12th October 2015: Wenger gets scientific and William Carvalho loves Arsenal

Greetings Gooners. The US space agency NASA has revealed ambitious plans to establish a human colony on Mars by 2030. Can I just be the first to recommend they recruit Diego Costa for the ‘Earth Reliant‘ phase of the mission? Grant a favour for the entire human race and fire the cheat into space.

Speaking of science, Arsene Wenger has been discussing studies into the link between scoring the first goal in a Champions League game and winning the match, as well as which one factor gives a side playing at home the biggest advantage over their visitors. Talking with Arsenal Player, Professor Arsene said:

When you look at the history of all these games, most are decided by the first goal. A new scientific study within the Champions League last year found that, more than ever, the team who scores first wins. Why? Because it puts the team in a very strong position to be able to counter-attack, and that is the easiest way to attack without opening yourself up. Having said that, I think on a longer distance the current numbers about away games will be reversed. I recently read a scientific study that covered all types of sport and what came out was that home teams are still favourites to win games, and not because of the motivational factor of the players but purely because of the support of the crowd. In a variety of sports, they came to the scientific conclusion that the biggest advantage of the team that plays at home is the support of the crowd. That’s not my impression; it’s the result of a scientific study. They eliminated all the other factors that could come in. It was a simple conclusion – it’s the home support that gives the advantage of the team. This home support can also turn against the home team if you don’t start well and if you are 1-0 down, but it also shows that influence is very strong.

Nothing ground-breaking there to be honest, so I’m not sure they needed to bother with a ‘scientific study’ because most football followers would have given you those conclusions if you’d have simply asked them.

Anyway, now we know it’s scientifically proven beyond any shadow of a doubt so we can all rest at ease; positive home support really is like having a 12th man and if we want to beat Bayern Munich next Tuesday, we just need to draw first blood. Simple.

I’m not sure about you, but I’d have preferred a study into why Arsenal win an abnormally low percentage of games when certain referees (Mike Dean) are in charge. The conclusions from that study would have been much more interesting as far as I’m concerned and nowhere near as predictable.

I mean, it could be pure coincidence, it could be that he’s a closet Tottenham fan, or maybe, because he’s just a sh*t ref – but at least we’d know and could rationalize the newest ridiculous decision he gives against the Gunners, which statistically, is certain to be the next time he’s in charge of a game involving us.

Meanwhile, Sporting Lisbon’s defensive midfielder William Carvalho, linked with a move to north London about a billion times over the last few years, has been speaking about his admiration of Arsenal in an interview with Portuguese newspaper A Bola. He said:

I am where I want to be right now, which is Sporting, but if I ever do leave then it’s a sign that my work here was well done. I dream of winning the Primeira Liga here. I prefer not to say too much, but there is a club with which I’ve always been fond of: Arsenal. Because of Thierry Henry, a player with whom I have always enjoyed watching. Maybe this is why I look with so much affection to the Premier League.

I’ve not seen Carvalho play more than a couple of times but according to many observers, he’s a smart, efficient, powerhouse of a performer in the middle of the park, boasting strength, size, decent passing but above all, a reassuringly robust presence in front of a defence.

He was named player of the tournament at last summer’s under 21 European Championships and we were rumoured to be lining up a bid before he was sidelined for a few month through injury, ruling out any chance of a transfer materializing.

I’d guess he’s just one of a number of players in that position we’ve scouted and considered so time will tell if Arsene and his staff rate Carvalho as highly as he rates us.

Back tomorrow.

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