Fixture congestion is the biggest danger to Arsenal in the quest to finish top four by Martin
It is easy to look at the fixture lists and attempt to see how many points we will pick up in the race to finish in the top four, especially when we look at the sort of opposition that both we and our main competitors will face, as an example we can look at Tottenham and feel that they will get no points against Man City and that we will get three points against Watford and so on but that is not taking into consideration one huge factor and that is fixture congestion.
Forget how many games each team has, forget what fixture lists that Tottenham, Chelsea and Man Utd have to contend with and concentrate on what we must navigate.
I looked at how many games we have had, in all competitions, for each month since the season started and it makes interesting reading.
August 3 games – 2 wins 1 loss
September 6 games – 6 wins
October 6 games – 5 wins 1 draw
November 5 games – 2 wins 3 draws
December 9 games – 4 wins 2 draws 3 losses
January 6 games – 4 wins 2 losses
February 6 games – 4 wins 2 losses
March 4 games – 2 wins 1 draw 1 loss
If we break that down into percentages of wins for each month from the games played we get this…
August 3 games – 66% wins
September 6 games – 100% wins
October 6 games – 83.33% wins
November 5 games – 40% wins
December 9 games 44% wins
January 6 games 66.6% wins
February 6 games 66.6% wins
March 4 games 50% wins
So, it is clear that the most losses were in the month with the most games, and the second lowest win record was also in that month, I could carry on with even more stats, breaking down points and so forth, but anyone looking at the bare figures can see quite clearly that December was not a good month, four wins from nine games is not the sort of form that propels one into the Champions League.
Arsenal play eight games in April and these are not games in the league cup, early stages of the Europa League, FA Cup and so on, they are critical games, all that brings significant pressure, it is not the time to blood youngsters and injuries can have a massive impact.
Of course, our competitors have just as many games but this is not about them, this is about us, if we drop points here, there and everywhere because of too many games we cannot then hope that Chelsea, Tottenham and Man Utd do the same, this is on us and we have to do far better in April than we did the last time we had fixture congestion, it is as simple as that.