By Tony Attwood
I’ve noted before that Arsenal have this season nominated the full list of 25 players that they are able to make available for games – something that most clubs have not been able to do. And we have five under 21s who are also very much part of the first team squad – and that’s before we get to the youth players.
But there is another interesting point: how many different players are other clubs using? And how does this relate to the position of the club in the league?
The Telegraph has published a list of players used – although they don’t quite make it clear how they define used. In fact 25 players have started a match for Arsenal, but 21 have actually played either by starting or as a sub in the Premier League, and it is this latter approach that it seems that the Telegraph is quoting.
So here is the number of players used either as subs who actually come on, or as one of the XI starters in Premier League games with a highlight for those near the top and bottom.
|Club||Players used||Current position||Top 5||Bottom 5|
The listing of top and bottom five shows us that the figures don’t mean too much beyond the fact that the clubs further up the league had a tendency to use more players. But of course the teams that have used the most players are West Ham and Sunderland, who currently sit 15th and 20th.
This suggests two factors are at work here.
First, teams that are at the top of the league will have a set formation of players, and just bring in subs to help give other players a little experience. But clubs near the foot of the table will change the team a lot to try and change the fortunes of the club. (Although just like changing manager, there is no guarantee this will work).
However the specific situation of each club must also be taken into account. For example, Hull City, because of their summer difficulties, have fewer players of quality to choose from while it could be said that Sunderland are trying everyone under the sun in an attempt to get a result.
So who exactly are the players that Arsenal are using and how often are these subs getting on the pitch? Here are the figures taken from Arsenal.com. The leading appearance players are in red.
|Europe||Prem Lge||Lge Cup||Total|
|1||Kieran Gibbs||0 + 1||0||0 + 3||0||1||0||1 + 4||0|
|4||Alexis||2||1||7 + 1||4||0||0||9 + 1||5|
|6||Lucas Perez||0||0||1 + 1||0||1||2||2 + 1||2|
|7||Mesut Ozil||2||0||6 + 1||3||0||0||8 + 1||3|
|8||Olivier Giroud||0 + 1||0||0 + 3||0||0||0||0 + 4||0|
|11||Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain||1 + 1||0||3 + 3||1||1||1||5 + 4||2|
|13||Alex Iwobi||2||0||5 + 1||0||0||0||7 + 1||0|
|15||Santi Cazorla||2||0||7 + 1||2||0||0||9 + 1||2|
|20||Granit Xhaka||1 + 1||0||4 + 3||1||1||1||6 + 4||2|
|21||Jeff Reine Adelaide||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|23||Jack Wilshere||0||0||0 + 2||0||0||0||0 + 2||0|
|25||Francis Coquelin||1||0||5 + 1||0||0||0||6 + 1||0|
|26||Mohamed Elneny||0 + 2||0||1 + 3||0||1||0||2 + 5||0|
|27||Krystian Bielik||0||0||0||0||0 + 1||0||0 + 1||0|
|28||Gedion Zelalem||0||0||0||0||0 + 1||0||0 + 1||0|
|29||Chris Willock||0||0||0||0||0 + 1||0||0 + 1||0|
Now for the top scorers in the Premier League thus far…
- Diego Costa, Chelsea – 7
- Romelu Lukaku – Everton – 6
- Theo Walcott – Arsenal – 5
- Sergio Agüero, Man City – 5
- Michail Antonio – West Ham – 5
- Alexis Sánchez – Arsenal 4
- Son Heung-min – Tottenham – 4
- Nacer Chadli – West Brom – 4
- Raheem Sterling – Man City – 4
- Charlie Austin – Southampton – 4
- James Milner – Liverpool – 4
- Etienne Capoue – Watford – 4
- Joe Allen – Stoke – 4
- Leroy Fer – Swansea – 4
- Jermain Defoe – Sunderland – 4
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Man Utd – 4
Now you might remember the hilarious commentary in the Guardian about Arsenal having only two players last season who managed double figures in scoring – when in fact only five clubs managed this feat – thus making Arsenal a very positive exception, rather than a bunch of useless no hopers.
We might have a clue here as to which clubs will be having two players on double figures first: Arsenal and Man City. Having two top scorers is of course much better than one who scores all the goals, simply because if that player get injured the whole scoring thing falls apart.
Theo, by the way, has scored nine in seven, Alexis five in nine plus one sub appearance.
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