There is a common idea that the best teams always score late goals to save matches and get points (insert Fergie time joke here), and I agree that the best teams dig deep when it counts and find goals; but let's look at when Arsenal scored their goals over the past 5 seasons where we finished 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th (3rd, 4th for the 2 seasons before that too!). Statistics are from whoscored.com. If you want to know when the best time to buy a beer on matchday is, scroll to the bottom.
We have a big difference in the goals scored in the last 15 minutes when compared to the rest of the time, but then we look at the last time Arsenal won the league and it's noticeable that we scored a lot more of our goals earlier in the game.
Unfortunately I couldn't get the data on our other league triumphs.Now we look at Manchester United's title winners last year:
|ManU would have had 3 goals in the 76-90 minute section if it weren't for Fergie time.|
They actually scored more goals in the first half than in the second half throughout the season; which is quite rare in football, especially in top of the table Premier League teams.
Manchester City in 2011/2012 is next:
Manchester City break the trend slightly, but their amount of goals scored between 31 and 75 minutes are almost as high as 76-90.
Next, we'll look at is how Arsenal are doing so far this season:
(Two of the goals in the 76-90 minute section were this weekend.) This is not a proved theorem and I'm sure that there are many exceptions to the rule, but Arsenal scoring goals early is a good sign! Hopefully at the end of the season I can make a nice table for the Arsenal league winners of 2013/2014.
I totalled all the statistics used in this article:
If you want the lowest statistical chance of missing a goal: the best time to get that beer and pie is before the game and rather be a little bit late than being stuck in the line after half time. And I wouldn't suggest leaving early.