By Tony Attwood
You may recall the hatred piled upon David Luiz because of two errors that led to goals. And the view expressed that it showed how awful Arsenal were not only in taking him on but also playing him.
But if you read English blogs and newspaper columns you might have read that he wasn’t the worst. In fact if you read several blogs and newspapers you might have read it several times.
As when The Daily Mirror ran the headline “The Premier League’s most gaffe-prone defender – and it’s not David Luiz.”
Which was quite interesting because the website Arsenal.news noted that “A total of 38 other defenders have made more errors than that, including Manchester City centre backs John Stones (
The Daily Star was on the ball as well, because they reported that “A total of 38 other defenders have made more errors than that, including Manchester City centre backs John Stones (seven) and Nicolás Otamendi (five). …
And so we see the problem – the media select a story and go with it, copying each other. Mostly these stories are anti-Arsenal, sometimes not, but the effect is amplified because of the impression that “everyone is talking about it” making it seem like a bit story, even if it is trivia.
This one however was better than most because it did suggest that taking one player on his own, was not really very helpful. But of course they could have gone further. For example with this season’s list of player errors that have led to a goal. The figures come from the Premier League’s official site…
|2.||David de Gea||3|
So there is the Arsenal man, somewhere in the top 20, equal as it happens with the highly praised Bernd Leno. Below Manchester City’s Ederson.
But I wondered, is this how it has been over time? Do Arsenal often have players who make errors that lead to a goal.
Well, yes sometimes, but not that often although the player with the second highest rating in the Premier League is Petr Cech, who was, I seem to recall, quite widely liked. Lakasz Fabianski is in the list as well, although he was less popular. Otherwise no, we are not prone to picking up players who make more mistakes that lead to goals than others – at least not in the Premier League years.
|13.||David de Gea||13|
|13.||Ali Al Habsi||13|
I also had a look at players who get dispossessed most often, but we don’t have anyone in the top part of that list. The club that has to be worried there is Crystal Palace who have Zaha (the most dispossessed player) and Ayew (in second place). Maybe we were right not to buy Zaha.
But maybe dispossession doesn’t matter too much. Mohamed Salah is in fifth position, and he plays for Liverpool, a club suddenly universally admired, despite them winning far fewer trophies than Arsenal in the past 30 years. Raheem Sterling came in at number eight.
So what about other misdemeanours? Three players have been sent off twice this season, Chrtisian Kabasele of Watford, Fernandinho of Manchester City and David Luiz. No one has been sent off more than twice.
As for yellow cards – Arsenal don’t have any players in the top 20 this season, which should be a cue for the media to start saying that Arsenal don’t have players who are tough enough for the Premier League. After that it will be “you don’t win anything with kids.”
What do Arsenal have to do to win the league?
- When it comes to Arsenal we are being totally misled
- What is it that the recent serial League winners in England have in common?
- Only a handful of teams can win the league: but nothing has changed.
- The set of predictions that tell us exactly how the final table will look
- Decline and rise: will Arsenal break their PL goal scoring record this season?
- Does a club have a “mentality” or is it just a case of how much you spend?
- Comparing Tottenham and Arsenal: what is the secret of success?
2 Replies to “Player errors that lead to a goal; it is not quite what you might expect”
Thanks for that piece Tony, proving yet again that data does not lie…people, or should I say so called journalists, do by not giving all the data they have. Or maybe they are totally incompetent to the extent they can be fed any BS and publish it as if it were the Pentagon Papers.
Of course, as is the case with a lot of these sorts of things, stats need to be looked at in context. Whilst I have no doubt that in the main the media and blogs will invent a reason to slag us off rather than defend us, all the above is completely meaningless without knowing how many minutes each player was on the pitch. Even then it would still not be a 100% definitive e.g. a mistake by a defensive player is far more likely to lead to a goal than a mistake by an attacker.
I know this article is about showing the arbitrary nature of the media. I’m not knocking the article, it more than adequately demonstrates the flimsy nature of the media.
Now if someone were to do a table showing the amount of column inches of ridicule per mistake, I think we’d then be getting somewhere………….
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