At last Arsenal have fully recovered from the disastrous defeat on the opening day of the season at the hands of the twelve men of Aston Villa + Taylor. It has taken 22 games for Arsenal to have achieved the same number of points from exactly the same fixtures as last season (for the sake of symmetry I am setting off this years promoted teams against the results for last years relegated teams).
“How can this be?” I hear you cry – we are 17 (yes seventeen) points better than our total for 22 games last season and our Beloved Leader has said few if any teams have had more than 51 points at this stage of the season. This achievement is further underlined by the MotD pundits citing that in the Invincible season Arsenal had only one point more at this stage.
The truth is that the fixtures we have, and in which we have done so well that we lead the league, are all fixtures in which we did comparably well last season.
This means that for our same remaining 16 games we only got 23 points out of the 48 available in the same fixtures last season. We must therefore have realistic hopes of getting significantly more than our 73 point tally last year.
Let’s first look at the media pundits clamour that we have to beat the top teams to establish our credentials for a real title challenge. In fact this is a difficult area because the games against Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and Spurs are all away and only the Manchester double of City and United have to come to The Home of Football.
2012/13 results against top six teams: Won 6 Draw 5 Lost 5
The good news is that for these outstanding six games, last season produced only one win and two draws for Arsenal. It is not at all unreasonable to suggest that we can get two extra wins and a draw from say Spurs (A), Man U (H), and Everton (A) which would give us six more points.
What of the remaining ten teams we have still to play none of whom are likely to be challenging even for fourth place? Indeed most look likely to be in the relegation dog fight. Last season our results here were five won three draws and two defeats and this amounted to only 18 points from the 30 available. It is not over optimistic to see the new efficient Arsenal with an excellent mean defence turning this into an outturn of 8 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat which would give an extra 7 points. Certainly against these teams so far this season we have suffered only one notorious defeat and one draw so I am only asking we stay consistent.
The mathematically astute among you will notice that I am suggesting we garner 13 points more than our poorer results last season and this would take us from the 73 points that delivered fourth place to the 86 points which are talked of as a probable title winning total this curious season.
Whilst I have the mathematicians attention we have amassed points to date at the rate of 2.318 per game and the further 35 points I am positing would only be at 2.187 per game.
One final ray of hope in comparing this season to the last one. We finish strongly. Last season we only dropped 9 points from the 48 available in the last 16 games which included only one defeat. Even if, as may be the case, we have a slightly harder run-in this season I am still allowing 13 points to slip away from us in reaching a potentially title winning tally.
So ignore media & pundits, Keep the faith and COYG.
This post was submitted before the Southampton game and therefore it’s acknowledged that we aren’t TOTL at the moment.