Despite the negativity, let’s put Arsenal’s start to the season into factual perspective

Our start to the season in perspective:  by AndersS

Let’s start with some facts.

Here is how many points, we have won in the first 6 games of the season this century:

 00/01 – 11p (Wenger)

01/02 – 11p

02/03 – 14p

03/04 – 14p

04/05 – 16p

05/06 – 10p

06/07 – 11p

07/08 – 16p

08/09 – 12p

09/10 – 10p

10/11 – 11p

11/12 – 7p

12/13 – 9p

13/14 – 15p

14/15 – 10p

15/16 – 10p

16/17 – 13p

17/18 – 10p

18/19 – 12p (Emery)

19/20 – 11p

20/21 – 9p (Arteta)

21/22 – 9p

22/23 – 15p

23/24 – 14p

Reading comments on Just Arsenal, you can easily get the impression our start to this season has been, if not a disaster, then surely something close to it.

If you put our 14 points and no losses into the context above, there are some interesting things:

  1. In only 4 seasons out of the 22 before this season, have we won more points in our first 6 games, 16, 16, 15 and 15 p.
  2. In no season have won more than 16p
  3. Our average number of points for the first 6 games in the 23 seasons before this, is 11,6p. This season we are 2,4p better.
  4. The Invincibles won 14p in their first 6 games
  5. Our 01/02 title was won with 11p in our first 6 games
  6. The average number of points won from 00/01 to 17/18 with Wenger at the helm was 11,66p

No matter, what you compare, any sober conclusion will be, 14p after 6 games is not bad at all. In fact, it is quite good.

So why so much negativity?

Well, some of it can easily be dismissed, as it is coming from the usual corners, where any straw, perceived or real, is used in an attempt to justify their criticism of Arteta from day one.

 But many others are negative too, and it is not just the influence from the usual corners.

I believe, it partly has to do with expectations, that aren’t quite in touch with reality.

After last season naturally, we all have high hopes for this season. Maybe this could be the year we finally win the league again?Personally, I also expect us to compete for the title this season.

But that expectation is largely dependent on how Man City do. City have raised the bar over the past few seasons, and last season they had an almost unbelievable season, winning both the PL and the CL.

One might hope that a bit of contentment, or rather a small dip in desire, could make them easier to beat this season. Not an unrealistic scenario, as it has been seen before. But so far, City have shown no likelihood to do so.

Winning all 6 games so far, has put a dent in our hopes, and this is really a big part of the problem, I think.

We are 4 points behind them, and that is not good for any title expectations. Our 14 points, which actually is a good start, looks worse than it is.

I think any realistic person will have to admit, we are not going to win 100p or more this season. Never a realistic scenario. Our chance of winning the league this season has always been a scenario with a tight race, where the eventual champions will finish with something between 86-95 points.

According to that scenario, we have so far done our part quite well.

No reason to be negative.

As for other teams, Liverpool have done better than expected, Spurs also, Man Utd are worse than expected and Chelsea much worse than expected.

That’s how it always is. Some do better, some worse than expected.

If you put it all into context, wea re by no means out of anything. We are doing quite well, and we have to hope our manager and our players don’t think as negatively as some fans.

We need to keep going down this track, which is restoring us as a real factor in the PL. There is a long way to go this season. So far so good.



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Tags Premier League title race


  1. The article posted earlier put it beautifully into perspective with regards to chasing Man City, puts it into proper context.

    Many facts in this article but again without working off of a proper baseline for true comparison. If you torture the data long enough it will tell you what you want to hear.

    – you can’t compare EPL now to 20 years ago, not even 10 years ago….e.g Bergkamps stats would make him seem bang average.

    – you’ll need to take the points tally mentioned in the article as a % of that season’s winners total points haul to see if it’s good or not

    – you also play completely different teams at the start of every season so no true comparison can be made, maybe if you average out the teams you’ve played prior seasons ending position it would give you an idea

    – other variable is the amount of money that the managers have had to spend with/without being forced to sell players to balance the books.

    So it’s easy to say any team has had a good or bad start if going to ultra simplistic route of just counting points.

    Have we played well in general this season and looking convincing- no

    Have we picked up a decent amount of points – yes

    Is our points haul papering over the clear cracks – quite likely

    I’m not sure how any fan can honestly say that they’ve been happy with what they’ve seen on the pitch this season barring PSV.

    1. And this is why it’s very easy for a keen mind to destroy Anders data backed articles as you have easily done.

      I find as you pointed out he usually paint the data in Arteta’s favour. I don’t know why and why it’s necessary. It’s not like painting him in rosy garden is going to win us titles.

      He can compare points from 1880 it doesn’t change the fact that Man City is already 4 points above this early and it’s not an easy job catching them.

      1. The article seriously lacks context. It doesn’t account for the layout in terms of finances. And I usually wonder why many feel duty bound to always defend Arteta even when it’s crystal clear he’s doing the wrong thing. May e they’re benefiting from his weekly wages. You never can tell

        1. That thought has crossed my mind. Results speak for themselves and some go out of their way to defend the obvious. Why?

        2. @dgr8xt:you are spot on regarding the manipulation of you rightly pointed out,some context is needed.

      2. HH
        I was disagreeing with PJ-SA
        It works both ways and we both look at it differently – of course we do – as in broadly general terms we see our manager in a different light

        1. Us moaners and negative fans are afraid some decisions have cost and might continue to cost us points.

          Funny we are the ones thinking the manager is capable of achieving more.

          When results are unsatisfactory I don’t understand why someone like Anders always comes up with defense of the mediocrity. Doesn’t he want to see us winning trophies? Is Arteta at the helm trophy enough?

          1. HH, Myself I support MA when he does right and criticize when he gets wrong. The thing that astonishes me the most is how some will go as far as defending him for the things they use to criticize Arsene Wenger for. The same folks that use to call out AW for favoritism, acquiring square pegs and misfits, and not addressing the need of the team are now unapologetically defending MA of the same crime. We are expecting more from him based on last years performance and financial backing he is getting from the owner.

            1. By not holding all managers to the same standard it is not analysis anymore. It become politics. And when it’s politics sincerity and honesty are out of the window.

              I have posted below I think the seeds are being planted now for us to be told top 4 is an achievement something as you have said, used to be number one criticism of Arsene Wenger from the same people.

  2. Well done Anders
    I think last season- well most of it – gave us such a feel good factor that our expectations have run away with us at the start of this season.

  3. Forget about points. It’s more about intensity or playing style we are lacking.
    Last year we were 2nd best team but instead of building on that Arteta made some bad decisions regarding transfers and as compared to other teams we did not improve our teams much. Last season we were almost injury free and for whole season played same 11. Thats not possible every season. few important players already out due to injuries. Honestly this season we are not looking like title contender.

  4. Problem IMO is that we might have “over-performed” last season and set a high benchmark for both our-selves and the pack following. Unfortunately we looking like we slow off the mark and the rest (have stepped their game up) looking much quicker, sharper and stronger then our boys are currently at this moment.
    So it’s either the gaps been closed dramactly or we haven’t progressed as we’d have liked to.
    We honestly don’t look as slick and hungry as we did last season.
    I might be a bit naive and short sighted but my expectation levels for this season is not what’s been served up to this point but I’m optimistic MA and the squad can turn things around.

  5. I can’t argue with the points gained so far but it’s more than just points it’s our performance in getting those points.
    Going to primary school in Crouch End nearly 60 years ago Arsenal were not the force they are now. From the age of 6, I was taken to home games regularly until I was able to go on my own at age 12. At age 13 I started to go to away games with a likely bunch of lads who like me had Arsenal DNA running through our blood.
    We never expected to win any games and if we won a trophy at the end of a season a great excuse to give it to Tottenham.
    During the George Graham era, we started to win on a regular basis but the playing style was boring so I admit I skipped many games even though we were very successful.
    Along came Arsene Wenger and we were now being entertained by quality players in every position and winning became a norm and expected by the newer fan base.  Sadly mostly due to unavailability of funds a large section of our fan base turned against Wenger as he could no longer give us trophies with the caliber of players he had in his squad.
    Under Arteta, we brought in (trust the process) which went well until his favorability towards inferior players and his stubbornness to keep better players on the bench. Two major issues have us questioning Arteta: the dropping of Ramsdale and the persistence in playing Havertz.
    I support Arsenal for entertainment and trophies and titles simply as a bonus. 

  6. Well written Anders. But I believe you know that results always catch up with performance. Our performance this season has not been anywhere close to what it should be given the over £200m outlay in the summer which was to build on last season. The fear is that sooner or later, results will catch up. Ask Emery

  7. If we had had the same team that faced PSV we’d have won the game in my opinion and we’d be in a good position to both race Liv and challenge City.

    Hopefully out of this Liv will take the pressure of being City’s closest challenger and people let us go under the radar a little bit, lose some of that pressure of every game being a must-win game so we can instead take teams in our stride.

    When we had little pressure last season we played dynamically well it’s only when the pressure is on that we play a bit stop-started. Injuries are the other thing that can derail us.

    A convincing win away at Bourn with some killer football on display and a few returnees will be much welcome to get over one unlucky blip that we gave away

  8. What utter bliss to read a piece by a mature realist!

    As Anders rightly says, much of the negativity and from all the USUAL moaners and Jeremiahs ,is tediously predictable and completely unrealistic rubbish.(My words, not those of Anders).

    Amazing how truth emerges when we use CONTEXT and proper PERSPECTIVE.

    Some Jeremiahs are enraged by we realists who preach about always using those two words

    1. A keen mind will have already noticed that Arteta’s supporters are laying the foundation of telling us top 4 is a trophy enough.

      1. A keen mind will know that it was the previous manager who ranked finishing in the top four as a trophy, ranking it higher than both of the domestic Cups.

        1. A keen mind would know that the previous manager was Unai Emery, who never finished in the top four.
          I suggest that, if you asked every manager in the PL, if they classed finishing in the top four as outranking the two domestic cups, they would agree with Pep, Klopp and, of course, Arsene, they would say yes – perhaps that’s why Mikel and his squad are so excited to be back in the CL, along with the fans.

          1. A kind mind would know that Emery wasn’t the previous manager, as he was the Head Coach, like Arteta was when he joined in 2019.

            One wonders if those other managers would actually go on their clubs website, and say, like Wenger did, that finishing in the top 4 is a trophy 🤔

            1. Touché on the manager/coach angle HD – does it make a difference if Arsene went on the website?
              They’ve all said it out loud that CL qualification is a must and I’m sure we all agree that MA has a successful season by qualifying for it.

              1. All managers want to finish in the top four, but I’m pretty sure no other manager has come out and said they rank that above winning the domestic Cups.

                  1. Yes Ken, they have, but as I said previously, I’m pretty sure they haven’t said they rank it above winning the domestic Cups, like Wenger said. Do you know if they did ?

        2. Well if you’re old enough, you’d know that for the most part of AW tenure, finishing in the top 4 was way more beneficial for the club that winning any domestic cups.we had to pay for the stadium,even back then,the prizes for winning any cups couldn’t compare to the revenues from CL champions. I’m sure if someone had bothered to ask Wenger what was the most important thing to win for the club or himself, he’d given different answers.winning cups wouldn’t have paid for the stadium’s debts.

      2. Ah 😇Jon, are you talking about those loyal supporters who would naturally support our club manager from 2008 onwards – or was there a “Jeremiah” back then who wished our manager injury?

    2. Dear old😇Jon, you change your tune like the wind and I wonder if you remember what you said yesterday.

      When stats suit your views, we are told how amazing it is that “truth emerges when we use context and proper perspective.
      Yet when they don’t, it’s not worth considering, as stats mean nothing. HYPOCRISY AT IT’S FINEST.

      Anders, why not concentrate on this season and our spending, performances, game play, selections, substitutions, transfers in and out, who we’ve played this season and how many games at home and away – versus just last season, when we surpassed all expectations and finished 2nd?

      Wouldn’t that be a measurement of Mikel Arteta, rather than trotting out figures that are just that, with no back up as to how they were achieved?

      1. Ken – Past years records are irrelevant and as you have noted there are many variables to measure the previous record to the current. The only constant is how far are we off from the top. The points can only be relevant when considering how far or close are we to the top. 80’ish points can win you championship back in the days but not any more. We are not Man city, who can afford to start some what bad like last season (according to their usual standard) because we all know they get better as season progresses. We are yet to show that and any signs of regression or stagnation can easily send a “deja vu” moment

      2. Ken meaningless waffle with a failure to make the specific points you ,presumably, wished to make.

        And since you too are a human who has never observed the obvious – as I have regularly been telling all the unobservant folk who fail to realise that ALL humans are hypocrites, you, I and everyone else on JA included, it being a perfectly normal, natural part of our shared human condition, though unobserved by you – then that shows how little YOU really OBSERVE. About people and our club players. Sigh!
        You are still acting as “down with the kids though!”
        Emojis! Ugh!

        1. 😇Jon, how do you know it was “meaningless waffle” if you couldn’t understand the “specific points” I was making? 😂🤣You once told me that you was a forward thinking supporter, but you can’t accept emojis or modern day English as spoken by the younger generation?!
          Come on my old dawg, move with the times 👍👍

          It seems that Ibrahim and others clearly understood my points, so let me try to get through to you once again.

          It really doesn’t matter how many points we gained under Unai Emery, AW, BR, GG, DH, TN, BM, BW, GS, JC, TW, GA, HC, LK, GM, PK, HB, WE or Thomas Mitchell, when discussing MA’s results so far this season.

          Anders didn’t include the opponents, the venues, the players, the scores, whether european games were played in between said games – yet you exclaim “Amazing how truth emerges when we use CONTEXT and proper PERSPECTIVE.”

          So 😂Jon, where WAS the CONTEXT and proper PERSPECTIVE? 🤔🤔

          DICTIONARY meaning of CONTEXT?
          It is unfair to quote out of context the circumstances that are relevant to an event.
          Dictionary meaning of (proper) PERSPECTIVE?
          A way of regarding facts, situations etc and judging their relative importance.

          I’m surprised that you used THOSE words, without having all the relevant important details, so that you could judge the facts….. hope that helps you to understand the points I wished to make to Anders and you 😇Jon?

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