your frigging evening.

  51. PieAFC

    Resilience and very resolute performance. Defended well in parts and suspect in others.

    Never dropped our heads going behind. Had a system in place, players playing for one another, shouting and giving encouragement. Everyone is playing for the shirt and Arteta. I’m happy.

    Some of you need to get a grip wanting us to fail just to say I told you so, it’s pathetic.

    Emery has gone. Why the fuck are people still bringing him up!

    Move on. Move forward.

    The lads dig deep today. We won. Improvements are being made. I’m happy.

  52. Dissenter

    Everton were unlucky to not get a point at the end. Calvert Lewin is a handful, Kane may not be a big miss for England.
    I expect that they will be a steady contestant for the top-4 next season if they have a good summer.

  53. Dissenter

    Of all the people on this blob, RT is the one I would love to meet in person.
    I fully expect that I will have to get his momma’s permission in writing before I see him.

  54. Graham62

    Once again yet another amazing image at the Emirates.

    15 minutes to go and struggling to hold on to a lead and yet so many fans vacate the premises.

    Who are these people?

    How do the players feel about this?

    If I was Arteta, I’d highlight this.

    Didn’t Klopp react to Liverpool fans when they were doing the same thing when he first arrived?

  55. PieAFC


    Just looks for bites with little comments.

    I wonder if he’s even an Arsenal supporter.

    Under his many guises been like that for years.

  56. Habesha Gooner

    I am so glad we won. But the win was a bit of luck and resilience. I just want to be at a point where we shouldn’t have to hold on against Everton even if we play three games in 8 days. Wins have been hard to come by and this will do nicely though.

  57. China1

    Very very pleased with what I saw today

    Apart from bellerin who looked like it was his first game back from a 3 year injury lay off lol

    Lots of positives overall but none more so than the points. Winning is a habit, make no mistake. With every game you win the next gets that little bit easier. It’s why Liverpool have become an absolute train crashing through the league. The first few wins are hard. The next few wins are tough. But after 10-15-20 wins in a row the wins become a formality. They still need to work hard but ‘they’re going to win’ is as nailed on as it gets now. But lose 3 games in a row through a bit of bad luck, injuries etc and suddenly winning that next game is an uphill struggle

  58. GoonerDave

    Great, dogged win against an in-form Everton. Ozil, Auba and Mustafi all fantastic. Great stuff from Eddie too. Players fighting for each other again.
    Decent, steady job from Arteta so far.

  59. Maker

    What a game that was for the neutral viewers and what a well fought for 3 points for us the gunners but the set piece defending choice is still troubling me if we don’t fix it sooner we gonner have some big troubles i was watching serie A over d weekend a game of Florentine against AC Milano and i was really impressed with d way Milano defended all their set piecies they gave no chances away for an attacking team they defended deep instead of an high line defending option which most teams prefer and it is also dangerous i wish my team could also implement this technic 4 real