Arsenal FC – Why is our away form so poor?

GN5’s post yesterday reminded us of our dreadful away form last season, especially in the 2018 calendar year to May when it took that final day of the season victory over Huddersfield to break our duck. Anyway, this set in motion a train of thought about how long our away form has been in decline.

Away games only since 2010

As you can see from the above, our away form ranking was fairly high earlier in the decade; higher in fact than our final League position in many cases. Season 2015/16 was the odd ‘Leicester as champions’ season and our away form ranking was one position lower than our final League position (thanks to the spuds coming third in a two-horse race). 🙂

In season 2016/7 we got pipped to the 4th Champions League place by Liverpool by only one point, came 5th and our away form ranking was 6th.

Joined in August 2016

Last season the slide really began. Finishing in 6th, our away form was disastrous. We ended up 11th best in terms of away form, winning just the 4 games (including that final day win at Huddersfield).

The current season is only 66% complete and we have faced most of the top teams away from home already – so perhaps it is much too early to judge if there’s been an improvement. We currently have a ranking of 9th in terms of away form (having decent home form has kept us in the top 6).

Our points per game averages this season stand at 2.46 at home and 1.25 away, a difference of +1.21 which is the highest in the Premier League (the pesky spuds have the best away form and have actually won more points away than at home – largely thanks to dubious penalties and goals in Fergie time, it has to be said).

Our goals conceded this season stand at 36 with 25 of those coming while on the road, a percentage of 69% – again the highest proportion of away goals in the Premier League.

When Unai Emery joined the Club, he must have looked at last season’s results with dismay. Our away form needed sorting and goals conceded column reducing (though I’m sure Micky will disagree with the latter). Shoring up the defence, getting us to actually defend as a team and plugging the large gaps left for opponents to exploit on the counter (especially behind the full backs),  all must have been priorities.

Some might say that results this season are relatively unimportant as the new manager strives to get the team playing in a new style to his own liking and there is some truth in that suggestion. Unai has tried 4 at the back and a back three with wing backs with varying degrees of success.

It’s true also, that some of these changes have been prompted by our horrendous luck with injuries, Rob Holding really was looking like our number one centre back and with Nacho injured, the Wardrobe at wing back gives us far more confidence than him playing as left back in a four. The double pivot of Xhaka and Terrier appeared to be a successful pairing which was then curiously amended to push our Uruguayan further forward and wider. The need to make early subs at half time has suggested Senor Emery is still trying to find the right formula for a longer term strategy and that he will still make some errors of selection as he beds in.

Our remaining away games this season …..

Huddersfield … 9th February

Spuds …  2nd March (now confirmed as a Wembley fixture)

Wolves … 16th March

Everton …  6th April

Watford …  13th April

Leicester …  27th April

Burnley …   12th May

Perhaps we’ll see a steady improvement in the last 7 away matches and exploit our ‘relatively easy’ run-in. Then again, those West Ham and Southampton defeats are still fresh in the mind. The game at the London Stadium possibly our worst away performance of the season. Perhaps our best performance came at Fulham when a Harlem Globetrotters style exhibition produced magnificent entertainment.

Anyhow, what do you think? What has caused this apparent fragility away from the Emirates?

Will we see our defence start to gel as injured players return and partnerships have a chance to develop, promoting far greater solidity away from home?

Or do we just need to score more at the other end ?  Creating more chances against Huddersfield tomorrow might be a good place to start.



48 Responses to Arsenal FC – Why is our away form so poor?

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry, Chas, post is way too long this time

    I’ll have another crack when I’m feeling stronger 🙂

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Cracking post Chas and a conundrum. Why?

    One would think that playing away would benefit a team with such pace on the counter – attack. We are used to teams playing 10 men behind the ball at The Emirates and somehow find a way to win yet cannot find the solution away.

    I don’t understand it.

  3. RC78 says:

    Can’t understand why either…do you have the stats for our home form in the same period?

  4. fred1266 says:

    Unai Emery is desperate for Arsenal to end their struggles away from home when they visit Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday.

    Arsenal have fallen to sixth in the table, mostly due to a poor run of six away league games without a win.

    But they have a huge chance to return to winning ways when they take on bottom-placed Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.

    While Emery is wary of Huddersfield under Jan Siewert, who was appointed in January, he knows Arsenal must find form on the road.

    “We started very well away, changing our mentality, but now we need to recover this confidence, to recover this performance and the next opportunity is Saturday against Huddersfield,” he told UK media.

    Arsenal FC

    ▪️ Who could feature in #HUDARS?
    ▪️ Latest on @HenrikhMkh
    ▪️ @DenisSuarez6’s availability@UnaiEmery_’s thoughts on all that and much, much more 👇

    10:39 AM – Feb 7, 2019
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

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    200 people are talking about this
    “But it is difficult. These matches are difficult and they are playing for the possibility to continue in the Premier League.

    “Their last results have not been good but with their new coach, I am sure that they are going to play with a big ambition and a big performance on Saturday.

    “I think they have good players with a good organisation. They push a lot and I know it will be difficult. For us as well, away games have been a challenge and each match is a new challenge.”

  5. RA says:

    GN5’s Posts are obviously having an impact, as Chas’ Post today looked and sounded as if GN5 had written it.

    [Compliments due to both]

    And then I read Fred’s comment, and well done to him too for gleaning the info from the manager and Twitter and relaying it on here.

    We now need to know how you [Fred] would fix Arsenal’s away form problems.

  6. chas says:

    RC, here you go

  7. VP of Oz says:

    best form of defence is an offence
    we are about 2 players short of a great attack
    Ivan Perišić and Ante Rebić

    in advance, sorry for my poor contribution to this post

  8. VP of Oz says:

    great post chas

  9. LBG says:

    One of the reasons is illustrated by that picture of Mustafi!!. Just about to be turned inside out, (and probably booked) having gone to ground and committed himself totally!!
    In other words lack of calm, quick, talented leaders in defence. Too many plonkers, Rodney, and not enough ” Rodneys”.

  10. chas says:

    My apologies to Shkodran for that photo – it was intended as a joke.(Mind you, when I was looking for the date he joined the Club, I was flabbergasted to see he was bought for over £35m, reportedly)


    I was trying to work out what you meant by “Rodneys”.

    TA6’s nickname was ‘Rodders’, 🙂

  11. chas says:

    Do you remember when Womens’ football was a bit pants?

  12. LBG says:

    “RODDERS” was of course what Del boy called Rodney when being chummy! Rodney was saved for when he was doing a “our Mum” telling off.

  13. Rasp says:

    Great work and stats chas. I’d ask all the questions you have … and fail to provide any answers except “watch this space”. Surely our away form will improve in these last away fixtures … if we end the season having improved then I guess that’s all we could epect. We looked pretty good on the times when we had our best defenders available and watching from the upper tier you could see the shape of the team in defense had improved no end.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent stuff, Chas. Love the use of stats like this. But what do they tell us? What is interesting is that Arsenal had almost identical goals against, goals for and goal differences in seasons 10/11 and 16/17 and yet in the former we had the best away record and in the latter we finished just sixth.

    To do well away psychology/mindset as well as tactics seem key, and we just have not been getting it right for a while now. We averaged about 2nd for the first six seasons in your top table, so what changed after that?

  15. LBG says:

    Almost as good as his “brooms”.

  16. LBG says:

    Mind you, I wouldn’t goes as far as “two decades”!

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Great post Chas – right up my alley.

    As BR stated at 9:23 it’s odd that our away form is so poor as we are not usually facing a double decker bus. The relatively easy remaining away game should be favourable to us in fact with the exception of back to back games against Spurs and Man U our run in should be in our favour.

    Remaining games for 2108/19

    Huddersfield a
    Southampton h
    Bournemouth h
    Tottenham a
    Manchester U h
    Wolves a
    Newcastle h
    Everton a
    Watford a
    Crystal Palace h
    Leicester a
    Brighton h
    Burnley a

  18. fred1266 says:

    Isn’t rebic a striker

  19. fred1266 says:

    Talking about women football and there pants remember Blatters comments about they should be shorter or something like that smh

  20. LBG says:

    You are dragging down the quality of debate with comments about ladies pants. Knickers to you, sir!

  21. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for all the recent posts guys. Have just read them recently.

    Not sure why the away form is bad currently, but I would say that the last 10 years or so have seen us alternate between different areas that we are statistically good or bad in. We have been terrible defending set pieces but not so exposed on counter-attacks but have then seen these switch around.

    I am sure (off the top of my head) that we have gone through periods over the last 10 years where we have been good away from home and bad at home only to find right now it is the other way round. That means there is no consistency to where we statistically look poor.

    It is probably more an indication that we have always (in the last number of years) had certain squad and coaching areas left unaddressed, so we can never be strong enough in all areas and are always undermined each season in some way. It is why a fresh and different approach has been required for a while.

    If anything I am more concerned with the goings on at board level than with the manager. I have a feeling that there seems to be a distinct lack of interest in the club and its success from Kroenke and those around him that doesn’t leave me feeling entirely hopeful moving forwards.

    I am totally in the UE needs time to shape his team. If I was to aim a critique at him I would say that he is more a systems manager rather than reactive or adaptive manager, i.e he mainly has a preferred system that he wants to adopt, rather than adapt the system to the strength of the players he has.

    In many ways I hope he sticks to his guns even if we are exposed at times. Guardiola and Klopp both went through it and basically used the initial period to see who could adapt to their methods and then make decisions on who goes who stays and who comes in.

    Guardiolas transition phase was shorter because he had already inherited most of what he needed and after that could get everything else he needed in one TW. I would say Liverpool and Klopp would be more a relevant example to us, having not inherited a team as close to being ready as Guardiola did, and it will take us a bit longer as it did Klopp likely happening over 2-3 TW’s rather than the 1.

    I think we need 2 (possibly 3) big purchases and that massive clear-out talked about. Even if funds are tight this year I still think there are opportunities to enter next season much stronger even with minimal outlay if we are clever about it.

  22. LBG says:

    Hector has spent his down time making a Lego replica of the Capitol building!
    Now that’s footie news!

  23. fred1266 says:

    great points GB

  24. LBG says:

    You’ve cracked it! A Fred comment to something said today!!…………. Unless he remembers something from the last time you were on!!

  25. fred1266 says:

    lol @ LBG

    make it two in a row

  26. RA says:

    Have you ever had an itch somewhere unreachable?

    I was trying to remember the name of a young Irish blogger who occasionally commented on AA.
    I don’t know why — it was just something that floated across my id, and then itched like crazy on the inside of my skull, a bit like when your teeth tickle and need a scratch.

    Then — just like that — as if an unguis had scratched the offending inner surface of my cranium– lo and behold — I got it.

    Very nice young woman.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Unsurprisingly her blog name name was Irish Gooner. Mary. She loved Lady Gaga and had both LG and a couple of AFC tattoos.

    As you say, a very nice young woman

  28. RA says:

    Thank you BR, I had finally remembered.

    After you, IG was the first (therefore technically the 2nd) person to chat to me on AA.

    Two fine introductions for me into the Society of Arsenal Arsenal, but unlike we two, she soon disappeared, off into the ether.

    I am occasionally quite sad that many of the wonderful people we used to know on AA have — no doubt because life goes on in the ‘real world’ too — gone on to other things. Pity.

    It is worrying that Terry, father off Passthepolos, and Maverickpanos, seems to be sliding away too.
    How very dare he — especially without permission. 🤠

  29. chas says:

    It’s so good that you’ve stuck with us come rain or shine, through thick or thin, come hither or come whether when so many others have fallen by the way side.
    Thank you.

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    Yea that’s right RA – where does that Terry get off thinking he can come and go as he pleases – the cheek of it!!!

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m with Chas and the rest of us AA vets – I’m very happy that you grace us with your presence RA.

  32. chas says:

    Match day!

    Stuart MacF’s photo of the training ground this week

  33. chas says:

  34. chas says:

  35. LB says:

    They are funny, those things.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Game day and a new recruit for Arsenal Gentlemen. Will he get on stage today?

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Saturday Feb 9. Weather outlook for Huddersfield 15-17:00 hrs GMT

    Winds South West at 17 mph, chance of rain 9%, air temperature 8 degrees, partial sun. Likelihood of a Mesut start: 5%

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Aaaad..motning all

    Thanks for post yesterday Chas, never found the strength nor time

    Love the Wuthering Heights vid

    What is The Arse Gents name for Suarez?

  39. chas says:

    Denis Sudworth, ‘The Middling Midfielder’. Apparently my special move is a 15-yard reasonably accurate pass to a teammate called ‘The Quite Good Pass’.

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    right, I have 10 mins to get out of the house and nowhere near ready. Back for the game

  42. chas says:

    Arsenal Gent seems unimpressed and has judged him already. ]His weekly review is about how average Suarez is, so I’m not going to put the link up here.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    There is a concise New Post

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