Discussion: Why did Arsenal Do so Well at Home and sooo Badly Away from Home?

How was it possible that Arsenal did so well at home and sooo bad in away games last season? Let’s discuss!

Thanks Voetbal International for picture

The stats are absolutely amazing:

At home we only dropped 10 points from 19 games (47/57); away we dropped a whopping 41 points (16/57).

At home we finished 2nd and away we finished only 11th in the league.

We lost 11 of our away games and won just four, whereas at home we won 15 times, losing just two games.

Our good home record was achieved with still conceding a goal per game on average (20 in total). Luckily, we were prolific at home scoring 2.5 goals per game (54 goals in total) which was second best to MC (61). Arsenal scored nine more goals than Liverpool at home and 16 more than MU.

Yet, away we managed a paltry single goal per game on average (20 in total), whilst conceding an eye-watering 1.6 goals per game on average (31 in total). MC conceded just 13 and MU, Spuds and Chavs conceded around the 20-mark.

So what caused this polarisation in results home and away?

  1. Did we have a bunch of softees who buckled under the hostile away atmosphere?
  2. Or did we just not turn up in away games?
  3. Were the away tactics our weakness?
  4. Or was there another reason we did so badly away from home?

Let’s discuss!

By TotalArsenal.

54 thoughts on “Discussion: Why did Arsenal Do so Well at Home and sooo Badly Away from Home?

  • Hey TA–given that you haven’t taken away my back-channel privileges–I was actually thinking of putting up a live-blog post for this CL final… My football world might be opening up to me now that I can watch ALL matches (even Arsenal…) as a neutral… 😉

    I’m gonna weigh in with #1…but with a twist… In addition to the support for the teams playing in their own stadia, I believe our boys found it extremely difficult to to play in front of THE MOST HOSTILE TRAVELING SUPPORT of ANY BIG CROWD… Which, of course, was due to the misery inflicted upon them by (one) Arsene Wenger. Now that he’s gone, things should be MUCH easier esp. given that they got pretty good at playing at home in front of (only) half-empty to (only) half hostile crowds…

    This is not a take down of the support (for Kev)…only an explanation, mostly about human nature…

    Unlike the folks who “only” attend the London Matches and might even have enough other things going on to boycott the matches after they turned on Wenger, the traveling support are a different breed. You can call it a lifestyle or an addiction or FOMO (fear of missing out) but it is a compulsion of a different sort, You might think it’d be easier for the traveling support to say “feck it, no more,” but my hunch is that it’s something TOO deep to give up AND, if you give into the narrative that it’s the manager’s fault, then it becomes plausible that LOSING IS WINNING (if it finally gets the cause of the problem sacked). So, as virulent as the home fans at those 19 other clubs might be, ours could be worse…or at least wanting that (negative) result just as much…

    So, again, I think things will be MUCH better next year, unless, of course, Emery fails to deliver and the crowd turns on him. Because they “can’t” quit (as easily as the home crowd) AND because results are tougher on the road, I think they’ll have A LOT more patience. Wenger Gone (replaced by Emery, Arteta, Bould or anybody else…) should be worth at least a dozen points. That would put us level with the team marching out onto the pitch (Liverpool) and (only) 25 behind ManCity…

    😀 😦

    Anybody around to watch the match w/me?….

  • Nobody around?…Shame… Game’s started brightly, ‘Pool on the front foot… (Ref’s gonna be under a BUNCH of pressure if he doesn’t call some ticky-tack sooner than later…)

    I meant “Most hostile traveling support of any big CLUB (not crowd)…” and I probably didn’t need the all-caps…

  • Wasn’t I saying something about “nobody watches the actual football…” Or maybe folks watch it so closely they can’t type at the same time…

    Mo Salah off with a shoulder injury… Now THAT truly is a shame…

  • First, We lacked the right personalities, strong character and the attitude. We simply had the mentality of small clubs like Stoke, Bournemouth, Crystal palace etc.
    Secondly, I blame the coach’s tactics. Playing away from home, knowing that we lacked the quality players to do the job, I expected the coach to be a bit more tight in defense and midfield, then also implore his players to work a lot harder than they normally do. This tactics could have improved our away form.
    Table wise, we finished where we are supposed to finish, when you compare arsenal and other clubs that finished above us, you can easily see why we finished 6th. They had better players, better spirit, better mentality, better attitude and they were hard working.

  • Hey Seventeenho

    Away support as the main factor is interesting. Over the years I have seen most Arsenal games away from the E and I must say that the support was always really strong. This could have changed recently but would love to hear from regular away supporters….

  • How do you measure things like “mentality,” “attitude,” “hard work” and these other things, Steve? My bet is that you simply look at the table (at the end of the year) or at the result (at the end of each match). If your team loses then they lacked, if they won, all is good…

    Or maybe certain observers are just more like God…and can see into the souls of their fellow men…

    Carvajal showed more tears than Salah coming off the pitch injured… Does that mean he “wanted it more” or is he just more of a lady-part?…

  • Big Benz flagged off, though Ronaldo was offside too…His shot would’ve stood had it beaten Karius… VAR please?…

    Actually, the video made Benzema more on-side than CR…

    Half-time… One way traffic since Salah-oulder troubles…

  • Game’s back on so TA must’ve lied about being back at halftime… 😦

    See, TA, this ^^^ (plus my comeback to god, er, Steve) is why you don’t want me around… 😦

    What IS support? IMO, it means lotsa people giving what they can in order to pull in the same direction. If the “support” is ambivalent about the result that is desired then it’s hardly support at all… Instead it’s we’ve done our part and we’ll take our happy ending… Let us down and feel our wrath…Or at least read our banners…

    In fact, the display up at Huddersfield (the locals in a joyful mood surely helped) moved me as much as the scene at the HTWB (house that Wenger built)…

    You and I saw a (VERY) good example of “support” up there in Sheffield…but I also saw people losing their shite at the manager in (outlandishly immature) displays of petulance…

    We all need to do our part… Or is our part just pointing fingers and blaming folks… Too cerebral maybe and another reason for 17 out…

  • Steve, that is a bit of everything and does not really explain the difference between home and away form. If indeed we had inferior players than the teams you mentioned, why were we so successful at home with them?

  • Jus don’t think it is as bad as you describe it. The away support was unhappy with the BoD at times and possibly also Wenger, but they did support the team on the pitch. I thought the home support was often v quiet but the players worked hard to get them on their side. Just hard for me to tell whether the away support was a significant negative factor.

  • Game over and what can we say? Too easy for RM due mainly to two massive GK mistakes. Shame it had to go like that. Love it that Bale stole the show and not the self-adoring one. Great goal. Other than that a final to forget. Unfortunately, it is once again RM, and both Euro Cups have been won by the Spanish capital.

  • Wowsa… That was, er, something… Body guards (or suicide watch…) for keeper?… Hopefully he gets the you’ll never walk alone treatment from the traveling support instead… I think even Cech or Ospina might’ve done better…

    Pool can call it a draw…if only they had a keeper (shades of Mad Jens and then Almunia beaten at the near post…) AND if their talisman could’ve played on… (Henry, playing with only 8 other outfielders couldn’t…) To me, the parallels to Arsenal’s experience a dozen years back are plentiful… From a neutral’s perspective, I found the match pretty entertaining, (and the ref, at least, mostly stayed out and didn’t sway the result) but that’s just me… And, I’m (pretty much always) drawn to the human element… I thought the injuries were plenty before the (truly incredible) keeper errors…

    I’ll disappear again, TA, but not before trying to hammer home my point… (as I always tend to do, I fear)…

    It’s a game of tight margins and Wenger, I think, always dreamed of teams of players who were skilled enough to win through technical superiority rather than all that crap about mentality, attitude, passion, blah, blah, blah. Unfortunately, you NEED both, and, all things being equal, if the setting becomes non-neutral (one set of fans really against you, the other set watching the car crash unfold if not outright seeing ways of winning while losing…) the technical superiority stuff is difficult to always rely upon. Add in playing on Thursdays (while your lower league opponents rest and watch your matches to learn your all-too-visible foibles) and it gets tougher.

    Finally, It’s a ridiculous shame that Gazidis (our new man to blame?) wasn’t stronger in years past. A new manager (anybody…) a year ago and sh*t-canning, er, selling Alexis last Summer and a (massive though secondary, IMO) non-supportive element (the Chilean) would’ve also been gone. A bunch of those away losses happened during the transfer windows (August and leading into and during January)…

    Just through these subtractions–one of which I support–I think we’re right back level with the “next” three (in the money rankings) and thus as likely as Pool or Spuds to grab that 4th position. With Chelsea in turmoil (is Roman outta rubles?) 3rd could be up for grabs too… Is that competing for the big prizes? No, no it is not… But don’t let my bad attitude get in the way of others who see things more optimistically…

  • @TA & 17highburyterrace, a Yes or a No, comparing arsenal players to other teams that finished above arsenal, Are you saying arsenal have better players than manC, manU, Chelsea, Liverpool and spurs? Again, for me, without being biased, my answer is NO. Emotions apart, I don’t see how you guys expected arsenal to finish above these teams, when they have better players, worked harder, they are proactive in the market and solving their problems.
    At other clubs, they are very proactive, towards the end of the season, they identified their problems, they start identifying solutions to the problems, start making contacts with the players they want to buy and their respective clubs, once the transfer window is open, they sign the players. But at arsenal, they only think about how to deceive the fans. When the transfer window opens, Wenger goes on vacation, then comes back at some point to tell the fans that he has faith in his players, they are quality and he doesn’t need to sign any player, but if he finds a player who is better than what he has, then he will do the business. Really?
    That’s doesn’t show seriousness.
    I blame Kronke a lot, he doesn’t care if we win, loose or even finish 10th, as long as the premier league money and TV rights money flows in, he is more than happy. How we fell into the hands of Stan Kronke is still a painful mistery to me,
    He has no love or passion for football and arsenal.

  • Interesting post T A . Personally when I have travelled away which hasn’t been for the past three years or so, the support has been great. The only thing that I think has changed a little is if you go back a few years when the team lost they normally put up a decent fight. The current side is quite capable of losing matches and barely creating a chance, ie they roll over. Even though we lost one of the best performances of the season was at home to United , at least we showed some fight. Unlike away trips to Bournemouth, Swansea, Stoke and many others. 17 ht you constantly berate the Arsenal fans, but many of these people are spending a large percentage of their salaries on supporting the team, not lazy sods like me, who support from their armchairs. Yes you do get idiots, but you get them everywhere. Personally I don’t think our away support is that bad and if we could establish a standing area where fans could stand and sing at the Emirates it would resolve the home problems as well.

    I think there are probably multiple reasons why we lose, but if I had to chose one, I think we lack a captain who actually captains for want of a better word.

    Gotta feel sorry for the Liverpool keeper, but they have known all season that their two keepers were suspect

  • t A I thought the self adoring one was was pretty awful tonight. No doubt Bale will be in Manchester next season.

  • Moving forward, am glad that the Wenger era is over and am looking forward to seeing what Emery brings, we the fans just have to give him all the support we can, I also hope Kronke and the BoD gives him the financial support he needs to sign the players he needs. It’s obvious the team needs some quality additions in some positions like center back, defensive midfield, and the wings.
    I also hope Emery gives some of our youth team players and players on loan the opportunity to shine. Next season, I would like to see more of Mavropanos, Niles, Kelechi Nwakali and Adelaide. I watched some videos of Nwakali when he was on loan, believe me, the boy deserves the opportunity to shine at arsenal, I also watched him recently in a friendly match between Nigeria and Atletico Madrid, he was super, man of the match and scored a great goal. He scored the first goal of the game, happy viewing…

  • @retsub1, Nice one. Our away form had nothing to do with the support from the fans, rather it has everything to do with the players and manager.

  • Retsub, Bale going to Citeh? A team that has more superstars than Real? Not going to happen.

    Back to the original intent of this post. It could be the Emirates Library that the players are used to play in, but still the tactics and the interface between defense and attack is what is clearly lacking on away games. Maybe the away stadiums were too loud for any proper interactions between players?

    In short, i would say Yes to number 3.

  • It was the demoralizing light-blue-fade kits.
    I have the numbers to back it up. 😉


  • I really do mean to disappear… but put these two quotes side by side and tell me what doesn’t add up…

    “I blame Kronke a lot, he doesn’t care if we win, loose or even finish 10th, as long as the premier league money and TV rights money flows in, he is more than happy. How we fell into the hands of Stan Kronke is still a painful mistery to me, He has no love or passion for football and arsenal.”


    “I also hope Kronke and the BoD gives him the financial support he needs to sign the players he needs.”

    Retsub, if you were to read what I wrote, I thought I was pretty clear that I’m really not taking it out on the support, but rather just talking about human nature (including issues of addiction and fear of missing out, among others…) and folks pulling in the same direction, which I believe, we haven’t been doing for a long, long time. Now Arsenal have joined the modern era and the customer is always right… As such, all should be a good deal better (we should be pulling together for a bit, at least)…you know, until the next time… Problem solved, IMO…

    (To quote my favorite English rock band… “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…”)

    Who do you like for the captaincy?… Indeed, somebody who plays every match seems a good place to start…

    Gonna leave it there… I hope…

  • OK, those couple should probably be scrubbed and I should take myself some time off… Editor seems to be taking the evening off… Sorry…

  • First off, I am in no way sad to see that the Scousers were denied a 6th Champions league trophy and I don’t buy the “keeper was poor” or “had Salah not gone off injured” lines that their fans will be coming up with. Real Madrid are the better side and would have eventually found a way to win it. When you are playing against technically better players, your “gen-gen” press is useless because they will simply pass around the press; which is what happened that Madrid had such a huge amount of possession.

    On the topic, while it may be easy to point fingers at the players’ character, attitude, passion, etc. (as someone has done), have we considered that it’s been pretty much the same players who have had brilliant away performances in seasons past? Fact is Arsenal has only ever dropped below 3rd place, on the Away form table since 2010/2011, in one season (2016/17). Our Away form had never been a cause for concern until the season just ended.

    Therefore, the reason for that poor form must have been psychological; you lose 1, 2, then 3 in a row and it starts to be a ‘monkey on the back’ situation. We needed a leader to keep the team focused, but found no one, so I like the Captain argument put up by Retsub1. It’s not always about tactics because we practically dominated in some of the games we lost (some from a winning position). It plays on the minds of the players, especially as the media and some section of the fans were baying for Wenger and some of the players’ blood. The Away fans are more vociferous than the home fans, so it can’t be just down to poor support either.

    While it is hard to put a finger on one thing, it’s pertinent to recall how the team had gone through long periods of uncertainty (the Manager staying or leaving; Ozil and Alexis to sign or not to sign, etc.) which may affect team spirit and fight – a key ingredient for going to an Away ground and leaving with a result. The team was unsettled the last two seasons and never went to Away grounds to fight as one. Games were approached with a resigned disposition, so a strong leader who will keep the players focused was needed. Even after things became more stable with the team, the poor form became a burden as the team was in a rut that was only corrected on the last Away day game. That will be my opinion on the subject: we lacked the harmony required to achieve victories at most Away grounds. With things a feeling more certain, I expect that we shall do better at such games, going forward.

  • Hmm

    I’ll stick with we were “system-less” all too frequently. I liked Wenger a lot but the need for structure in defense disappeared this last year. In many prior years we gave up near the fewest goals, but scored too few. Cautiously owning possession for long periods was one form of defense. We won or drew everyone but very top teams who didn’t have to put up with it. We reversed our inability to score (hell Laca an de Auba an de Mkhi + goodbye unhappy one) and …

    Finally, football is won by more goals. Thus, you gotta score AND give up few. We sucked in transition the most. Ozil would contain and block outlet pass routes but others would dive in. Dive in and win you’re a hero, lose and you’re beaten piecemeal.

    Time was we played proper defense and made others give us the ball thru low probability long balls and attacking less on more in small places, thus controlling space with AND especially without the ball. The more the fans howled the more we played headless and randomly dove in, and the more we were cut apart.

    Where I blame AW is, however it happened, we lost all composure in transition and defense all too often. We thus far too often played on luck and great plays rather than intelligence and keeping the game simple.

    At home, teams came in more wary and we got away with more, 15-2-2…. welikely scored more for he same reason.

    Away, teams were more aggressive in their own stadia to please their own fans perhaps. We got away with less as they tried more. They’d get one, then confidence would be up… and…

    We need a return to boring defense with structure.. though that’ll never satisfy fans who want to see the ball aggressively taken … which you don’t see at City or Mourinho’s rather boring sides … Thus, I think even if we win there’s a segment of fans who won’t like it anyway.

    Just my take — jgc

  • Sorry for typos.. my tablet is possessed by multiple language keyboards and dictionaries….

  • 17HT. I wasn’t specifically talking about today, you have had a chip on your shoulder for some time now and every time we loose, you let loose (sorry couldn’t resist it) Anyway given the amount of international support on here the grammar on here is pretty decent by most standards..

    Just my opinion but the trouble with blogging is it gets very personal if you are not careful. We all have outr favourites and anyone who has been around for a while will know which buttons to press to annoy someone. As an example, that Elneny is a lazy sod, wil have you TA and several others up in arms immediately. Anyway just kidding. kharrus is far better than Cech will get T A and even my old Mucker Kev firing shots back at you. When all the talk a week or so back was suggesting selling Rambo, I was spitting blood. As for the Ox leave him alone as well, apparently he was doing really well under Klopp and I always thought he had it in him. You have defended Wenger to the hilt, but it’s time to move on now.

    you have always written good stuff on here which I have enjoyed and th banter has always been great. 10 years ago had someone lifted a banner at Arsenal saying Wenger out, he would have had his arm pulled off by the supporters and he would have been beaten to death with the soggy end. 7 years ago 80 pr cent of fans would have done similar. I would never say anything bad about Wenger and I truly hate those banners etc etc, but if Wenger had left after winning the cup on anyone of the three years we have won it recently, he would have left a hero, we would have probably gone through a coupl of managers by now, and the crowd would be chanting we want Wenger back. Sadly this season was mediocre by our standards and it was time for a change. Personallly I , look st Gazidis, Kroemke etc and I ask myself do they really care about our team or just the associated cash Flow? I know what I think and maybe that’s just the way it is nowadays.

    I must be honest and say that as much as I loved tWenger it was becoming a little tedious listening to his after match chats. I never knew if he was so powerful he didn’t let anyonr else talk or they just sent him out t as a sacrifice to the fans. Anyway either way he was our greatest ever manager in my opinion, but it’s time to move on. I have said a lot of this before and am getting boring.

    I quite like what appears to be an interesting new set up. Other characters are beginning to appear and I am hearing what seem like healthy noises coming out of the Emirates.

    I am 100% behind Emery and the team, if not the board. It won’t be easy and if we did win something next season it would be a huge bonus.

    C,mon 17HT let’s put all this old stuff behind us and support the new guy.

  • TA, a very pertinent post. If Emery can solve the riddle (amazing disparity in home and away forms) we would be back as a force.

    I’d approach it firstly by saying the things that are not the causes.

    1). Our poor away form was not due to any negativeness of the away fans. They travel to support the team. Of course the team’s performance then dictates their mood, exactly the same as at the Emirate. The only difference is in the volume of the vocal support which can be critical.
    2). It is not the tactics. It’s not possible that the same tactics would give us 47 pts at home and only 16 points at away.

    The answer lies very much in TA’s no.1. Lack of cojones! We have players who lack inner strength. They are outer directed as opposed to being inner directed. Their molo comes from the outside (home setting Emirate). When they are away from home they grow timid. Not all our players though. The tough hombre (imo) include Xhaka, Ramsey, Monreal, Laca, Mkhi. These ones never have their shoulders drop.

    This should be a consideration for new signings. This again is why I’d welcome Emery’s pressing (though I hope it won’t be Klopp’s lunatic press). Apart from its tactical use, pressing provides a means of upping the teams fighting spirit. It helps give more energy to the team.

    So that huge difference in our form, home and away is that the Emirate is able to give us more energy, while we are unable to generate enough energy from within at away.

    One can’t eat ones cake and have it. Wenger in his later years clearly made effort to avoid the big egos. Incidentally big egos tend to be the tougher ones. But they come with a baggage. Somewhere in between might be the best compromise.

  • 17ht, internationally it is spelled Rwanda. Some spell it as Ruwanda, pronounciation wise it is Ru-wanda. So, Ruwanda it is from now on?

    Anyway, I will not live to hate the team. Never.

  • Morning all 🙂

    Some feisty comments. As long as they are on the subject and not getting personal, it is all good. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. 😦

  • Steve,

    Gazidis and co released Sanchez, Giroud and Walcott and got back a young defender and two classy and established attackers. So your theory of wait and see is no longer true. Wenger does a lot through trusting and believing his players and working with them to make them better. That is how he finished in the top four year after year and won three FA cups in four years. It may not be your way of doing things but that does not mean it works. I have no doubt that the club is set up differently now and that we will see a planned approach to recruitment of players going forward.

  • Retsub, I think you are right re captaincy which seems to be more important in away games than it is at home. But a captain can only do so much on the pitch (whilst focusing on his personal technical tasks too).

    Agreed re Ronaldo.

  • JW1 🙂

    Totally forgot about the truly horrible blue-shaded away kit!!! That’s it!! It brought us bad luck time and again. 🙂

  • I’m not going to click on the Daily Mail link. Rule of thumb, if it’s someone we like it’s ‘President’ or ‘leader’. If not, then it’s ‘dictator’. (And does anyone even ask what role the President plays in this decision? Maybe a lot, maybe not much or at all) Better not to bring up politics, but if they’re going to criticise a country sponsoring a team, then they should start with those actually SPONSORING a team. Abu Dhabi FC and Qatar saint Germain are good places to start. But no, it is Arsenal who have no morals. Irony rolled up and died.

  • The away thing. Mentality, yes. Support and lack thereof, also yes (not necessarily in the stands but in general) Players being unsettled, a big yes. Referees, also a big yes.

    First Ox at Liverpool, and then Alexis for half the season affected the team. The big decisions went against us at Stoke, Watford, to start off and WBA later just from memory (and some of them were totally atrocious decisions) There were more. This then became a narrative adding a monkey on the players’ back. They couldn’t shrug it off. But look at Emery’s interview where he references Pep talking about a moment that the team needs to go through to overcome the weight of history. We lacked the mentality and often the conditions to do it, true. We lacked the sense of support from the fans, true. And we were denied it by the refs whenever we should have/might have had it.

    A fresh start will help the players let go of that history. The fans might give the team more of a respite. The players should be more settled now after the upheavals of last season. The refs are not going to change for us. But hopefully we’ll have enough in the tank to not let that affect us so badly. Meanwhile, we also need to maintain that home form.

  • Eris, your comment is my favourite one for this post. I especially liked this paragraph:

    “On the topic, while it may be easy to point fingers at the players’ character, attitude, passion, etc. (as someone has done), have we considered that it’s been pretty much the same players who have had brilliant away performances in seasons past? Fact is Arsenal has only ever dropped below 3rd place, on the Away form table since 2010/2011, in one season (2016/17). Our Away form had never been a cause for concern until the season just ended.”

    The lack of harmony (and certainty about the future) in the team could indeed affect us a lot in more hostile environments.

  • Geoffsky

    I was thinking something similar to your:

    “At home, teams came in more wary and we got away with more, 15-2-2…. welikely scored more for he same reason.
    Away, teams were more aggressive in their own stadia to please their own fans perhaps. We got away with less as they tried more. They’d get one, then confidence would be up… and…”

    It felt to me that we stuck more or less to the same playing philosophy home and away but with the subconscious collective mind-set of:
    At home: We will win with this approach
    Away: We should win with this approach

    At the same time, at home our opponents believed that they could cause an upset; whereas in away games our opponents had real believe that they would be able to beat us on the counter/turnovers… And they did time and again. 😦

  • PE,

    I like this:
    “So that huge difference in our form, home and away is that the Emirate is able to give us more energy, while we are unable to generate enough energy from within at away.” Not sure whether this is to do with cojones alone but there is something in it. Did Wenger sent out the players saying: “go and play your game, enjoy yourself” or did he get the players more prepared for the mental challenges in away games and make them play with intensity and focus from the start? Hard to say.

    I am reluctant in supporting your view that certain players gave more/had more cojones than others. I reckon it was more to do with mental preparations and tactics than anything else.

  • Shard,

    Interesting addition about the refereeing. Do you think some referees had it in for Arsenal/Arsene or was it just poor craftsmanship?

  • TA,

    IMO, if I could, I’d ask you repost my very old one on Transition.. linked it in a few posts back. My take, when we gave up goals it was on counter, a lot, and our transitions were not only slow, but uncoordinated.

    At our place teams are more tentative, at least outside the top 3 or 2 (even ManU). Away, at their place they are way more aggressive often in transition. Human nature, home fans, whatever. We were equally slow + sloppy, but those extra few steps, the extra bit of directness more often add up and hurt.

    Such is my take..

    I would *respectfully* (and what’s up with you 17? I know I’ve been away…) disagree with the “its pretty much the same players..” cuz yeah, it is… That speaks, as always IMHO 🙂 to *how* we play and not *who* is playing or *where* … hence, my thinking…

    Though as always, yeah the refs are always against us! 🙂 … Every fan says it and somewhere theres great joke waiting to be born around:

    “if refs are against every team, how … (something very funny and doubtlessly rude)”

    Cheers from well down under — jgc

  • TA I am what you would call a conspiracy theorist when it comes to referees, or the PL for that matter. Yes I think refs have it in for Arsenal, and at the very least, there is no ‘risk’ for them to be biased against us because it fits into the negative media narrative (Too soft, mentally weak, can’t defend etc) So regardless of ref decisions, Arsenal’s failures only confirm that bias.

  • Shard, I think it is a combo of some bias against Wenger (he has been very critical of referees in recent years) and lack of ability. We also lacked the sort of captain who would confront the referee in a strong but ‘safe’ way.

    Prof – agreed dealing with transitions is a key factor.

  • TA, great selections of excerpts of the submissions. If this were a conference called by the club, as a think tank to address the topic of last season’s Away form, the compendium of thoughts here would serve the team well if submitted for review. Only thing to add is the RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GROUP.

    Shard, thanks for bringing up the influence of the refereeing at away games. Indeed, there is really no “risk” in shafting Wenger’s Arsenal because the narrative spun about the team makes it fair game to embarrass us.

  • Seconding Eris’ perspective on the compendium of comments on the conference call.

    Also, while seemingly posted with a bit of snark– my comment about the light-blue-fade-kits dovetails nicely with psychosomatic tendencies of repetition. Particularly of the negative type. Athletes, are a most superstitious sort. Inasmuch as visualization is a key tool preparing as an individual to be successful during an event? Negative reinforcement of poor performance makes it nearly impossible to overcome. Even at the level of a simple subconscious visual of — say– light-blue-fade-kits. Hey, humans are subliminal animals. Advanced pattern recognition sets us only slightly above other species.

    All ideas put forth on Eris’ BK conference call– aren’t to be– or cannot be– stacked one on top of another for a better outcome. It’s a matter of change. What needs to be changed, when, and how. Begins with small, innocuous things. Actions before a match that the team take at Home, that can be replicated on the road. How do we travel to certain away PL venues? Depart earlier? Can we change lodging? Where the team take meals? As a team? If not– do so? Play the same music in the away changing room as at home?

    Get rid of the effing light-blue-fade-kits.
    Or whatever color they might be– if the team lose wearing them. Mid-season if necessary.
    Won’t take the time to review and compile the total. But as of Feb 23rd after losing at Home (yes, at Home– in blue kits.) vs Ostersunds (Ostersunds?! OSTERSUNDS!!! For chrissakes do we need to be hit between the eyes with a mallet? — anyway–) the team were 0-1-7. As has been chronicled, not another point was taken-in-blue– till Huddersfield.

    (Oh. And? Fire the genius whose idea it was it to wear the blue kits at Home vs Ostersunds.)

    If you can’t fathom there was a subliminal negative reinforcement going on in our teams noggins — over the light-blue-fade-kits? That the first visual thing upon entering the away changing room was a symbol of failure? That athletes are consumed by the oddest quirks and superstition? I won’t be convincing you then.

    One aspect I’ve come to admire in reading about the meticulousness of Pep Guardiola’s methods? Is his creating and governing an environment with repetitiveness and regimentation. This is way up on my list– in how I’ve coached/managed personally in several sports.

    Emery as Newman will have different methods of effecting change. I’m liking his reputation for attention to detail. For as much as I’ve used the kits as the example? It’s about maintaining routines that reinforce success. Ridding the team of routines that might foster failure.

    Sorry guys– I’m going to have to leave the conference call now.
    Time for a late breakfast over here.


  • jw1, LoL @ conference call. Great point(s) you have there. Discard things which offer negative reinforcement of poor performance. As fans, we are also superstitious (I feel “my team” is more likely to win if I watch the games alone. So, I won’t answer the door or phone during games; I have a particular couch from where I view games, for good luck; if I sit on any other, trouble, etc.). How much more so, the sportsmen?

  • I’ve thought about the colors too but not from a superstitious point of view. We might have a bullish DNA. Red makes us see mad. Our best game of the season was against Burnley when the whole Emirate Stadium was decked in red. The dull colors induce somnolence in us. We should go back to yellow for the away kit. Like Emery I leave nothing to chance!

    Psychologist might prefer to talk about peripheral vision and our quick passing style.

  • I’ve not read the Daily Mail piece, but Shards point about President vs Dictator is very salient and typical of the British press.
    Maybe Arsenal as a club should think very carefully about the stance the Mail has taken, as it’s a kind of an attack on Arsenal itself and the morals of the club.
    Maybe banning the Mail from the Emirates would be a start?

    As for last season TA, it’s gone mate, I’m looking forward, good post though. 😉

  • Kev, from what it seems, it looks like Ivan Gazidis should make a statement about the uproar over the deal, and end the noises once and for all.

    And for the Mail to close shop permanently after a scathing attack on the club? Better than banning them from Emirates.

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