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Arsenal’s first six games over the last 10 years; it’s not the goals that matter

By Tony Attwood

Stats can of course show you anything you want them to show.  The opening games of the season can be misleading because of who was played, who was injured, what the other teams were doing etc etc.

But still a table of comparison like this can still give an insight or two.

Arsenal after six games…

  Goals Goals    
  For Against Points Pos
2013/14 13 7 15 1
2012/13 10 4 9 9
2011/12 9 14 7 13
2010/11 16 7 11 3
2009/10 21 10 12 3
2008/09 12 4 12 4
2007/08 15 2 14 2
2006/07 7 3 11 6
2005/06 9 5 9 7
2004/05 21 7 16 1

What is absolutely clear is that the goal situation has little to do with the points.

Here is the same table organised not by years but by goals

  For Against Points Pos
  Goals Goals    
2006/07 7 3 11 6
2011/12 9 14 7 13
2005/06 9 5 9 7
2012/13 10 4 9 9
2008/09 12 4 12 4
2013/14 13 7 15 1
2007/08 15 2 14 2
2010/11 16 7 11 3
2009/10 21 10 12 3
2004/05 21 7 16 1

What we can see is that although goals are a good thing to have (obviously!) they are not a determining factor.  After six games it is possible to be top or third with 21 goals.  It is possible to be top with 13 goals.

So yes there is a general relationship between goals scored and points but it is not absolute.

And now when we analyse by goals against…

  For Against Points Pos
  Goals Goals    
2007/08 15 2 14 2
2006/07 7 3 11 6
2012/13 10 4 9 9
2008/09 12 4 12 4
2005/06 9 5 9 7
2013/14 13 7 15 1
2010/11 16 7 11 3
2004/05 21 7 16 1
2009/10 21 10 12 3
2011/12 9 14 7 13

As you might expect the worst total of goals against had us in the lowest position at the six match stage, but our two appearances at the top of the league after six games have very similar defensive results – and neither are that wonderful: seven goals let in.

The explanation must come with individual games – the games where the club loses heavily in the opening series, or contrary to that, wins heavily.  We might think of an away win at Everton or an away defeat at Manchester United as having a profound impact on the results in the early part of the season.But let’s try one more analysis…  what does this tell us about the end of the season?   Here’s the original chart with the final position for the season thrown in.

  For Against Points Pos Final pos
  Goals Goals      
2004/05 21 7 16 1 2
2005/06 9 5 9 7 4
2006/07 7 3 11 6 4
2007/08 15 2 14 2 3
2008/09 12 4 12 4 4
2009/10 21 10 12 3 3
2010/11 16 7 11 3 4
2011/12 9 14 7 13 3
2012/13 10 4 9 9 4
2013/14 13 7 15 1  ?

So being first at this stage is more an indicator of final position than goals are of how well we are doing this well.We wait and see.

The books…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments to Arsenal’s first six games over the last 10 years; it’s not the goals that matter

  • Patrick Harrington

    The same 6 fixtures last season produced 18 points.

    Aston Villa H 2-1
    Fulham A 1-0
    Tottenham H 5-2
    Sunderland A 1-0
    Stoke H 1-0
    Swansea A 2-0

    P 6
    W 6
    F 12
    A 3

    You could argue that Arsenal’s are in decline.

  • uk

    Somebody was meant to have learnt something new from this?

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