The Gunners’ current position in the table is not the only thing they share in common with last season’s title winners Manchester United or with their title-winning ‘Invincibles’ squad of 2003/04.
After 11 games played in the Premier League last term, United were in 1st place as Arsenal are now as were the Invincibles in 2003/04. At the same point in the season, United had won 9 games and the Invincibles had won 7 – this Arsenal team have won 8 so are right in between the two.
United had lost 2 games by this point last term as have Arsenal – the Invincibles hadn’t lost at all (obviously). However the Invincibles had drawn three and United hadn’t drawn any – Arsenal this term have drawn once.
United had 27 points on the board by this point last season and the Invincibles had 24 – Arsenal again fall between the two points this term with 25 points on the board.
United had scored 29 goals by this point last season but, in stark contrast, the Invincibles had scored just 19. The current Arsenal side have scored 22 but, crucially, they’ve conceded fewer than the Red Devils had. Last season United had conceded 16 goals at the same stage and the Invincibles had conceded just 8 – again Arsenal fall between the two extremes having conceded 10 so far.
The goal differences are very close – United had a goal difference of plus 13, the Invincibles had plus 11 and this Arsenal side have plus 12 (again straight down the middle). United, however, were only 1 point clear of Chelsea at the top of the table last season, as were the Invincibles just 1 point clear – Arsenal are currently 2 points clear of Liverpool in second.
Overall, by using the two other title-winning seasons as indicators, Arsenal are very much ‘on track’ to win the title – whilst, of course, anything can happen between now and May next year, Arsenal have more things in common statistically with other title winners than any other team in the league does at this present moment. Whilst the numbers don’t necessarily mean Arsenal are going to win the title, they certainly make them the likeliest of this term’s contenders to do so.
image: © Sean Jackson