So after not quite a quarter of League games played and not quite half of all of our Premiership opponents played once, where do we stand? The table says 4th, above the spuds on goal difference and only two points behind the three-way joint leaders. The enforced interlull break gives us time to have a look at the progress of Unai Emery’s new Arsenal.
After two tricky opening fixtures against City and the chavs, we’ve had a run of 6 games that many predicted had a good potential chance of reaping a full 18 points and that’s exactly what’s happened. Has it been straightforward, maybe not?
I keep seeing articles written by analyst types who predict that Arsenal cannot keep defying the xG or expected goals stats. In at least three of our matches we’ve been predicted, using expected goals, to have drawn or lost games: these were Everton, Watford and Fulham.
In two of these, Everton and Watford, it’s easy to see how we might have drawn or lost both games on the balance of play. To keep beating the xG a team has to show superlative finishing by taking chances (difficult and easy) and also be a little fortunate not to have the opposition capitalise on theirs. The Fulham game was a little different as Fulham had many efforts which were hopeful and dire in equal measure.
Enough waffle, the point being that we’ve pulled through in tight games and secured the points without playing that brilliantly. To continue and consolidate our march up the table, we’ll need to step up a gear.
How are other possible top 6 opponents getting on?
Abu Dhabi FC
City have carried on where they left off last season; in fact some analysts suggest they’ve improved. They’ve certainly made light of missing De Bruyne through injury. The borefest 0-0 against ‘Pool showed that Pep fears Liverpool after getting caned twice last season. Enough, in fact, to set his team’s stall out with the main aim of not conceding.
Klippety has Liverpool firing again, though that front three of Salah, Firmino and Mané haven’t quite been banging the goals in at last term’s rate as of yet.
Blue London Oilers
Have, perhaps, been carried a little by Hazard’s sparkling form, though have also had the easiest start of the top 6.
Not really started that well but are on the same points as us. Their squad looks a little threadbare with Poxyttino unable to spend in the summer. Let’s hope their new ground opening at Christmas gives them a bad present rather than a boost.
Newton Heath Wealth Merchants
Their start to this season has been very amusing. Long may it continue.
Anyway, back to the poll – where do you think we’ll end up come May?
Admittedly it’s such early days that any answer is more likely to be a guess or hope than anything else………..
Up the Arse.
Another top read. You really are putting the effort in.
What a fascinating season and exciting, all at the same time. I think it would take very little for us to go up a gear.
The central defence is still getting to know each other but that is getting better all the time reflected by the clean sheets that seem to be getting more common.
The wingbacks are looking more and more comfortable in understanding their roles and the midfield is starting to bed in nicely.
The club withdrawing Ramsey’s contract offer makes life a little easier for Unai in the sense he does not have to include him for the sake of protecting one of the club’s important assets; Taff can be picked as and when he is needed which also means that Ozil can be played in his favoured position.
And the attack, well they are just hot damn brilliant.
Book the bus Unai it’s coming home………………
Cheers, LB, it’s become a bit of a hobby to pass the time. This one was based on one of Rasp’s old drafts. It’s a bit shit, but who cares?
I know most don’t bother comment and if I couldn’t see the stats behind (post title-driven, admittedly), I probably wouldn’t bother.
My enthusiasm will probably wane at some point.
p.s. “Book the bus….” haha, so you were one of the optimists who went for ‘First’ 🙂
I liked reading this.
great post as always. IMHO, we have a chance at the 4th place and we will battle it out with Man Utd and Spurs. It will come down to consistancy and also head-to-head against direct rivals so as we near the showdown with Spurts, let us hope for a win vs them 🙂
I think we have to be cautiously optimistic meaning – we are still all over the place defensively and we don’t control the game and midfield as we would like to BUT there are quite come positives, especially our intensity, our ability to score and the general good feeling in the squad.
So where will be end up in May? Let us hope for a 4th place but with a EL or FA Cup win as well 🙂
I also hope that Ramsey stays with us or is forced to leave in January. We can’t afford to lose him for free.
Thanks Bro. Good way to stimulate all the half full and half empties, and you know what I am!!
Although I still have a dollop on them to win the League at 11-1 from before the season started, I plumped for third, as this is a serious site and not a place for frippery.
Always felt Manure and Chelski were the ones to struggle this year, and one kick in the goolies for their irritating Belgium git, and I still think I could be right.
As for Totteringham……well, I’ve dusted off the “Always in our shadow” T-Shirt and it will soon be another “mind the gap”…….
at 2:05 is escellent
thanks for another great daily post
I voted 1st
Thanks chas, great work once again.
I’ll stick by my prediction from the other day at TFFB …
top 6 = 1 pool, 2 citeh, 3 chavs, 4 By Far The Greatest team 5 totnum, 6 mancs …. although I can see one or both of the 5th and 6th imploding and not even making European football next season.
If we do make top 4, I will be a very happy gooner. I also think we’ll win a trophy this season … don’t press me on which one 🙂
Rasp I hope your predictions will materialize 🙂
You are most certainly the White Knight of AA Chas, I for one hope you don’t lose your enthusiasm for writing posts. You have rejuvenated the blog and it’s a joy to read your posts.
On to the topic – my wish and hope is for a top four position but frankly I feel that our current position has arrived on the back of a whole lot of luck. Our defense during the first 6 EPL games was very porous and, could have, and should have been breached more often – but we rode our luck and are currently fourth.
In the next 7 games we play Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United my feeling is that we will not know the teams full ability until those games are played.
I will opt for fifth position and hold out hope for a top four position.
GN5 – always so wise and realistic 🙂
It’s all bluff, GN5 is a romantic at heart and voted for 1st
Check out Nobbs goal for Arsenal Women against Chelsea, pretty impressive.
More nostalgic than romantic LB – my wife and children would say – logical and realistic.
I would relish seeing us win another EPL title as my time clock is running low on minutes (logical and realistic).
I will be watching the England v Spain game this afternoon on Sky Sports Main.
I’m testing my son’s Beelink model GT1 TV receiver – the one time cost was $120.00 and it can pick up 100% of TV programming from the UK, US, Canada and a host of other countries, plus TV series, Sports and Movies. It’s absolutely incredible – so easy to use – basically plug and play, One drawback is that it does not have a recording feature but you can replay all the the previous weeks programming. I’ve been testing the box for about 10 days and it’s behaved perfectly. (My son may experience retrieval difficulties)
Why is the 22nd of October so far away?….I am getting Arsenal withdrawal symptom
Have internet. Could do another poll 🙂
Thanks for yesterday Chas. I haven’t voted yet, so just wondering how sensible to me, and in fact, it’s quite difficult because I simply don’t know how good this new look team can be.
Newton Heath Wealth Merchants 🙂
Apparently some Sheiky is about to oil them up
Here’s a good word…..Wampum
Can you imagine the difference in the results if we’d lost just before the interlull?
Here’s that nonsensical xG stuff I was on about. They reckon we’d be 11th if our late goal timing and strikers weren’t so superb.
“if our strikers weren’t superb” ROLF
That’s the xG theory fucked then 🙂
One footballing comment that really cheered me up yesterday was GN5’s news that we’re playing Pool, Spuds and United in the next 7 games
We’ve had a great run against minnows and plenty of time to bond as a new look unit, so time to play someone decent
Something else I found was our pass map for the first 63 minutes against Fulham ( that was before the first sub – Auba for Danny ).
The average touch position is shown and it does show Micki on the right side. Perhaps he drifted all over the pitch in the last 30 mins after all the super subs had come on the pitch? 🙂
More interestingly, I think it shows we were almost playing 4-2-4.
I bet that’s a formation you could get behind!
do you need/want another positional/player poll for today?
If you want to do one, then yes please.
Don’t think Cech vs Leno has much mileage though.
How about a formation one?
p.s. I’m voting for 2-3-5.
Proper old school – when shit football was fun to watch.
I democratically volunteer
You dictate the terms and content
What are you now, the European Union? 🙂
Haha, did you see that Harry and Meghan are expecting a baby due on Brexit Day?
p.s. not sure you can democratically volunteer. What’s the alternative?
I only found out yesterday that in the term E-numbers, the ‘E’ stands for Europe.
I’d always thought it stood for extra , as in added, or some other scientific term beginning with ‘E’.
How thick am I?
Young Global Leaders!!
Yikes, sounds like uniforms are needed
Can’t be bothered to look it up, but pretty sure E199 is pure gold