In a recent fun comparison between football clubs and singers, Arsenal were likened to Bob Geldof. The sentiment is that both Geldof and the Gunners are relevant in their respective niches in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas. But then, the comparison goes on to say, they both become somewhat more obscure. In addition, they are both very charitable away from home.
How much truth is there in these comparisons? Let’s take a closer look to see how they are holding up so far.
Are the Arsenal relevant as we run up towards the festive season? Well, they certainly were after their first couple of games against Newcastle and Burnley games which they won by 1-0 and 2-1 respectively.
Losing to Liverpool in their game was no disgrace given their superb form and record of the Reds to date. Drawing with Tottenham Hotspur wasn’t a bad result either considering how highly the pundits rate Spurs. So, they haven’t done too badly. Although, their last two results could have been better.
It means they are currently positioned seventh in the Premier League but on the same number of points (8) as the four teams above them. They are still in touch and therefore, still relevant.
Now for the obscurity parody. In terms of the Premier League crown, it does look as though the post-Christmas period will see Arsenal fade into obscurity. But of course, they are not alone. With Liverpool flying so high, and Manchester City probably being the only team capable of challenging them; all of the other teams in the Premier League are also facing obscurity.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are other things to play for, the biggest of which is the inclusion in the 2020/2021 Champions League tournament. It might seem like a long way away, but what happens over the course of the next few months is what will count. Arsenal need to ensure they claim a top-four place in the final Premiership table.
On to away game charity. As far as a certain Mr Geldof is concerned, charity is very much an away game – a world game at that. His “Feed the World Band-Aid “ campaign is clear evidence of that. But what about Arsenal?
Well, it seems that the Gunners are more charitable away from home too. The fact of the matter is that they have not beaten a top-six Premiership club in 23 league games. Would you believe this stretches back to January 2015?
This poor showing cost them dear last season. With Spurs performing so badly in the run-in to the end of the season, Unai Emery’s men had it within their power to grasp a fourth-place finish. However, they fluffed it.
Losing away to Wolverhampton Wanderers by three goals to one, and by three goals to nil to Leicester saw their hopes go up in smoke. They couldn’t afford that sort of charity away from the Emirates.
If the Gunners are to do better this season and secure that all-important fourth-place finish, they simply have to improve their away form.