Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, March 29, 2019

What my 'computer' predicts for the top 4 places

By 1970's Gooner

We are due to return to the much awaited final run in for the Premier League with the title winner left to be decided, the three relegation places to be confirmed and of course the remaining third and fourth CL places hotly contested by four teams. 

Everyone including journalists are voicing and writing their opinion about who they think will finish in the 3rd and 4th places. But this is backed mainly by their intuition. They have not really sat down to put to paper their predictions nor have they really backed up these predictions with any structured justification.

Lets make it clear. The 'computer' I refer to in the title of this post is my personal thinking as to the likely outcomes of the games involving those chasing a top four placing but structured to follow some guidelines.

I have made therefore some, what I consider, realistic guiding assumptions regarding the outcome of each team's remaining games. 

These are as follows:

- Any games against the top two will be lost.

This affects Spurs the hardest as they have to play both Liverpool and Man City away. Also Man Utd play at home to Man City and Chelsea play at Liverpool.

- Any games between the current 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th teams will be drawn.

This only affects Chelsea and Man Utd who play each other 
at Utd.

- All end of season fixtures are expected to be won by the four 
competitors as I expect all opponents will be on the beach by 
then, with relegation already decided and other safe teams 


Spurs apart, from playing the top two away from home, have 

probably the easiest run in with 5 of their other 6 games being 
at home against opponents they are very capable of beating. 
These include Crystal Palace, Huddersfield, Brighton, 
West Ham and Everton with only indifferent Bournemouth 

Predictions :

1.Liverpool (A)          0
2.Crystal Palace (H)  3
3.Huddersfield (H)    3
4.Man City (A)          0
5.Brighton (H)           3
6.West Ham (H)        3
7.Bournemouth (A)   3
8.Everton (H)             3

Total                        18
Current points        61
Final points             79

Man Utd

I expect Man Utd to pick up a point from its two home fixtures 
against Man City and Chelsea. 

They have a Wolves game away just five days before Wolves play 
their FA Cup semifinal. I expect Wolves will not have their full 
wits for this fixture and Utd will win it.  

Utd play against West Ham at home after their first CL game 
against Barcelona and I expect them to win this game as 
I consider West Ham will be indifferent. However Utd play 
Everton away after their 2nd CL leg against Barcelona. 

I expect them to draw this fixture due to tiredness 
and disappointment from getting knocked out of the competition.


Watford (H)       3
Wolves (A)         3
West Ham (H)   3
Everton (A)        1
Man City (H)     0
Chelsea (H)        1
Huddsfield (A)   3
Cardiff (H)         3

Total                    17
Current points   58
Final points        75


Apart from having to play Liverpool and Man Utd away, Chelsea 
have a very easy and winnable fixture list with 4 of the remaining 
6 fixtures at home ( Brighton, West Ham, Burnley and Watford) 
and away at Cardiff and Leicester (last game). 

However they go into the remaining fixtures 3 points away from 
4th spot leaving them with a lot to catch up.


Cardiff (A)       3
Brighton (H)    3
West Ham (H) 3
Liverpool (A)  0
Burnley (H)     3
Man Utd (A)   1
Watford (H)    3
Leicester (A)   3

Total                  19
Current points  57
Final points       76


Arsenal as you may know do not have to play any of the other top 
five clubs around them. But 5 of their 8 games are away, which is 
worrying as our away form, although better than last season, 
is not ideal. 

I would consider that the Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Brighton 
home games are very winnable. 

However, and to take into account that our away form is not 
great, I have not allowed an away win apart from the last 
game of the season at Burnley where I would expect that 
they will be safe by then (I expect that the current 
bottom 3, Cardiff, Huddersfield and Fulham will 
be relegated before the last game).

I have however taken into account our recent upturn in form 
which would allow us to at least draw the Everton, Watford, 
Wolves and Leicester away games. The Watford game in 
particular will be played a few days after our tough away 
game at Napoli.

However if we can master wins in some of those away games 
then I predict we will be home and dry. 

And of course momentum will be key. If we beat Newcastle 
and then carry this form in the next game, which is away 
at Everton, then the route to finishing in the top four will be wide 

Newcastle (H)         3                  
Everton (A)            1                    
Watford (A)           1
Crystal Palace(H)  3
Wolves (A)             1
Leicester (A)          1
Brighton (H)          3
Burnley (A)            3

Total                      16
Current points      60
Final points           76

So the final standings are as follows:

Spurs      79points    3rd
Arsenal   76 points   4th           
Chelsea   76 points   4th
Man Utd 75 points   6th

Arsenal and Chelsea look like ending up with the same number 
of points and the final placings will be decided on goal difference. 
Currently Arsenal are ahead with 24 difference and Chelsea 
7 behind with 17. This factor may indeed prove decisive.

Unfortunately Spurs end up 3rd. 

I hope I am wrong and we finish above them.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The two Arsenal defensive stats that will surprise you

By 1970's Gooner

It seems that last week's results all went for Arsenal. And this hasn't happened for a long, long time.

First was Spurs doing a Spursy and collapsing in the second half at Southampton, loosing a game which they fully dominated in the first half. In fact so unexpected was their capitulation that I was off my arm chair celebrating like any Southampton fan.

Then it was Arsenal's turn to move to just one point from them by duly beating and ending Man Utd's recent unbeaten run.

And of course Chelsea also duly obliged with what looks like a very damaging defeat at Everton keeping them at a 3 point distance from Arsenal with the same number of games.

There are however two more stats that will give hope to all Arsenal fans. These relate to defensive performance, an area where we all feel we need to vastly improve in the coming season if we are to challenge for honours.

The first concerns number of goals conceded by Arsenal from set play situations. 

In fact most journalists and TV commentators are always berating Arsenal's ineffectiveness in this area. They tend to believe the myths they create without doing any research.

In fact if you look for the data you will find that Arsenal has the BEST record out of all Premier League teams this season! We have conceded only 4 goals from such situations and the next best team is Liverpool at 6 and then Man City, Spurs, Brighton and Leicester with 7!

Have a look yourselves:

Goals conceded from set plays:

Arsenal 4
Liverpool 6
Man City  7
Spurs 7
Brighton 7
Leicester 7
Southampton 8
Bournemouth 8
Fulham 8
Man Utd 9


And the next time we defend a corner don't be so alarmed!

The next piece of data concerns the overall goals conceded column. It is a fact that since Koscienly and Socratis returned to the first team our defensive performance has improved no end. 

Arsenal's goals conceded in the last 10 PL games has been bettered only by Man City. We stand at 0.7 goals conceded per game versus 0.5 by Man City. Liverpool and Man Utd are at 0.8. 

Our ratio since the start of the season stands at 1.3 per game and the ratio in the 10 games previous to our last 10 stands at 1.7 per game which shows the very significant recent improvement.

Goals conceded per game in last 10 PL games:

Man City 0.5
Arsenal    0.7
Liverpool 0.8
Man Utd   0.8
Spurs        1.1
Chelsea     1.7

So in conclusion the team is finding form and momentum at the right time now that the run in is gathering pace. And this momentum is in the one area of the pitch that we really needed to improve.