Arsenal under Emery: What do the stats actually say?

By Tony Attwood

It seems reasonable to take it that clubs that are doing well, touch the ball more often, both because they are controlling the game and so have higher possession rates, but also because they are evolving complex movements between players which can be harder to defend.

Of course it is not a definitive measurement in itself but along with other figures here, it is an indicator.

In this measurement Arsenal are sixth behind Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Fulham and Leicester.  The fact that the top three positions are occupied by three of last season’s top six clubs suggests that indeed this is a desirable factor for clubs.

Next we come to passes, again associated with stylish play and success.   We would also expect this to be related to the touches figure, and indeed it is.  Chelsea are first, the Liverpool, Manchester City, Fulham, and then Arsenal in 5th.

But these figures are just the build up to goals, so aside from scoring goals we also need to look at shots.  Here Arsenal are maintaining their position as noted above – they are sixth.  Above them are Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Fulham, and Southampton.

Of course all this possession etc is no good if the ability to make runs at the right time is not sorted out – and here we hit an area where Arsenal have not yet got matters right – Arsenal have been caught offside 13 times – more than any other club.  Behind them are Burnley (12) with Brighton, Liverpool, and Palace on eight.

Now this problem is typical for a team completely changing its mode of play.  Everything is being adjusted and the players are not naturally finding the right position, usually because they are focusing on following new approaches from the manager rather than playing their natural game.

Another interesting factor is the missing of big chances.   In one sense this is good, because it means the chances have been made and with a more settled team, more used to the style and approach, that number should go down.  One has to watch out that it doesn’t mean the club has a wasteful forward line.

Here Arsenal are sixth behind Bournemouth, Manchester City and Tottenham with 8, and Liverpool and Watford with six.  Arsenal have five.

What of the defence in terms of tackles.  Interestingly Manchester United and Manchester City have undertaken the smallest number of tackles, showing a style of play that is simply designed to avoid to undertaking tackles.   Liverpool are the highest of last season’s top six, coming 4th in this table.  Arsenal in 10th are the only other member of last season’s top six to appear in this top ten.

When we finally come to clearances Arsenal are the highest rated member of last season’s top six coming in 11th.  Clearances are good obviously in the sense that there is no goal scored, but it also indicates that the opposition have actually got through and taken a shot.

Indeed this notion that opposition teams are getting through the Arsenal defence is heightened by the fact that Arsenal is top of the saves list with 18.   We can be grateful that the saves were made but this seems to suggest that some more work needs to be undertaken on the midfield and defence.  Here is the saves chart…

Rank Club Saves
1. Arsenal 18
2. Fulham 16
3. West Ham United 16
4. Burnley 14
5. Huddersfield Town 14
6. Southampton 14
7. Crystal Palace 13
8. Brighton and Hove Albion 10
9. Leicester City 10
10. Cardiff City 9
11. Wolverhampton Wanderers 9
12. Everton 8
13. AFC Bournemouth 6
14. Chelsea 6
15. Liverpool 6
16. Newcastle United 5
17. Manchester City 4
18. Watford 4
19. Manchester United 3
20. Tottenham Hotspur 3



8 Replies to “Arsenal under Emery: What do the stats actually say?”

  1. I watched the MOTD highlights and heard Jonathon Pearce mention that we only had two new players on the pitch and yet we were playing as if we had never played together before. It is clear we are misplacing passes and looking up and thinking before passing – thus slowing down our movement and putting people offside but his comments make me cringe…a new system means new positioning regardless of the player, new or old. It will take time for the lads to get their stuff together and we’ve got to stick together even while we get stick from the media.

  2. Arsenal’s Unai Emery cannot afford to wait too long before the Gunners assimilate the new style of play he has introduced to them to adopt it as their new way of playing games in the PL different from the former way of playing they are used to playing before he arrived at the club.

    But one thing about the Gunners who are professionals that has surprised me and possibly other Gooners too is, the Gunners have looked to be lost in assimilating the new style of game playing that Emery wants to see them play especial in Arsenal PL games this season. But why are the Gunners appearing lost or too slow in assimilating the new style of play Emery has introduced into their game playing as a new style of play which he believes will repositioned Arsenal to truly challenge their PL Title win rival clubs to the Title win this season? Don’t they the Gunners want to win the PL Title for Arsenal this season in Emery’s first season at the club or just what their problem is with winning the PL Title for Arsenal they should explain? Lacklusterness or slumbering? ,0r is it stubboness to accept change and fully adhered to it with all commitments when change has abviusly comes to Arsenal to usher in greater success for the club? Or is it an issue that has to do with old habit never die that is possibly looking to be an inherent problem in them? If that is the case then,I think that old habits in them that don’t want to die should better die and die very fast too. Because Arsenal Gooners want to see the club win Titles including those of the PL and the ELC ones this season irrespective of any old habit that don’t want to die. Which of course has to die compulsorily.

  3. This is probably an analysis that’s best done when everyone has played the same number of games i.e. tomorrow.

  4. was hoping for a draw between Man U and Sp*rs…no such luck…on the bright side. Mourinho is a step closer to being sacked.

  5. I think redical changes are sometimes not goid. The manager needs to use incremental changes otherwise his plan is going to fail. Sarri could have suited Arsenal is just my opunion.

  6. From a Man Utd fan meme –

    -If we fire our manager after just one bad season -We’ll become Chelsea.

    -If we think we can fix the problem by buying expensive players , We’ll become City .

    -If we keep remembering the past good times to entertain us in the bad times ,
    We’ll become Liverpool .

    -If we keep a Trophy-less manager for too long , We’ll become Arsenal.

    So just keep calm and do what we have to do :

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