Five great players, six great reserves and Arsenal win the league

By Tony Attwood

An interesting piece in the Telegraph today includes a review of Granit Xhaka which instead of just joining in the general “he’s rubbish get him out” actually looks, as we tried to do earlier this season, at his figures.   Their commentary reads, “Divides opinion, doesn’t always track his runner and is liable to pick up a booking for ‘accidentally’ mistiming  tackles, but the stats don’t lie and Arsene Wenger certainly seems (seemed) to rate the Swiss midfielder.

“Xhaka played 38 Premier League games for Arsenal in 2017/18, making more passes than any other player (3117) and having more touches.

“Not really a holding player, nor a creative attacking one, his stats represent those of an all rounder, and although the things he does badly are easily picked up on, Xhaka’s range of passing, anticipation, and ability to shoot from long range are all superb. Also assisted seven goals for his teammates.”

Ah well, nice to know someone else can see what we saw.

They also did a little analysis on Ozil which said, “Ozil’s languid style may disgust all self-respecting ‘Proper Football Men’, but four goals and eight assists from 26 Premier League starts is a reasonable return.

“It sounds better when you consider he created 84 chances from 26 games – the fourth most of all league players, and at 3.49 chances created per match, the second most prolific chance creator in the country, behind only Cesc Fabregas.

“Ozil also became the quickest player to register 50 Premier League assists (141 games), breaking a record previously held by Eric Cantona, while his volley against Newcastle was one of the goals of the season.”

Here is the full “Chances per game” analysis in which Mesut comes second…

  • Fabregas 3.51 per game
  • Ozil 3.49
  • Hazard 3.11
  • De Bruyne 3.09
  • Willian 2.96

Separately the same paper has done a review on who might be up for sales and concludes that Ramsey is the player the papers should get their teeth dug into next, noting as we all have, that the fella has just one year left on his on his contract.

They then say, “after the distraction last season of Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal will surely sell him this summer if he does not commit.”  Which I found a little odd since I thought the transfer of Alexis was a triumph.  He was slowing down and we got Mkhitaryan which seems to me like a really good deal.

Mkhitaryan got three goals in 15 games.  He got four assists as well.  Alexis with Manchester United, a team clearly doing better than Arsenal in the second half of the season, got two goals and three assists.

There is also the mention that Danny Welbeck and Cech are also out of contract next year but no suggestion as to whether Arsenal will work to give them new deals.  I’d look for more swaps with Manchester United.

Mind you the Telegraph thinks we could sell Lacazette “following the January arrival of Aubameyang” but I rate this forward line of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Mkhitaryan.  I really do hope none of them move on.

The Telegraph also does consider the Under 23 team – a rarity for a national paper – and notes how well the squad has done, picking out, of course, Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Matt Macey, Joe Willock and Josh Dasilva.

Here in case you didn’t spot it is the final U23 table

Club P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal 22 13 3 6 48 32 16 42
Liverpool 22 13 1 8 43 27 16 40
Leicester City 22 11 6 5 36 20 16 39
Swansea City 22 11 4 7 40 31 9 37
West Ham United 22 9 4 9 30 32 -2 31
Manchester City 22 8 6 8 41 31 10 30
Everton 22 9 3 10 32 36 -4 30
Chelsea 22 8 5 9 34 35 -1 29
Tottenham Hotspur 22 7 5 10 38 48 -10 26
Derby County 22 7 3 12 32 44 -12 24
Sunderland 22 6 4 12 19 39 -20 22
Manchester United 22 4 8 10 22 40 -18 20

Bit of a shame about Man U.



15 Replies to “Five great players, six great reserves and Arsenal win the league”

  1. Tony

    Perhaps I am falling under your spell but I really like your last two posts. Like you I feel Holding with some decent coaching as to positioning could be a good central defender. Likewise Chambers has shown that he could get it together. Evans always looks a good dependable defender.I am still not convinced that Bellerin can defend rather than act as an auxiliary winger. Like you I think the swap with Man United was good business. I just do not think the squad needs loads of juggling maybe better fitness and good hard coaching.
    Sorry to keep bringing in North American practice but the general rule now is unless you have a really major player one a person gets to 30 you only offer one years contracts as the decent afterwards is very fast.
    And oh for Tony Adams. Even with a bucket of beer inside him he was one heck of a central defender.

  2. As I said before about Xhaka, I’m still willing to see what Mikey Arteta can do with him, maybe pass him the knowledge how to play the role he was designed for. I reckon we need someone with more defensive nous next to Xhaka but that someone has to be someone who can make a pass as well.

    Xhaka was the midfielder who made most errors that led to goals (3) last season and was joint worst among the outfield players in the league. Whilst the number of assists is very good even if we forget that he was also taking a lot of set pieces, I’d like to see his long-shot stats (or is my hope just…a long shot? see what I did there?) as I’m not entirely concinved his long shots were effective enough.

    All-in-all, the registration period has started today and we will probably get connected with hundreds of players, mostly defenders and midfielders.

    As for our youngsters, I’d like to see Osei-Tutu in cup games as Bellerin’s stand-in and Smith-Rowe in some capacity. Smith-Rowe looks like a scary potential as well as Nelson and Nketiah.

  3. Walt, isnt it this same telegraph you tell us is trash all the time?
    Didn’t you also say recently that there’s no “Us” on untold, that you express your individual opinion in your articles just the way Walter etc do in theirs? So what’s this about someone else seeing what “we” saw?

  4. Chan “An interesting piece’ The writer gives credit where credit is due. Do you have a problem with this?

    Like wise “We at Untold” All who come with the same positive views regarding the club and the same concerns about the closed shop pogmal and English media that reports on football

  5. For health tip for all those big dick wanna bes –


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  6. Good to see Brickfields jokes back again! Merci Brickfields!

  7. @ Kenneth Widmerpool -18/05/2018 at 7:33 am – Thanks . Am always glad to be here to bash dickheads with crappy humour ! And to amuse the faithful .
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  8. But when those views are challenged the man claims there are no group views, only individual opinions

  9. That’s the point I’m trying to highlight. If the telegraph writes something you don’t agree with and you say so it’s fine, it means when they say something you agree with you would acknowledge same. But if your reaction to the first is to claim they are a group of nonentities with the IQ of a snail and not worth reading, how do you then turn 180• and say all of a sudden they’re making sense because your views match on a certain matter? What happened to the IQ? How come they’re no longer nonentities? Or it simply means you can’t tolerate views not aligned with yours

  10. Someone updated the website, and the new page is way strange. Will you accept a posting from an old page?

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