I was wondering where on earth the statistics came from showing that Arsenal were the dirtiest team in the league, and expressed incredulity as I worked through the analysis in previous articles.
But others came to my rescue and found more and more figures, and in the discussion after the article “Arsenal are the dirtiest team in the league this season” Nitram, Gord and others have taken us on.
However as you will well know, I am a simple soul, and so I tried another piece of logic. If Arsenal really are committing all these fouls, who is it that is their worst fouler? I suspect most would cite Xhaka or maybe one of the central defenders. Mustafi gets blamed for most things so yep, him and Xhaka.
Now it took work by the readership to show me where those original “Arsenal are the dirtiest team in the PL” figures have come from, and yes I must confess, there are figures that show that Arsenal have committed more fouls than any other team this season.
So my deep apologies. But who is this mystery man that is committing foul after foul – this fiendish presence on the pitch is who likely at any moment to be cast into the deepest darkness, and who will at once become outed by all right thinking fans as being unworthy of the Arsenal shirt?
Well, I will taunt you no longer for it is…
You are not pretending are you, you really are ready to know the culprit?
For he is apparently the third dirtiest player in the Premier League – according to the increasingly odd statistics produced by the League. Despite playing 100 minutes fewer than Xhaka he has apparently committed more fouls than Xhaka.
Now I don’t know if these figures are correct, but let us suppose for a moment that they are, what is going on?
I haven’t noticed these fouls, but if they are real I imagine that it is Laca trying to get the better of a defender and fouling him in the process. Or a ref entrapped in Type III match fixing is looking to find ways to break up an Arsenal attack and so giving fouls against Laca at every opportunity. One or the other.
So digging into the stas what else can we find? Here is the list of tackles made by Arsenal players in the first team so far this season…
- Guendouzi 15
- Monreal 13
- Lacazette 12
OK now I know I am getting old but I do sit in the front row of the east upper on the 18 yard line towards to North Bank so I do have a jolly good view of what is going on, and that really surprises me.
Anyway having found this I thought I would offer some more stats. Here for example is “aerial battles won” – the top three (as with all these sets that follow) are…
- Mustafi 30
- Xhaka 17
- Lacazette 16
So that is probably where it is happening. Laca is jumping and deemed by the member of the PGMO to be getting leverege on the defender. Interesting about Mustafi though. The man all the bloggettas, the bots and the learned guys down the pub with Sir Hardly Anyone, hate beyond hatred. The man they want kicked out of the team. The man who must go. Mustafi wins that many aerial battles.
But then of course you can prove anything with statistics. So maybe the Laca figure is wrong too!
Passes – now I did this one last season to show that Xhaka had a significant value. And this season we see it again…
- Xhaka 626
- Mustafi 451
- Monreal 356
But I was told that his passes number couldn’t be right because he was clearly useless and everyone knew it. Ah well.
Shots, but not those with a gun, come in as
- Laca 19
- Aubameyang 16
- Mkhitaryan 12
OK a bit surprising to see Mkhit there, but shows the deal we got with shipping out Alexis. Anyway moving on again and ignoring the fact that I am writing this in the open air with a gale blowing and blazing sunshine… Clearances:
- Mustafi 54
- Bellerin 27
- Sokratis 27
You know how people these day say that person X should stop doing something because he/she is embarassing him/herself. Well, maybe that is about to be said of this, but this Mustafi character is looking like a real defender to me. Maybe those calling for him to be executed are the embarassment. Or maybe they are witches. Or Tottenham supporters.
If I have to accept that Lacaz is the biggest chicken (fowler) in the kingdom, then surely I can accept that Mustafi is one hell of a defender.
One more because Mustafi can’t come up as one of the best in every list…
- Torreira 13
- Guendouzi 12
- Mustafi 12
Damn there he is again, and OK I am stopping here, but I do have an interest in the cards of the yellow persuasion. Sokratis and Xhaka have three, Mustafi and Torreira have two.
So there you are. Either you can prove anything with stats, or you can take the stats and say, these stats show that we need to be more careful with the old “dirtiest team”, and actually recognise the difference between a centre forward being penalised by a ref in an aeriel ballet with a defener an defender hacking down attackers.
I will watch Laca with more interest from now on.
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