How Arsenal have given up the ball and gained MUCH more!!

If only the Premier League was decided by stats then Arsenal would be currently sitting right on top of the pile and Arsenal fans would be searching their attics for the bunting that has not been needed since 2004. Or that is what the stats compiled by on all the Premier League clubs would have you believe at any rate.

These stats award points for various factors to give an overall score based on the scores for attacking, defending and possession and the table makes for interesting reading. Despite Arsenal not being top in any of the three categories, we are good in all of them and our total of 9,302 points puts us clearly ahead of Man United on 8,589 then Man City on 8,438 with Chelsea in fourth on 8,222. Then there is a huge drop back to Liverpool and the rest.

What I find interesting is the way the factors show which teams are good at what. The Gunners are second only to Southampton in our defensive stats and we are second only to Man City on the attacking side of things, but when you look at our possession it shows that Arsenal are easily the last of the big four teams.

Our score of 1,156 is just over half that of the top team Man Vity and this just highlights the changes made by Arsene Wenger and the players this season. It used to be that Arsenal would always dominate possession but we were often accused of not using it well enough, playing lots of passes, making pretty patterns while failing to really penetrate the opposing team.

It is clear that Wenger has made a fundamental shift, seen most clearly in the big games where we have done so much better. With Coquelin bossing the midfield and protecting the back four we can now be more direct and can also play on the counter attack a lot better. And with the likes of Giroud, Cazorla, Ozil and Alexis bombing forward, this tactic is really paying off.

Who needs the ball eh?

Tags Coquelin Wenger


  1. I’m not sure we should give up the ball, if we don’t have the ball how are we surposed to score goals?

    I suppose we could rely on some kind of comedy own goals, but I doubt there would be enough of those to win games.


            1. I agree, why should he do that. Not even sure why this dude got involved, the original comments were spot on!

  2. its really obvious that we have greatly changed in 2015. given the upgrade i expect from the top6 for next season…i think we are not there yet but….8 on the bounce….HOW CLOSE IS THAT!

  3. I’d like to contradict your conclusion slightly. I don’t think we’ve sacrificed the ball to improve as a team, but rather, that when we do lose the ball we’ve improved defensively considerably. The ball retention is currently an issue for us, but while we’ve been clinical in attack and solid in defence that has not mattered. I still feel we’ve had a shade of luck in our games – getting the first goal and blitzing a team rather then having sustained pressure and just walking through the game. How many of our results have involved “seeing out the game” and holding onto what we have? That’s due to our current ball retention issues. This was actually much improved against Burnley. 68% possession stopped Burnley getting chances and although it wasn’t always progressive possession the opposition can’t score without the ball and there is always the chance you will.

    Truth be told losing possession is not good – being more conservative and finding ways to play better without the ball is good. We need the balance still though. As there has been invincibles talk on here lately, I’ll go back to them as the example – they did play possession football. If we want to get back to that level we have to retain possession through good passing, good off the ball movement as well as being clinical offensively and defensively. We shouldn’t lose the elements of the game we’ve improved upon but we also need to retain that ball. Patience is a good thing still.

    1. Agree with a lot of your points. I think coquelin has helped our ability to be more effective on the counter because his speed allows him to break up play in different areas of the pitch and he looks to play it forward earlier than arteta or flamini. Our pressing from the front with giroud sanchez and welbeck is also instrumental to our good form and has seen us create chances out of nothing.

      We played extremely deep against city so you could argue we’ve adopted a more counter attacking philosophy away at bigger teams. I think we could retain the ball better, but we’ve also understood how important it is to be positionally aware off the ball and defensively disciplined.

      1. I also agree with your points. I think we haven’t had as much possession this season purely because we have given the ball away alot more and we don’t seem as good at our passing gaming! But as long as we win im a happy GUNNER.

  4. not good enough…

    if we are good enough we should be holding the more more and win the games….leading the table and win the title….

      1. Exactly. The second half of the season Arsenal has been the best team in the PL

        We started improving once we got back koscielny, Ozil, Giroud and other players from injuries
        Also, Ospina, Coquelin, Bellerin have been unexpected success stories this season
        Not too mention other players who have contributed Cazorla, Rosicky, Alexis etc.


  5. Le coq has helped us a lot…he is abit more direct than arteta, therefore allows us to move forward faster……I like Arteta, he has good ball distribution skills but with him there is too many side passes…
    Its not about quantity, its about Quality….who needs all the ball, all u need is to make good use of the ball when you have it.

    1. Do you reckon Coquelin is player of the year?

      Alexis, Cazorla, Ospina, Monreal, Giroud were also brilliant

      1. we always had the others first half of the season, Coq came late and made a huge diff to our style of play.
        its a team sport, no1 man can make all the diff, of course the rest of the team has put in a good shift to put us where we are.

  6. It was a logical move. Wilshere kept on giving the ball away so Wenger had to think outside of the box and stop playing possession football.

  7. Remember when Antonio Valencia Gave Up the ball to Welbeck lol (okay it was a poor backpass to De Gea but was funny anyway)

    I won’t forget that match for a while.
    We knock out United @ OT, winning goal was by the player that “wasn’t good enough” for them. LoL
    It didn’t make up for the 8-2 loss but still funny and awesome.

    BTW I’m okay with Welbeck playing on wing this weekend but Giroud should play up front. Wenger should not take chances against Reading

  8. Bob, don’t forget the Arsenal we are watching now are a different Arsenal. These are a rejuvenated Gunners who are not totally depending on possession football to win their games.But are now playing a devastating precision goals scoring attacking football. Arsenal are no longer playing the tiki-taka negative football that entertained the fans. But are now playing the positive passing game that can win titles. That is what is all about our new Aresnal. Allow me please to digress a bit from the main topic. The boss should please make at least 9 changes in the form of rotating the Gunners who will start the Wembley FA Cup game on Saturday evening kickoff time.
    Debuchy, Wilshere, Abuoi Diaby, Walcott, Welbeck, Gibbs, Arteta, De-Abreu and of course Szczeny should all be started by the boss alongsides 2 out of what are now his preferred 1st team starters. It has become necessary for the boss to rest his preferred 9 top Gunners for our home big game with Chelsea. The Royals of Reading might have read a lot of books. But certainly they don’t have the sharp teeth to bite the Gunners at Wembley. So the boss should be emboldened by the sharpless teeth Royals and be bold to take a high yielding dividend rotation gamble, by starting: Szczeny… DebuchyRhino’De-AbreuGibbs. ArtetaDiaby…WalcottWilshereRamsey…Welbeck. Reading can’t bite these Gunners starters. Rather these Gunners will dis-royal 4 Royals with no Gunners punished.

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