This week Josh James provides a statistical review of Arsenal's year.
Arsenal bookended 2011 with wins on New Year's Day and New Year's Eve – the victory over QPR on December 31 was the 31st of the year, one more than in 2010.
The Gunners played more games in 2011 - 60 in all (a figure that's only been exceeded once this century) - than the previous year, and so the overall win average for the calendar year was down, at 51.7 per cent.
As well as winning more matches in 2011, Arsenal also lost fewer compared to the previous year, despite playing seven more matches. It was perhaps then, the number of draws (15) that proved most damaging.
In effect Arsenal played a full Premier League season during 2011 (38 games), and would have earned 68 points. In fact the record for the calendar year (W19 D11 L8) was exactly the same as the seasonal record for 2010/11. In a hypothetical Premier League table for 2011, Arsenal would have finished fifth on goal difference from Tottenham (though having played a game more).
Arsenal also played 12 domestic cup games in the year (winning half) and ten games in Europe, winning 60 per cent.
It was the sixth year in a row the team had amassed 100 or more goals, yet 70 was the most they have conceded over 12 months all century.
Arsenal's home form was, once again, excellent, though interestingly the team scored more goals away than they did at the Emirates, despite playing five fewer games on the road.
The overall win percentage was the same as in 2008, but some way short of Arsenal's best ever year in terms of win ratio, which was 2002 (66.7 per cent).
That year even compares favourably to the Double-winning years of 1971 (63.9 win per cent) and 1998 (55.9 win per cent); and the best year from the glorious 1930s era, which was 1930 (54 per cent win per cent).
Analysing the year month-by-month shows clear periods when the team's form dipped, and the inconsistencies of the year in general.
In six of the ten months that Arsenal played official senior matches, the team had a win percentage of 50 per cent or better, and even as high as 83 per cent in October. However, the last three months of last season (March, April and May) saw win percentages of just 20 per cent, 20 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. That was followed by 40 per cent in the first month of this season.
The month-by-month record also shows that Arsenal failed to remain unbeaten for an entire month all year long, yet perhaps, as mentioned, it was the number of draws which really hurt the team - during April in particular.
The Carling Cup Final defeat on February 27 was seen by many as a pivotal moment in the campaign (and perhaps the year) yet the only two games the team lost in the following nine fixtures were away to Manchester United and Barcelona - so it's the number of draws again that stands out.
Arsenal's form picked up again after the transfer window closed at the end of August, and the squad certainly had a very different look at the end of the year, compared to the early weeks of 2011.
Fewer than half of the starting XI for the first game of the year also played in the last game of the year, while six members of the squad for the Birmingham match on January 1 had left the Club by the close of the year.
In total Arsenal used 46 different players during the 60 matches of 2011, handing out 16 first-team debuts.
With 51 outings, Andrey Arshavin made the most appearances in the year (85 per cent of the total), though 24 of them were from the bench. Six players appeared just once, including the returning Jens Lehmann who joined on a short-term deal to make his 200th overall appearance.
Twenty-five of the 46 players (54 per cent) got on the scoresheet during the year, scoring exactly 100 goals between them, at an average of four each. There were also two own goals in Arsenal's favour.
Robin van Persie was head and shoulders above the rest, with 42 (41 per cent) of the goals. Theo Walcott's eight strikes put him second.
|Robin van Persie||48|
|Ju Young Park||4|
|Premier League||Champions League||FA Cup||Carling Cup||TOTAL|
|Robin van Persie||35||5||1||1||42|
|Ju Young Park||-||-||-||1||1|
Undoubtedly the big success story for Arsenal during 2011 was Robin van Persie's goalscoring exploits. He scored 42 goals in the year, 36 per cent of his total for the Club since joining in May 2004.
Of those goals, 35 came in the league – a new Club record for Premier League goals in a calendar year, beating Thierry Henry's 34 in 2004.
It is not, however, a Club record for all league football. Prior to the Premier League era Jack Lambert (1930) and Ted Drake (1934) each netted 36 league goals in a single year.
Another record that Van Persie didn't quite match was most goals in all competitions in a year for Arsenal. This record still belongs to Henry, for his 43 in all competitions in 2004. Further back Jack Lambert (41) in 1930 and Joe Baker (40) in 1963 also reached the 40 mark for a year.
Back to van Persie though. He scored in every footballing month of the year, January and October being his most prolific (seven in each). Impressively, he didn't go more than two consecutive games without scoring all year.
According to Opta stats, Van Persie played 3,132 minutes in the Premier League during 2011 (more than any other Arsenal player) so his 35 goals came at a rate of better than one every 90 minutes.
He also set another Premier League record in 2011, that of scoring in consecutive away games (nine) from January 1 to May 22. Twenty-two of his goals (52 per cent) in the year were scored away from home.
His first Gunners hat-trick came in the win over Wigan on January 22, and he also claimed the match ball against Chelsea on October 29.
Van Persie's tremendous form over the past 12 months means he starts 2012 as the 12th all-time leading Arsenal scorer with 116 goals - next in his sights are Reg Lewis (118), Dennis Bergkamp (120), David Jack (124) and Joe Hulme (125).
|Jan 1||Prem v Birmingham (a) 3-0||1|
|Jan 15||Prem v West Ham (a) 3-0||2 (1 pen)|
|Jan 19||FAC v Leeds (a) 3-1||1|
|Jan 22||Prem v Wigan (h) 3-0||3|
|Feb 5||Prem v Newcastle (a) 4-4||2|
|Feb 12||Prem v Wolves (h) 2-0||2|
|Feb 16||UCL v Barcelona (h) 2-1||1|
|Feb 27||CC v Birmingham 1-2||1|
|Mar 19||Prem v West Brom (a) 2-2||1|
|Apr 10||Prem v Blackpool (a) 3-1||1|
|Apr 17||Prem v Liverpool (h) 1-1||1 (pen)|
|Apr 20||Prem v Tottenham (a) 3-3||1|
|Apr 24||Prem v Bolton (a) 1-2||1|
|May 8||Prem v Stoke (a) 1-3||1|
|May 15||Prem v Aston Villa (h) 1-2||1|
|May 22||Prem v Fulham (a) 2-2||1|
|Aug 24||UCL v Udinese (a) 2-1||1|
|Aug 28||Prem v Man Utd (a) 2-8||1|
|Sep 13||UCL v Dortmund (a) 1-1||1|
|Sep 24||Prem v Bolton (h) 3-0||2|
|Oct 16||Prem v Sunderland (h) 2-1||2|
|Oct 23||Prem v Stoke (h) 3-1||2|
|Oct 29||Prem v Chelsea (a) 5-3||3|
|Nov 5||Prem v West Brom (h)||1|
|Nov 19||Prem v Norwich (a) 2-1||2|
|Nov 23||UCL v Dortmund (h) 2-1||2|
|Dec 3||Prem v Wigan (a) 4-0||1|
|Dec 10||Prem v Everton (h) 1-0||1|
|Dec 21||Prem v Aston Villa (a) 2-1||1 (pen)
|Dec 31||Prem v QPR (h) 1-0||1|
To conclude this edition of Behind The Numbers, here are some of the stand-out stats for Arsenal in 2011.
|Biggest win||5-0 (v Leyton Orient, Mar 2)|
|Highest home attendance||60,107 (v Man Utd, May 1)|
|Most common scoreline||2-1 (10 times)|
|Most consecutive games won||6 (Jan 15 - Feb 1)|
|Most consecutive games unbeaten||11 (Jan 15 - Feb 23)|
|Average league position||5.5|
Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme. To subscribe, or buy online, click here.