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.

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

  1. Nice one Mills

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heres the final one, showing the non-covered NB! Thanks Andy,glad you found it interesting too. I had never seen the war damage to the NB before. But thanks to Ian (gf60) who was able to confirm everything and stopped me second guessing myself !
    I wanted to put up another vid, some scratchy graining film of the Arsenal against Grimsby, the NB covering looked bigger in the 30s than the 50s rebuild? Or is it a trick of the eye.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I did not expect the club to suddenly sign Ozil or my fantasy signing Sanchez (Ozil was so unlikely he wasn’t even a fantasy). But they did.

    Summer is here. The cricket is on. It’s raining. Have a good day everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A little musical interlude from an aspiring bassist that we are struggling with on mainstream technology;

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Joga🉐‏ @TakeaBowPires

    Guarantee you that if Arsenal somehow pull this off, the English media will immediately make Mbappe public enemy #1 and condemn big spending

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The place I love-Highbury!- no-one ever knew that the Jam sang about Highbury! Weller just kidded himself he was a Chelsea fan.
    I like the little look Stew gives the camera at the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I vowed not to take any Mbappe talk seriously- it would require so much money, player would need to be very determined to leave and join us over anyone else, Monaco would have to be accomodating- but some daft part of me is letting me down, as always, and getting my hopes up.

    It does seem almost certain that Wenger and Gazidis mean business over in France, so fingers crossed that yields something good.

    I think a forward with speed and finishing ability will leave us in great shape in attack alongside Welbeck and Giroud.

    Equally or more important, we surely need another top quality option in central mid. Relying on Ramsey and Xhaka will leave me a bag of nerves. We know now it is a pairing that works but we surely also know Ramsey’s workload has to be carefully managed (I like Coquelin and Elneny plenty, but i guess not so much as regular starters).

    Ah, but Mbappe…no. no, won’t go there.

    It’s all up for grabs now…perhaps not, but it’s an exciting time. The financial firepower of those around us is pretty scary, but we’ve a good squad, and if Wenger can pull off a top signing or two who knows where that could leave us.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Nah Mills (post at 08:50) that’s after one of the Spurs games in the 70’s where there was a vain attempt to storm the North Bank. (There was some slight collateral damage to the premises as the pesky neighbours were routed)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Smallo-LOL!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Season Ticket Renewal cut off this Thursday, hopefully lots of the attention seeker brigade and the total failure brigade do not renew and allow real supporters a chance of a season ticket

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Arsenal’s finances changed in 2013 and since then we have signed Ozil, Alexis, Xhaka and Mustafi, all for fees over £30M

    Our finances have changed again this summer, with the new TV money. So no reason to think that we will not add more big money signings this summer and in the years ahead. I still find it odd how Arsenal and Wenger are judged on our spending when we had major restrictions to our spending.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sell all the players and buy Mbappe. We’re bound to win the league then!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Ed, the way I see it is that for the ASB whatever AW does its wrong, their goalposts shift around so much it makes you wonder what really drives their dislike so much?

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Tap in for Passenal there

    Liked by 3 people

  15. quick draw passenal, ha ha ha

    Mills the ASB hate Wenger cos he has proved them to be complete and utter failures, they have invested so much time and energy into the campaign against him, that they will stick to it, as they are so afraid to lose face.

    I’m also convinced that many of those who began the campaign against Wenger are not Arsenal fans at all, but really stupid Arsenal fans fell for it. For example, Myles Palmer of ANR is not and never has been an Arsenal supporter, he openly admits this, I think he is a Chelsea supporter, but that does not stop silly Arsenal fans fawning over him and his attacks on Arsenal and Arsene.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. unusually for Arsenal.com, they have done a photo shoot with Kolasinac in last season’s kit, must be to safeguard against the new strip reveal that happened with Xhaka last season.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. oh no, just realized that Kolasinac is not wanted by Wenger, its a Gazidis signing, cos if he was a Wenger signing then Arsenal.com would have an interview with Arsene talking up the lads ability.

    isn’t that how it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. …maybe Ed. Must be odd for those people who want their club( who they profess to love) to lose so they can get what they want. Even though theres no evidence to prove that they will get what they want if Wenger goes, unless its just Wenger gone.
    I was think late last night about the evolution of AFC during my 40yrs, and the Wenger years have been easily the best, amazing triumphs, a new stadium, a CL final ( beyond the thinking of any prior manager in my mind), endless beautiful football, and a win streak of three trophies and second in the last four years. AW raised the bar so high, its really impressive, Old Herb Chapman would slap him on the back! Of course the GG years sort of started the ball rolling after the Neill years faded quickly. I digress!

    Some I think have other issues, that seem to be festering away. But I agree that lots of people on blogs/twitter etc are just pretending and are enjoying winding up many of the ASB or at least their followers.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. anyone notice the build up teaser on the Arsenal twitter feed to the kolasinac signing

    10 Arsene Wenger signigns


    now what players names are the going to use for Mbappe

    Big fucking German
    Patrick Vieira


  20. well Mills, I know fans of lots of clubs(the usual big clubs, but also Ipswich, Leeds, Newcastle, Fulham, Blackburn, and others) and not one of them attack their own club, in fact everyone of them side with their club no matter what, but all over the place I see Arsenal fans who do nothing but abuse, attack and fail Arsenal. Ex players of other clubs by and large defend the indefensible of their former club, but ex arsenal players line up to attack arsenal. What the fuck is that about.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. To me Ed they blame Wenger for not having the domination that Chelsea have had, and instead were humiliated in always being 4th( which we know is not true). Do not Liverpool have a similar position to us, and theres a bit of unrest at Wham too, or at least there was?
    Dont worry, I think its nuts too, ( the ASb and the ex players-Adams is just baffling) the constant attacking and undermining of the club.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I see they have gone to work on Bellerin in Spain, he is with their U21 squad for the Euor’s, and the spanish media are full of Bellerin to Barca stuff, Barca DNA, its where I grew up, anything can happen this summer, etc etc etc.

    maybe he will go, and that exlains the Sidibi rumors in France.


  23. I see it has already started in the media with our new signing, he is already getting the Xhaka build up.

    this is the sort of headline that only our new signings are met with

    Meet the “Nasty” Arsenal bound defender who flourished in 2016-17


  24. If he goes it will probably be because of the amount of stick he got this year, from hero to hated.
    Great player though. Sure hope Hector stays with us!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Arsenal twitter have a clip up of Sead Kolasinac explaining how to pronounce his name

    sounds like its

    say at ko las e nack

    Liked by 1 person

  26. good to see that our new signing speaks good English, will help him settle in quicker

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Kolasinac’s first interview

    Sead Kolasinac became our first signing of the summer on Tuesday when he joined the club from Schalke and you can watch his first interview right here.

    Sead, congratulations, you’re an Arsenal player. How does it feel?

    It feels really good and I’m pleased to be here. I’m happy to have signed at Arsenal for five years and I’m really pleased.

    What was it that attracted you to the club?

    Arsenal has a huge tradition and I followed the club as a young boy, in the days of Jens Lehmann and Thierry Henry. Arsenal has always been a club that is well recognised in Europe and I’m pleased to be here.

    What was it about Lehmann and Henry that you liked so much?

    Jens Lehmann played at Schalke too, which is where I’ve come from. As a young kid, I followed his career and I always thought he was a good goalkeeper. I’ve been able to meet him and looking back, he was a really good goalkeeper.

    What can you tell us about your playing style?

    I think my main strength is my mentality. I’m a player who will try to help the team as well as I can. My strengths are my mentality.

    You’ve played in a number of different positions. Where are you most comfortable?

    There are different positions but I think left back is where I feel most comfortable. I can play as part of a three at the back too or further forward. I’m really flexible.

    Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20170606/video-watch-kolasinac-s-first-interview#5YxtL0xXveyCjRxi.99


  28. Virgil van Dijk: Southampton to report Liverpool over approach

    23 minutes ago From the section Football

    Virgil van Dijk
    Virgil van Dijk joined Southampton from Celtic for £13m in September 2015

    Southampton will report Liverpool to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach for centre-back Virgil van Dijk, reports BBC Radio Solent.

    The 25-year-old wants to move to Anfield if he leaves St Mary’s.

    The £50m-rated Netherlands defender signed a new six-year contract last year, having joined Southampton from Celtic for £13m in September 2015.

    Liverpool are yet to formally approach Saints to ask for permission to speak to Van Dijk.

    The Reds refused to comment on renewed speculation on Monday, while Southampton are adamant they do not need to sell the defender.

    Saints are irritated by what they see as an attempt to unsettle Van Dijk and are ready to reject an official offer.

    Chelsea and Manchester City have both been heavily linked with the Dutchman, but City’s interest has cooled as they are not prepared to pay as high a fee as Liverpool.

    Former club Celtic are also understood to have a 10% sell-on agreement.

    Van Dijk missed the final five months of the season after sustaining an ankle injury following a challenge by Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy in Southampton’s 3-0 win at St Mary’s on 22 January.

    It forced him to miss Southampton’s EFL Cup final loss to Manchester United at Wembley.


  29. “Dont worry, I think its nuts too, ( the ASb and the ex players-Adams is just baffling) the constant attacking and undermining of the club.”

    It’s almost as if they are getting paid for it

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Too true Passenal! Like al pundits!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Getting paid for attacking the Arsenal? Like the racist Le Groan (the clue is in the name) or celebrity superstars, who achieved true greatness (& a salary) through their association with greats like Linekar and Neville (and clickbait ad revenues)?

    Well. I never.

    At least those above don’t write for the Manchester Grunt and the Online Groaner. I mention no barrel scraping vampires or parasites. Like Amy Lawrence. Nope no need to name and shame the bottom feeders when we have such fine upstanding blaggers who will stand up for and protect their club. Yes indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Great links and references on the old ground.

    If only the people putting all that energy into a failed and failing campaign against the greatest club manager in the modern era acted in the interests of football fans and not fat Uzbekis/ Petrogarchies or Henry Winter’s employers and had a decent campaign on safe standing it might be possible to give them some credibility. Given that they haven’t even made the effort beyond some probable tweets (I wouldn’t know!) I guess that would be too much to ask for: Football fans caring about the football…crazy, I know!

    Liked by 4 people

  33. Sky Sports News HQ‏Verified account @SkySportsNewsHQ

    BREAKING: @Everton striker Romelu Lukaku says he has reached ‘an agreement’ with another club #SSNHQ

    I wonder does Everton know


  34. ESPN | Nacho: “I have two more years left on my contract, with an optional third – my intention is to stay here.”

    Liked by 2 people

  35. There is something irrationally annoying about Romelu Lukaku and his transfer antics.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Lets hope so, Nachos a good guy, a lot of the ASB were on his back this season( yes that really helps). He was pretty irritated about Costas goal in the FACF. Seems to love the new formation too. And what a goal in the semi!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Bellerin’s agent says the quotes reported today in Spain re Bellerin/Barcelona are not accurate.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. I can’t see many opposition players squaring up to our new left back. He looks like a considerable unit…..

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Monreal: Arsenal fan protests affected us
    Nia Griffiths –
    Jun 6, 2017
    Share on Facebook
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    Nacho Monreal has admitted that Arsenal’s fans’ protests last season did affect the players.

    Arsenal fans protested against way club was run last season
    Monreal admitted players are affected by negativity
    Understands fans want best for Arsenal

    Arsenal’s poor performances in the Premier League last season led to fans’ frustration reaching an all-time high. This resulted in banners, chants, and protests over the players, the way the club’s run and, mostly, Arsene Wenger.

    Monreal, who had a mixed season himself, has admitted that seeing the fans so angry did affect the players but he can understand that Gooners just want the best for their team.

    “When we do not get the results, our fans, day and day also, draw banners against the coach. It is something that affects us all and is negative and subtracts the club and the staff, but we have to live with it,” the 31-year-old told El Confidencial.

    “The fans, in the end, also look for the best for the team and if they think that way is because they consider that their exit is the best solution to date.

    “Players have to evade this situation, focus on playing and try to grow as a team.”

    While very few actually believe that fan protests do anything positive, the players, and boss, do need to take responsibility for their shortcomings last season.

    Most Gooners were livid with the displays, or lack thereof, happening in front of their eyes and, for many, protesting was the only way they saw themselves being heard by the board.

    Next season will be the first in two decades that Arsenal haven’t competed in the Champions League and this will impact not only players who could potentially come to the club, but those who are already there.

    While the FA Cup win over Chelsea was brilliant and did somewhat salvage what was a really hard season, Arsenal need to aim higher.


  40. ah the oh so unbiased BBC Sport, Arsenal sign Kolasinac, BBC Sport highlight his own goal at the world cup with Bosnia


  41. Welcome Saed.
    GP, opposition players might not want to square up to our new player, but suspect the PGMOL will…..either that or he will be allowed the leeway of the likes of ..say…danny rose…

    Liked by 2 people

  42. now we are getting Lacazette from lyon for £50M


  43. is lacazette a world class striker? because everyone seem to be saying we need to sign a world class. and if he is a world class striker, what then is olivier giroud?

    Liked by 1 person

  44. a player is a world class when he doesnt player for arsenal and shit when he is an arsenal player.
    he is a world class when we miss out on him and shit when we sign him. e.g kolasinac

    Liked by 3 people

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