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Wenger whinger: a catalogue of complaints that cut no ice

Arsene Whinger... up in arms again!

Arsene Whinger... up in arms again!

The date..? Monday 8th April 1996. The game..? Live on Sky under the lights at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday. The significance..? The last Premier League game Arsenal lost without bleating about refereeing decisions, diving debates or two-footed tackles. And the Gooners’ last league match before Arsene Wenger took charge at Highbury.

Since then it’s been a litany of moans, groans and Gallic complaints. For once Arsene, for once, could you show a little grace in the face of defeat… your youngsters haven’t the patent on high quality, high tempo play in the Premiership.

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The Number Cruncher says: ‘Defoe or Keano?’

Keane & Defoe: 'I score more Jermain', 'Shut up Robbie Rubbish.'

Keane & Defoe: 'I score more Jermain', 'Shut up Robbie Rubbish.'

Hmm, tough one this isn’t it? Robbie’s the club skipper and is a three-time winner of the club’s player of the year award. But then, you know, ‘Jermain Defoe, he is a Yiddo, Jermain Defoe, he is a Yiddo’.
The question takes extra significance this season for Spurs fans with the return of both goal grabbers to White Hart Lane, but while ‘Appy ‘Arry appears to favour the Beckton-born midget, the stats say Robbie should play.

Let’s go back to the start of the 2003/4 season. Defoe had just left the relegated Spammers for Spurs, so it makes it a level Premier League playing field. Since thenĀ  Defoe has scored double-digit league goals four times (2004/5, 2006/7, 2007/8 and 2008/9) including 15 for Portsmouth during the 2007/8 and 2008/9 seasons. Not bad really. His best return, however, is a not terribly clever – 13 in 2004/5, while his entire Premier League goal haul over this time span stands at 63, or 10.5 per season.

Over the same period Robbie Keane has hit double-digits every single season, with a maximum haul of 16 in 2005/6 and a return greater than that of Defoe’s best season (13) no fewer than three times, 2003/4, 2005/6 and 2007/8.
With his total tally of 77 goals (12.8 a season) – 14 more than Defoe’s (or more than 2 better every season) – Keane looks a far better bet for a goals bonanza than Defoe currently does. Still, ‘Arry has his favourites and Defoe is certainly one of them, so my money’s on Defoe and Crouch lining up against Liverpool.

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