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Tuesday cannon fodder: average finish

The Gunners’ return to play gets closer every day.

Manchester City v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

A week from tomorrow, 8 days from now, is the first Arsenal matchday since March 7th. The Gunners will resume the campaign in 9th place and play their game-in-hand over their Top 6 competitors. If they manage a result, they could move into a tie for 6th with Wolves. As we all are painfully aware, it wasn’t until the past few seasons that the Gunners spent a significant time on the outside looking up the table.

Last century, Arsenal had the highest average finish of any club in England — 8.5.

The Gunners narrowly edged out Liverpool’s average finish of 8.7 for top billing, according to The Independent. Everton came third and Manchester United fourth.

The Gunners have improved that mark so far this century with an average finish of 3.2 since the 1999-2000 season. That number is buoyed by the club’s success in the aughts, however. The average finish slips to 3.9 if you look at the last decade.

I’m not sure there is anything to take away from those numbers that we don’t already know. Right now, the club is in a down spell. The late 90’s and the 00’s were a period of tremendous success. As PDB often said, these things are cyclical as long as you take a wide enough view. Early returns on the Mikel Arteta era at the club suggest things might be on the upswing again. We’ll start finding out again in 8 days.