Arsenal will finish above Spurs: the people have spoken

Strange times in the Premier League these days. When I was a boy there was a ‘Big 5′ of Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, Everton and Spurs, who tended to have a bit more money coming in through the turnstiles than most of the others, leading to more success – though in Spurs’ case not for very long. Other teams rose and fell, but one or other of the Big 5 always seemed to be around the top. Then in the 1990s and early 2000s there was a ‘Big 4’ of Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. Then Man City were bought by a country wanting respectability in the west to cover up their appalling human rights record, so we were back to a sort of Big 5, with Spurs and Everton lagging a bit behind but occasionally finishing above one or two of the other big boys. Recently Spurs have employed a half-decent manager and Everton have struggled a bit to get any nearer the top, but still largely kept clear of the rest.

We now have a seemingly fairly stable group of six plus Everton, and pretty much everyone believes these teams should fill the top seven places come the end of the season, as they have done several times in recent years. Only the fact of Leicester’s remarkable victory in 2016 gives cause for any doubt at all.

So if you ask anyone for a prediction of positions at the end of the season you’ll be most unlikely to see much variation in names. Of 11 football writers in The Times, nine have picked Man City to be first and eight have picked Man Utd to be second. There is one outlier in the predictions: coincidentally or not, this is the only woman invited to make a prediction, Alyson Rudd. She’s gone for a top four of Spurs, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal. (Presumably she really doesn’t rate Pep or she just forgot that Man City exist.) Other than that it’s a very clear pattern of Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea as the top three, then Spurs or Arsenal in fourth, with Spurs shading it. Liverpool are only picked in one of the 11 predictions, and Everton not at all.

I polled some Arsenal fans on twitter then averaged out the results. Overall, Arsenal fans believe the final table will be:

  1. Man City (average placing 1.46)
  2. Man Utd (2.02)
  3. Chelsea (3.5)
  4. Arsenal (4.28)
  5. Spurs (4.68)
  6. Liverpool (5.28)

Pretty similar to The Times, but as a group we Arsenal fans can’t quite believe (or don’t want to) that Spurs will finish above us again.

My personal feeling is that they won’t – I think the Wembley effect will mean they drop a lot of points at home, as other teams literally treat it as a Cup Final.

What does all this prove? Nothing much, I don’t suppose. It’ll be interesting to see whether this crowd-sourced wisdom has come up with the right final table, but should I put money on it? Not too much, I think.

Incidentally this was with an amalgamation of 50 predictions, but I bet that if I had 500 or 1000 the result would be the same. I find that the pattern establishes itself pretty early.

Twitter: @AngryOfN5 

If you want to start looking at putting some bets on for the end of the football season then Oddschanger will provide insights into how the odds have changed over the season so you can place well informed bets.


10 thoughts on “Arsenal will finish above Spurs: the people have spoken

  1. Always having Arsenal blogs popping up on Spurs news now because always banging on about Spurs. Never, and I mean never have any Spurs articles popping up talking about Arsenal. We don’t care about you.

      • Ya, we don’t care about Arsenal or Chelsea, I’d say Real Madrid , Man Utd are Spurs real threat.
        it is strange that Arsenal and Chelsea fans keep going on about hating Spurs!
        in last 30 years Spurs win 3 trophies, Arsenal & Chelsea between them 35 trophies!! YES! Look it up!
        also, in 30 years , Arsenal & Chelsea between them have beaten Spurs 70 times versus Spurs 23 wins!!! Look it up!
        yet , Chelsea fans say they hate Spurs more than any other club and Arsenal have the same sentiments! it sort of like Spurs are the psychiatrist and Chelsea & Arsenal fans are the patient! Despite all your success over Spurs, ur both paranoid about us, when we’re clearly not a threat to you!
        mentally ill Chelsea & Arse fans, methinks…….

    • Thinking exactly the same thing Rob – and if you look at the ‘related articles’ above: “Why Spurs cant overtake Arsenal” and “How to get rich on Spurs failure”. The advert insisted that “Obsession” was by Calvin Klein…… apparently its by disillusioned gooners…..

  2. Hi, another Spurs fan. Obviously this poll will be a bit of opinion plus desire. I cannot see Man Utd finishing 2nd for starters. I do expect City to be challenging and think Chelsea will be there too but won’t have the easy sprint of a season without the Champions League like last season. I agree there will be a Wembley factor as we struggle to adjust to the pitch size and make the place our (temporary) home, but it’s unlikely to be prolonged as we’re playing all our home games there rather than just the Champions League ones, so once we have a few wins under our belt we should improve. That said, i’d be happy with top 4 this year as too many rival teams (Arsenal included) underperformed last year and that’s unlikely to repeat itself.

  3. An interesting read Phil from a fan of your nemesis at the other end of the Seven Sisters Road. I tend to avoid predictions until early September and the end of the window as our infamous Chairman and many other teams do enjoy a last minute deal or two. Having competed for the title for the last two seasons I don’t see us managing to do that this season because of the Wembley effect. I just want some silverware. Sadly the petrodollar powered clubs will again hoover up much of the silverware but to predict who will get 4th is very tricky. I am surprised so many Times writers have not included Liverpool as I think they have a very decent team. Liverpool’s and Arsenal’s weakness is defence but both teams have an abundance of attacking quality. In fact as an older observer who still remembers the sterile but successful George Graham teams you have become like the old Spurs great to watch and score plenty but also concede plenty too. Where as we have given up on cups and tried to compete for the league with the best defence I can ever remember and no cavalier player sprinkled in (Hoddle,Gascoigne, Ginola, Bale) I could see a case for Liverpool, Tottenham or Arsenal getting 4th so it will be an interesting season.

    One other observation having seen all of Wembley at the Charity Shield stand and sing ‘Stand up if you hate Tottenham’ do you lot not dislike Chelski as much as us? Me, I cannot stand them at least Arsenal and ourselves are run as proper functioning businesses who don’t live beyond their means – Arsene was quite correct it’s financial doping.

    • Thanks for your polite and considered comments.
      I’d say with regard to Chelsea that younger and foreign fans are more likely to have Chelsea as their least favourite rival, while older and more local fans will still regard Spurs in that light.

  4. Arsenal seems a disaster zone to me. A player like Ox turning down £180K a week speaks volumes. Likewise of course Sanchez, and there are others. Many of the players themselves evidently have a low expectation, so why should we fans believe differently. Yes, Arsenal may finish above Spurs (because of Wembley), but for me the two Manchester sides, Chelsea and Liverpool will out-distance the club. And Everton with Koeman as manager and a committed owner are bound to be tough opposition. Which makes Arsenal at best 5th, a more likely 6th, or a possible seventh.

  5. Can anyone explain how losing sanchez ozil the ox and probably jack wilshire for free while keeping ramsey elney coq au van walcot and welbeck ? Yet the prof !!! Who has a degree in economics reckons its ok !!!!! Have i missed something here? Are we now that rich a club now ? Because i dont see how you replace that quality for free ! As you all know its now AWFC not AFC i dont hate wenger i just want someone fresh and inspiring and someone to lift the club and fans i know its only two games in but i know what i watched and what dont speak dont lie ! Ground hog day for another two seasons at least hope its not as the spuds are getting on my nerves espically there delided fans who have never seen there team win the league in colour

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