By Walter Broeckx
I don’t usually like to talk about the most important positions on the field for a team as I think that you can only win when all 11 players are performing well enough. But the attacking midfielder certainly is one of those positions that can decided if your attack can score enough goals.
So for this analyse I took Santi Cazorla, Mesut Özil and Rosicky who is clearly our third choice in this position.
|Passing accuracy opp. half
|Duels won %
|Aerial Duels won
|Aerial duels lost
|Aerial duels won %
|Tackles won %
|7 (6 penalties)
|Minutes per goal
|Total shots on target
|Total shots off target
|Successful crosses %
Santi Cazorla played in 37 matches in the PL. An amazing number for the little Spaniard who is slowly getting a bit older. Well, as we all do. He will become 31 this winter but when you look at him running around the field you would think that he is just 21. Mesut Özil was out a big part of the season and I really believe it cost us a lot of points. When he came back we played much better. The tactical adaption with Coquelin and Santi being pulled a bit back down the middle by Wenger did the rest.
The passing accuracy of these 3 players is amazing. Keep in mind that these are the players who play the difficult passes to set up other players. And they do go for the difficult key passes a lot so it is amazing to see that Santi over the whole season got a passing accuracy of 89.1%. Özil just behind him with 88.3%. Rosicky with “only” 86.1% is in third place.
When we look at the passing accuracy in the opposition half we see that Özil takes over the top position with 87.5% (but only just) from Santi (87.3%). Rosicky also with a very high respectable number to his name.
Looking at the duels won percentage we see that Rosicky has the best score with 59.4% duels won. The difference between Santi and Özil is 0.01 %. But still both Santi and Özil won more than 50% of their duels. Not bad for a lazy German and a Spanish midget.
In the aerial duels we again see that Rosicky has by far the best score of the three. Tomas gets a score of 52.9% won and Özil only won 31.3% of his aerial duels. But I don’t think anyone expects Özil to be the king in the aerial duels. I find the score of Santi rather amazing. Despite his height handicap he still wins 16% of his aerial duels is how I look at it.
When we look at the recoveries we see that Santi made most recoveries. He has around 7.5 recoveries per 90 minutes. Rosicky has 6.5 and Özil has 5 recoveries per match. The fact that Santi played a bit deeper might have helped him in this stat.
When it comes to tackles we see that all the players score above 75%. That is not bad for players who are more renown for their football genius than for their tackling. Özil has the lowest score but he wins at least one tackle per match on average. Rosicky has the best score with 80% tackles won.
Rosicky is also the best when it comes to clearing the danger. This indicates that he also is the most box to box midfielder of the three. Santi and Mesut are not really the types to clear the danger a lot. But we don’t pay them to clear balls, do we? And blocking the ball is also not really their forte. But we don’t want them their, we want them upfront and do their magic there.
Whenever we need interceptions neither of them will be first pick. Rosicky doing best of the 3 closely followed by Santi. Özil clearly not the man for this job.
On the disciplinary front we see that Rosicky is the player that makes most fouls. One per match on average when he playes. Santi despite his position in the second half of the season is a very clean player. Özil hardly makes fouls against opponents. He was the only one to stay out of the books of the referees. Santi being top in the yellow cards, also maybe down to his position in the second half of the season.
Let us take a look at their attacking skills now. Santi scored most goals in total with seven. But we have to add that 6 of them were penalties. Özil scored four goals and Rosicky two. But when we look at the minutes played we see that Rosicky was the best finisher with one goal every 288 minutes. Santi in second place thanks to his penalties and finally Özil.
The shooting accuracy of these three players is rather similar. Somewhere between 54% and 56% when it comes to shooting on target.
For knowing the successful crosses I should leave out Rosicky I think. He made one cross and that was a successful one so he gets a score of 100%. Özil’s crossing accuracy is 33.9% and that is one of the best scores I think. Santi is third in this with 18% successful crosses.
Assisting is what Özil is known for but last season it was Santi who got more assists than the German world champion. Santi had 11 assists and also had more assists when we look at it per 90 minutes. Rosicky had the lowest score on this.
But maybe Özil should have had more assists if his team mates would have finished the chances a bit better. Because when we look at the number of created chances we see that Özil creates more than three chances per match. Surely our strikers should have done better to get Özil more assists. And them more goals of course. Santi comes second in this with more than 2 chances created per match.
So when Santi and Özil play we are almost sure to have at least five good chances to score. It’s all down to finishing them of course.
Looking back at all this we see that both Santi and Özil had a rather difficult start to the season. All because of Blatter’s and Fifa’s stupid world cup. It sure had an impact on their early season form and they needed a few months to get rid of that world cup hangover. And for Özil the injury he sustained and might have helped him recover to come back stronger.
I’m really looking forward to the new season with finally both Santi and Özil back with the team from the start and having a normal pre-season at Arsenal. As for Rosicky he is a great valuable squad player. I love him to bits as a player (even from his Dortmund days – apart from the time he killed us in Dortmund) and a character. I hope he will stay with us as his experience is still very valuable.
21 June 1958 George Swindin became manager. He was the final manager after the Shaw – Allison – Whittaker – Crayston sequence who had worked for the club in various guises before becoming manager.
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