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Opinion

Arsenal v Newcastle – Case study, it isn’t just the quality it’s quantity as well (with little bit of Sunderland)

2 weeks ago
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Arsenal v Newcastle is the debate of the week.

Well at least it was for failed football club owner and attention seeker, Simon Jordan.

The former Crystal Palace owner who has an unhealthy obsession with Newcastle United.

He reckoned that when it comes to fans who are never happy no matter how good it gets, it is a straight Arsenal v Newcastle fight for the prize of being the most unreasonable fanbase.

I read the excellent article on The Mag on Monday from Dean Wilkins addressing Simon Jordan’s claims.

He summed it up perfectly how ludicrous it was to claim that it was some kind of level playing field for Arsenal fans and Newcastle fans, when it came to be unhappy with how things had gone in recent and not so recent years. One small example, Arsenal winning six trophies these last six years (three FA Cups and three community shields), whilst it is 64 years and counting since Newcastle last won a domestic trophy.

I think that as well as success, quality and entertainment, there is another angle which the Arsenal v Newcastle debate can highlight.

Quantity.

That’s  right, never mind dreams of excitement and success, just look at how much/little football these two fanbases have seen in recent years.

2013/14

Arsenal 56 games (38 Premier League, 6 FA Cup, 2 League Cup, 10 Champions League)

Newcastle 42 games (38 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cup)

2014/15

Arsenal 54 games (38 Premier League, 6 FA Cup, 1 League Cup, 8 Champions League, 1 Community Shield)

Newcastle 43 games (38 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 4 League Cup)

2015/16

Arsenal 54 games (38 Premier League, 5 FA Cup, 2 League Cup, 8 Champions League, 1 Community Shield)

Newcastle 41 games (38 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cup)

2016/17

Arsenal 55 games (38 Premier League, 6 FA Cup, 3 League Cup, 8 Champions League)

Newcastle 53 games (46 Championship, 3 FA Cup 4 League Cup)

2017/18

Arsenal 60 games (38 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 6 League Cup, 14 Europa League, 1 Community Shield)

Newcastle 41 games (38 Premier League, 2 FA Cup 1 League Cup)

2018/19

Arsenal 58 games (38 Premier League, 2 FA Cup, 3 League Cup, 15 Europa League)

Newcastle 42 games (38 Premier League, 3 FA Cup 1 League Cup)

2019/20

Arsenal 17 games (11 Premier League, 2 League Cup, 4 Europa League)

Newcastle 12 games (11 Premier League, 1 League Cup)

If you look at the last five full seasons when both were in the Premier League, Arsenal fans have had 73 more matches than Newcastle fans across those five seasons, an average of between 14 and 15 more games per season.

Ironically, it was our season in the Championship when we got closest, 53 games to 55 for Arsenal. NUFC boosted by 8 more league games, needing a replay to get past Birmingham in the FA Cup, as well as a flukey run in the League Cup, beating three non-Premier League teams before losing to Hull who were in the process of getting relegated.

Even this season, already Arsenal fans have had five more (17 v 12) to watch.

Most of our football in recent years has been poor but I think that having so few games makes it even worse because the longer the number of days between one drab match and the next, the more time you have to think/talk about how rubbish the football is!

When games come thick and fast, the less time you have to be getting even more depressed about it all…

However, bigger isn’t always better.

Take Sunderland for example.

Last season the Mackems had a massive 61 first team games compared to Newcastle’s 42, almost 50% more ‘football’…

They had 49 League One games, 3 FA Cup, 1 League Cup and 8 Checkatrade.

This season, compared to Newcastle’s 12, Sunderland fans have already had 21 games (15 League One, 4 League Cup and 2 Checkatrade (Leasing.com the new sponsor).

Sometimes less can be more (better) but only when you compare yourself to the likes of Sunderland, not Arsenal.

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