8:14PM 19/7/2015, Lagos, Nigeria
Honestly, I know what this blogpost is meant to be about but almost one hour in and I am still looking at my blank Microsoft Word page, thinking how to come up with the words to fill it. This is certainly a grave case of writer’s block especially considering I haven’t even written on this blog for several months, I wonder if anyone would actually visit to read. To show how deep my current despair is, I spent a few minutes wondering why no technology has been built to convert thoughts directly to text.
Google answereth all and a quick search revealed there has been some serious research into my current dilemma. Not much of this research has produced results close to solving my issue but I am willing to share with you the closest I found from Inhabitat. The problem however was that this research required the volunteers to read text, before the brain would interprete it and then the device would convert it to text. Clearly, this cannot solve my problem as it is the read text that I even seek.
9:30PM 19/7/2015 (Certainly Still Lagos, Nigeria)
The Mrs. steps in to ask what I am writing about, before I could answer, she reads the top two paragraphs you just read, she knows I haven’t found the time to write in months. She rubs my head, walks out, brings me a cup of juice and says she wants to read the finished post before she sleeps. No pressure.
9:36PM 19/7/2015, (where else will I be really) – Brain activated
Ironically while I struggle to find the words to start, the post seeks to speak to Arsenal’s seeming attitude to always start the league campaign poorly. The popular cliché “You cannot win the league in November but you can lose it” gives the impression that it was crafted for Arsenal. What is even more ironic is that we always end our EPL campaigns in almost direct contrast to how we start, in our chase for Champions League place.
Lack of signings, injuries, World Cup hangover feature top most on the reasons chart for our poor starts. In the last five years our best start was the 2013/2014 season where we lost just one of our first ten games. The loss being our first game against Aston Villa popular for the spend, spend banner held up by a fan close to Wenger. That season we topped the league till about December and led the league longer than any other club including the eventual winners Man City. We finished behind City by 7 points. Our best in the last 5 seasons.
Nothing brings a team together than winning games and the feeling is much better when winning games translates into a trophy. The FA cup victory two seasons ago was meant to be the catalyst for a great start to the 2014-2015 season but that did not happen. “World Cup Hangover” for key squad members was the feelers we got from the club. We are in a similar position now, and with a much better squad. If the table below is anything to go by, Arsenal needs to ensure the start to the season is much stronger than we have ever done.
While the season is long and hard and certainly will have twists and turns, I feel 10 games is enough for any serious team that intends to win the league to start laying down a marker. So for the analysis below I compared how Arsenal fared in the first ten games of the season to our challengers for the trophy over a four year period.
- Highlighted cells indicate eventual winners of the league that year.
Data speaks to people differently, so feel free to draw your own analogy, from what the table above shows. I see a few things
- The team that eventually won the league was either leading or at least two points behind the eventual winners. Less than the points that can be obtained from winning one game.
- Arsenal struggle to get past half the number of available points (15 out of 30). We only did it comfortably for in the 2013/2014 season.
- All the teams equaled or surpassed twenty points three times in the last four seasons. Arsenal managed it just once reflected in our average performance for the period under review.
Clearly there is a problem to be addressed here if we want to be challengers and I am sure the folks at the club would be very well aware of this.
In the table below I try to show, how far we were from the leader after the first ten games and how far we were from the eventual winner of the league.
Table does not look good either and we have a great opportunity to correct this. The squad is the strongest in years and for the first time in recent years we are not buying players to fill holes but rather to improve on existing squad. Wenger has never been a believer in making massive changes or clear out of his first team players and years of gradually building a unit is beginning to come into fruition. Hopefully as we go into the season proper we do not suffer any injuries to players that will upset the current balance in the squad. With our best player from last season taking a deserved extended break, the quality in the squad looks good enough to hold water until he returns.
The question is how many points we can take from our first ten games this season; I will leave that bit to you. Let’s talk about it in the comments section below or on Twitter on @canoncrested. Hopefully it is within the range that would propel a league winning form.
Thank you for visiting, to ensure we have quality content for your next visit I am pleased to inform you that we @KingHenrythefif, @Tobiamoo and @BrainySteppo as regular columnists on the blog for the coming season. Which I’m really excited about! If you are into Podcasts, especially the kind done in pidgin English, we will have episodes from @TonyDoe78 on his Gooners podcast specials available for download from our site.
More exciting stuff; our prediction league is also up and running. We’re hoping to have more female Arsenal fans this season. So come on Goonerettes you can REGISTER HERE.
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11:13PM 19/7/2015 The Mrs. gets her wish…