Over achieving, under achieving or just achieving?
“Arsenal only finished fourth because they beat the teams they should of beaten to get there” a great quote from Alan Shearer and one that says nothing but it got me thinking what have Arsenal achieved this season (if anything) in the Premier League? They have finished with three more points than last year, ten more goals, won the same amount of games, drawn more and so by default have lost less. Overall the figures show that Arsenal have had a better season than last even conceding fewer goals (12 in total in the PL).
So what does this say to us?
Have Arsenal over achieved? No, over achieving would be (to me anyhow) finishing on or above 80 points, have they under achieved nope, looking at the clubs above Arsenal you would expect at the start of the season to be there. So Arsenal have this season achieved, achieved stability, a base for the club with its rumoured freedom to pay more money to use as a springboard.
Looking at the other top clubs – Manchester United after spending £48,000,000 on players in the summer have also achieved stability, yes I know they walked away with the premier league but looking at this and last season they won the same, drew the same, lost the same, scored three more goals and conceded ten more and finished with the same amount of points. If you compare Arsenal and Manchester United you would say they both balance out in achieving. The two teams who do not are Manchester City who have underachieved and Chelsea who although have on the difference from last season to this over achieved, you would say that they have also underachieved.
Manchester City after spending £54,000,000 won fewer, drew more and lost more games. They scored fewer goals, conceded a greater number of goals and finished with nine less points than last season. Meanwhile Chelsea won more, drew less and lost less this season scoring more goals and conceding fewer goals receiving eleven more points in the process. To do this Chelsea spent £92,000,000. To me a club that has spent the total they have over the past two seasons should not be beating Arsenal into third by the matter of two points. They should and Manchester City should be looking at a minimum of eighty points a season.
That leaves Spurs, another team who have just achieved. They did get three more points by winning one more game and not losing it. They scored exactly the same but conceded five more goals and it did cost them £61,000,000 to do this.
What can we deduce from this for next season, not much? Will Manchester City with a new manager draw less games, which is what cost them this season? Will Manchester United drop from the constant level they have shown over the past two seasons with Moyes in charge? Will Chelsea with a new (ish) manager push on to where their spending should take them? and will Spurs keep Bale?
But more importantly what will Arsenal do?
Can Wenger in possibly his last season at the club improve the club record next season?
Can he get the squad to turn ten draws into five and seven loses into five?
Looking at results this season and going back to the Shearer’s quote at the top to get to a 28, 5 & 5 record Arsenal needed to make five draws into wins-
Sunderbus, Stoke RFC, Fulham, Southampton and Aston Villa
And to make seven loses into five so any two from-
Chelsea, Norwich, Manchester United, Swansea, Manchester city, Chelsea and Spurs. If Arsenal can turn a couple of those losses into draws as well then that is how you win the league.
Can Arsenal do something next year in the league? Yes and not by over achieving but by beating who we should beat.