Football is awash with statistics. Goals for and goals against, average points per game and territorial advantages. I will start with 2.10. That is Arsenal’s average points per game this season. After 29 games, Arsenal has 19 wins, 4 draws and 6 losses. Our record against Manchester United and Chelsea stands at: played 7, won 0, drawn 1, lost 6, scored 2, and conceded 14.
5, is the number of players who have been out with broken or fractured bones for arsenal in the past 4 seasons. 210. That is the number of successful passes made by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia this season. More than weekend striker opponent Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink’s who has completed only 198.
After a roller-coaster season, Arsenal find’s itself in 3’rd place in the Premier league, having scored 66 goals with 184 shots on target.
These are all numbers that while interesting, mostly don’t convey the true story of our season. But one number does, and that is the one I want to discuss. And that is the number 15.
15 Minutes. That’s the time it took Arsene Wenger to send a car to meet Aaron Ramsey’s mother to drive her to see her son after his horrific injury. Arsenal are a team that has gone through more trauma than any other in the Premier league. From 3 career threatening leg-breaks on the pitch, to 2 broken shoulders for Theo Walcott, to being written off as mere Europa League hopefuls and coping with a litany of nearly moments and heartbreaking losses. From a team of 22 year olds, we have seen growth, maturity and resolution. Nobody can doubt that Arsene Wenger has discovered steel in North London, and has built a side that when push comes to shove, will fight until the end.
After all that was said by pundits, bloggers, fans and reporters, the old adage that critics don’t decide titles rings truer now than ever before. On paper, and maybe after you crunch the numbers, Arsenal look weaker than our rivals, but titles are not won on paper. Arsenal still have points to prove, but have certainly silenced many of their vocal critics.
Arsenal have progressed past Porto to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and are 2 points from 1st place in the Premier League with 9 games left to play.
After having failed to beat Chelsea and United, Arsenal are in a position to trump them both to the title. The Gunners will look to dial the pressure up on their rivals against the Tigers at the weekend. Hull City is Arsenal’s stepping stone to the history, and let’s hope that they take all 3 points this Saturday. Go Gunners..
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