Arsenal’s position in the league today: more goals than in the unbeaten season



Arsenal v Bournemouth: it’s all about goals

By Bulldog Drummond

So from a statistical point of view today’s match is about the second-best attack in the league against the worst defence in the league.  Or the fifth worst attack in the league against the second best defence in the league.   

In fact, whichever way one looks at it Arsenal ought to win, and even if those statistics are not enough the emergence of a player who a) can seemingly play all over the pitch and b) look one way while passing another, is very much an extra bonus.

You might call it a “no-look” pass, but for Zinchenko it is more than that. “The Arsenal left-back (who is not really a left-back at all)” as the Telegraph puts it, is a player who through “The position of the foot, the angle of the torso, the direction of the head … suggests one pass, when Zinchenko is actually planning another.”   As if Bournemouth did not have enough to think about ahead of this afternoon’s game.

The Telegraph article raves about how the player “ripped open Everton’s defence with one simple pass” and how the resultant goal “was neither his goal nor his assist, but it was undoubtedly his creation.”

His figures are 17 games, five substitutions, one goal, three yellow cards.   And speaking of yellow cards I wonder if you can take a shot at which two players have the most yellow cards for Arsenal this season…   who are the dirty men in Arsenal’s team?

I imagine you’ll have Xhaka on the list, not because he is actually a deliberate fouler but because of the role plays in the team and the fact that the referees watch him like hawks, and with that you are right – six yellows so far.  And equal with him, so according to PGMO equally nasty is…. Bukayo Saka, also with six.   Interestingly just behind those two with five is Gabriel Jesus who, because he only played 16 games is Arsenal’s most carded player on a match by match basis!

One other observation that is of interest is how Zinchenko plays all over the pitch – left back, central midfield – he is a sort of defensive version of Saka and Martinelli.   Add to that the fact that only Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne “has played more passes into the final third” as the Telegraph article adds, and he is the man that oppositions are coming to be most worried about.

And that is rather good since it is taking the focus off Saka and Martinelli.   Who needs a centre forward?

In fact probably not Arsenal, although the media spent the whole of January screaming for Arteta to buy one.  You might recall such masterpieces as Arsenal can’t win the Premier League says Tim Sherwood from HITC, and Mikel Arteta told key reason why Arsenal will lose Premier League” from the inimitable Football.London.  If only they’d apologise it would make them look a little less pathetically stupid.

As for goals, well, Arsenal this season have scored 2.24 goals a game on average.   Some way behind last season’s winners who scored 2.61 per game, but a major step up for Arsenal from 1.61 goals per game last season.  And better again to the 1.45 in 2020/21.   Indeed you have to go a very long way back to find Arsenal previously scoring at this level, for even in 2015/16 when Arsenal were runners-up in the league the figure was only 1.71 goals a game.

No the last time Arsenal scored more than two goals a game in a season was 2009/10 when it was 2.18.  And the last time Arsenal exceeded 2.24 goals a game on average in a season was 2004/5 when the club scored 87, and came second (but won the FA Cup).  Yes Arsenal are actually scoring more goals a game on average than happened in the Unbeaten Season which really is quite something.

Next: the predicted line up


4 Replies to “Arsenal’s position in the league today: more goals than in the unbeaten season”

  1. Sweet reading this morning. Guardiola criticizing openly referees for not booking goalies for time wasting….

    Front and center on the guardian, title :

    Pep Guardiola accuses referees of double standards over time-wasting

    City play Newcastle, guess the psycho war has started…just surprising and amusing to see that he goes after PGMOL now. To me, for weeks, he sounds more and more nervous. Less positive. Guess the whole situation at City ain’t comfortable.

    Wonder who City have as a referee today…a home-winner or an away-winnere ?

  2. Talking of dirty players, it reminds me of a period in Alan Shearer’s career where he went two complete seasons without picking up a yellow card. Bizarrely, in both those seasons he committed more fouls than any other player in the league.

    Funny how some people get away with stuff and others get targeted…..particularly given a sizable percentage of Shearer’s fouls were for leading with his elbow!

  3. @Mikey,

    I’ve seen a study reported, done by 2 universities in the US that showed that coloured players were getting worse treatment by referees then caucasians….. Saka – Kane anyone ?

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