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A Look At The 10-Game Run In 8 March, 2013

Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
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It’s been a pretty quiet week, as you’d imagine. What with the poor result on Sunday and nothing to look forward to this weekend it’s been an ideal opportunity to bury some heads in the sand and take a break for a bit. I hope behind the scenes it’s being taken as a moment of a reflection and a time to focus on the mountain task ahead.

On the other side of North London. Things are looking all happy and cheery, they think the glory days are finally here. There’s still a way to go yet you lot, don’t forget how hilariously you’ve fucked it up before. Last night they beat Inter Milan at home 3-0. Great, two words for you: Europa League. No I didn’t watch it, I ended up watching some terrible thing about turning around the fortunes of a fancy dress shop in Liverpool and then moved onto a programme about what happened to the Hindenburg. We know what happened, it blew up. This is how far down my agenda the Europa League is. I do not give a fuck, I couldn’t give two shits that you beat team from a failing league at home.

We also beat Inter Milan this week, in obviously a far more prestigious competition, the NextGen Series. I watched that one, it was a game the likes of I’ve never seen live before which was closer to the water polo than football. Both teams struggled with the massively water-logged pitch but Nico Yennaris scored a great goal in the second half to put us through to the Quarter Finals. The Young Guns have got CSKA Moscow next at home, for which the venue has yet to be announced but it could be The Emirates which would be nice. I’d fancy going to that.

Edit: It has been announced that we will play CSKA at The Emirates. Tickets priced at £3/£1 for adult/child members, add a quid without membership. Good news! However I’ve just noticed I’m away snowboarding whilst the game is on. Never mind. You lot should go though!

Back to Tottenham though, as unfortunately that’s where our focus needs to be. Arsenal.com posted an article yesterday showing our form in the final 10 games of the season in years gone by. It doesn’t make great reading I’m afraid, out of the 30 points available we amassed 18 last season, 11 in 2010/11 and 17 the year before that. Before that we gained 23 in 2008/09 which is a pretty good haul but we were a different side then. 18, 11 and 17 doesn’t sounds like much out of 30 but then we’re never going to get 30. I mean if we did we’d probably end up in a title race so that’s not going to happen.

Instead we have to focus on what Tottenham and Chelsea do and gain 7 or 5 more points than them respectively. Spurs are on a good run and the confidence from being us and Inter will encourage them but I’m still holding out that their form book will go up like the Hindenburg and become engulfed in a massive ball of flames, fall plummeting to the ground, cause total destruction to all associated with them and possibly set a few people on fire. Might be getting carried away with that image in my head.  So, here are their final 10 games, and my complete guess at what the results might be.

Tottenham:
Liverpool (A) – Loss
Fulham (H) – Win
Swansea (A) – Draw
Everton (H) – Win
Chelsea (A) – Loss
Man City (H) – Loss
Wigan (A) – Win
Southampton (H) – Win
Stoke (A) – Win
Sunderland (H) – Win
Total – 19 pts

Chelsea:
West Ham (H) – Win
Southampton (A) – Win
Sunderland (H) – Win
Tottenham (H) – Win
Liverpool (A) – Draw
Swansea (H) – Draw
Man Utd (H) – Loss
Aston Villa (A) – Win
Everton (H) – Draw
Total – 18pts

Now obviously, that’s not going to happen but it’s just an estimate. Spurs will undoubtedly go and beat Liverpool on Sunday now I’ve said they’ll lose. However it gives you an idea of just how much we have to do. If those points totals come true then it means we must take 23 points to overtake Chelsea or 26 points to finish above Spurs. Quite frankly I just don’t see that happening.

What we need is big favours from the likes of Fulham, Everton, Wigan, Southampton, Stoke and Sunderland. We need Spurs and/or Chelsea to string together a run of two or three bad results to really give us a chance. And when you look at our run in, it’s not the easiest in the world either.

Arsenal:
Swansea (A)*
Reading (H)
West Brom (A)
Norwich (H)
Everton (H)*
Fulham (A)
Man Utd (H)*
QPR (A)
Wigan (H)
Newcastle (A)

Swansea, Everton and Man United are ones that straight away you can see potential points lost. We’re going to need an absolute minimum of 20 points which means winning all of those games without an *. However it’s not that unlikely we could take six points against Swansea and Everton and it’s not completely a given that Man United will come to The Emirates and win. At the same time though, that’s without even mentioning the strong likelihood of us screwing up against teams lower down the league. Whatever happens, we’re going to have record a strong improvement on those final 10 game points totals from the past three seasons.

It’s do-able, but it’s huge challenge. Can we rise to it? I really don’t know at all. I set out to write this to see what it will take to finish 4th, and to hopefully give me a bit of confidence of it happening. I’m not sure I’ve given myself that. As I said, we’re reliant on the Spurs fuck-up gene to enter the equation or the self-imploding-machine that is Chelsea Football Club to do it’s worst.

It’s going to be exciting either way. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do and what those oppositions listed above us can take off our rivals. Speak to you soon as before that we have Mission Impossible Part I: The Bayern Job. Thanks for reading.

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Comments»

1. dean - 8 March, 2013

To properly judge Wengers time at Arsenal he should be judged by the same standards over 2 seperate time periods, the first 7 years and the last 8 years. During the first 7 years he won several trophies, bought some exceptional players. and played the most exciting football in the league. During this period Wenger was a fantastic manager. However the next 8 years, he won no trophys, bought some terrible players, and played some pretty predictable football. During this period Wenger has been a very disappointing manager and the team has seriously declined in all ways.

perry - 8 March, 2013

So the media and many of our own fans repeat the mantra about x years and won nothing. If you then ask those people : is it just all about trophies? Do you only love Arsenal when they win? Then most will answer: No, no but I just want us to compete.

So what is actually competing? I think that competing is something like coming close to winning. Now of course we can all have different opinions but I think that competing in the league means finishing with only 6 points behind. And in the cup competitions I would say that reaching the final or semi final is rather competing. So let us have a look at the fact if we were competing or not?

League behind FA Cup League Cup CL
2006
4
24
4th round semi final final
2007
4
21
5th round Final last 16
2008
3
4
5th round semi final quarter final
2009
4
18
semi final quarter final semi final
2010
3
11
4th round quarter final quarter final
2011
4
12
6th round Final last 16
2012
3
19
5th round quarter final last 16

So in 2006 with all the big names we still had we finished 4th and were 24 points behind. But we got to the semi final of the League cup and to the final of the CL. We were some 17 minutes away from winning the CL with almost an entire game playing with 10. So we competed for 2 trophies.

In 2007 we finished 4th in the league, still with some big names on our books and were 21 points behind. The only thing we were competing for was the League cup that season. We lost the final. A very young squad got beaten by a late goal from a complete Chelsea. Not a great season of course but we competed for one trophy.

In 2008 we came close to winning the title. And we would have won the title if the refs would have allowed it. We came 3rd with only 4 points behind. We also reached the semi final of the League cup that season. So a season we were competing for 2 trophies.

In 2009 we came 4th in the league with 18 points behind. We reached the semi final of the FA cup. And we also reached the semi final of the champions league in that season. So again one could say that we were competing for 2 trophies.

2010 was a bad year. Finishing 3rd is not really bad but 11 points behind the champions was a too big gap to say we were competing. And we couldn’t reach a semi final or final in that season. So we didn’t compete for a trophy in that year.

In 2011 we finished 4th with a 12 point gap in the league between ourselves and the champions. The FA cup and the CL was no real success although we beaten Barcelona at home but only to see Busacca sending Van Persie off when we were qualified at that moment in time. But we did reach the final of the League cup. We lost it in the last seconds. But we competed for one trophy and we won against the best team in the world and only lost because of a Catalan backheal and a rather biased ref.

Last season was a season where we didn’t compete. We lost our two best players. We made it from 17th in the league up to 3rd but the gap of 19 points was a big one. I just want to mention that based on the second half of the season Arsenal was keeping up the tempo with the two Manchester teams. But no real joy in the cups of champions league last season.

So if we take all this and put this in a table we can see this as our “competing table”

Competed on possible 4
2006
2

2007
1

2008
2

2009
2

2010
0

2011
1

2012
0

So in those 7 years we only had 2 years where you really could say that we didn’t compete at all. That was in the season 2009-2010 and the strange thing is that this was a season when we still had Cesc, Nasri, RVP, Clichy, Song …

And last season when we lost Cesc and Nasri two of our star players we didn’t really compete. And it is possible to say that this season again we lost two of our star players and the result is that we don’t compete unless we deliver a real surprise in the coming days.

So after seeing this it is clear we didn’t win a trophy in those years. I’m not even claiming that 4th place is a trophy to make up the numbers. If I would take that point of view things would look completely different and better. But I will not.

But you cannot say that we didn’t compete in those years. 3 finals, 4 semi finals and one league title stolen under our nose is what we did in those years without a trophy. I do think this is competing.

I could use the words once said: do you love Arsenal for the trophies? Or do you just love Arsenal? Is a trophy the only yardstick you want to use. Fine. Feel miserable then. But for those who claim that they just want us to compete I can only say that the in the last 7 years we did compete and on many fronts and on many occasions.

Of course the finishing touch was missing in those years. But if we look at the bigger picture and at what we had to deal with when other teams could spend money as if it was nothing. And if we look at how hamstrung we were after building the Emirates I think it is remarkable that we even could compete in those years.

2. dean - 8 March, 2013

great write up…will share this blog with some other gooners..well done!!

3. Jimin - 8 March, 2013

Dean, i hope your second name is not mic. How ever, in the second spare of 8 yrs he build a stadium that many teams dont have but will wish to have even if they were to sacrify their trophies. Beta learn to respect wenger

4. lasagnechef - 8 March, 2013

Wenger is a victim of his own success. If you judge us against the period before his arrival, he’s doing alright! Not that it’s acceptable, just saying.

5. Jmahon - 8 March, 2013

Competition both in the prem and the transfer market has been bigger in his last 8 years though. With him having less to spend because of the move to The emirates. A move that will ensure our future as a top club for the next 50 years. So there are things like that also that must be taken into consideration. Not mindless trophy counting. but I agree we could and should have at least won a cup or 2 in the last years or sustained a stronger and more permanent title challenge. At least not sold our best players to our rivals which for me hurts more than not having won trophies.

6. DEREK - 8 March, 2013

I was a big supporter of Wenger’s for a long, long time but over the last couple of seasons, I started to have more and more doubts, until this season when I finally snapped. Please don’t make the mistake that this is about no trophies for 8 years. I know that for many of my fellow Gooners that is the case, but for many more of us, it isn’t about that at all – it’s about Wenger doing the best he can with what he has available and he hasn’t done that for a while now. We have a defence where not one player knows what the other is going to do. We have a semi-decent ‘keeper but not good enough yet to be our no.1, while top ‘keepers like Lloris and Cudacini(sp?) have slipped right under Wenger’s nose – he’s has a decade to replace Seaman and the closest he came was Lehmann – 8 years ago. He’s arrogant with nothing to be arrogant about, he lies to us, he sticks with the same tactics (or lack of) every single week and is still trying to do things exactly the same way he did 17 years ago, with poorer quality players, while the rest of football has moved on. So in answer to who could take over – AVB, Moyes, Rodgers and Laudrup are just 4.

7. DEREK - 11 March, 2013

so liverpool hand us a life line, and chelsea get an extra fixture were they cant afford to rest their top players. all in all, a good day for us. however, we need to make the most of these breaks. too many times we fail when handed a life line. if we dont beat swansea, then it will became apparent tottenham and chelsea are not simply doing better than us, but are a level higher than us. and if we dont beat swansea and finish 5th (or below). then wenger must surely realise the squad are not good enough. over the years wwnger passes of shortcomings and failure on inexperience, bad luck ect ect. has it ever occurred to him, the players are just not good enough, and new players are needed?


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