A blog post by @PR_WhoRU
Arsenal and Spurs enter the match in diametrically opposed cycles of the transfer window (at the time of writing). Whilst Arsenal haven’t sold any big name stars this summer, a common theme that has plagued our recent transfer windows, nor have we strengthened using our “escalation of financial firepower” whilst Spurs have significantly improved their squad and look set to continue to do so. Despite the impending loss of their most talented player, Spurs have already replaced him and improved the overall ability of their teamdramatically, the opposite tactic employed by Arsenal that, in 2011,first sold Fabregas and Nasri before brining in Arteta and Benayoun to replace them, netting roughly £49m.
A Few Key Stats going into the game:
•Since they began, Arsenal have won 42% of North London Derbies compared to Spurs’ 31%. 27% have resulted in draws.•Arsenal have scored 277 goals against Spurs, 40 more than conceded which averages out to 1.6 goals scored by Arsenal per game.
•Since the formation of the Premier League in 1992 and until the end of the 2012/13 season, Arsenal had picked up a total of 1,522 points which is 364 more than Spurs.
•Roughly speaking, that means Arsenal have won 121 more games than Spurs since 1992 whilst, on average, finishing the season 17 points ahead.
•The biggest points spread difference in the Premier League era occurred during the 2003/24 season when Arsenal doubled Spurs’ points tally by 90 to 45.
•During the Wenger era in years that Patrick Vieira played for Arsenal, Arsenal finished 31 points, on average, above Spurs. Since Patrick Vieira left Arsenal for £13.7m to Juventus, Arsenal have finished only 10 points, on average, above Spurs.
•Spurs have finished above Arsenal only twice in 21 Premier League attempts.
•The points spread between and Spurs has narrowed to only 1 point in the last two seasons.
As it stands, projecting the future of the Premier League remains one of football’s most difficult tasks. Clubs like Chelsea, Man City and, to a lesser extent, QPR have re-shaped the landscape significantly with their heightened pools of financial capital to improve their horizons. If we simply take Arsenal and Tottenham, however, over the last 5 seasons: Arsenal, in 2008/09 finished on 72 points which is 1 less than in the 2012/13 season whilst, deviating, on average, 2.7 points per season. Spurs, however, finished the 2012/13 season with 72 points which is 21 more than they achieved at the end of the 2008/09 season whilst deviating, on average, 8.6 points per season.
Spurs scored 66 goals in both the 08/09 season and 12/13 season, however, conceded 15 fewer in the latter. In the 2012/13 season, on the flipside, Arsenal scored 2 fewer goals and conceded 6 more than in the 07/08 season.
That sort of mathematical modelling doesn’t make for a great trajectory eh, Gooners?
No, it does not.
At time of writing, 78 hours and 20 minutes remain in the transfer window and spending £100m of Arsenal’s untapped Bank account would still leave the Club with a more than a reasonable amount of money to meet their obligated short-term debt requirements for the year ahead. I can’t stress enough how, in my humble opinion, it is of the important imperativeness that Wenger, Ivan and Dick take bold steps to strengthen the first team with the signing of 3 World Class players. Whilst recent history has flown in the face of the conventional grain, simple mathematical theory suggests that, unless Arsenal move to strengthen, we will simply fall behind Spurs in the years ahead.
Perhaps it isn’t the most important 78 hours in the history of the Club, but it is certainly up there. We fail to land big names this summer and what’s to stop our top stars like Cazorla and Koscielny itching for a move away next summer like other big names before them?
That’s the thing with most major global businesses. They equip themselves with management of the capability that can either fulfil the operational requirements at the time, i.e. austerity managers being replaced by boom managers in the up-years and vice-versa, or those that are flexible enough to meet the requirements in both eras.
Arsene Wenger has certainly proven himself to be an exquisite manager in the austerity years and has, once before, proven his pedigree in the boom years. Those boom years were in a different era of football completely, however. The entire operating model has been blown so much so out of the water that Clubs like Leeds and Portsmouth have drowned trying to stay afloat in a sea of Oligarchs and Saudi Arabian royalty. I am proud and do take great merit from Arsenal’s pioneering vision to raise money in a self-sufficient manor, playing football in one of the World’s leading stadiums and acting with dignity and class, but we’re still only on the cusp of a new era of greatness. The debt, whilst not anywhere close to being paid off, is now manageable, sponsorship deals now represent major value to Arsenal, we have almost a monopoly on corporate entertainment for football in London and a property projects which should further deliver capital gains for the Club.
In my humble opinion, this is the most crucial summer for the Club since the appointment of Arsene Wenger 17 years ago. Arsene, I feel, has 78 hours to prove he is still the man to drive Arsenal Football Club out of austerity and into a boom of silverware. And it isn’t just my opinion, it is clear that the majority of fans are now becoming restless, but also World Class players and agents need convincing that Arsene can deliver success before joining. For all the greatness he has brought the Cub such as winning the title in the backyard of Spurs and United within the space of 2 years, greatness we should never take for granted or forget, we should likewise never forget that we are The Arsenal. Arsene knows this. The standards set by the historical success are so high so that accountability can never be dropped. Not by the fans, not by the press and certainly not by the owner.
Please, Arsene. If, on the miniscule chance you’re reading this, just press that secret red button on the underbelly of the table in your Colney office and release the funds to Dick Law. Don’t manage yourself out of a job out of stubbornness because Ivan will let you. Please, Arsene. Don’t let it end this way.
My only solace is that the window in near over. To date, it has been a torrid time for Arsenal fans. The abuse at work is daily and constant and these press stories of Arsene Wenger walking away from deals set by Ivan for World Class players only make it worse. I don’t claim and never would claim to have the ability to manage Arsenal. Arsene Wenger is a great man who has forgot more about football than I’ll ever know but that doesn’t render mine or other’s feelings are redundant. We all want what’s best for the The Arsenal.
Let’s get right behind the players today. They need our support just as much as we need them to be on their game. Hopefully they can deliver us some mental relief going into the last 24 hours of the transfer window ahead of hopefully three shiny new World Class players being unveiled by Arsene.
I’ve banged on a bit today about the shifting of eras, from austerity to boom, in the fortunes of Arsenal Football Club so I want to sign out with a North London Derby story that I think is very fitting.
The early to mid 80s, after FA Cup success of 1979, were distinctly grim austerity years for the Arsenal. Before George Graham’s appointment on May 14th, 1986, Arsenal hadn’t won anything for 6-7 years and the quality of football had been dropping with attendances following suit. In George’s first full season in charge, however, Arsenal had reached the two-legged semi final stage of the Littlewoods Cup and had been drawn against their neighbours up the road who had already won the FA Cup twice in the earlyEighties. The first leg resulted in a disappointing 1-0 loss at Highbury and as the boys went one down in the first half of the second leg, Spurs were full of hubris. At half time during the second leg, the tannoy announcer at White Hart Lane infamously informed the home crowd how they could now buy tickets to final. Backs to the wall, this incensed the disheartened Arsenal fans who roared their hearts out for the remaining 45 minutes as goals from Anderson and Quinn gave Arsenal a 2-2 draw on aggregate. The managers met at the end of the game to decide on where the deciding 3rd match would be played. On the second coin throw, the first attempt saw the coin getting stuck in the mud, George turned to the Arsenal fans from the centre circle and he pointed to the grass below with aplomb. The away fans roared louder, basking in that common ecstasy. Not only did Arsenal go on to beat Spurs in the decider but they ended their trophy drought that year in the final against Liverpool, to boot.
Get behind the boys today. Lose yourself and cheer your heart outfor 90 minutes because not only does winning the North London Derby help us feel like the Kings of North London but it can significantly influence the outcome of the season and an era in the history of the Club.