Stats say Partey should be Arsenal’s DM and Rice moves forward

For weeks, we assumed Rice-Havertz-Odegaard was Arteta’s regular midfield line-up as whispers of Thomas Partey’s departure circulated. However, news of Partey staying has changed that.

Partey as the No. 6 and Rice and Odegaard as the double 8s might now form Arsenal’s strongest midfield.

With that said, the question is whether Partey and Rice can play together. Well, why not? Their statistics appear to indicate that the two can complement each other. Partey outperformed Rice in the important defensive midfielder role in terms of duels won, duel success rate, tackles won, and tackles won per minute.

The Arsenal No. 5 won 6 duels per 90 minutes, compared to Rice’s 4.6, and while the Ghanaian boasted a 58.7 percent duel success rate, the Englishman only managed 58.60 percent. In tackles, Partey managed 1.5, while Rice had 1.2 (in tackles won per 90, Partey managed 57.10, while Rice managed 48.10). Partey’s passing was also better than Rice’s, suggesting he is the one to sit at the base of midfield, linking the defence and attack.

While Partey was better than Rice on the defensive front, the former Hammer was better in other aspects of the game. He averaged 9.2 possessions per 90, whereas Partey averaged 8.2. Rice also made more interceptions, 1.7 to Partey’s 1.0.

Going by this, Partey should be DM, andRice could take over the Xhaka role and excel under the guidance of Odegaard and Partey, don’t you think?

Daniel O

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Tags Rice Thomas Partey


  1. For weeks I have been saying Odegaard, Rice and Havertz in a deep laying midfield is a disaster waiting to happen.

    The big jug will be fought and won by Declan Rice and Thomas Partey, it’s a very positive problem to mull over.

    1. Yes partey as DM I agreehow I wish caicedo was signed up to partner party alongside odegaard

  2. I believe Partey and Jorginho are the best CDMs for tight spaces in EPL games. I’m not sure whether Rice can also help us escape from tight deep-midfield area or not, but his interception stats are better than the older CDMs

    Rice could become a tireless AM as Xhaka did, but he could bench Havertz, Smith-Rowe and Trossard if he plays there. I have also never seen him play in advanced areas, whereas Partey played there once for us and for Ghana

  3. Why not play to their strengths when paired together?

    Rice and Partey in a double pivot and Odegaard further up front, 4-2-3-1

    Both are top DM’s but only so-so as B2B.

    If Rice was so good getting forward, why didn’t Moyes utilize that at West Ham while they struggled for goals and in the bottom half of league for so long?

    Both should be in double pivot their strengths.

    1. Arsenal play with inverted fullbacks so if double pivot, you don’t really need to invert, then we need attacking fullbacks

      Actually last time was double pivot, e.g Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira. Double pivot will be useful for away games or to defend and protect a lead

  4. No need to complicate matters as Football is still a simple game despite the reference to stats(which can be completely misleading) and the expansive use of jargon when plain English would suffice.Partey and Rice should be paired in central midfield with either Odegaard or Havertz in the AM role.

  5. Moyes actually did. There was a period Rice and Soucek both played and interchanged btw playing 6 & 8…

  6. The point of having a deep squad is to have the ability to play different players and/or tactics depending on the opposition. I have noticed that Pep and City don’t really have a ‘starting 11’ . There have a core of Ederson-Dias-KDB-Haaland who almost always play whenever available; the rest of the seven slots are usually rotational.

    In a similar manner,I don’t see the point of having a fixed midfield with the talent at our disposal. There are games Partey and Rice can play together and there are others where other players can be involved. As far as I’m concerned,it doesn’t really matter who plays as long as the team put together on match day plays entertaining football,give their best and most importantly win.

    1. I have been saying exactly the same thing. In my opinion Ramsdale, Saliba, Rice, Odegaard and Saka will start almost every game and the other positions SHOULD rotate. But we will see.

  7. You don’t buy a nice, new, shiny, more powerful car and then stick with the old banger just because it’s comfortable and you’re used to it, even though it keeps breaking down and can’t finish an entire journey.

    Rice has to start alongside either Zinchenko or Timber as the inverted FB and Partey plays back-up. It’s the only common sense approach. Otherwise you’re spending £100M on a young, English DM and then playing him out of position when you have other players better in that role.

  8. Everybody is ignoring the fact that we’ll be playing 2 different setups. 1 Inverted LB formation in which Partey will be the holding DM. 2 Inverted rightback formation in which Rice will be the holding DM. ‘

    Havertz, EsR, Viera & Odegaardt will be our attacking midfielders

    Jorgingho, Elneny & Lakonga, (if kept), will be backups to the defensive midfielders.

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