Too many chances against Arsenal are succeeding by Tom
As the premier league table starts to take shape with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City making up 3 of the top 4…and the season’s first international break passing…it is a good time to review how far Arsenal have come under Unai.
In the reality of the table, Arsenal sit 9th and 4 points off the top 4. But the work required can best be described by seeing how we have fared against 2 top 4 contenders and 1 newcomer and 1 premier league staple.
Firstly, the facts of the league so far. Top 4 has an average of 9.75 goals for and 2.5 goals against.
To be a top 4 team – based on last season’s stats, Arsenal will require to score an average 83 goals and concede 32.25 goals. But so far arsenal haven’t met the standards required.
Stats based on first 2 games
4.5 shots on target
9.5 shots on target against
3rd and 4th game
10.5 shots on target
4 shots on target against
Together that works out at 53.5% possession, 7.55 shots on target and 6.75 shots on target against. At 6.75, that over 38 games is 256.5 shots on target against – While at 7.53 sot, over 38 games is 286.14 shots on target for. What does these figures mean? For every 13 minutes and 33.333… seconds per game we are conceding a chance. Of that time, the chance of conceding a goal is 42.10%.
Of goals for, almost 12 minutes per chance created.
But the concern is defence, or more so defending as a unit.
Of the 8 goals conceded, 6 have come inside of our box. 5 goals have come from build up play from a wide position.
What is rewarding (if it can be seen as this) is the fact that chances from opposition have been created from our own errors.
But bringing down the % of ‘chances against’ is key, regardless of if some are self inflicted. Giving away 3.37 chances a half is too much. That for me needs to be halved to somewhere between 1.5 – 1.7 chances a half if you want to win the league, but for Arsenal right now; it needs to be around 2 or 3 PER game – (if it is indicative we are creating 3.76 chances a half then the chances against needs to drop!!!) We need to be creating 3 chances for every 1 given up. Not be trading 1 for 1.
So how do we do this? Our philosophy of football isn’t too different from the Wenger ideology. The high press and passing from the back is the new ingredients. Unai will require the season to get the players doing what he wants, but as soon as he mellows to the players and compromises (as life tends to honour us with) – his ideas stop working. But it’s safe to say with the high line and Koscielny leaving/retiring at the end of the season – along with our options of Mustafi and Sokratis not being the swiftest across the grass, there is a good chance new defenders could be eyed in the next window.
At the moment no one is telling (for example) Bellerin to sit back, or even Bellerin telling the winger to sit back… communication isn’t yet at its full swing from back to front. Lack of talking I feel is a big factor of why we are conceding goals.
Passing the ball around to attack requires movement. Defending without the ball and trying to win it requires orders and discipline – best achieved with talking to one another. This leads me to defend the choice of Cech and Xhaka’s selections. Both players are big personalities, both highly regarded within the squad and both like to be vocal with such status within the squad. What we want is them to develop and get better under these new ideas.
Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs have one good keeper. We have two. It’s important we maintain that level across the board.
In centre midfield we have Elmeny, Xhaka, Gendouzi and Torreira. It’s important we keep the standards high here too, and that means Xhaka developing into these new ideas. Torreira being allowed to slowly settle is a good ingredient because long term he will be expected to be a first teamer. Guendouzi will get tired (mentally more so then physicially) and injuries will occur… I just don’t understand why many fans want our first 11 to be set today.
We have a squad, and to get the best out of it and learn who is a part of the new thinking we have to allow everyone the chance. This is a far better long term plan to get into the top 4 before the climb to the summit.
With Newcastle (A), Everton (H) and Watford (H) we can expect a scrap. And with also Vorskla (H), Brentford (H) and Qarabag (A) inbetween – we can be sure to start to see more of the names we all been discussing in the starting 11.
Premier league is back, and more work is still required and with the games coming thick and fast. It took Pep’s Man City one season to win the league and Klopp’s Liverpool three seasons to start suggesting they are potential title contenders.
It may take Arsenal longer. But it’s soon time to say we should be expecting to see results or improvement on the pitch…And that starts with goals against!!