Bob the Blogger is “not worth two bob” and he is “nicking a living.” Neil Ashton may never live down this damning epitaph to his ignorance and bias (no matter how well paid and protected by his employers in the mainstream media) but I have no doubt about the accuracy of my findings after reviewing many of the hucksters parading as Arsenal bloggers.
Take for example those doing the Arsenal beat at espnfc.com. We can comfortably assume they are well remunerated, unlike yours truly and my colleagues at PA. We do this for free because of our love for the club and our hatred for the lies and mendacity of the rest of the media. They at ESPN are supposed to be professionals and thus do it for money and for that reason high standards are expected.
Not so for Tom Adams with a recent headline:
“Arsene Wenger’s worst season ever as Arsenal embarrass themselves”
Mark Ogden, their senior football writer, after Wenger’s complete triumph over those trying to get him fired, blogged this complete cockamamie:
His (Arsene Wenger) glory days as manager are now more than a decade ago, and the man who was once a visionary has been overtaken by a new breed of coaches such as Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino.
It was less than a week ago I did D-Day At The Arsenal where I concluded there was no doubt Kroenke would rehire Arsene based on the following data:
I had hoped the table spoke for itself. Apparently I need to highlight the takeaways.
Despite all the sensationalist headlines about coming 5th and falling out of the top-four, it was in many respects a better season than 2015-16 when the club came 2nd:
- 4 more Points.
- 3 more Wins.
- 12 more goals Scored.
- A higher Goal Difference, 33 vs 29.
On the negative side:
- 2 more Losses.
- 8 more goals Against, 44 vs 36.
How did this 2016-17 compare to the previous years. I ran some basic statistics.
|Std Dev (Pop)||2||2||2||6||1|
Readers do not have to be Math wizzes to understand that 2016-17, compared very well with the previous 20 years:
- Better than the mean and median for Wins and Draws.
- Equal to the mean and median in Points.
- Worse than the mean and median for Losses.
In any sphere of life, 4 out of 5 at 80%, is not an A but definitely a B+.
Another data point to consider, for 10 of the 21 years Arsenal amassed less than 75 points, coming at least 2nd on three occasions and no less than 4th. That was until this year when 75 points was for the first time only good enough for 5th. Yes, you read right. Arsene and Arsenal had 10 worst years point-wise. Did the mainstream media or Bob-the-Blogger highlight this? Hell no. They were too busy trying to con Arsenal fans into believing 16-17 was the worst season ever.
Ever since our form went tits up from January to March, as the full impact of losing Santi was felt, with Wenger switching and matching various midfield combinations, Bob-the-Blogger suddenly lost all the faith he or she never had. After the 3-goal defeat to West Brom in late March, almost all but Positively Arsenal were in total despair.
I went back to the data and our history of fighting back from behind in seasons past and did a blog titled Arsenal Will Revert To The Mean. Voila. 75 points. Right on the money. If I was a gambling man I could have made a killing. Further proof of the value of relying on the historical data based on Wenger’s consistency. The alternative is emotionalism and hysteria which, by the way, is a time honored guarantee of generating clicks.
Coming 5th was not because the Arsenal performed worse historically but due to the other 5 clubs being more consistent at the expense of the so-called smaller clubs in the League. Here is an amazing statistic about the growing disparity in results:
- 13 clubs amassed less than 50 points in 16-17 vs 10 clubs in 15-16.
Now journalism students during my time in college were excellent writers but re-known for math-phobia. However there is no excuse for paid pundits to write such absolute nonsense as Tom Adams and company. They at ESPN have terabytes of data at their disposal and interns who can do some analytics with their computer in a jiffy. But, as we are now increasingly aware, the media has a narrative to sell and when the data doesn’t fit it is simply ignored or distorted.
Unable to rebut Wenger’s absolute consistency over the past 21 years, senior writer Ogden has no other recourse but to trot out the old saw that more modern managers have surpassed the old professor. But none of this crop managing the other Big-7 clubs, with the exception of Klopp and Pochetinno, has been in their current position for more than a year. Ogden should be well aware that one swallow doesn’t make a summer. It is the consistency of performance over time that counts.
Or maybe Ogden suffers from memory loss. It is not so far back when Rafa Benitez, Andres Villas Boas, Martin O’Neil, Paul Lambert, Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini, Roberto Martinez, David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal were all brought into their clubs and hailed as the scourge of Wenger. Almost all have been sacked or demoted from big PL clubs since then. At the time they were supposedly more modern.
As I demonstrated last time I blogged, the so-called more “modern managers” are working at clubs who over the past 11 years have massively outspent Arsenal in the transfer market. It is only in the last three years have the financial restrictions on Arsene been lifted compared to the prior eight years. Clearly the modern managers are now enjoying this strategic advantage.
|W||D||L||Pts||Pos||Net Spend||Spend per Pt|
All spending above in £millions
I won’t bore you my readers with the points I made earlier this week. But upon reviewing the table above, something struck me forcefully. It is evident that the three most dominant clubs in the PL over the past 10 years (Chelsea, United and City) are willing to pay at least £380,000 in net transfers for each point earned in the PL. City is at a ridiculous £1,140,000 net spend per point, essentially 6-times that of Arsenal’s. How much more on transfers is Arsenal and Stan Kroenke willing and able to spend to win the League?
Contrary to the nonsense spewed by Ogden and other bloggers, the data demonstrates Arsene can get more from each transfer pound; he is the most effective in the League. I would give anything to see the agreed transfer budget for this summer. If I was Conte, Guardiola or Klopp, I would be very concerned if Wenger is able to spend as much if not more than last year. Sooner or later he will eat up the gap in points.
In conclusion, I note a few well meaning readers on twitter have expressed the view that this blog is somewhat harsh on other Arsenal bloggers. I make no apologies. We are in a battleground of ideas. There is cut and thrust. In my opinion, for too long, we the good guys have, in the interest of getting along, allowed stupid, fact-free ideas to attach itself to the fanbase. Like a malignant cancer, such stupidity has grown and masticized into flagrant disrespect for Arsenal’s greatest ever manager. In my view we can only rid the fanbase of this tumor by exposing the agents to ridicule and scorn. Those who disagree have their own forum to respond to the unbiased data.
Thank you for reading and your feedback.