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I was bored...

chelsea 3-1 arsenal 1-1 spurs 0-3

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Posted (edited)
 
The Telegraph

Friday May 21 2021

Football Nerd

Flattering to deceive or reasons for optimism? Analysing Arsenal's post-Christmas surge

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By Daniel Zeqiri

No statistical sleight of hand can turn this season into a successful one for Arsenal. Finishing outside of the top six in the Premier League, and being eliminated by Unai Emery's Villarreal from the Europa League, makes it nothing other than a failure.

However, contrary to their position in the table, Mikel Arteta's side have not bumbled along as a mid-table team.

Their league season actually divides into two parts: an abject first 14 games which yielded only four wins and left them 15th on Christmas Day, and a pretty impressive stretch of accumulating just shy of two points per game since then.

Only the two Manchester clubs have amassed more points than Arsenal since Christmas. Even more surprisingly, if you base your calculation on points per game then Arsenal are second behind Manchester City.

Should they beat Brighton on Sunday, Arsenal will finish with five more points than they did last season and only two fewer than in Arsene Wenger's final campaign. Underwhelming certainly, but not that far off expectations.

How much can Arsenal take from their post-Christmas results? I offer some reasons for both optimism and caution in this week's Football Nerd.

 

 

 

The best of this week's coverage

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Turbo Timo: How Chelsea can get the best out of their industrious but wayward striker

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Euros audition: England stars have one last chance to impress Gareth Southgate

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End of an era: Nuno Espirito Santo announces he will leave Wolves at the end of the season

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Farewell Sergio Aguero: 'He was like Denis Law - a different animal'

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Nature is healing: How the return of fans made all the difference to the Premier League action

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'Every top manager in Europe wants him in their side, but his options are limited to a couple of clubs who won’t be priced out.'

 

Jamie Carragher column: Liverpool would love to buy Harry Kane - but there are 120 million reasons why they won't

 
 

This week's best stat

 

7
Premier League goals scored by Jorginho this season, making him Chelsea's top goalscorer. All of them have been penalties.

 
 

The week in a picture

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CREDIT: PA

Roy of the rovers: Roy Hodgson said farewell to Crystal Palace's fans and Selhurst Park. Jason Burt pays to tribute to one of English football's most dignified figures.

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Posted (edited)

Damn, I had no idea Eze of Palace had completely ruptured his Achilles and is out for 8 months plus. wifey just mentioned it in passing (how sad she is, remember her 2nd team is QPR)

I fucking loved his play

wow, I so hope he is not perma fucked

😿

Eberechi Eze threat assessed by Brighton manager Graham Potter ahead of  Crystal Palace clash - football.london

Edited by Vesper
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1 hour ago, Magic Lamps said:

what are they celebrating lol 8th place? not having to play conference league... congrats i guess^^

It was Luiz's farewell. 

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The Fiver

A tip of the sombrero to James Ward-Prowse and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

 

West Ham fans try to spot their Big Vase heroes somewhere in the distance.
camera.png West Ham fans try to spot their Big Vase heroes somewhere in the distance. Photograph: James Griffiths/West Ham United/Shutterstock
Barry Glendenning

Barry Glendenning


AND BREATHE

After 380 matches the Premier League season many thought might never end is finally over. At least 164 of those matches seem to have been contested by Crystal Palace and Burnley, often at a time when most normal folk are watching Pointless or Home and Away, wondering what to have for dinner and if perhaps it’s a little too early to uncork a bottle. The Fiver has long been of the opinion that it is never too early to uncork a bottle and what better reason does one need than to toast the efforts of players from Crystal Palace, Burnley and every other team, many of whom were flogged to within an inch of their lives for our amusement.

Yes, they are all mollycoddled, handsomely remunerated and had it a lot easier than most throughout the pandemic but footballers also like to watch Pointless and their often heroic efforts during such a tedious time of uncertainty should not be taken for granted. A tip of the sombrero rim to Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse and Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, the only two outfield players to participate in all 3,420 minutes (plus added time) of their respective team’s top-flight campaigns. In stark contrast the comparatively idle Tomas Soucek could only manage a paltry 3,419 for West Ham.

Manchester City are worthy champions, their conspicuous dodgy spell doing less harm to their title-winning chances than the early-season torment endured by Chelsea and Liverpool’s at times baffling middle-season ennui. Beyond a 6-1 mauling at the hands of the now departed José Mourinho’s freestyling Tottenham Globetrotters, Manchester United were arguably a model of consistency, but just not good enough to take advantage of their rivals’ assorted slumps. Consistent only in their maddening annual inconsistency, Everton somehow managed to remain in the Big Cup qualification conversation until as recently as last month before fouling the collective bed and finishing 10th.

Fulham also flattered to deceive after a shocking start but came up well short, their manager’s emotive post-match interviews providing The Streets’ Mike Skinner enough material for a 12-album collaborative box-set. The Cottagers go down with our best wishes along with a West Brom side that proved one conflagration too many for Fireman Sam and a Sheffield United team that never really got motoring at all. And as if all that wasn’t enough of a distraction, we had a quickly aborted breakaway, several demonstrations of fan power and a racism war that is as ongoing as it is apparently unwinnable with which to contend.

Ultimately it was a bizarre Mary Celeste of a season few who lived, played or coached through it will ever forget, even if the sheer relentlessness of the schedule and volume of televised games have made specific events surprisingly difficult to remember.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I don’t think it will sink in completely because without going crazy I think the impossible has been made possible. It shouldn’t happen, as simple as that. Hornchurch shouldn’t be winning the FA Trophy. For the level we play at, it’s ridiculous. I told the players to take something on board from what [Stuart Pearce] tells you and he said a film should be made about what we have done” – Hornchurch boss Mark Stimson makes his pitch to Hollywood after the seventh tier side’s Wembley win over Hereford.

And what a good looking trophy it is.
camera.png And what a good looking trophy it is. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

RECOMMENDED BOOKING

Tickets are available now for Football Weekly Live’s Euro Not 2020 preview special on 10 June. Get them while they’re hot.

FIVER LETTERS

“It was interesting to see in the Fans’ Verdicts for the season gone that the Arsenal fan thought the team ‘failed to hang on to leads, lacked leadership on the pitch and lacked the passion to win’, they needed a defensive coach, domineering central defender, someone to protect the back four (Nigel de Jong), a midfielder and a prolific striker... 10 years ago” – Noble Francis.

“Any reader suggestions for the Europa Conference? What follows on from Big Cup to Big Vase to Big??? I’ll kick off with Big Paperweight” – Mark Bennett.

“Bearing in mind that its sole and noble purpose appears to be to bring glory to the unmeasured might of Moldova and continental blessings to the titans of Tallinn, can we not just call it EuroVasion?” – Neil Dobson.

“Re: referee misadventures (Fiver letters passim): a slight variation on a theme. In 1984 I was head of department at a large London comprehensive. I fancied myself as a decent centre-back and the 16-year-old student striker who was on Arsenal’s books held no fear for me when the staff played the first XI. He ran me ragged and his parents and others on the touchline were loving it. Halfway through the second half he berated one of his teammates and called him an [effing] idiot. I sent him off for his bad language. Out of disbelief no one objected and we won 2-1. The referee was a junior member of my department. Those were the days” – Andrew Parker.

Send your letters to [email protected]. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Andrew Parker.

RECOMMENDED LISTENING AND WATCHING

Max Rushden and the pod squad wrap up the season in Football Weekly – and you can watch Max and Barry Glendenning review the season in this here video.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

Don Sergio Ramos has been left out of Spain’s squad for Euro Not 2020.

Tommy T is confident that Édouard Mendy will recover from rib-ouch in time for Big Cup final.

Kalvin Phillips looks a doubt for the Euro jamboree with a fresh bout of shoulder-gah while Nick Pope’s knee-knack has ruled him out of the England squad.

Wolves ejected a supporter from Molineux for racially abusing BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand. “We are deeply sorry Rio,” read a club tweet. “This person does not represent our club, our supporters or our values.”

Gini Wijlnaldum is preparing for the leaving of Liverpool. “It is very emotional for me because I lose a friend and I will miss him,” sobbed Jürgen Klopp.

And there were hot salty tears of sorrow shed at Eastlands, too, where Manchester City paid tribute to the departing Sergio Agüerooooooooooooo. “He’s a special person,” wailed Pep. “He’s so nice.”

STILL WANT MORE?

Forgotten the season already? Fear not. Our hacks have picked out the best of the 2020-21 Premier League season: Players, gaffers, goals, gripes, flops, youngsters, matches, signings and pundits are all catered for.

After 41 years, Werder Bremen plunged to relegation, and deservedly so, writes Andy Brassell.

Album cover vibes in Bremen.
camera.png Album cover vibes in Bremen. Photograph: Focke Strangmann/EPA

Juventus got lucky in making next season’s Big Cup, and they can thank Verona for that, says Nicky Bandini.

La Liga went down to the wire – as Diego Simeone always said it would, writes Sid Lowe.

What did the fans think of the Premier League season, a two part guide here and here.

Lille held their nerve thanks to the mastery of manager Christophe Galtier, write Ligue Urrrrrrrn aficionados Adam White and Eric Devin.

And for the final time this season, 10 talking points from a Super Duper Sunday.

Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!

THE MOOD

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I dont think I paid much attention to Liverpool and their bad spell..it just ended quickly lol. 8 wins in last 10 is good going..think be back next year unfortunately.

Man U..also probably..hopefully not!! 

Arsenal is funny.. Spurs is funny. Everton sad..Leicester also sad but they got something at least.

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The CIES Football Observatory’s best 11s for the big-5

 

With the five major European leagues ended, issue number 339 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the best line-ups for each championship. Players were selected according to the CIES performance index developed using data from OptaPro. Only footballers fielded for at least two thirds of domestic league minutes were included in the line-ups.

The formation selected for the English Premier League is a 4-2-1-3, with Bruno Fernandes as an attacking midfielder behind Harry Kane and besides Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount. The defense is made up of three Manchester City players (Ederson Moraes, Rubén Dias and João Cancelo), plus Victor Lindelöf and Andrew Robertson, with Rodri Hernández and Granit Xhaka as holding midfielders.

Some outstanding but not yet very known players are included in the line-ups for the remaining leagues. We notably find Ridle Baku (Wolfsburg) as right full-back in the German Bundesliga’s best 11, Aurélien Tchouaméni (Monaco), Farid Boulaya (Metz) and Romain Faivre (Stade Brestois) in the French Ligue 1 selection, Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) in Italy and Javi Galan (Huesca) in Spain.

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Absolute JOKE that Lindelöf was picked over Slabhead (and I hate Slab), we all saw how important he was when he was out, he was Manure's 2nd best asset, after PGMOL, as Bruno had a meh 2nd half of the league season, and so many of his goals were pens. Rüdiger would be the CLEAR 2nd CB, except Lamps sat him on the bench for months.

 

 Sterling (wtf, he had a shit season, only 10 league goals, and ONE since mid February) over Salah (who fucking carried Pool) ?????

 

and

 

XHAKA (what the fuck X 1 million) over Kante (or move Mount to MF and put Son at winger.

 

De Bruyne missed 43% of the league season, so it is understandable why he was left out. 

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59 minutes ago, Vesper said:

logo football observatory

The CIES Football Observatory’s best 11s for the big-5

 

With the five major European leagues ended, issue number 339 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the best line-ups for each championship. Players were selected according to the CIES performance index developed using data from OptaPro. Only footballers fielded for at least two thirds of domestic league minutes were included in the line-ups.

The formation selected for the English Premier League is a 4-2-1-3, with Bruno Fernandes as an attacking midfielder behind Harry Kane and besides Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount. The defense is made up of three Manchester City players (Ederson Moraes, Rubén Dias and João Cancelo), plus Victor Lindelöf and Andrew Robertson, with Rodri Hernández and Granit Xhaka as holding midfielders.

Some outstanding but not yet very known players are included in the line-ups for the remaining leagues. We notably find Ridle Baku (Wolfsburg) as right full-back in the German Bundesliga’s best 11, Aurélien Tchouaméni (Monaco), Farid Boulaya (Metz) and Romain Faivre (Stade Brestois) in the French Ligue 1 selection, Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) in Italy and Javi Galan (Huesca) in Spain.

556745658a3df88498a1ad66bb485f70.png860bc8c7b242b9ad47d7fb0c9a56f81d.png87a84cca9fdbc9b96b3a0b1036127758.png5d6e3d55e3b142135bc7daaff6e08bf8.png8be5daa0534bec4896362b01aa3866f0.png

 

Absolute JOKE that Lindelöf was picked over Slabhead (and I hate Slab), we all saw how important he was when he was out, he was Manure's 2nd best asset, after PGMOL, as Bruno had a meh 2nd half of the league season, and so many of his goals were pens. Rüdiger would be the CLEAR 2nd CB, except Lamps sat him on the bench for months.

 

 Sterling (wtf, he had a shit season, only 10 league goals, and ONE since mid February) over Salah (who fucking carried Pool) ?????

 

and

 

XHAKA (what the fuck X 1 million) over Kante (or move Mount to MF and put Son at winger.

 

De Bruyne missed 43% of the league season, so it is understandable why he was left out. 

All those lineups are a joke apart from the Bundesliga and la liga ones which are okish. looks like someone only watches the highlights. But the PL one takes the mickey

Mount and sterling over foden, son, salah and mahrez?

Xhaka, lindelöf, robertson wtf

 

 

 

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It was nice to see Nuno getting a warm goodbye from the fans.

Did a good job there but good to see both the club and manager know its the right time to move on having taken Wolves as far as he can and left on good terms.

Think I'm right in saying we haven't been able to give any of our managers a send off since the departure of Claudio.

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25 minutes ago, chippy said:

It was nice to see Nuno getting a warm goodbye from the fans.

Did a good job there but good to see both the club and manager know its the right time to move on having taken Wolves as far as he can and left on good terms.

Think I'm right in saying we haven't been able to give any of our managers a send off since the departure of Claudio.

Guus twice. and Benitez if you can count that.

Usually no manager would want to leave this job even if their contract ran out. managers seeing out their contracts at top clubs is the exception anyway

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