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Due to the turbulence of losing star players in the summer, one of the club’s worst starts to a season in its history and the humiliation of that 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford, you may be forgiven to think that despite Arsenal’s recent resurgence which sees them unbeaten in eight league games, the Gunners have still fallen off the ladder compared to last year.
But if you thought so, you are wrong! Why?
Take a look at this.
PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AFTER 15 GAMES IN 2010/11
PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AFTER 15 GAMES IN 2011/12
The obvious conclusion from the above images is that Arsenal have earned as many points (29) as they did at this same stage last season. In fact, their current record of nine wins, two draws and four defeats is exactly how it was in 2010.
The only change that pessimists can spot from statistics from a year ago is that the Gunners are seven goals worse off in goal difference. But apart from that, everything is exactly how it was at this stage in the 2010/11 campaign where Arsenal were genuine contenders and even front-runners sometimes in a title race which saw them lose through their own collapse only in the end.
Then there is that slight, slight change which is Manchester City (and Bolton perhaps).
As you can see, 29 points last year was enough to find Arsenal sitting second, but due to the ridiculously commanding start by Mancini’s men, – and let’s not forget Tottenham’s impressive beginning – that same total from Wenger’s men is not even enough to mix it with the top four this year.
So Fabregas or no Fabregas, Nasri or no Nasri, 29 is the number. You can also applaud Arsenal’s sum of points if you want, considering how the league is probably harder than it was a season ago.