Arsenal’s league season officially over
Gunners’ capitulation to Aston Villa suggests they are growing bored of top four finishes
By going over like cardboard to Villa at the Emirates this afternoon, Arsenal have now registered four defeats in the first 13 league games this season, something they haven’t managed since 1994/95, long before the arrival of Professor Wenger. For those Gunners fans who like to clutch at straws, you can now officially stop wasting time studying the top of the table, as no team has ever lost as many in the first 13 and gone on to win the the Premier League.
No one has started so poorly and finished second either. Arsenal’s best hope is third place, which Newcastle managed in 2002/3 after losing five at this stage. United achieved a third place finish the season before after losing four in the first 13.
However, Arsenal’s record over the last thirty years or so when losing four or more at this stage of the season makes for very queasy reading, and suggests that they will be fortunate to even make the UEFA Cup next year, let alone the Champions League. In 1994/95, they finished 12th, in 1992/93 they lost four in 13 and finished tenth, in 1984/85 they lost four in 13 and finished seventh, in 1983/84 they lost seven in 13 and finished sixth, in 1982/83 they lost five in 13 and finished tenth, in 1981/82 they lost five in 13 and finished fifth, in 1977/78 they lost four in 13 and finished fifth, in 1976/77 they lost five in 13 and finished eighth, and in 1975/6 they lost four in 13 and flirted with relegation, finishing 17th. Could this be the season the top four welcomes a new member?