And on we roll. I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve ever written about Arsenal.
If you haven’t seen these bubble plots before I explained the concept here but basically, higher = better team, further right = more luck, bigger bubble = more points, brighter bubble = more extreme goal difference (green = +ve, red = -ve).
Every knows that Arsenal have been one of the elite teams throughout the last ten years. They’ve been one of the most dominant in terms of possession and that has translated into a couple of titles before a fraught recent run. Last season was no different really, their possession numbers dropped off somewhat but that’s the consequence of loosing players like Fabregas and Nasri. In all they finished 3rd in the league in terms of TSR (link), behind only the Champions and Liverpool. Score effects likely drove some of that but they’re still a damn good team.
The table below includes the projections based on those comparable teams (as well as the max and min points expected from their performance) as well as their expected performance based on their total shots ratio (TSR) and shots on target ratio (STR) from last season.
The shots models provide a tighter grouping in terms of the number of points that teams will score because of the regression built into them, hence they predict Arsenal to finish higher positionally despite being in a very similar ball park in terms of the points scored. I’d guess they’ll be there or there-abouts at the bottom end of the champions league race come the end of the season. Finally here’s a reminder of how the predicted table stands to this juncture, based on the ‘comparable’s’ model.
The comparable’s for Arsenal are: ’00-01 Manchester United (80 points in year ‘0’, 77 points in year ‘1’), ’06-07 Arsenal (68, 83), ’08-09 Arsenal (72, 75), ’10-11 Chelsea (71, 64), ’02-03 Arsenal (78, 90), ’03-04 Liverpool (60, 58), ’09-10 Liverpool (63, 58), ’07-08 Arsenal (83, 72), ’02-03 Manchester United (83, 75), ’02-03 Liverpool (64, 60)