No, It Was Not Wenger’s Worst Season


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:

Yr W D L Pts Lge Pos
16/17 23 6 9 75 5
15/16 20 11 7 71 2
14/15 22 9 7 75 3
13/14 24 7 7 79 4
12/13 21 10 7 73 4
11/12 21 8 9 71 3
10/11 19 11 8 68 4
09/10 23 6 9 75 3
08/09 20 12 6 72 4
07/08 24 11 3 83 3
06/07 19 11 8 68 4
05/06 20 7 11 67 4
04/05 25 8 5 83 2
03/04 26 12 0 90 1
02/03 23 9 6 78 2
01/02 26 9 3 87 1
00/01 20 10 8 70 2
99/00 22 7 9 73 2
98/09 22 12 4 78 2
97/98 23 9 6 78 1
96/97 19 11 8 68 3
462 196 140 1582 3

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.

Statistic W D L Pts Lge_Pos
2016-17 23 6 9 75 5
Minimum 19 8 11 68 4
Maximum 26 12 0 90 1
Mean 22 9 7 75 3
Median 22 9 7 75 3
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
Man City 224 89 105 761 5 £869.03 £1.14
Man Utd 265 83 70 878 3 £481.09 £0.55
Chelsea 259 88 71 865 2 £329.31 £0.38
Liverpool 224 104 90 776 5 £252.23 £0.33
Arsenal 236 102 80   810 4 £170.15 £0.21
Tottenham 205 104 109 719 5 £132.78 £0.18

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.

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168 comments on “No, It Was Not Wenger’s Worst Season

  1. Kolasinac – They call me Hulk in Bosnia!

    Over the course of his career, Sead Kolasinac has been variously referred to as The Destroyer, The Tank and The Bosnian Hulk – but which does he prefer?

    The 23-year-old became our first summer signing when he agreed to join the club from Schalke, but he is clear on what he wants his new team-mates to call him.

    VIDEO: Watch Sead Kolasinac’s first interview
    Win a signed Sead Kolasinac shirt
    See our pictures of Sead in Arsenal colours
    See the story of how we announced Sead Kolasinac

    “Personally I like being referred to as ‘Seo’, which is my nickname,” Kolasinac told Arsenal Player. “I’d be pleased if the lads here called me that.”

    Kolasinac has spent his entire senior career at Schalke and, after picking up a suspension for their final game of the season, he decided to sit in the stands with the supporters for the match at FC Ingolstadt.

    “It was my last game but I couldn’t play because I’d picked up my fifth yellow card,” he said.

    “I thought that as I couldn’t play, I’d travel with the fans, so I could see what they do for us. It was a very interesting experience for me.”

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170607/kolasinac-they-call-me-hulk-in-bosnia-#oRQAqRDQLLgrwB7Z.99

    Liked by 1 person

  2. now Arsenal have made a bid for James Rodriguez


  3. Wenger suggesting that Kolasinac will be our left wing back next season, with Monreal set to be used as a CB in the 3. With Gibbs also a left back option

    Boss – Kolasinac has all the ingredients

    He may be a new face to many Arsenal fans, but Arsène Wenger has been following Sead Kolasinac for “a long time”.

    The Bosnia international has become our first signing of the summer and his new manager is confident that he will quickly adapt to Premier League football.

    VIDEO: Watch Sead Kolasinac’s first interview
    See our pictures of Sead in Arsenal colours
    See the story of how we announced Sead Kolasinac

    “He’s very compact as a player, very strong and determined in the challenges,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “He’s good in the air as well, so overall I believe he has all the attributes to adapt to English football

    “The game here is very demanding physically on the commitment front and he has the ingredients to adapt to that.

    “What he will give us is the fact that he’s a player who can give assists, who can go forward, who can contribute good crosses.

    “It’s very important that we have that as well, because we have Kieran Gibbs, we have Nacho Monreal and we have him. But Nacho plays a lot now in central defence and in a three-man system I see him in there.

    “So overall, I think [Kolasinac] can contribute a lot to help us to be more dangerous going forward.”

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170607/boss-kolasinac-has-all-the-ingredients#m5o1HFvUBg22CvI4.99

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wenger said today that Arsenal will do all they can to have our transfer business done before we go on our pre-season tour. First pre-season game is tomorrow 5 weeks

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There’s been a signing? I’ll have to catch up when pre-season starts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. #Wenger top manager top bloke.
    #Wenger in.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. all Arsenal players will get at least 4 weeks off this summer, we have 4 players at the euro u21’s, which ends on 30th of June, Alexis and Mustafi will play in the Confederation cup which ends on July 2nd.
    All other international games should be over in little over a weeks time.

    Our first pre-season game is on 13th July, and the Community Shield is on the 6th August.

    So depending on Germany and Chile’s progress in the Confederation cup, and on England, Spain and Poland’s progress at the Euro u21’s, we could be without Alexis, Mustafi, Holding, Bellerin, Chambers and Bielik for most of pre-season.
    Cazorla will be out for a few months yet, and both Wilshere and Gabriel are due to take part in pre-season if no set backs.


  8. Just imagine something for a moment: Santi recovers, plays his final season (in which he is totally fit for all games) and becomes is his greatest season ever…

    ” if you dont have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”

    However I still hope we can buy a similar play maker, according to the ASB the transfer market is like a supermarket, its true isnt it? (banned winky emoji).

    PS Notice how the ASB didnt even know who Kolasinac is,but constantly suggest who AW should buy…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. well what I really love from the ASB is when they are crossed on their lack of player knowledge and/or when their manager option fucks up, is how they trot out the line

    its not my job to decide who we buy

    its not my job to hire a new manager

    but when its then pointed out that this then negates them from complaining about the choices made by those whose job it is to decide on both, and that they should shut the fuck up, they really don’t like it

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ed, its weird how they think they know best.
    Ok so lets go back to the game v Watford for a second, i didnt know what the score would be at the end of the game, and neither did you ( I assume-apologies if wrong) and I dont think the ASB did either.
    Yet in hindsight they would have done this or that…but how? The game is unfolding, its tough to tell what going to happen next, as Ramseys goal int he FACF proved…
    Yet the ASB go potty if they dont get their candy.Klopps suddenly a genius, no silver ware but came 4th and Wenger didnt for the first time in 20, so what was all the shame with 4th place? 2nd only means something if ManUre or Citeh or Chelsea do it not us.Their Groanhog day is everyday and even winning isnt enough…as AFTV proved many times.
    As you say shifting goalposts, its so potty that their opinion isnt worth too much, yet look at Nachos comments, they did make things worse, yet either gloat ( hence my Citizen Eggbread piece) or are in denial.
    The pessimistic attitude they push means that they will always be right but if anything should go well, then well its just papering over the cracks.That dog of Jimmy Corkhill keeps turning up!
    Wenger kept his dignity, and the lads gave us one of the few great games Ive ever seen, one of those games that stays with you till the end, that makes it magic to be an Arsenal fan.
    To me in a world thats raging and cannot find the answers, people like AW bring something else. Some grace and intelligence and is a lesson on how to play the press, a grounded patience and not wallowing or allowing yourself to be emotionally destroy by your own fear. Most other managers would have buckled under the pressure that he and the lads were, and the their club might not have pulled off such and ending to the season. It will be forgotten over the years in that we were just one point off a CL place.
    But then who remembers the 1973 semi final, the last of many seasons being real contenders. Im pleased for Sunlun, that was an amazing game, but the Gunners nearly made it three finals.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. ha ha ha, Liverpool end interest in signing Virgil Van Dijk, and have apologized to Southampton for “any misunderstanding”


  12. isn’t it odd that journos are praising Liverpool for apologizing to Southampton for their illegal approach to one of the saints players, and not actually getting criticism for the illegal approach. Its almost as if there is some sort of bias.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. if it would have been Arsenal…if it would have been AW..?

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Arsenal Fixture News‏ @AFCFixtureNews 31m31 minutes ago

    The 2017/18 @premierleague fixtures will be released on Wednesday 14th June 2017 at 9 am, with the season beginning 12/8 and ending on 13/5.


  15. Journos would find a way of praising Liverpool if they deliberately spread a lethal virus through a home for blind orphans

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I can’t thank you enough for this article, Shotta.

    ditto: gf60, for the piece re footy in ’48

    Liked by 2 people

  17. New post up


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