Arsenal Will Revert To The Mean


Over a week has passed since the West Brom defeat and the lamestream media cannot conceal their continued delight. After 12 years of lurid predictions of Arsenal’s demise, knowing full well the impact of paying for a new stadium, they are going ape-shit on the probability Arsenal may miss out on a Champion’s League place.

This week Graeme Souness was given top billing in almost all the English rags.

“Arsenal usually falter in February or March, then reach the top four with a late run in April and May, but I don’t see it happening,”

The Daily Mail on March 21st predicted Arsenal will finish 5th behind Chelsea, City, Tottenham and Liverpool (in that order).

ESPN has been in full click-bait mode since the loss to Bayern Munich as exemplified by a recent headline:

“Nightmare for Arsenal as Tottenham could cancel St. Totteringham’s Day”

Since West Brom the corporate media has done very little by way of serious analysis to verify Wengers’s post match observations:

“We didn’t create enough. We lost Sanchez in the second half, he was very dangerous in the first. He came out in the second half and he couldn’t move any more. In the first half he was a guy who created a lot.

“It leaves us in a unique situation that we’ve never had before. We face big problems to regroup and find resources to sort out the problem. We need some togetherness. We face some serious challenges. The City game at home is a big game for us.”

Instead we are treated to the sorry spectacle of failed ex-mangers and mentally challenged pundits advising the club to terminate the services of, by far, its most successful ever gaffer. Among them is Chris Sutton whom the BBC gave a podium to spout:

“He’s been selfish. I’m surprised Steve Bould doesn’t get hold of him and say this is the reality.

“He’s taking the club backwards. They have just accepted mediocrity.”

Positively Arsenal’s @BlackburnGeorge gave a fitting rebuttal to both Sutton and the BBC in his recent blog telling them to “Get in the bin!”

So is Wenger correct that we are in a unique position? All but the mindless pundits have to admit he has a point. Souness himself acknowledged that traditionally Arsenal has a bad run in February or March, which, by the way, usually coincides with trying to compete on three fronts (PL, ECL and FA cup) while having key players out due to injury. As usual don’t expect any acknowledgement of either fact by the corporate media. It would mean giving credit to a manager who has repeatedly proven success comes primarily from teaching players to play intelligent, progressive football, not by overspending and corrupting the Premier League via foreign oligarchs and Arab sheiks as well the clique of special agents who launder the cash.

For the benefit of PA readers, I have researched the data to identify any unique characteristics about this year’s team. To assist I relied on whoscored.com. They in recent years have provided detailed team statistics using both the offensive and defensive data to arrive at an overall rating for each PL club.  For the second time in 8 years, Arsenal this season-to-date has a sub-7 rating, exactly 6.98. In comparison the seven-year mean and median is 7.06 and 7.04 respectively.  The difference may seem insignificant but, over the past eight years, teams with a sub-seven rating are grimly fighting for 4th place in the premier league. Not to be overly pessimistic, Arsenal ended with a 6.94 rating in 2011/12 and finished 3rd in the PL. But that was an outlier.

Drilling down in the data, the club this year is generally below the seven-year mean in some key defensive and offensive stats.


Shots pg Tackles pg Interceptions pg Fouls pg Offsides pg
16/17 10.8 18 15.7 10.3 2.5
Mean 10.7 19.9 17.98 10.7 2.1
Median 10.6 19.7 17.70 10.4 2.2

Defensively AFC is making nearly two (2) less Tackles per game and similar drop in the number of Interceptions. Quite frankly that data surprised me. So there is something to the frequently made observation that Coquelin, in particular, is making less tackles and interceptions this season compared to last. Furthermore this deficit has not been covered by the other central midfielders.  Obviously less tackles and interceptions provide more attacking opportunities for the opposition. No wonder, of all the top-6 teams, so far this season Arsenal has the second highest number of goals against (34), second only to Liverpool (36).


Shots pg Shots OT pg Dribbles pg Fouled pg
16/17 15.1 5.1 12.3 10.1
Mean 16.2 5.9 11.3 11.4
Median 16.5 6.1 10.6 10.9

Offensively AFC is below its seven-year average in two of four categories. Shots per game is down by one. This, by the way, is part of a general trend as in 2009/10 AFC was firing 17.4 shots per game, the apogee. Most importantly, the Shots On target per game is down by 14% from the mean of 5.8 to 5.1 this season. This has not had a disparate impact as the Gunners remain the third highest goal scorers in the league behind Chelsea and Liverpool, but only just.

Months ago I did a blog using the unbiased data to show that under Wenger, both at Highbury and the Emirates, Arsenal has been the most consistent club in the league. The club’s average position over the past 20 years has been 3rd with an standard deviation of one (1).  It is highly unusual for Arsenal to swing 4 places in league ranking, i.e. from 2nd to 6th. Based on the time-tested statistical laws, such diversions from the mean are temporary and short-lived. Unlike the lamestream media who have a political interest in casting Wenger’s prudence in a bad light and to prey on the emotions of fearful Arsenal fans, those of us with some grasp on reality have no doubt Arsenal’s league position will revert to the mean. While one cannot guarantee how soon this reversion will take place it is a 95% probability. In the mean time my advice is don’t put any money on 5th.


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76 comments on “Arsenal Will Revert To The Mean

  1. I disagree anicoll. If the clubs were all fair minded and responsible to the league and football as a whole, we wouldn’t need referees or the FA/Uefa/Fifa. The fact is clubs are going to look out for themselves. The only way they won’t seek an advantage is if it is deemed against the rules and punished as such, in a fair and consistent manner (rather than the arbitrary one we see now) That is the responsibility of the PGMO, PL and FA in England, not of any individual club. It’s the sole reason for them to exist.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think the difference between us is that I think clubs only look out for themselves. Clubs came together to form the FA and the PL, to agree rules, regulations, codes of conduct. And somewhere along the line the clubs forgot that and as long as they win games they could not give a toss. I agree if it was one or two clubs then the probability is that the other 18/19 in the PL would get together and hammer the misbehaviour. But it is not one or two miscreants, it is 18/19 miscreants.


  3. it seems the FA want permission to use video refs in the FA Cup next season.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/mar/30/neymar-brazil-barcelona-santos-transfer

    Have a read of this if you need any extra confirmation about the murkiness of the sport or just want some insight into it.

    There are plenty of people out there- the entire press for one- who still like to pretend it’s all a simple matter of a player having a set value to his club, or not being for sale; you make your bid, accepted or rejected; they tell you an acceptable fee or don’t; same price for all clubs; everything straightforward and reasonably open. In Germany among German clubs, maybe, most of the time, but forget it elsewhere.

    The reality is surely miles from it and, effectively, many of the very best players are completely out of the question unless you get down and dirty, pushing the rules, and, of course, can equal or beat any other offers.


  5. I just want to remind readers that sometime ago I posited that the owners and their chief executives in the PL would be the ones to make the video ref a reality. If you invest millions in a football club how would you like your money flushed down the toilet by a biased, timid eunuch from the PGMO?

    As a reminder, in my two blogs on Ref bias I identified the main area of tilted decision-making was in the Penalties Against. The data not only showed that Arsenal was screwed more than any top-four club but that the “smaller” clubs were screwed the most. In the Penalties For data, the data showed that in the last 7 years in particular (the Mike Riley era) the PGMO not only awarded fewer penalties to AFC but definitely were more biased against the smaller clubs who in the non-PGMO era were often in the top tier of the league in getting penalties. Now they are perenially in the bottom, never figuring in the penalty lottery.

    Do you think these foreigners “rescuing” one of these clubs from financial disaster are unaware of the data? How do you think they feel when a chance to stay in the PL is denied because of biased decision-making? Don’t you think in the halls of the FA and the PL they will make common cause with Gazidis and other CEOs to push for the video ref?

    I have no hard data to back up my thesis but the circumstantial evidence is mounting. The video ref is on its way no matter how the luddites in English football, EUFA and FIFA sneer and turn up their nose at the data. Reality is hard to ignore for very long.


  6. Has it been the owners and the CEOs who’ve pushed the VAR Shotts ?


  7. Circumstantial evidence Andy. I don’t see where fans have made this an issue. They are so far up their ass trying to prove how they know better than AW.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Team news: Cech, Cazorla, Ozil, Lucas

    Arsène Wenger provided plenty of early team news at his pre-Manchester City press conference.

    The boss gave updates on Petr Cech, Lucas and Santi Cazorla, and also discussed Mesut Ozil’s fitness.

    This is what he said:

    on early team news…
    We have lost Petr Cech at West Brom – he will not be fit for Sunday. Apart from that Cazorla, Lucas as well is not fit. That should basically be it.

    on Lucas’ problem…
    He has a thigh problem.

    on Cech timescale…
    I think he could miss Sunday and Wednesday against West Ham. He may be available again after.

    on Cazorla update…
    Unfortunately no. I think the season is over for him.

    on Mesut and whether he’s able to start again…
    He is, yes. He is in contention to start again. He played 20 minutes with Germany in Azerbaijan and he came back focused and worked very hard this week.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170330/team-news-cech-cazorla-ozil-lucas#qtg1PlH5t3DM0lbb.99


  9. People seem to speak well of people when they die ,but this guy was a real good one.
    16 years already
    Always Positive respect
    RIP David

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Don’t forget it’s April 1st folks if you have a look for any Arsenal news with your morning coffee!

    Disrespectful Twats at Express and similar didn’t quite catch me out with their hilarious Wenger sacked, Wenger resigns, Santi has had experimental surgery on his ankle garbage, but I was pretty tired and I certainly hadn’t remembered the date.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mirror FootballVerified account @MirrorFootball
    The damning statistic that proves Alexis Sanchez is taking it easy at Arsenal http://bit.ly/2nrL6Db


  12. We should sign Crouchie !

    Or maybe ……


  13. well although its a story that was put out there yesterday, it does to me seem to have a hint of the April fools day about it, Wenger to sign a new two year contract, Patrick Vieira to come in as assistant manager, with a view to taking over from Wenger in two years time. A new position of Director of Football to be added, with possibly Robert Pires getting that role. Also an ex player to be added to the board.

    Our re-development of the Hale End Academy was officially opened yesterday. A new head of the youth academy is yet to be named, with Steve Morrow a front runner for the role.


  14. currently liverpool lead everton 2-1, if it remains that way, lfc will have a 9pt lead over us, but with 3 games more played, also efc would be level on pts with us but also have played 3 more games.


  15. I was approached by Ivan Gazidis to be the next Arsenal Manager. I explained that it was a great honour, thanked him for the offer but had to decline. Unfortunately I have a demanding allotment that takes up most of my time.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Lol at George. No ambition.


  17. The AST, has April Fooled John Cross – an easy target!

    The AST have now under 1000 members, only 424 of whom, bothered to do a written reply to the AST survey. The survey was given the treatment by a firm called KISS. I would suggest that anyone involved in PR work, would know that a minimum of 1000 replies are required for academic study.

    77% of 424 replies, is just about the numbers that take part in any “uprising of the proles”?

    Shotta, should know that the Arsenal are 1 point shy at this stage of the season, compared to last season (number of games played). Last season out of the FA Cup, this year, at least the semi-final.

    I trust Ivan Gazidis, gives short shrift to the likes of Tim Payton, Peter Wood and other dissenters?



    Liked by 1 person

  18. East Lower‏ @ArsenesGlasses_ 12h12 hours ago

    Fuck Tim Payton
    Fuck the AST
    Fuck Black Scarf
    Fuck AFTV and all their mugs.

    You’re all self embellished wannabes and we all know it.


  19. April Fools day to be renamed Paul Merson day, after his gem earlier today, “Sean Dyche should replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager, he would go in and liven it up”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Jeorge Bird‏ @jeorgebird 6h6 hours ago

    Arsenal U16s have won the Liam Brady Cup at a revamped Hale End, with Bayern Munich, Man. United + Juventus involved in the tournament.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Daniel Storey‏ @danielstorey85 3h3 hours ago

    Five more points for Jose Mourinho but four fewer goals than in David Moyes’ first 28 league games. £440m spent on players in the meantime.


  22. FK³‏ @fkhanage 47m47 minutes ago

    On the top-4: “I’m not saying it’s more important than winning the FA Cup. But it’s like winning titles, definitely.” Wenger? No. Guardiola.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Get French Football‏ @GFFN 17m17 minutes ago
    Breaking | PSG have been in talks with Arsène Wenger for 15 days, the club intends to give him enormous resources, per @OLIVETALLARON.


  24. Wenger admitted that his experience of the problem was limited.

    But he said: “It’s the same as with corruption of referees, you want to make sure that when you lose a football game it is because the other team is naturally stronger than you, not because they are better medically prepared or genetically modified.”

    And when asked if there had been a doping problem in football, he added: “Historically, yes.”

    Apart from the doping thing, which frankly is quite an open secret that football refuses to acknowledge as a problem, what I found interesting was that this is the second time in 3 days that Wenger has referred to corruption of referees.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I really hope Wenger does t go there…..I would lose a lot of respect for him if he joined a doper .
    Can’t see it happening


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