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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.

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