14 responses

  1. Richard

    Great piece Tony. I enjoyed match and Chelsea looked lethargic and not particularly great. We had a decent overall performance. Think lacazette is going to take time to settle at moment having one shot per game may not be enough but he is integrating well into team. Kolasanic well he looks like he has already settled and will be massive for us. As for the league I fully expected us before the community shield to be in top four this hasn’t changed. We probably could do with another midfielder just to cover possible injuries suspensions. But compared to other squads we have a decent chance to challenge in all four competitions.
    There are big questions about are rivals
    Can peps we will score more than you work in this league I’m not convinced it can.
    How will Liverpool and Chelsea cope with champions league and premier league games. Will chelseas lack of big name striker hurt them.
    Now for tottenham the big thing for me here is what will lack of signings donon this squad can it cope with injuries in key positions.
    For us is can we keep consistency and concentration throughought the season.

  2. nicky

    Reading the statistic on how Community winners fared in the following season, is NOT something that should be digested with bacon and eggs at the breakfast table!
    Currently, we are being regaled with punditry from Shearer&Co (those masters of the crystal ball) forecasting on how they think Arsenal will finish in the EPL next May. I’m relieved to note that in their opinion and with a great deal of luck, we MIGHT qualify again for the Europa.
    Of course, none of them have read your stat yet. 😉

  3. Pat

    ‘Pedro’s rash challenge proves costly.’
    Well, yes, getting sent off can do that.

    Nice one, Tony. Even the pundits and Clattenburg agreed that it was a challenge that could injure the opponent and deserved a red. The fact that we also scored off the free kick was a great added extra.

  4. anon

    The thing about analytics articles is that most analysts don’t watch most games. They receive event data from opta and draw conclusions based on team performance in key areas.

    For instance last season it was clear to see early on, that Arsenal’s shot numbers were down and our shot locations were poorer. We were the best in this regard in 15-16 so this was something interesting that demanded analysis.

    When analyzing the process, one analyst, I can’t remember who, showed that Arsenal was number one in the league for passes in the half spaces (usually the most advantageous attacking area to pass from) plus we were close to the top for fullback overlaps. So all was usual as these are key elements of Wenger’s system.

    But our expected goals numbers had dropped significantly so there was clearly an issue. And a key change was that Giroud was no longer our main striker and had been replaced by Alexis. Those two are very different so it was hypothesized that that could have had an impact. Analysis by various analysts showed that Alexis barely spent any time in the danger area like target man Giroud. He loved carrying the ball into the area meaning Ozil had nobody to aim at in the danger zone. Özil’s main target became Walcott in a wider area and so Arsenal weren’t functioning as well as they could have been.

    Analysts generally ignore refereeing for a bunch of reasons. One is even if a ref manages to gift opponents big chances, the numbers say it usually takes 3 or 4 of those to score. Another is, and this is a bigger reason; analysts usually like to ignore small samples, because these can be very misleading. So single games would usually not warrant analysis. (If you are interested in single game analysis though @11tegen11 on Twitter makes good visualizations after each game week). In short, analysts like to use data to uncover trends because that tells you more about a team or player than a single game.

    Of course if a team consistently gets awarded penalties for or against like we sometimes see, that could be a refereeing trend. But, like the analysis of Bournemouth on statsbomb recently showed, managers can set their teams up to consistently try and win penalties.

    Analysis can show you whether teams who score a lot are lucky or just highly functioning goal scoring machines, whether teams who concede a lot are just unlucky or just plain bad, whether teams who are awarded lots of penalties are favored or just set up to get them, and loads more.
    But only with a big enough data sample.

  5. Dom

    Interesting article Tony, but as you know presentation of stats is the decisive factor in upholding any ‘fact’. However I’m not sure I’ll totally depend on the historical data for my expectations of this season 😉
    I am however really pleased that our team’s performance has got up the nose of that idiot Piers Morgan and interestingly enough our ex Gunners Charly N and Paul M.Can’t see why the latter two are so neg.

  6. anon

    Also, we should remember that analytics in the public sphere is usually much more basic than what’s done inside clubs, and is free, done by independents, outside their usual jobs.

    A good recent article that shows work beyond expected goals is this https://thepowerofgoals.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/what-might-leicester-get-from-kelechi.html on the transfer of Kelechi Iheanacho.

  7. Nitram

    Paul Merson would find fault in the fact we only fielded 11 players, so hearing that he is moaning, yet again, is hardly a surprise. I just wish head f…off down the bookies with a bag of powder and do us all a favour. Plus as we all know, he is a Chelsea fan, so hardly surprising he’s crying in his cornflakes this morning is it.

    As for Charlie Nick. That is disappointing. He seems to me to of been one of the more balanced commentators of Arsenal, or at least he was when I last listened to soccer Saturday or SSN, but that was a long time ago.

    Yet another ex gunner gone to the dark side.

    Maybe he could toddle of with Merson and do us an even bigger favour.

  8. alexanderhenry

    Good performance yesterday. I think we might have a proper goal poacher in lacazette.

    Surprisingly, it looks like Alexis is staying. I don’t think anyone expected this but if it’s true, the squad is looking pretty good.

  9. Chris

    Funny how everyone on the web is AGAINST the ABBA system now that Arsenal have won with it….

    I can’t remember a tennis player saying it was unfair, and complaining he’s lost a Grand Slam because of it….

    And, well, they were ahead when Walcott had to shoot his, and we were ahead when Courtois lined up for his.
    So it seems we have better nerves, manage pressure better and have players who do have a killer instinct…

    Just that this does not fit the Kommetariat propaganda about Arsenal unable to handle pressure and players crumbling nervously when asked to perform.

  10. Andy Mack

    Richard, the big question for The Tiny Totts is will they ever feel like they are at home at Wembley. I’m sure they’ll have good games there but IMO it won’t be ‘Home’ and IF they get into a bad run then that insecurity could cause them problems.
    Whereas Pep’s issue is how quickly he can integrate the new faces into the team.
    I expect a couple of their 2nd season players to show real class but I still can’t see them being a strong enough team, especially with the injuries his style of play attracts. But I could be wrong…

    Dom, Merson seems to hate AW which is probably because AW didn’t want to keep him at AFC. Although his addictions were probably a strong reason, he also noticed that Merson only played well if certain other players were in the starting 11, which wasn’t always possible.

  11. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think by their winning the Charity Shield yesterday, Arsenal have qualified for the 2017/18 Europa League competition. Or have they not? But that qualification in that year is not the kind of European football qualification we are after but a Ucl one. So, if our winning the CS suggests we might finish 2nd in the League next season, but 1st is preferable, then of course we’ll be in the Ucl campaign again in next upper season. But even then, Arsenal should try to win the Europa League Cup next season to double qualify for the Ucl.

  12. Flares

    I tend to take anything Paul Merson says with a pinch of coke…er, I mean salt, but his assertion that we’ll finish 6th this coming season really is a stretch of the imagination. Arsenal have kept all the first team squad together and added (so far) a couple of quality additions up front and at back. We’ve got enough strength in depth to rest the A guys for Europa League games and one would imagine a certain level of hunger in the team to get back into the CL via a high placed finish. Alexis has painted himself into a corner. He’s hung his entire schtick on playing in the Champions League, so if he stays all season and we qualify, where does that leave him? If none of his preferred destinations win the damned thing then leaving makes him look like a complete fool. We’ll see. I’m confident Arsenal will comfortably get back into the top four, at the expense of either Liverpool or Man United.

  13. Gord


    I think perhaps a pinch of strychnine might work? Actually, I looked up a list of common poisonous “chemicals”, and was slightly surprised to see hydrogen peroxide listed.

    Batrachotoxin was listed as the must poisonous non-peptide poison. One list suggest botulinum toxin as the most potent peptide poison. But, it is used to remove skin wrinkles in the cosmetic industry.

    Maybe that is why these pudnits (deliberately mis-spelled) have such wry smiles?

  14. nicky

    Just read the headline on a down-market site…..
    “Why Arsenal won’t the title” by Alan Shearer.
    What does he mean?
    “lose a game in winning”?
    “fail to win”?
    And then in the text Mystic Alan says it’s because we haven’t signed enough new players in the Summer Window.
    This, while there are 24 days still to run….
    I wouldn’t pay him or the others in washers. 😉

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