Can we cope without Nasri? Here’s the stats.

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Victory Through Harmony

By Walter Broeckx

Thanks to a reader from a very cold place in Canada we got some interesting statistics which we will bring to you.

Our reader pointed at the numbers and maybe they could settle a few nerves in the coming weeks with the absence of Samir Nasri. Off course we will miss him. Not only for his goals but also for his overall game. He works hard, is difficult to take the ball from him, he plays other people in, he is intelligent and he scores goals. So yes we will miss him.

But would we miss him as much as Man United would miss Berbatov? Or Man City if they should lose Tevez? Or Chelsea losing Anelka? Or Sunderland losing Bent? Oh, they have lost that one. Or Tottenham losing Van der Vaart?

So the first thing is to see how many goals the best 5 goal scorers of each of those teams has made so far this season:

Team Best 5 goal scorers
ManU 20,11, 8,6,4
Arsenal 14,10,10,9,8
ManCity 16, 8, 6,5,4
Chelsea 13,10,10,9,5
Tottenham 11,11, 9,7,5
Sunderland 11, 8, 6,2,1

In this table you can see the top 6 teams at the start of the week and their best 5 goal scorers in this season. It includes all goals in all competitions before the last run of games. So we can see that Manchester United have the best goal scorer so far #9in the person of Berbatov). And City have Tevez who is their best goal scorer with 16. Nasri comes in third place with 14, just before Anelka.

Berbatov is really having a good season so far but will he continue to do this for the rest of the season? A few hat-tricks in one season is making nice headlines but this also means that in many other games he hasn’t scored at all. And scoring 5 goals in one game is nice but this means that 14 goals of his 20 came in 4 games.

Tevez on the other hand is a player who scores more separate goals in different games. I do think this is more valuable for a team than scoring 5 in one game.

The following numbers are the other best goal scorers from each team. So you have Chamakh and Walcott with 10 goals for Arsenal in second position. And in other teams you have the likes of Bale, Hernadez for United, Malouda and Drogba for Chelsea.

The next thing you can do with these numbers is to see how the goals add up from the 5 best goal scorers of those teams.

Team Total best 5 goal scorers
ManU 20,31,39,45,49
Arsenal 14,24,34,43,51
ManCity 16,24,30,35,39
Chelsea 13,23,33,42,47
Tottenham 11,22,31,38,43
Sunderland 11,19,25,27,28

Now if we take the numbers from the five best goal scorers it is clear that Arsenal takes the lead. Our  best five  made 51 goals and in second place we have United with 49 goals. Chelsea also is close to this but then the gap goes open and Tottenham are a bit in between but in this table you can see how dependent Man City is from their main striker Tevez. If we look at sixth place Sunderland we can see that their reliance on Bent was enormous and that after Gyan there is a big gap when it comes to goal scoring.

But then we take the last numbers and these are the ones that should make us and the players believe that we can cope for a short while without our leading top scorer Samir Nasri.

Team Without top scorer Total with topscorer
ManU 11,19,25,29 49
Arsenal 10,20,29,37 51
ManCity 8,14,19,23 39
Chelsea 10,20,29,34 47
Tottenham 11,20,27,32 43
Sunderland 8,14,16,17 28

And this is where we see the brilliance of Arsenal shining compared to the rest.

If we look at our numbers without Nasri this season we are leading and have a big advantage over ManU if they should lose Berbatov. They suddenly would drop back to 4th place when it comes to goal scoring.

Losing Tevez would also  be a major disaster for City ans they suddenly fall back to a team like Sunderland. Sunderland whose fifth best scorer has one goal in total this season. Compare this to eight for our fifth best.

We can see that Chelsea wouldn’t suffer as much as United would so they also have a bit of fire power in their team. But with players like Anelka, Drogba, Malouda and even Kalou this comes as no surprise.

And also Tottenham could cope better than United if they lost their top scorer.

For Arsenal it is clear that we have other players capable of scoring goals. And maybe we are the team that is best equipped to lose our top scorer. Not that we want to lose him but the rest of the team can step in the place of Nasri if needed and score goals.

So we will miss him but the likes of Robin Van Persie, Walcott, Arshavin, Cesc, Bendtner, Chamakh have shown this and other seasons that they can score a few goals.

They must step up for Samir now and show us that what Wenger has been building is not a team relying on one goal scorer but we have been building on a team that can share the goals and can bring other players in the team that can score.  But yes we will miss Nasri and it is a sad loss. But this is football and maybe in 3 weeks time he comes back like after his knee injury: firing on all cylinders and scoring goals as if he never has been away.

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17 Replies to “Can we cope without Nasri? Here’s the stats.”

  1. Interesting stats walter, and thanks to whoever gave them to you too.

    I remember when van Persie got injured last season, we had a ridiculous number of people who’d scored for us, so the burden was shared somewhat. It’s reassuring to see that we’re not overdependent on Nasri, and that a similar injury would likely cause United some issues.

    I suppose the x factor in regard to United is whether Rooney’s brace will renew his confidence and lead him to chip in more. Perhaps the burden will be spread a little more now.

  2. He is not Fab4.Ask that question again if the unthinkable happens to our captain or RVP.They are far more influantial mot to mention the fear they put into opponents when they play.To me Nasri is a great luxury to have in the team but not the be all and end all.He increases our depth greatly so as you point out we will survive.

    PS Long time reader first time poster.Keep up the good work.One of the best Arsenal blogs on line.

  3. Walter, I appologise I only partly read this I am against stats on this subject it gets to hazy for me.

    To me we lost against the biggest teams we played because we didnt have a full team, Squads will always win against the lesser teams but not direct rivals.

    If we have everyone no injuries except vermalen we will beat barcelona if nasri is still missing and anyone else gets hurt we wont.
    You need everyone available for some games we simply cant afford any missing personel for the following matches
    Barcelona and Man Utd.

  4. I believe the title of the article is a bit misleading, because, instead of discussing whether we will be able to cope with Nasri’s absence (given all other variables remain as they are), the article discussed if Arsenal is as reliant on Nasri (top striker) as other team’s are on their respective strikers.
    Now, I want to say that injury to Berbatov or any other top striker of any other club has not happened. And therefore it cannot be considered in the discussion about “can Arsenal cope without Nasri”. The bottom line is that we have lost our top striker for a few weeks, whereas other teams haven’t. Hence, we will be impacted by it, and other teams won’t be impacted by any of the hypothetical scenarios mentioned in the article. One crude way to gauge the impact would be figure out what percentage of total goals and assists were provided by Nasri. And on the whole, we would be that much less effective. Some of it has to compensated by the fact that Arshavin is returning to good form, and adding back the percentage of assists/goals provided by Arshavin, we will end up in a state which may be slightly (or could be a lot) inferior than the state with Nasri’s presence.
    As far as I know, there is no direct/scientific way to determine the impact of Nasri’s absence. For all we know, we might end up better because of a more experience player coming back to form.

  5. want a sad loss, yes Nasri is a very nice paryer. I know will all gonna miss him, & his impart, but dat is football & it has happed let de rest of team see it dat way, i thnk God dat will still have paryer like Robin, waloctt, cesc Arshavin, & others too, pls we need to be focus. God blss Arsenal. & all our funs too, gunner 4life, smog’G henry

  6. Damn I liked the title 😉

    But slightly misleading maybe I admit. One thing is that Arsenal have rather a big number of players in their ranks who can score a few goals. RVP will have to score one at least on Saturday as should Walcott.

  7. Arshavin is obviously key to the question “Can Arsenal cope without Nasri?”. At his best, AA is almost a replica of Nasri. Slight differences in style but similar types of impact. The signs seem to suggest that AA is emerging from his slumber, and if that is indeed the case then I dont see any reason why Arsenal cannot cope very well indeed, thank you very much, without Nasri.

  8. What I always loved about Arsenal is strength of squad. Even in Henry era it was still more about squad than about him. And maybe thats our strongest weapon in battle for crown. Nasri is magician and its better to have him in team, but I believe we can deal without him.
    With Arshavin back in to shape as we are used to see him, maybe we wont even notice Samir absence, at last in next few weeks.

  9. I think it is ok AA steps in and Sami gets a rest, so long as we don’t rush him back then he is nice and fresh for the run in, ok shame not to have him v Barca…

    same for Tommy V iron in the defence and a fired up TV for the tough games in March April May

    Believe Gooners, Believe!!!

  10. We could see the fihting spirit against everton in the second half, Arshavin came on and the impact was nearly immediate. Sure we can cope without Nasri but again it makes our bench a bit weaker, having nasri on the pitch and AA on the bench, if something goes wrong, AA would be a good addition to the team power, now who will give that power if something goes wrong? Bendtner? sure he can, when on form, otherwise we ain’t got nobody. I am not stressed anyway, I am more stressed at manure finally loosing points than us loosing games

  11. Nice writeup Walter. Far better than I could do, and you brought up points I hadn’t thought of.

    I live quite close to the Rocky Mountains, and we often get “chinooks” in the winter. The temperature can change by 30C (occasionally even 40C) in a single day in the winter.

    But, I will try to look at “the numbers” more often, when I need a break. I know you can polish them nicely.

  12. The REAL question is, will we miss Nasri against Barcelona!! Will we miss him just for the home game or for both games?
    We will certainly miss his quality against them at the Grove and must hope that AA and Rosicky can up their games for this one!Hopefully,Song will be playing too and his present injury is slight enough to be considered as a necessary “rest” for him.We will certainly need as many first teamers for the Barca
    challenge.Our squad should have proven by now to deal with the rest of our fixtures .Newcastle (a tough one, but without Carrol at least) Wolves, Orient,Stoke ,Birmingham and Sunderland all await us before heading for the Nou Camp.
    Knocking Barca out of the CL would put us on top of the world and is an essential goal for our season ( after having taken the CC, expect some nasty treatment from the Brum at Wembley!).

  13. The usual hogwash on this blog as Samir Nasri is just one of a number of great Arsenal players but he,s taking a well earned break now which leaves Rosicky,Denilson,Diaby,Wilshere,Bendtner the opportunity to show what they,re capable of in Arsenal colours,it,s time to show ,just do it ?

  14. Nasri is a toughy cookie- i have got a gutsy feeling he will be on the bench agnst Barca.. even thou wenger said he will be out …

    And if AA will be firing and we gt no more injuries thn watch out Barca he we come…

    Also people note chamak has scored 10 goels alreday and this is his first EPL season.. why every1 is under rating his talent and achievements.

  15. Nice post but you don’t analyze it proper base on the headline you write “Can we cope without Nasri”. In my opinion i think there is a way you can compare Nasri with the player that is coming in to replace him and let us see how the other player will stay in the absent of Nasri in terms of dribble, creating pace for other, scoring, taking defender out from his ways and so on.

  16. I agree with Van Persie that United will slip up this season. But I dont care as long as we top the table after 38 games. It’s a long way to go, but United is a team that gets the results even on days when they dont perform. And THAT is the difference between succes and ”failure” ! UTD FOREVER!!!!!

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