Stat review of Arsenal’s last 4 games – What we need to improve?

Time to answer the questions if Arsenal really are in the hunt for the Top 4   by Tom

The Premier league is back! And it left at the right time too. After beating Fulham 1-5, that goal (number 3) and the fans singing ‘We have our Arsenal back…’ I was starting to get concerned that pundits had nothing better to talk about and would start on AFC. Bellamy and Wright did their best to say a few words, but before the media could get too excited… along came the internationals.

I last wrote a report on Arsenal’s first 4 games and reviewed what the stats showed us, and what the vibes told us. This time, I have my review for the last 4 games.

I previously said we needed to shore up our defence and give off at least 3 SOT A (shots on target against) per game to start seeing better reward. And although it is tempting to compare the stats of our first 4 games vs our last 4 games – our team has been rotating.

So, one thing we do know is our team is still not set, but points in the bag is a rewarding development.

So, the Stats;































What we see is that we have an average of 60.25% Possession, 20 SOT F and 18 SOT A.

Or in other words, within 159 minutes over 4 games of our opponents having the ball, we are giving them a chance every 8 minutes. Whilst every 12 minutes we are creating a chance (of our 241 minutes of possession). And, scoring every 21.90 minutes on average.

I believe the prefect team goal over this period was Lacazette’s goal against Everton. Not because it was an excellent finish, but because of the position of every player when the goal went in. Firstly, Laca and Auba had switched positions (laca RW and Auba CF – yes it can work), Monreal after helping in the build up continued his run and became a false RF – allowing Lacazette the space (as Monreal was being marked) to shoot. Xhaka had filled into Monreal’s position while in the same line you had Torriera and Bellerin across the pitch. This offered us a line of 3 to protect our 2 CBs if a save was made and Pickford made a quick release. Unai would have been happy to see this and to see the ideas are slowly starting to seep into the minds of the players. But on some occasions this is not the case and therein lies our problem.

Things seem positive for AFC. Nelson has been scoring (3 goals in a week), ESR scored in Europe for us and Iwobi looks to be getting better with each game while Auba and Laca are scoring (along with Ozil and Ramsay getting a few). Leno and Holding have come in over the last 4 games and that’s been rewarded with good performances.

Its hard to see what more Arsenal need to do but improvements are still visible to see. Our next 4 games in the league will be Leicester, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Wolves (with CP being our only away game). My thoughts are that AFC start again. Fight for every ball and dig in for a win against Leicester, take on CP and get the flow back before lining up against Liverpool. Liverpool will be on the minds of the players, but it’s importance is based on the 2 games before then. Win them both and we have little pressure to beat Liverpool. Any other results and the league takes no pity on you.

All of this is hypothetical, but one thing is for sure, Arsenal still need to lower the chances they are giving away. This means the recovery play needs to be better. The combination between Torriera and Xhaka needs to develop still. When Monreal or Bellerin go forward needs to be managed better. When Mustafi goes to win the ball, or Holding, still needs to be clearer…

I am hoping for 3 more point’s, but Monday feels like a long way away for me, but it might just be what Arsenal need!

So, here we are. How is everyone feeling about Leicester on Monday night?



  1. gotanidea says:

    Arsenal have to improve their opening goal statistics. If they can score goals first and faster than the opponents, things will usually be easier

    For individual statistics, Guendouzi’s interception and tackle statistics were the best at Arsenal when he played regularly, but he needs to be more careful. Maybe Lacazette’s goal conversion rate is one of the best in EPL currently, but I’m sure he can improve in the other departments

    The best team goal is Ramsey’s beautiful backheel goal and the best striker goal is Lacazette’s first goal at Fulham

    1. Omar. K says:

      Yes, Lacazette, under pressure, being crowded, but received the heavily hit pass controlled dead-pan, then pirouetted and threaded the ball through like though a needle with full force and no margin for error. Lacazette, post knee surgery is back to his best!
      The anticipation, awareness, sequential flow, guile and ball control that led to the audacious back heel by Ramseywhich scraped in by the upright; yes one began to reminisce when Arsene Wenger at his prime was in the technical area with his fatherly wry smile!
      There is much to reconcile (addition of a genuine winger like Iamaila Sarr/ Leon Bailey; another attacking midfielder,like Thonas Partey/ Nabil Fekir/ Miguel Almiron; and a Left Back like Alex Telles) and fine tune and achieve in consistency before Arsenal becomes poetry in motion once again.

      1. jon fox says:

        Omar, I hope you don’t mind me mentioning that your post- not merely your comments either, but also your grammar and use of certain phrases – shows you to be a man with a fine education. It is good to read such a post on here.

  2. Innit says:

    My expectations or hopes are more simplified
    Just want to win as much as possible.
    Don’t care too much if it’s 1-0, 3-2, 4-0. A win is a win to me. It’s 3 points

    I think with our average defense, average cm (excluding Torreira and Guendouzi) and no top winger we are probably over achieving.

    I will hope that the manager and coaches improve them tactically and physically. I assume that the more they play together with the same line-up the more they will get used to each other and more they will improve

    Right now, I’m enjoying the fantastic start to the season and the 9 match winning streak

    1. Phil says:

      Interesting you feel we are over achieving.This is still predominantly Wengers team that Emery is working with so full credit to him for at least picking up points before he gradually gets his own players in.But-that defence is the issue.The Quality Just isn’t there.The artical highlights the amount of chances we concede and it’s far too many.Better sides with better strikers will have a field day against those players in the system we are playing.Have you noticed that most of the chances against us come from our right hand side?Its because opponents target Bellerin as the weakest link.Emery can only do so much with these players.

  3. Kerosene Aboda says:

    After the first two losses in the hands of the champion and previous champion at the beginning of this season, i immediately predicted a 7 straight wins for the Gunners and Leicester City game is the last one to make my prediction come to pass. It’s gonna be a fight but we will overcome.

  4. Sue says:

    That Maddison fella has been playing well for Leicester. Then there’s Vardy to keep quiet (can’t stand him, really didn’t want him, glad it all fell through)
    3-1 to us is my prediction ?

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I actually thought Vardy and Alexis would’ve tormented defenders. Obv Laca and now Auba is much better but I always think there is a use for players with Vardy’s drive. He’d have been a good squad option, maybe like Welbeck can be but I think Vardy would score more than Welbeck.

      1. Sue says:

        I didn’t think our style of play would have suited Vardy. He has scored some amazing goals & he works really hard for Leicester, but I just don’t like him…

        1. Break-on-through says:

          Yeah I get that about the style, its just for me clubs should have more than one style and you need an odd apple now and again to give you the option.

  5. Jerick says:

    Good article. I would love for us to score more goals from set pieces. Some years ago City did that with Ya Ya and won and Liverpool did that with Suarez but only fell short by Gerard slip. I said that because not all the time or in every game you will get a direct chance to goal and converting a free kick might just be the difference.

    1. Declan says:

      Did you see the screamer Nelson scored last night?

  6. jon fox says:

    Combining AVERAGED OUT STATS, but only over FOUR games is almost pointless. This is the sort of cheap and lazy comparison that newspapers(red tops) constantly make and it is just silly and useless , if you want to make proper judgements. To make serious judgements you need to look far more deeply and in much greater detail than this lazy and daft comparison. Stats are very useful, but only PROVIDED that they are intelligently used and in great and relevant detail and not used just as padding to fill copy space, as in this article. So many just are too lazy to apply detailed thought and use far more detailed stats and, instead, just trot out this sort of nonsense, which tells us nothing of value. I repeat, this is lazy space filling only ! The sort of thing we need is say Sokratis(for example) , when under severe opponent pressure with the ball on his left foot , trapped on the touchline level with his own 18 yard box. How many times out of 50 or more does he manage to pass successfully to a teammate; how often does he knock it out of play; how often caught in possession and how many of those times does that lead to a direct threat to our goal or also how many times does it cost us a goal. Then the same with his other foot. Then heading ability, when under pressure, at corners , at free kicks, (for and against). Then like wise, with other defenders and so on. THAT sort of detail begins to approach telling us something. Space filling stats are just a waste of time and not useful to the professionals in football at all. Example: Merts used to be constantly among the highest and most passes percentage. All that told us was that he could pass accurately to Kos over five yards (sideways, and back again ad infinitum) when under no pressure at all. In other words, NOTHING AT ALL of any value.

    1. Midkemma says:

      Jon too stupid to understand stats still.
      I remember you claiming to me that you don’t use or need stats as you have eyes…

      Another way an idiot bashes stats is by over-inflating the volume of stats required to make an informed decision, Jon would take this to the level of how fast atoms was moving if he had to… Heck, probably claim quantum knowledge is needed and anything else is pointless if someone actually listed all the data on everything but quantum state…

      Just to prove my point I will dismiss all you said in a simple observation.

      Per has received the ball from Kos on multiple times and then moved it forward 5 yards with little pressure, we all know though that our deepest player is not moving into space all the time and is a bit of a lump when played out of pos, not offering that pass to Per and forcing him to pass back to Kos or hitting it long and giving it away.

      It tells us that our DM was not putting himself in space to receive a pass, to open up the CBs options other than long ball, risky dribble or safe boring pass.

      Typical Jon…
      In your own words back at you; “NOTHING AT ALL of any value.”

      1. Phil says:

        Or you could look at it this way-BFG was not capable of playing a pass either forward to a team mate or further than 5 yards.Same with Kos.How many times can you recall either providing a telling pass?I don’t believe I can.Why?It wasn’t really their job was it?Their job was to defend if I’m not mistaken.I believe the point JF was making was that ANY stat could be misleading and he gave BFG and his passing as an example.
        You also say Our it was the responsibility of our DM to get the ball.Im pretty certain Gilberto never played at the same time as BFG(I say that as a fact actually but it reads better the way I have written it) as he was the last DM we had prior to signing Torreira this season.This is of course if you agree that Coqulien and Song were only very poor imitations of a DM and very typical of the type of player Wenger thought was ideal for his team during the last decade of his reign.
        And it does not go unnoticed that every time Jon Fox posts a comment YOU take it on yourself to reply no matter how half-baked and pointless your comments are.Pretty much like this latest

        1. Midkemma says:

          I can post to Jon all I want, you can post to me if you want, I will do you the courtesy of replying though unlike Jon. I am willing to have what I say disproven and for me to land on my backside. I believe in science and science is always waiting to be proven wrong. I will explain myself and leave myself open to attack instead of hiding.

          Gilbert wasn’t the last DM, he was the last top DM we had until Torreira and still too early to truly judge Torreira.

          Song and Coquelin was DMs. You dismissing them is you building up a strawman to knock down, I never said anything here about them not being a DM and I have always recognized Coquelin as a DM, always. I was referring to him as a DM when talking about Ozil a few articles ago, funnily enough, defending Ozil by using limited stats (as we do not need every stat ever to draw a conclusion) to highlight how he plays better with a CM to build off, a CM that Coquelin and Cazorla provided.

          If you can not comprehend how options can play a big role in playing out from the back then do not comment, I will reply and I will say why. I will not make false factless claims like Coquelin not being a DM. If you wish to lie to try and make a point then fine, everyone can read it. Like everyone knows I am happy to reply to Jon, they can all see you claim Coquelin and Song wasn’t DMs, not they was poor DMs or even as harsh as “In my opinion they was the worst ever DMs to grace the EPL”… Just a false claim.

      2. jon fox says:

        ADMIN COMMENT – Can we all stop with the handbags please. Take it outside the school gates…..

    2. Lance says:

      JF, since you seem to know how well to use stats why don’t you write an article to inform us along the lines you have stated in your comment?

      1. gunner22 says:

        Please do not berate or be disrespectful to Jon, he has just aired his views, read it or leave it.
        He correctly mentioned that stats have no value if there is no benchmark set.
        Arsenal moved from quick tiki taka to boring side/back passing which slowed the game, opposition regrouped making it difficult to score and easy for a counter attack. Emery is rectifying that, slowly but surely.

        1. jon fox says:

          Thank you for your support and for your pertinent own side/ back passing comment, which summed up so much of Wengers last years

      2. jon fox says:

        Lance , my previous comment gave a good example and was, in it’s effect, an article of sorts. It did give a detailed reason , as is my custom, to back up what I said about meaningless stats(as used in the original article by the author). I also never claimed to know how to use stats better than anyone else, as your post implies. I merely know when stats are meaningless anf try to look for far more detail , so that I can extract from them far more correct info. If you care to deeply think about the Merts “5 yard pass” I used in my post , you will surely see how true and meaningless that stat was. At least if you wanted to gain REAL use from it. MY WHOLE POINT IS THAT EITHER STATS ARE DETAILED AND HAVE REAL USE OR THEY ARE MEANINGLESS and just space fillers for inane articles.

  7. Grandad says:

    The point regarding the Management of the fullbacks is very important if we are to improve as a defensive unit.If Bellerin is bombing forward Monreal should not be.He should be covering for any quick counter attack.The same applies when their roles are reversed.The problem of being exposed of the left defensive area has shown up on a number of occasions e.g. against Everton and Watford the trouble being that Xhaka lacks the awareness and speed to cover for his left back whereas Torerria has the pace and intelligence to cover for Bellerin.This problem needs to be addressed as we could be exposed against a quick counter attacking side like Leicester.

  8. JJPawn says:

    “Or in other words, within 159 minutes over 4 games of our opponents having the ball, we are giving them a chance every 8 minutes. Whilst every 12 minutes we are creating a chance (of our 241 minutes of possession).”

    Basically, other sides that are weaker are creating more chances than Arsenal! Now imagine what a top side would do against Emery’s defense? With better finishers a top side would destroy Emery ball.

    1. Tom says:

      Essentially this is the point of the article.

      The question you ask are valid and true and the point ‘Gandad’ starts to address with the full backs and the CDMs is relevant to that discussion.

    2. Midkemma says:

      Nice conclusion JJPawn, I would agree with you, we could do with reducing those figures and I hope that we do as we perfect Emery style.

      It will not mean we stop all goals against us, it is a good indicator of how many chances we are giving away and we have to accept that some teams will take their chances better and punish teams who allow them to have the chances.

      Some teams will mean we have to take more chances to break through, being higher than average kind of thing to break them down (City as example?). Not only do we need to cut out the chances given but also to make more chances.

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