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Bournemouth v Arsenal. A tiny flicker of light at the end of a negative tunnel

By Bulldog Drummond

Since 1 December Bournemouth have had two victories, one draw  and three defeats at home – a modest record that most certainly should be giving Arsenal hope for a straight victory in this game…

Date Game Res Score Competition
07 Dec 2019 Bournemouth v Liverpool L 0-3 Premier League
21 Dec 2019 Bournemouth v Burnley L 0-1 Premier League
26 Dec 2019 Bournemouth v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
04 Jan 2020 Bournemouth v Luton Town W 4-0 FA Cup
12 Jan 2020 Bournemouth v Watford L 0-3 Premier League
21 Jan 2020 Bournemouth v Brighton and Hove W 3-1 Premier League

Against this and looked at in isolation, Arsenal’s away form since  1 December is not that bad – not a single defeat.  But of course there are not that many victories either – just the one in fact.  One win and six draws.

Date Game Res Score Competition
01 Dec 2019 Norwich City v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
09 Dec 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League
12 Dec 2019 Standard Liège v Arsenal D 2-2 Europa League
21 Dec 2019 Everton v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
26 Dec 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
11 Jan 2020 Crystal Palace v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
21 Jan 2020 Chelsea v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League

Arsenal have been scoring more goals away from home than Bournemouth have at their own ground which again can give us some extra hope, and there is a general feeling that Martinelli could be in the team once again for this match.

Overall Arsenal’s away form is mid-table

1 Liverpool 11 10 1 0 23 6 17 31
2 Manchester City 12 8 1 3 34 15 19 25
3 Leicester City 12 7 1 4 28 12 16 22
4 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 25 20 5 22
5 Southampton 12 6 2 4 18 14 4 20
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 4 5 3 17 15 2 17
7 Sheffield United 12 3 7 2 12 12 0 16
8 Crystal Palace 12 3 5 4 12 16 -4 14
9 Arsenal 12 2 7 3 14 16 -2 13

But compared to this moment one year ago this away form is still not showing the improvement that we have been looking for. In fact this season we have played one game more away from home compared to this date one year back under the previous management, but have two fewer points and a slightly worse goal difference.

1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Manchester City 11 7 2 2 22 7 15 23
4 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 19 10 9 22
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 12 5 2 5 16 17 -1 17
7 Watford 11 4 4 3 16 14 2 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15

I really do wonder if there is not, in some small part, an AFTV effect away from home.  If so the continuing uprising against AFTV by the Arsenal away support might gradually help the players pull themselves together and improve what has been a problem for several seasons now.

Certainly by this stage in 2016/17 Arsenal had the third best away form in the country with six wins, three draws and two defeats thus far, and a goal difference of +15.

Fortunately, for this match, we can note that Bournemouth at home are themselves not that impressive

Club P W D L F A GD Pts
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 4 5 3 18 17 1 17
13 Arsenal 12 4 5 3 18 18 0 17
14 Aston Villa 12 5 2 5 16 21 -5 17
15 Crystal Palace 12 4 4 4 10 12 -2 16
16 Watford 12 3 5 4 11 14 -3 14
17 AFC Bournemouth 12 3 4 5 13 18 -5 13
18 Norwich City 12 3 3 6 18 25 -7 12
19 West Ham United 11 3 2 6 17 20 -3 11
20 Southampton 12 3 2 7 13 28 -15 11

So although this is a bit of clutching at straws Arsenal have the better goal difference (-2 for Arsenal away, -5 for Bournemouth at home) and again that could help Arsenal edge a victory.

But maybe the most important factor is the slight change in mood, despite the efforts of AFTV.  The performance of Martinelli is something that has attracted attention and diverted commentary from the endless attacks on the club, and certainly despite the modest results thus far the new management team is not suffering from the sort of journalistic abuse that Emery and his men got – or indeed Wenger’s management team got, during its last two seasons at the club.

If this slightly more positive approach can be maintained there could be some light at the end of the tunnel despite the lack of victories in recent times.

Original article: https://untold-arsenal.com/archives/79192

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