An article from ThirdManJW
Arsenal being relegated cannot be dismissed out of hand based on performances
Arsenal’s regression has almost reached its conclusion this season, with the very real possibility of them being relegated.
It’s been a long, and predictable process for over a decade now, which has become rather depressing. I felt the next step would be not qualifying for Europe, but it looks as if we have to add relegation to that as well.
I feel a bit ashamed of my Arsenal history in regards to relegation. Like many others, I thought Arsenal had never been relegated, but in fact, they were in 1913. Woolwich Arsenal, as they were known back then, playing at the Manor Ground located in Plumstead, finished bottom of the old First Division. They had one of the worst records ever of a relegated team, winning only 3 from 36 games. Could relegation happen again 107 years later?
We finished last season badly, and have just continued to get worse this season. So I wanted to look at the last 7 games from last season, starting with the 1-0 defeat at Everton, and the 20 league games so far this season, to see if we truly need to worry about relegation. It doesn’t make for good reading.
18/19 (last 7 games)
Home W-0, D-1, L-1
Away W-2, D-0, L-3
W – 2
D – 1
L – 4
GF – 8
GA – 12
7pts from 21pts
19/20 (first 20 games)
Home W-3, D-4, L-3
Away W-2, D-5, L-3
W – 5
D – 9
L – 6
GF – 26
GA – 30
24pts from 60pts
Total from last 27 games
Home W-3, D-5, L-4
Away W-4, D-5, L-6
W – 7
D – 10
L – 10
GF – 34
GA – 42
31pts from 81pts
What’s even more worrying, is that we have only won seven out of those 27 league games, all against poor/average opposition. Even more worrying still, is that we were very lucky in the majority of those victories:
Watford 0-1 Arsenal
Despite a calamitous start from Watford, gifting us a goal on 10 minutes, then Deeney seeing red only a minute later, they should have got something from the game. We had some decent chances, with Miki squandering all of them, but our general play was awful! Watford had control and was looking the more dangerous team, despite a man less for over 80 minutes. Lucky to get the win. We should have dropped points.
Burnley 1-3 Arsenal
Decent win from us, in what was a dead rubber. As always, we perform well when there’s no pressure. Burnley had some chances as well, but we deserved the win overall.
Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal
Solid, uninspiring win. We didn’t create a lot, but equally, our defence was comfortable. It was a good win considering the amount of youth we had playing. We just shaded it.
Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
Very nervy victory. Burnley put our defence under immense pressure, and we never looked comfortable. We won the game in midfield, and just about deserved the win, although it wasn’t convincing.
Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa
Awful performance, phenomenal comeback. Even before AMN’s sending off in the first half, Villa was tearing us to shreds! In my opinion, we would have been very lucky to even get a draw, let alone the victory. We shouldn’t have got anything from this game.
Arsenal 1-0 Bournemouth
Yet another shocking performance! Horrible game to watch and Bournemouth were the slightly better team. They definitely deserved at least a draw.
West Ham 1-3 Arsenal
We were awful for the opening hour, then just about turned up for the last 30 minutes, winning the game with a few quick goals. We just about deserved the win, but a better team would have finished us off in that first hour, after going a goal up.
Looking at our performances in these wins, I feel we’re around 6/7pts better off than we deserved to be. Very, very lucky to win some of these. I won’t go into all of the draws as well, but again, very lucky that some of those draws were not defeats.
One thinks of Southampton, and Watford battering us this season for example. Norwich probably should have beaten us recently as well. Obviously, we have had some bad luck along the way as well, but the negative performances massively outweigh the positive performances.
In fact, Arsenal has only had one good league performance all season, which was the recent draw with Bournemouth. For once, we turned up for both halves, and we controlled the game throughout.
It’s not my intention to depress you all as we head into a new year, but our performances have been shocking, and this has been going on for a long time. Over the same period of the last 27 games, I would argue Arsenal are rock bottom in comparison to the other EPL clubs in regards to performances, and it’s only luck that we’ve picked up as many points as we have done.
It’s now getting a little scary because we’re just over the halfway point, we’ve steadily got worse, and we haven’t got the new manager bounce that so often happens. Everton, Watford, and Spurs have all instantly improved after changing managers. I also expect West Ham to now improve after changing the manager. Brighton is slowly improving, now that Potter (who was appointed in the summer) is adapting to the league. Southampton is now starting to pick up the points their performances have been deserving of late.
So, can Arsenal be relegated? form and statistics are saying most definitely yes.