It might seem like the worst possible time to be talking about the strength of the Arsenal back four, hot on the heels of such a heavy drubbing in the Champions League by the German champions. But to mitigate the stats that show our back four doing so well, I think we have to accept that we came up against an amazing team at their attacking best.
And two of the first choice back four were not on the pitch in Munich, perhaps showing just how vital Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin have become to Arsenal, as well as how much better it is if you can keep a solid back line playing all the time.
Anyway, the Switzerland based football observatory CIES have been compiling detailed stats on all the players from the top five leagues in Europe; England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France. And the results make very interesting reading, especially for Arsenal fans.
The categories are; centre back, full back, Defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and striker and Arsenal have players near the top of all of them but today I am going to focus on the defenders. Only one centre back in the Premier League scores better than Koscielny and Otamendi´s 100 is only just better than his 98.3. Mertesacker then comes in fourth place with 71.9 with Liverpool´s Sakho in third.
Nacho Monreal comes top of the EPL full backs with 100 and Bellerin is in sixth with 81.1 and that gives our back four a total of 351.3. Amazingly that is the best in all five leagues, with Bayern Munich and Spain´s Real Sociedad coming closest to matching us, but not that close.
So do Arsenal really have the best back four in Europe? And if so, can we keep then fit and win the EPL title?