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Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts

The points problem and why Arsenal will never again win the title under Wenger

Posted by Ix Techau 9 months ago · 24 replies

We are now 34 games into the season and, provided Spurs win all their remaining games, Leicester need to secure 82 points to clinch the title. This is almost two points more than the the absolute minimum average needed in the last five seasons (80.2):

  • 2014-2015 = 79
  • 2013-2014 = 84
  • 2012-2013 = 78
  • 2011-2012 = 89
  • 2010-2011 = 71

Arsenal got 75 points last year in the league, so going by the average of 80-81 points needed to take it, one could wonder why Wenger thought bringing one first-team player into the team would help push us over that edge. We currently have 64 points in the league with three games to go. In other words, even if we win all our remaining games (we won't) we'd still end up on fewer points than we did last year. In fact, it's likely we won't even break 70 points this year.

Looking at the average points needed to win the Premier League over the last 15 years brings us to an average of 80.9. It's clear that in order to push for the title you're looking at reaching at least 80-81 points. It's supported by the fact that every winner since the 1999-2000 Premier League season has ended on at least 80 points. This list shows the absolute minimum needed to win it on goal difference (not the point tally that actually won it):

  • 2014-2015 = 79
  • 2013-2014 = 84
  • 2012-2013 = 78
  • 2011-2012 = 89
  • 2010-2011 = 71
  • 2009-2010 = 85
  • 2008-2009 = 86
  • 2007-2008 = 85
  • 2006-2007 = 83
  • 2005-2006 = 83
  • 2004-2005 = 83
  • 2003-2004 = 79
  • 2002-2003 = 78
  • 2001-2002 = 80
  • 2000-2001 = 70

Here's the problem: Wenger has only reached 80+ points four times in his entire career at Arsenal, and the last time he did so was in 2007-2008:

  • 2014-2015 = 75
  • 2013-2014 = 79
  • 2012-2013 = 73
  • 2011-2012 = 70
  • 2010-2011 = 68
  • 2009-2010 = 75
  • 2008-2009 = 72
  • 2007-2008 = 83
  • 2006-2007 = 68
  • 2005-2006 = 67
  • 2004-2005 = 83
  • 2003-2004 = 90
  • 2002-2003 = 78
  • 2001-2002 = 87
  • 2000-2001 = 70
  • 1999-2000 = 73
  • 1998-1999 = 78
  • 1997-1998 = 78
  • 1996-1997 = 68

We have a manager whose capabilities stretches to an average of 75.9 points per season, in a league where you need 80+ points to push for the title. Wenger is very consistent in his points tally, only deviating -9/+3 (or three losses and one win) from his average in the last ten years. Not even with Henry, Vieira, Adams and other legends did he break 80 points on a regular basis.

For comparison, this is Alex Ferguson's points chart in the same period:

  • 2012-2013 = 89
  • 2011-2012 = 89
  • 2010-2011 = 80
  • 2009-2010 = 85
  • 2008-2009 = 90
  • 2007-2008 = 87
  • 2006-2007 = 89
  • 2005-2006 = 83
  • 2004-2005 = 77
  • 2003-2004 = 75
  • 2002-2003 = 83
  • 2001-2002 = 77
  • 2000-2001 = 80
  • 1999-2000 = 91
  • 1998-1999 = 79
  • 1997-1998 = 77
  • 1996-1997 = 75

...not a single season scoring less than 75 points, and a total of 11 seasons scoring more than 80 points. His average in those 17 seasons was 82.7 points per season. In other words the type of average needed to sustain title challenges year in and year out.

So why on earth do people believe Wenger will suddenly break free from this consistent points average to start scoring the 80+ points needed to start winning titles again? Even in this season where all the big teams have collapsed it's likely Leicester still needs 80-82 points to take it.

In order for Arsenal to start winning the league again, we need to realistically find 6-9 extra points in our setup. I know that sounds easy (only two or three more wins every season), but history shows us it's not.

This is simply not going to happen under Wenger. We can blame refs and injuries all we want, but the fact is that all teams get awful refs at some stage, and our injury count is improved by 40% this year but we still scored fewer points than last year. We were told by bigot John Terry that Cech would save us 10+ points every season, but that clearly hasn't happened. We've spent £105m net on players in the last five years but we still have the same points average as the five years before that when our net spend was -£20m.

So now we're looking at next season. Guardiola joining Man City, Mourinho perhaps joining Man Utd, Klopp in his second season, Conte taking over Chelsea, Pochettino continuing to improve Spurs, Ranieri perhaps proving that this year wasn't a fluke...the first four managers on that list are all 80+ point average managers.

So I ask again: how on earth do we expect to Wenger to suddenly become a 80+ point manager when he has never shown himself to be one in his entire career, apart from a handful of exceptions? We all need to become more realistic. Either we accept Wenger until he retires, which means around 75-76 points and scrapping for third or fourth...or we start fighting for this league again. We can't do both.

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24 Comments

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Ix Techau

Even if they undeservedly qualify for ucl this season, I doubt it happens again in the next 5 years whether or not wenger stays.

Actually I think we'll end up third or fourth every season under Wenger, he is ridiculously consistent. But ending up third or fourth isn't really what sport is about. It's about achievement, performance and challenge...three things not on the roadmap for Arsenal. Our goals are financial stability and a top four finish, which are perfectly reasonable goals for a team with mid-table mentality.

STUART 486 pts
Posted 9 months ago by STUART

Presumably there could be an Expected Points score for each manager. It could be based on wage levels, player stats etc

VA10 Football God 4,663 pts
Posted 9 months ago by VA10

Obviously he will leave someday but saying that a manager can only do what he has averaged in other seasons (in our case Wenger has already done more than he has averaged) is ridiculous. You could calculate every year who will win the league then... Football and great seasons in particular is doing something that is not average...

Will I ever want him to leave is a wrong question. Question is do I think its time for him to leave to which my answer is no I think he will win us the league.

Morleys Mesut Özil > You and your mum, chief 4,285 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Morleys

Fair enough, I do tend to agree RE: the average points thing but no manager has been at a club currently as long as Arsene so it's a bit of a one-dimensional scale.

Obviously we disagree and I don't think he'll win a Prem/CL for us during the rest of his time here and that's the only way I'd want him to stay as manager.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Ix Techau

I think you're not understanding the point. In order to win the Premier League you need at least 80 points, which you can argue against all you want but is statistically and historically the theoretic minimum to win the league. It's also consistently accurate, seeing as every winner since the 1999-2000 Premier League season has ended on at least 80 points.

With even more accuracy we see that Wenger only deviates from his 76 point average by -9/+3 in the last ten years. And surprise surprise...history tells us the math checks out, seeing as we have won zero league titles in the last ten years.

Sure, Wenger could suddenly at 65 years old start improving his league points average, despite not having been able to do so in the last ten years...but do you really think that is a realistic expectation? He has a consistent record over a long time with the same club, so comparing him to Pochettino won't yield you any relevant numbers.

It's not about calculating who wins the league, it's about looking at long-term averages to see if there is any indication of movement up or down the scale...and there simply isn't. Wenger is averaging the exact same points in the last five years playing Özil and Sanchez as he did in the first five years after the invincibles playing Almunia and Cygan.

How can you possibly explain that without drawing the conclusion that Wenger's point ceiling is firmly in the mid-70s, regardless of what players he has at his disposal.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Ix Techau

Another point to consider is that Wenger’s net spend in the first five years after the invincibles season was only £10m. His league points average in that period was 73. In the last five years (before this current season) his net spend was more than nine times greater (£91m) and he still had the same league point average (73).

He spent nine times more money and still didn't manage to improve his league point average. This is a clear indication that the problem at Arsenal isn't player quality, it's manager quality. Wenger is simply unable to break the 80-point barrier needed to win the title, regardless of what players he brings to the club or what quality they have.

VA10 Football God 4,663 pts
Posted 9 months ago by VA10

That stat is worthless because it doesn't take into consideration a lot of factors. Wenger didn't want to lose Cesc Nasri Adebayor Hleb etc. Now thats changed and we started buying players like Alexis, Ozil, Cech. Your stats throw these facts out of the window so no they are not credible imo.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Ix Techau

That stat is worthless because it doesn't take into consideration a lot of factors. Wenger didn't want to lose Cesc Nasri Adebayor Hleb etc. Now thats changed and we started buying players like Alexis, Ozil, Cech. Your stats throw these facts out of the window so no they are not credible imo.

Well first of all they're not my stats, they are just simple numbers available to anyone. Secondly, I fully understand your desperation to dismiss these simple facts because they don't line up with your perspective, but you are making a fool out of yourself if you claim that this stat is worthless. It is one of the most relevant stats available: these are the points you need to reach, and this is what you are capable of.

Wenger has only ever gone above 80 points in four seasons in his entire 19-year career at Arsenal. And you are now saying that it doesn't matter, he will suddenly start doing it despite not being able to do so since 2008. There is no evidence to support your wish that Wenger will suddenly improve.

Who Wenger wanted to keep is completely irrelevant, the fact is that he hasn't improved his points tally regardless of what players he's had available to him. Fabregas or Özil as #10? 73 point average either way. Nasri or Sanchez on the wing? 73 point average either way. Adebayor or Giroud up top? 73 point average either way.

Wenger is fantastically consistent, which is the problem. It means he is operating at the edge of his capabilities, which in turn means this club will never again win the title under him. To do that we need to get a manager who is capable of going 80+ points in a season. It really is as simple as that.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Ix Techau

his capabilities were hindered by the circumstances we found ourselves in after moving to the emirates.

Let's pretend you are right that it was completely out of his hands and not self-inflicted: those circumstances have changed in the last five years. We are buying £30m+ players, there are no financial shackles as a result of a stadium move anymore...and he still only manages 73 points per season on average. Your theory is not supported by simple facts.

But ok, so your argument is that the problem is player quality. You are saying it's not Wenger's fault, it's just that we don't have players that are good enough (are Leicester's players better than ours?). We have a net spend of £111m in the last six seasons (including this one) on initial fees alone...and Wenger still only achieves a 73-point average. It's likely that this season won't even break 70 points, let alone 80.

So how much money do you think Wenger needs to spend to buy the quality players needed for him to improve his points tally in order to challenge for the title? £200m? £300m? If the problem is player quality then it should be as simple as buying the players needed.

poodris 2,259 pts
Posted 9 months ago by poodris

Wenger has destroyed everything he had builtin the first half of his tenure. Whoever end up as his successor will have their work cut out for them.

The academy produces nothing of value. None of the current senior players have a clue how to play proper football since they are not coached by the eminent one.

The only reason they have even managed top 4 over the past 3 seasons is the result of manure being total shit. This is a mid table team carried by 3 big purchases who has coasted by on turmoil and misfortune at other clubs.

Even if they undeservedly qualify for ucl this season, I doubt it happens again in the next 5 years whether or not wenger stays.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Ix Techau

Even if they undeservedly qualify for ucl this season, I doubt it happens again in the next 5 years whether or not wenger stays.

Actually I think we'll end up third or fourth every season under Wenger, he is ridiculously consistent. But ending up third or fourth isn't really what sport is about. It's about achievement, performance and challenge...three things not on the roadmap for Arsenal. Our goals are financial stability and a top four finish, which are perfectly reasonable goals for a team with mid-table mentality.

medintern 116 pts
Posted 9 months ago by medintern

Our goals are financial stability and a top four finish, which are perfectly reasonable goals for a team with mid-table mentality.

It is actually how Kroenke runs all of his sports teams. He is a businessman first and foremost. He would rather have great financial stability compared to any trophy. Fan loyalty/allegiance means little to him. Go on other sport message boards and ask how the fans of the Rams, Nuggets, or Avalanche feel about Kroenke. If a team happens to win a title from some fluke, that is fine -- but that is not his goal, sadly.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Ix Techau

Fine, but we've had this mentality since 2004, before Kroenke arrived. I know people are desperate to blame anyone but Wenger, but Kroenke isn't the one who uses the same tactic against Bournemouth as he does against Barca and still hoping for the same outcome. Kroenke isn't the one who plays out of form players out of loyalty. Kroenke isn't the one who starts his second choice GK over first choice GK because he feels bad. Kroenke isn't the one who favours possession based nonsense over positional discipline. Kroenke isn't the one bidding £40,000,001 for Suarez.

Wenger is.

Morleys Mesut Özil > You and your mum, chief 4,285 pts
Posted 9 months ago by Morleys

The reason why fans are blaming Kroenke is because he is not ambitious. Why is there no pressure on the manager despite underachievement? That is the issue with Kroenke.

poodris 2,259 pts
Posted 9 months ago by poodris

According to wenger, the fans only oppose him because they are a bunch of blind fools who have been manipulated by evil pundits.

What a deluded old fool. This arrogant French pig needs to be thrown out of his ivory tower.

dnova08 158 pts
Posted 8 months ago by dnova08

Using statistics over the 20 years he's been here and saying he'll NEVER win the league again is just wrong. He's gone above 80 points before so why not again. Unlikely yes, but not impossible. Also, I'm not sure but I think this is one of AW's worst seasons in terms of goals scored in the league. If we scored our usual 70+ goals we'd probably have more points.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 13,243 pts
Posted 8 months ago by Ix Techau

Using statistics over the 20 years he's been here and saying he'll NEVER win the league again is just wrong. He's gone above 80 points before so why not again. Unlikely yes, but not impossible.

Anything can happen in football of course, but by using long-term statistics we can clearly see Wenger is declining in his points trend. The maximum number of points we can achieve this season is 71. Which means we have gone from 79pts to 75pts to 68-71pts in the space of three seasons, and that's when adding one world class player every year.

So as you can see we can use 20 years, 10 years or three years...the result is the same: we are dropping points like the Titanic is leaking water. Best case scenario we've dropped four points every season since Özil joined. Worst case we've dropped 11 points in total since Özil joined.

Those numbers are unacceptable.

Also, I'm not sure but I think this is one of AW's worst seasons in terms of goals scored in the league. If we scored our usual 70+ goals we'd probably have more points.

Well sure...but that's a big if. We can't rely on ifs.

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