This week our statistician provides a statistical review of Arsenal's year.
Arsenal won 35 of their 54 games in 2013, recording their highest win average for a calendar year since 2002.
In fact the win rate of 64.8 per cent was the second highest for any calendar year in Arsenal history, beating the 1971 and 1998 double years (63.9 per cent and 55.9 per cent respectively), the year of the 'Invincibles', 2004 (61.7 per cent) and even better than the statistically strongest year from the 1930s era (54 per cent in 1930).
The win rate of 64.8 per cent was the second highest for any calendar year in Arsenal history
The Gunners ended 2013 with a record of P54 W35 D8 L11 F93 A50, and finished the year on top of the Premier League table. All this after not winning any of the first three matches of the year.
Arsenal won eight more games than they did in 2012, and conceded 17 fewer goals (from two more matches). In fact the 50 goals conceded over the past 12 months was the fewest Arsenal have let in since 2006 (47).
The Gunners competed on four fronts in 2013, winning at least once in each of the four competitions. The most successful, in terms of win percentages, was the Champions League (70 per cent win rate), followed by the Premier League (65.8 per cent) and then the two domestic cups (50 per cent each).
Yearly records since 2000
HOME AND AWAY
One of the most impressive stats from Arsenal's year is that they won more games away from home than at Emirates Stadium.
The victory at St James' Park on Sunday was the 19th time the Gunners had won on their travels from 27 trips, compared to 16 home wins from the same number of games. Arsenal lost just five times away all year, and scored in all but two matches on the road.
Most impressive were victories away to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund - indeed the recent defeat at Napoli was the only away game in Europe Arsenal did not win in the whole of 2013.
Between March and September Arsenal won a club record 12 straight away fixtures (including the penalty shoot-out victory at The Hawthorns in the Capital One Cup). They made it 15 consecutive away games without defeat with the 1-0 win at Dortmund in November.
It was fitting Arsenal should see out the year with a 1-0 win at St James' Park, that was the second time in the past 12 months Arsenal had won there by that scoreline (the win in May sealing a top-four finish) and the ninth time overall in 2013. 1-0 was the joint most popular scoreline of 2013 (with 2-0) and six of the 1-0 wins were in away matches.
The Gunners kept 22 clean sheets from the 54 matches this year (six more than in 2012), half of them away from home.
The hallmark of Arsenal's excellent run was remarkable consistency throughout the months. The Gunners won at least three matches in each of the 10 months they played, compared to 2012 when they won three or more in just five months. It's the first time Arsenal have won at least three games in every month in a calendar year since Arsène Wenger took over in 1996.
The Gunners won at least three matches in each of the 10 months they played
September was the best month of the year. It began with a 1-0 win over Tottenham at Emirates Stadium, which was followed 24 hours later by the signing of Mesut Ozil. Then after the international break, the Gunners won the remaining five fixtures in the month, four of which were away from home. Arsène Wenger was duly named Premier League Manager of the Month, while Aaron Ramsey took the player award.
That was one of three months in the year Arsenal were unbeaten, following the undefeated run-in during April and May last season. After losing 2-1 at White Hart Lane on March 3, Arsenal lost just one of their next 24 games in all competitions.
The longest unbeaten run of the year was 12 (between August 21 and October 19) and the longest winning streak was 10 (between August 21 and October 1).
Sunday's game against Newcastle was only the third that Aaron Ramsey missed in 2013, in all competitions. Despite that, the Welshman still made more appearances than any other Arsenal player throughout the year (51), and gained the joint-most victories with Per Mertesacker (33). He was also the second top scorer with 14.
In terms of win percentages, Nacho Monreal and Lukasz Fabianski deserve honourable mentions.
Monreal joined the Club at the end of January, and since then has won 25 of the 31 games he has played a part in. That translates at a highly impressive 80.7 per cent win rate.
Goalkeeper Fabianski only played seven games in the year, but he won all but one of them, including the 2-0 win away to Bayern Munich.
Overall Arsène Wenger selected 36 different players during the year (three fewer than in 2012 and 10 fewer than 2011), though seven of them featured just once.
Analysing the numbers, and comparing them to 2012, it seems the squad suffered fewer injuries last year than the previous year. Arsène Wenger was therefore able to name his 'strongest XI' more often in 2013 than in 2012. Two years ago just four players featured in at least 39 games, whereas in 2013, 11 players reached that tally. Those 11, incidentally, can be arranged into a theoretical starting XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud.
Of the 36 players to represent the Club in 2013, 19 (53 per cent) got on the scoresheet, scoring 92 between them (there was also an own goal) at an average of 4.8 goals each. Olivier Giroud top-scored with 19 (20 per cent of the total), followed by Ramsey (14) and Walcott (12).
Seven players made their Arsenal first-team debut throughout the year.
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MOST POINTS IN THE YEAR
Arsenal played 38 league games in 2013, in effect the same as a regular Premier League campaign, and the Gunners top the table compiled purely on results from January 1 to December 31.
The Gunners amassed 82 points in the year, five more than they did in the 1997/98 title-winning campaign, and 15 more than they managed in 2012.
In the 2013 table, Arsenal finished five points ahead of Man City and Chelsea, though City played a game fewer.
The Gunners won the most league games (25), lost the joint fewest (six) and only Everton conceded fewer goals.
The last time Arsenal finished the calendar year with the most Premier League points was 2004 (89 points), and the other two occasions also came after title-winning seasons - 1998 and 2002.
The most Premier League points Arsenal have ever amassed in a calendar year is 91, from 2002.
But of course Arsenal also ended the year on top of the table that really matters. It's the first time since 2007/08 that the Gunners have found themselves top of the pile at the turn of the year.
2013 Premier League table
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|West Bromwich Albion||37||7||13||17||47||59||34|
With thanks to Opta. Stats correct as at December 30, 2013.
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