Forget Arsenal’s unlucky loss to Leicester, we are having a great season

Forget Leicester’s Loss, Arsenal Are Having a Great Year

Among all the possibilities and uncertainties of life, one thing is sure from the concluded 2019/2020 EPL season: had Arteta begun the season with Arsenal, we would have ended higher up the table. Perhaps we would have reached 10 more points to qualify for the Champions League. Perhaps not. What is clear is that we wouldn’t have had such a dismal season, the worst season in some two decades at Arsenal.

Some people tend to think that league position is an indication of the quality in your team with respect to others. While that can be generally true, such assumptions miss out on the fact that there is also managerial quality to consider. If you’ve got the best team and the best coach, you generally end up at the top of the pile. This is true for the duopoly at the top of the league.
This is true especially for teams on the lower side of the league. And then there is some element of luck to consider.

Remember Vincent Kompany’s goal against Leicester City? The pivotal goal in a pivotal game of the 90-point, tyre-burning, leather-grabbing race at the top? That goal could have easily not gone in. Manchester City could have easily drawn that game. What about Liverpool ignoring their expected goals against and racing to a twenty-five point lead at the top? Only at the back end of the season, when it was clear that no one was coming for them, that they regressed back to mean. Luck is an understated part of football and a unique one at that, because, in football, you make your own luck.

Last season was widely recognized as quite a bit unlucky for Arsenal, as bad as they were. A Sky Sports study crowned them as the unluckiest team in the league. You may of course doubt the ability of this study to reflect the truth, but any Arsenal fan would tell you a similar story. No doubt about it, if Arsenal had as much luck as the average team, they would have nicked a few more points.

So, last season’s 56 points were the result of poor coaching, poor luck and perhaps poor quality in the squad. When you are regularly starting David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi, with a paper thin midfield and Kolasinac, well, you deserve what’s coming to you.

Arteta came in and everyone suddenly looked better. That’s some decent coaching at work. Arsenal have shored up their defense with Gabriel Magalhaes and their midfield with Thomas Partey. These are serious talents. If you consider the addition of Willian, Mari, and the growing maturity of high-performing youngsters like Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, then you have an even more talented squad than last season’s. Already, Gabriel, Niles, Saka have made serious contributions this season. That’s only going to continue.

Arsenal’s coaching has gotten better, the squad has gotten better, but will the luck improve. There are some ominous signs this season. Sadio Mane’s slap at Kieran Tierney’s face went unpunished. Kyle Walker’s high kick in his own box went unreviewed. Those two incidents occurred in two different matches that Arsenal lost a combined 4-1. But again, those were against two of the best teams in the league so we cannot come to a strong conclusion yet. Given the variability of season-to-season luck, Arsenal are unlikely to be as unfortunate as last season. Hell, they may even be one of the luckiest teams this season. Nobody knows for sure. But with the combination of Arteta’s coaching, better talent, maturing youngsters, improved luck and their involvement in the Europa League, Arsenal have a better chance of having a great year than last season (if “great year” is defined by Champions League qualification).

Agboola Israel

17 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Only if we win at Old Trafford. Otherwise, I’d still be waiting for the party

    1. Eddie says:

      Does it matter if we win at Old Trafford and lose the next game?
      You guys need to stop all these placing huge importance on one game because it’s a top team.
      Every game’s important.
      The partey should be holding after winning every game with a good position to show for it in the end

      1. someone says:

        right Eddie i agree with you.
        actually i for along time wanted that silly usless placing rivlarly with The Spurs to stop and grow a bit more than that in our ambitions and aim to rival LFC and Mancity instead if we really want to go to the top again.

        1. Eddie says:

          That’s another aspect I hate and nobody on here will say they’ve noticed or seen me engaging in Spurs/Arsenal rivalry. I don’t see them as rivals and I personally see United and Chelsea as our main rivals.
          Even it’s a culture thing for Arsenal fans, I dislike it when I see fans celebrate finishing above Spurs.
          Win the league and celebrate, not celebrate finishing above a certain team in the league

      2. gotanidea says:

        Facing Man United at their turf is always the measurement of our capabilities. Any team can only get maximum three points from a game, but the difficulty level of a big game is higher than the regular one

  2. Ackshay says:

    Arteta has greatly strengthen our defence organisation, tactics and improve forward player commitment to defensive tasks. We have the 2nd best defensive record right now. But he still hasn’t been able to balance the attack and defence which has stifled our attack and impacted our creativity leading to some very dull boring matches.

    His inexperience is also showing being a newbie coach but i still think we are on the right track. Defensive stability is much harder to get than attacking proficiency as wenger later years can show with our beautiful attack nullified by atrocious defending.

  3. Reggie says:

    I dont know what rose colour specs you wear but we are far from having a great season. We are going down a different road and we are seeing different scenery but at the minute the destination looks the same. We are a cup team and have proved we can win dour one off games. What we haven’t achieved is to improve our consistency or reliability issues yet. Im not yet slagging Arteta off but i am still waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel. We have added new ingredients to our recipe but at the moment we are far from Michelin star.

  4. Val says:

    There is no point in in looking in the past for excuses, last season we just weren’t good enough in the first 4 months and that is why we finished 8th.
    You make your own luck in life.

    Ma has done well to steady the ship and then move forward, he still needs to do more.

    To say we’re having a great season is delusional.

    Everton are having a great season.
    Leeds are having a great season.

    Played 6 – won 3 – lost 3 is not a great season, regardless of who we have lost to.

    YEs we have shown we’re not as flimsy as we have been in recent years but thats as far as it goes for me

    1. Sue says:

      Nice one, Val 👍

      1. prince says:

        Sue hope your going to watch today’s match?
        And can you predict our starting line up today

        1. Sue says:

          Absolutely, wouldn’t miss it!
          Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Gabriel, Tesco
          Xhaka, Ceballos, Partey,
          Pepe, Auba, Saka
          COYG!!!

  5. David says:

    Arteta had a good first season (half season) no denying that but Emery also improved us in his first season before making a mess of things in his second. This season its been 6 games played 3W 3L with aweful football in 5 of them, no clear formation, style of play or direction. Worst of all the fight and hunger arteta initialy brought is fading suggesting the players aren’t happy either. Don’t get me wrong i want arteta to succed but lets not sugar coat things we are not in a good place right now.

  6. prince says:

    I was in dream and we won man u 2-3.

    1. prince says:

      Admin Pat pls I’m new here and I’m a big responsible arsenal fan…..pls approve my comments.

  7. Shakir says:

    Having a great start is important to a team like Arsenal which is rebuilding and which lacks a good strong leader and that strong mentality.

    Its hard for us to get back on track if we fall,not saying iys impossible but its hard.We need to have a strong start and keep building on it.

    MA has done a grear job in changing the culture and getting us back on track but its gonna take time.And i trust him.

    But at the same time when i see west ham,a villa,leeds,everton performing like tgey have world class players,it just makes me sad and frustrated.After all we are all human…..

  8. Dan says:

    How is our worst position in Two decades and starting the season with 3 losses in 6 great ?
    I think all football fans think their team are unlucky but if you take the emotion out of it
    Did Chelsea deserve a red card in the Cup Final ?
    Could we have not got a red card against Sheffield United ?

  9. jon fox says:

    Probably almost alone on this thread I much agree with the central point of Agboolas well thought through and well argued article. He says a lot of sensible things, the most pertinent one being that the quality of the MANAGER is by far the most important factor in any successful team.

    If you refuse to acknowlege that MA is a great manager in the making though, as many do, foolishly too , then you will not see the clear truth that wiser fans like Agboola, myself and some others DO see quite easily.

    For those who have the patience to look beyond the last result – which, seemingly, are too few on this site – and who look at the wider picture, then the sheer quality of MA is blindingly obvious. But there are none so blind as those who will not, or refuse,to see and that is a very true saying , sadly.

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