I’ve seen people say things like, “We have improved this year, but last year we finished 19 points behind the two Manchester teams; we can’t make that up in one season.” In response I give you the following facts:
In 2010-2011, Newcastle managed 46 points, while last season they got 65 and finished fifth. Look at that – 19 points extra in one season. And that’s just last season, I didn’t have to hunt around very far for an example.
But maybe you’re saying it’s easier to make such a jump when it’s not right to the top. Perhaps it’s harder to jump from third to first than from about 12th to fifth?
Well, Man City in 2010-11 amassed 71 points, whereas last year they were Champions with 89. Okay, it’s 18 points not 19, but close enough I think.
Man City also made a jump of 17 points between 2009 and 2010, and the same season Spurs increased their tally by 19. Meanwhile Liverpool dropped by 23 points in the same period, which is also something of an achievement, but not really what we’re aiming for.
These are just examples from the last three seasons, I’m too lazy to do much further research when it’s clear that these sorts of jumps do occur fairly often.
But let’s look at one example from a little further back, courtesy of some league tables borrowed from emfootball.co.uk.
Exhibit A – the 1969-70 Division 1 table:
Exhibit B – the 1970-71 Division 1 table:
Note: Arsenal Champions on 65 points. That’s 23 points gained in one season – and that’s old points, before it was three for a win – if it had been three for a win the difference would have been a massive 40 points.
So don’t let anyone tell you we can’t make up 19 points in a season. Because at this stage anything is still possible. It’s fairly likely that one of the 17 teams who have stayed in the Premier League will make a jump of 16-19 points this season, and I see no reason right now why it shouldn’t be Arsenal.