Two games into the season, and a loss and a draw. Being behind by 5 points at this point in the season is trivial in terms of the winning the Premier League, but the club’s mindset in terms of its competitiveness at this point in the season is of concern. It feels like every August, we are scrambling for talent, to fill holes that we finally realized after a couple of league fixtures. Out of curiosity, I decided to compile our August records since 2010.
In recent years, we hit an injury plagued patch at some point in the season, where we really face difficulty. During such times, it is understandable for the team’s performance to drop, resulting in the team losing points at the end of the day. However, at the beginning of the season, especially after a couple months of rest during the summer, you would expect the squad to be at near full strength. Thus, at the beginning of the season, you really expect the team to come out banging. However, these statistics show that our team actually (surprisingly) drops a lot of points. An actual numerical analysis shows that we indeed perform terribly during the month of August, compared to the entire season.
Compared to the entire season average, only in 2010-2011 and 2013-2014 have we outperformed our season average. For a team to be competing in the top ranks of the Premier League (at least that is what the fans expect), these results are a bit disappointing. And with these results, the club goes on what seems like somewhat of a hasty search for talent.
Unsurprisingly, 2011-2012 season saw a ton of transfers at the end of the month as the team was failing, especially with the 2-8 loss to Manchester United being iconic. While the likes of Arteta and Per are decent transfer successes, they are by no means world-class signings and maybe that is the reason why the club has been missing out on lifting the Premier League trophy since the Invincibles.
A draw at Leicester City is again, a sign of the club’s transfers activities letting down the fans. Despite having a lot of opportunities to end the game, we failed to do it. Leicester had just as many wide-open chances. With the introduction of Ozil towards the end of the game, only then did we really start to open up better opportunities, strongly hinting that a world-class talent truly can change the pace of the game. While Rob Holding had a much better game with Kos partnering him at the back, it still felt like Nacho, Kos, and Bellerin was covering up more than they had to.
With only 1 point out of the possible 6 with one more game to go in August, maybe it will be 2011-2012 all over again, with a lot of signings. Will these be world-class? Probably not. But at this point, we can only get better.