38 Games, 3420 minutes, 20 football grounds and countless miles of motorway journeys are what lie between where we are now and the end of the Premier League campaign.
So how do we translate all those interesting, if easily obtained, figures into one gleaming premier league trophy?
Last season Arsenal finished a way off the pace in the title challenge which we were never, not once, involved in. That fact is one that was hard to swallow as it is something we Gooners have not been used to.
Even in the ‘barren’ years we are experiencing we’ve been involved up to, at the very least, the 30 game mark, last season’s start put an end to those hopes before the beginning of September.
So how do we improve our league position by two places and 19 points in order to wrestle the trophy back from Manchester?
Last season actually points us in a very clear direction, despite what is perceived our share of the six points from the teams at the top was actually reasonable if not spectacular, Mancester City (3/6), Manchester united (0/6) Tottenham (3/6), Newcastle (4/6) and Chelsea (4/6). Where we fall down and those around us don’t is with the leagues ‘lesser’ or ‘weaker’ teams, I put both these terms in quotations simply because the Premier League is so strong that it is all a matter of perception, but if we take the bottom six we can look at Wigan (3/6), Villa (6/6), QPR (3/6), Bolton (4/6), Blackburn (3/6) and Wolves (4/6).
Now this doesn’t seem all that bad, but when you compare it with City Wigan (6/6), Villa (6/6), QPR (6/6), Bolton (3/6), Blackburn (6/6) and Wolves (6/6).
It is not the ‘big boys’ that stop us succeeding, although you’d want some points off all of them and Manchester City’s 6 points against united proved essential, but by matching City’s results against the 6 worst teams in the league would have made up over 50% of the gap between us.
It is therefore my view that Arsenal need to take to the field with the swagger and dominance of the Manchester clubs, who in many ways seem to start these types of games 1-0 up!
I know the theory has flaws and it still leaves us 9 points adrift, but the fact remains that unless we can look at 12 games a year as bankers then we have our work cut out in even trying to get close to the top two clubs and stave off the challenge from a resurgent Chelsea, wounded Spurs and a Liverpool side now boasting a manager who likes his side to play real football.
Time will tell, 3420 minutes of time in fact, but if Arsenal can dominate teams they are clearly better than they may just have a chance of taking some points from those they consider their peers.