Quite often when I write these daily musings, it’s usually based on me thinking about a particular topic when I’m out running first thing in the morning. Today is no different and I’ll get in to the nub of that thinking in a minute, but first a word for Brentford, who for a few moments had me thinking that a shock upset might be on the cards last night. But the relentlessness of Financially Doped FC kicked in and eventually one of their mega stars stepped up and they were able to pick up yet another win. It’s funny because a lot of us have been looking at Liverpool and their volume of games they have right now, but City are doing almost the same and still picking up win after win. They’ll no doubt drop points somewhere (we hope), but it is just feeling like the same as every season right now, isn’t it? You know what I mean, when they just go on another 20 game winning streak. We just have to hope that some sort of blip shows up because otherwise this could very well end up like another boring season that should have Premier League fans asking the question as to whether we are just a well paid Bundesliga.

But anyway, enough of that, because what occupied my thoughts as I was running this morning was related to the Liverpool game at the weekend and actually the game before it. I saw a couple of tweets from Liverpool fans suggesting that we were ‘lucky’ against Forest, that we were getting the rub of the green, that this luck would have us come unstuck eventually. Well for those people who want to see narratives based on their own blinkered perception I guess that could be seen as true if you’re a Liverpool fan reacting to the weekend’s result too. Arsenal got a ‘lucky’ second goal, a ‘lucky’ red card in their favour and then a last minute winner by Trossard to put a gloss on the game.

But for those Liverpool fans making those comments about the game at the weekend, who also made such comments about the Forest win we had too, it’s ignoring the fundamental principle of the dominance that Arteta mentioned in his post-match presser. If you looked at that first City goal last night you might conclude that they were ‘lucky’ to have seen Pinnock – the Brentford defender – make such a soft header and how it fortunately fell to Foden. But the reality was that Flekken had made a string of saves beforehand. That was the same as the Forest game for us; it wasn’t ‘lucky’ that we eventually made our dominance tell, it was ‘unlucky’ that we hadn’t broken the deadlock before then (Gabriel Jesus had hit the post just before we scored, if you remember).

Likewise to Sunday. If you want to squint to see it, as a Liverpool fan you might argue that Arsenal were ‘lucky’ to have got that second goal after an uncharacteristic error from both Van Dijk and Alisson, but if you’re applying that logic then you’d say Liverpool were extremely lucky to have even got their one goal. What I will say at this juncture, however, is that I have seen plenty of Liverpool fans admitting that they didn’t deserve anything and recognising that Arsenal were better on the day and fully deserved all three points. But what it did make me think of as I was running, was:

How unlucky have we been this season?

I realise this is a bit of a ‘soft factors’ discussion here by the way. Talking about ‘luck’ is a very tricky subject because it is so subjective and there is no way of really quantifying it because it’s so subjective. But to me it does feel like we’ve been quite unlucky this season. I also will acknowledge that what you are about to read is written through the prism of an Arsenal supporters perspective and, as I mentioned above, you can build your own narratives with your own facts if you want to, handily omitting parts that don’t suit your own narrative. I am not ignoring instances where we have been ‘lucky’ this season – or a perceived level of ‘luck’, but more my mind is focused more on the unlucky moments, hence why I’m not able to recall those perceived ‘lucky’ moments. For example:

  • Tomiyasu’s red card against Palace – I’ve seen plenty of players take longer than the 17 seconds he took for his first booking. Then to have Ayew have as much of his shirt as he has of Tomiyasu’s, for the Japanese international to get sent off for that, seems a little unlucky to me.
  • The goal we conceded in the equaliser at home to Fulham felt unlucky – maximum punishment for Fulham’s only attack in that second half – it felt like
  • Rashford scoring with United’s only foray in to our defensive third felt unfortunate – again, could be seen as an error, but equally you could point out to maximum return for the opposition when we had dominated.
  • Jorginho’s slip against the Scum was unlucky.
  • Saliba being punished for the penalty against Chelsea for handball was unlucky, but even more so was the Mudryk miskick which looped over Raya – nobody will ever convince me that he meant that.
  • Newcastle’s ‘goal’ to hand them the points at St James’ Park – I’ll say no more on that one.
  • Luton getting three goals from four shots on target – perhaps you can put that down to poor defending, but it feels more like the ‘maximum punishment for minimum output’ category – there’s a pattern emerging here with a few of these bullet points.
  • That entire West Ham game was the post child for ‘maximum punishment for minimum output’ for sure.
  • Liverpool in the Cup – battered them, they get an own goal and then an injury time winner.

Now, I acknowledge that it might be a stretch to talk about some of these as ‘unlucky’, but you certainly can’t argue that we were ‘lucky’ with any of those incidents. The only real ‘lucky’ incident I can think of is the Odegaard handball at Liverpool. I’m sure there are more examples of how we’ve been on the right side of decisions, but to any fan pointing out that they think Arsenal have been ‘lucky’ this season – particularly if you’re going to reference games like Forest – then I’d politely remind that fan of the above list. Arsenal haven’t been lucky this season, far from it, we’ve been punished by Lady Luck more times than rewarded.

And on that note I think I’ll leave it for today. Back tomorrow with some more musings and hopefully I’ll still be basking in the warm glow of that Liverpool win from Sunday.

See you then.