This week our statistician Josh James looks at Arsenal's longest winning streaks in league football.
Arsenal have won seven consecutive top-flight league matches for only the 11th time in the Club's history.
Of these 11 winning runs, seven (64 per cent) were achieved during the Arsène Wenger era, including the Club's all-time record (and overall English football record) of 14 wins, set in 2001/02 and 2002/03.
The first time Arsenal strung seven league wins together was during the 1954/55 season - the Club's 38th campaign in England's top flight - illustrating how rare an achievement it is. In fact the Club has only recorded winning runs of six games or more in 15 out of Arsenal's 95 top-flight seasons (16 per cent).
Last season's longest winning run was three league games, but that was by no means unusual. It was the 30th time Arsenal's best seasonal run ended at three - even the title-winning campaigns of 1934, 1935, 1938 and 1991 each featured a maximum of four consecutive victories.
Throughout Arsenal's history, on average the team's longest winning run per season is 4.34 matches.
Arsenal have never had a season in which they didn't record back-to-back wins, and the last time the team failed to win more than two consecutive league games in a term was 1982/83.
These stats are all pertaining to Division One/Premier League, but Arsenal also spent 13 seasons in Division Two, during which time the longest winning run was eight games – in the promotion-winning 1903/04 campaign.
* = ongoing record.
** = record set over two seasons.
(not including sequences set over two seasons)
Looking through history, the value of putting together an extended winning run is clear. The average finishing position for the 14 seasons (prior to this one) in which Arsenal recorded a winning run of six games or more was 3.71, and they won the league in five (36 per cent) of those seasons.
In contrast, the average finishing position for the 37 seasons in which Arsenal managed no more than a three-win streak was 11.03, with a highest finish of fourth.
Arsène Wenger has often stated the importance of putting together winning runs, and indeed the Gunners have been crowned champions in all three seasons in which his teams have strung together nine or more sequential victories.
The longest winning run in a single season was 13 (2001/02) and victory in the first game of the following season took the overall record to 14. Achieved between February 10, 2002 and August 18 of that year, this remains an all-time record for English league football.
The full details of that winning streak are as follows:
|Feb 10, 2002||Everton 0-1 Arsenal|
|Feb 23, 2002||Arsenal 4-1 Fulham|
|Mar 2, 2002||Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal|
|Mar 5, 2002||Arsenal 1-0 Derby|
|Mar 17, 2002||Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal|
|Mar 30, 2002||Arsenal 3-0 Sunderland|
|Apr 1, 2002||Charlton 0-3 Arsenal|
|Apr 6, 2002||Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham|
|Apr 21, 2002||Arsenal 2-0 Ipswich|
|Apr 24, 2002||Arsenal 2-0 West Ham|
|Apr 29, 2002||Bolton 0-2 Arsenal|
|May 8, 2002||Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal|
|May 11, 2002||Arsenal 4-3 Everton|
|Aug 18, 2002||Arsenal 2-0 Birmingham|
(Arsenal also won 14 consecutive games between 01/02 and 02/03, and seven consecutive games between 03/04 and 04/05).
Some other stats of note that arose from the weekend's win over Aston Villa include the extension of Arsenal's 100 per cent record from Saturday 3pm fixtures so far this season. It was the eighth game played at that time/day in 2011/12, and the record is now P8 W8 D0 L0 F18 A1.
Looking purely at home Saturday/3pm games, Arsenal have now not conceded in any of the last nine such games, a run stretching back to December 4, 2010.
In addition, Arsenal's unbeaten record for games not screened live on British television now extends to 29 consecutive matches following the win over Villa.
Also on Saturday, Kieran Gibbs scored his first Premier League goal, becoming the 91st different player to register for the Gunners in the competition's history.
Five other players have scored their debut Premier League goal for the Gunners this term - they are Mikel Arteta, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andre Santos and Yossi Benayoun. Eighteen of those 91 players (including Gibbs) have netted just once in the Premier League.
Gibbs was one of two English scorers at the weekend, just as he was when Arsenal beat Shrewsbury earlier this season - along with Oxlade-Chamberlain - in September. The last time it happened in the league though was on October 4, 1997 when Ray Parlour, David Platt and Ian Wright all scored in the 5-0 win over Barnsley.
|Nov 5||West Brom||H||3-0|
|Mar 24||Aston Villa||H||3-0|
All stats correct to March 28, 2012. Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme. To subscribe, or buy online, click here.