Title challengers who are improving year on year? That’s what the media tell us about Tottenham but the truth is they’ve stagnated, collecting the same number of points in 18/19 after 30 games as they did in 17/18.
Up against an Arsenal side in flux coming off the back of their worst period in decades, this magnificent Spurs side are just one point ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League with eight games to play.
Whatever happens before the end of the season, it’s going to be tense.
So, while the press drool over Pochettino’s men and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s run that didn’t even come close to matching Unai Emery’s 22-match unbeaten run with Arsenal this season, the Spaniard has just been quietly getting on with his work, slowly improving Arsenal to the point that only Liverpool have collected more points this season compared to last.
Year-on-year performance changes in the Premier League pic.twitter.com/mCZdaMWXGM
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) March 10, 2019
At times, it hasn’t seemed like Arsenal are moving in the right direction – quite the opposite, in fact – but the numbers on the board don’t lie.
A win against Newcastle on April Fool’s Day will draw Arsenal level with the 63 points they won last season with still seven to play.
So far, we have scored 12 fewer than last season but we’d also need to concede another 12 goals in the final eight games to finish off with worse goals conceded stat than in Wenger’s final season.
For the record
Mauricio Pochettino’s first full season in England saw him collect 60 points from 38 games with Southampton, although he had eight months at the club before that campaign began. At Spurs, he picked up 70 in his first season, having been in the league for more than 18 months when he was appointed.
Jurgen Klopp’s first full season at Liverpool saw him collect 76 although he initially arrived in October 2015 and Liverpool finished that season with 60 points.