There has been a common narrative for quite a while, depicting Arsenal as having a habit of falling off at the end of a season.
A recent blogger of a rival team (who shall remain nameless) went as far as to describe their recent misfortunes as catching this North London disease.
Fact is, nothing could be further from the truth.
In the majority of the twelve years since their 2003/2004 championship season in the Barclay’s Premier League, Arsenal have either improved or maintained their position.
This is with the exception of the seasons ending in ’08, ’11, and ’14.
In two of these, including last season, the Gunners held the top spot for a significant period of time only to finish in 3rd or 4th.
Granted, these three seasons occurred in our recent austerity period, whilst paying off a new stadium, including last season. Arsenal still managed to make it into the Champions League every year, which was almost a prerequisite to help pay for said stadium.
Three out of twelve top-four-finishing seasons.
That might be a let down, but hardly a habit – certainly not a disease.
If anything, these charts show Arsenal as having more of a habit of starting rather slow and finishing strong as the season wears on.
Not many other clubs in the Premier League can make the same claim, and I’m pretty sure you won’t hear that from anyone in the media.
These hackneyed narratives are getting pretty old, don’t you think?