Theo Walcott by the numbers | Wenger praise for sport science | Pregame Boro’ talk

by .


It’s Friday… welcome. Welcome one and all.

First up, my friend had a weird Arsenal dream, he needs your help in deciphering the underlying message.

‘I had a dream last night that Van Persie was my tattoo artist and gave me way more tattoos than I asked for. Did two sleeves and my back, all with skeletons, couple pairs of dice, and other weird shit. No idea what it means but I needed to tell someone. That’s all’

So much confusion.

COMPETITION: Yes people, we’ve complained there’s not been enough of it over the years, but now we have TOO much of it. Yes, too much. Players are lightly moaning as well. This from Perez who expected a bigger role.

“The teammates that are playing in my position are doing a great job,”

“We have won seven games in a row and, at the end of the day, the coach wants what is best for the team.

“I had hoped to have more playing time, but what I have to do now is make the most of the opportunities I get.”

Well, you know the answer to that, don’t you? When you get the chance, come on and make two assists. That’ll do the trick. I think it’s great players can’t get in the team. Chamberlain was moaning at the weekend, he comes on and has a terrific game. I mean, part of the trick Arsene has to manage is keeping players interested. Perez needs game time, and not just when someone picks up an injury. The squad players need to feel a part of it… so when they’re called upon, they’re fire.

Theo Walcott is another who has accepted his lot in life, he’s taken the wide position, added defensive steel to his game and he’s on absolute fire. Martin Keown reckons it’s because of application.

‘It is down to a change in his attitude and application, which has brought him a greater end product – he has already scored more Premier League and Champions League goals than he did in the whole of last season.’


His numbers are impressive, especially the defensive side, which has been a marked improvement, making more tackles this campaign than the last two combined. WHOPPING NUMBERS.


Talking before the Boro game, Wenger took a moment to big up the sport science crew at the club. I take this side of the game very personally, because look, this might be a brag, but I was banging the drum for better analysis at Arsenal for years… back in the days when people didn’t know about the redzone and people didn’t know that injuries were not incurred by spiteful hamstring hating bat fairies. Wenger has taken to the spreadsheet side of the game and it’s working out.

“Everything is a bit more scientific. Maybe that makes you a little bit more able to predict what could happen. We know the players very well now because we have data for a few years. And we can analyse, when did he get injured? The repetition of some signs, some warnings, that we know much better now.”

We certainly don’t have the traditional collapse of injuries like we used to…  a bigger squad helps there, but also being smarter about how you train and rest players. It was nice to know that last year, our failing were not down to ‘bad luck’ with injuries, they were down to us just not being good enough.


On the injury front, Santi took a kick to the achilles… which sounds painful. Xhaka is suspended for being mean. It’ll be interesting to see what the line-up looks like. Does Perez get a start? Does Chambo continue out on the left? Will Mesut bang in another hattrick?

Hopefully we make it 8 wins in a row… and keep our run going in a lovely build to our second major game of the season, SPURS. That’ll be exciting.

Anyway, have a great day, remember to help my buddy with his dream!


P.S. Happy 67th Birthday Arsene… feel like we’re celebrating something with him every damn week? He’s like that friend we all have who has a home stag do, a university friends stag do, a London one and a foreign one. So selfish.


400 Responses to “Theo Walcott by the numbers | Wenger praise for sport science | Pregame Boro’ talk”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    Piss poor, seriously piss poor.

    No quality up top at all.

    Cannot actually believe we just dropped points in that fixture.

  2. Samesong

    Sanchez had the chance to win us the game and he flopped that shot. Not good enough and certainly gives confidence to the lower teams when they come to the emirates.

  3. Bishop

    Elneny Coq combo is no way to go..No drive whatsoever from the MF…

    It’s obvious Elneny is the 4th on the pecking order.

    Ozil, sanchez Walcott Iwobi were all rubbish all day.

  4. Joe

    Boro with the much better chances.

    Last minute lucky wins v soton and Burnley.

    Scraping wins over watford and Swansea

    This is our level.

    Wish we could play forest every week or the Forest of Bulgaria every week

    The luck ran out today.

    Let’s see what wenger pulls out now over next few weeks with fatigue setting in

    Perez anonymous vs his PL side. Not surprising

    And as always. When a wenger team has a chance to capitalize on another team dropping points we drop points as well

  5. Wengers Wallet

    Dreadful. All the players and Wenger believing they can do big things. Not on that showing. Clueless and still no plan b. Wenger is a farce.

  6. Vince

    And Ozil was atrocious. Actually think Cazorla makes him look a lot better by doing so much of the play making from deep. And Theo was pony too. He should have been the first to be subbed for Chamberlain. When we needed people to run at the defense .and create a magic Wenger pulls out one of our best driblers in Iwobi and brought the other (Ox) to play where he was ineffective. Thank God for Cech.

  7. EN1AFC

    Awful result, big 2 points dropped. Far too reminiscent of the last few seasons struggling to break teams down at home. Boro should of won today going on chances.

    What the fuck was Wenger thinking playing Elneny and Coq at home against a team who will be fighting relegation. Seriously? I would of had the ox or Iwobi in there with Perez out wide. What do I know though.

  8. Jim Lahey

    What this result shows, as has been the case for years that the team is full of bottlers. Oh yeah they can perform when there is no pressure, but as soon as any sort of expectation is heaped onto their shoulders they buckle.

    Today is a prime example of why we will not win the league.

  9. Arsene's Nurse

    Same old Arsenal. You could see it needed changing up a gear after 55 minutes and that if we didn’t do something we wouldn’t score.

    Waiting until the 68th minute to change it kills us everytime.

  10. kc

    Sanchez is Not a striker, and Lucas was a ghost when he came on. We’ve got absolutely zero presence in the box. At least Giroud can come on and make an impact. Wenger clueless as always.

  11. Bishop

    Jus why Wenger won’t win the league or anything serious…

    The team will always dissapoint when it matters…

    The way the league is you have to win this sort of game at all cost or atleast show serious effort.

  12. Danny

    Jus why Wenger won’t win the league or anything serious…
    Wenger isn’t interested in winning the league.
    Another point towards a top 4 finish.

  13. gunnergetyou

    The wobbles have started early this year. Horrible performance which will bring everyone back down to earth after all this premature title talk.

    Monreal needs to be dropped. His presence in the team is giving opposing teams confidence. Once they get some joy out of us, they’re bound to dig in more.

    Iwobi and Walcott were poor. Elneny and Coquelin don’t work well together. Wenger’s refusal to appeal against the Xhaka red card which was an obvious mistake from the referee was made worse by the Cazorla injury.

    Sanchez and Ozil were pretty bad. This result has been coming. Can’t keep relying on luck and injury time winners. It’s the kind of unconvincing performance that we’ve come to expect this season.

  14. Joe

    Our pl form
    Wasn’t down to being a title winning team

    I’ve said all along it was down to Form
    In being lucky.

    And before any akb says well Spurs drew too.

    Who cares what Spurs do , aren’t they just a small club from middlesex??

  15. loyika

    One draw and the “Doom brigade show their face!?” as if we are going to win all games!!

    Memo to Clowns; We will actually lose games in a 38 game league season.

    On to the team;

    1. We should actually threat this draw as a loss and take it as a kick up the backside. Only if we adopt that mentality will we show that we are more matured this season.

    2. Arsene really needs to start to rotate the squad and keep players fresh. Would have prefered players like Perez starting with either a fresh and hungry Sanchez coming in from the bench. Hd really needs to get it right this season or it will go pear shaped quicker than he thinks (He needs to stamp his authority on players and mix up his line up)

    3. The league this season is going to be tough. We should go with the mind set that games like Reading and Sunderland won’t be a cake walk. Funny enough i actually feel more comfortable about the game against Spurs (as its s blood and guts derby) and probably against Jose (well depending if Jose wants a gun fight and ask his team to bring their A game)

    Well this point (dropped or gained) will show if we have learnt our lessons from past seasons depending on what we do against Sunderland next. Drop points there and the old feelings of “Also Rans” will kick in and any optimism among the fan base will disappear faster than any credibility Boris Johnson has.

    Either we start off the run again from scratch or we easily fall by the way side following the dreaded “November!” fixtures coming up.

    Come on Arsenal Class of 2016/17 show us all that you are different from what we have had for the past 10 seasons and make us have hope in the club/team again!!

    PS. I hope all silly “Wenger anniversaries” have passed!? No one gives s shit about birthdays or 100k games and such. Media should spare us the BS and just get on with the footie.

  16. underrated Coq

    No Cazorla, no party.

    Some people can see sneer at his physique all they want, fact of the matter is he’s the one that makes the team tick. Out of the seven points we’ve dropped in the league so far, five were with Cazorla not on the pitch.

  17. Gelbs

    The form too, was apart from Chelsea, was playing against crap sides. And even struggling at that. November will be when it starts going to pot. Draws or loses against United and Spurs (who Arse can’t even beat anymore) and then tough matches in December. Not to mention the injuries that will occur. Probably Alexis.

  18. DivineSherlock

    We need either Caz or Xhaka in that midefield . Man I literally saw Elneny picking out the wrong pass like over 10 times in the build up. And I totally saw Pedro’s criticism of Coq today. He lost possession many timesin crucial areas. And without Koscielny we are totally fucked. Cech was massive today. Last but not least, this was the ideal Giroud game. Missed his presence

  19. gunnergetyou

    Shades of Denilson in Elneny’s performance today. Still think he’s a good player but it’s games like this where we could do with a more attack minded player like Ramsey. Today’s performance also highlighted the importance of Cazorla. He’s the type of player that has the keys to unlock a tight defence.

  20. Gelbs

    Talking about ‘Boro ‘parking the bus’. Ha! Arsenal just played against a 4th from bottom team at home, and could barely muster up a decent chance, despite all the possession. Yet ‘Boro, created the best chances, and in theory, should of won!

  21. Mark S

    This might have been mentioned by someone earlier, but we really could’ve used Giroud or Welbeck today. God bless Sanchez for trying to win headers in the box, but he’s too small to win too many aerial battles. We put a lot of balls in the box today, but we didn’t have any height to attack them. The other thing that’s worrying me is that Monreal has gotten roasted a couple of times lately. We love a good last ditch tackle by Kos, but it really just means someone else was out of position.

  22. Mark S

    And yeah….we’ve been down this road before, but settle down everyone. It’s like the world ended today. We’re still top of the league for now. Worst we can be this weekend is third…we’re in the mix.

  23. Ashley

    Let’s get it into perspective , it’s one game , we’ve had people slamming the team in last 7 games which we haven’t lost and we have people busting blood vessels today over a drawn game … Can’t win them all , let’s not get our nickers in a twist we still haven’t lost in 8 … On to the next one where we will get it right … jeeeeeeeezzzzzz

  24. Mark S

    Coq/Elneny are too similar. Jack would’ve been nice to have today. They don’t play a defense splitting ball. Bring on Reading on Tuesday…get the reserves some time, and then on to Sunderland next weekend.

  25. loyika

    I see all the trolls are out tonight!

    Koeman one of the football gods of le grove should not have lost to lowly Burnley!?

    High and mighty Pouch should have trounced Eddie Howe’s minnows!?

    Citeh should batter all teams 5 nil each game since Pep is their Manager!?

    2 points dropped (which should not be tolerated this season) but what we clearly see is how misreable some of you lot are?

    I mean we are back to clowns actually wanting Sunderland to win next game week!? Says it all about some of you “Moaners”

  26. Cesc Appeal

    Really would like to see us try out a 4-3-3 at some point, Xhaka, Coq and Caz all in the middle. Think it might give us a bit more control and focus in a game.

  27. gunnergetyou


    What’s there to disagree with. We’ve been unconvincing in several games against weak opposition.

    Southampton – lucky not to lose
    Burnley – injury time hand ball winner
    Swansea – could’ve easily drawn

    That’s 9 points that could’ve gone either way.

    Then we have today’s performance which was unconvincing again against a team that’ll be lucky to avoid relegation.

  28. grooveydaddy


    yeah, I didn’t understand why he didn’t start him that game. or Xhaka.

    I hope this is the last time we see this coq/El neney midfield

  29. loyika

    Arsene should (baring injury) never play a MF of Coq and Elneny again.

    We need to play the 2nd tier against Reading and Sunderland. If we can’t beat those teams without giving the other players a run out then . …. One trully begins to wonder if anything has changed.

    I would agree that the ounce falls on the team to get the supporters on board and not the other way round. They all need to stand up and be counted pre the NLD!!

  30. Mark S

    Joe-And after the first 2 matches of the season we were getting relegated. Would you rather be 8 points off the top?

  31. Guns of Brixton

    This is a difficult result to sallow.

    Predicted a draw tbf tho. But expected a win. Hopefully this brings us back to earth a little and we can bounce back. Wins wont come on hype they ll come by the grind.
    Onwards and upwards

  32. loyika

    @ CA

    That MF would work if Xhaka saw the red as a kick up the backside and plays more professionally and stops the silly stuff.

    We need 1 or 2 level headed players that don’t get carried away with all the hype (like a Roy Keane type) I though Granit might be the one? Yet to convince me.

  33. Joe


    All I’m saying is we’ve been here before in oct and well into jan.

    Our form hasn’t been that great. We’ve been lucky. Even the draw vs Leicester was lucky.

    So let’s not pretend we’ve lit the world on fire in our 7 game win streak against shit opposition as well bar Chelsea.

    And other than a 10 man hull, we were lucky or scraping wins

  34. Mark S

    Here’s the deal…I’d like to see change as much as the next person. I’m sick of seeing the same thing year after year. We could be so much better than we are, and I think with a fresh approach we can be a force to be reckoned with. The thing that pisses me off is how many “fans” come out after a performance like today to blast the team. They were flat and played like crap, but the world will move on. It’s football at the end of the day…nobody died. If you can’t take a 0-0 against Boro, you should find a new hobby.

  35. Mark S

    Joe-That rant wasn’t meant at you…it was meant for “the trolls”. I agree that we have been more than fortunate in our play this season. The thing that has been different though, is that we have taken three points for most games and not one or none at all…which we have in the past.

  36. Joe


    Been here all season blasting the team because this has been coming. We’ve just been lucky in the other matches.

    If you can’t take a 0-0 vs boro.. haha what a line

    Mark talking like it’s a one off and has forgotten the last 12 seasons. Or even the 4-5 other matches this season.

    Wenger apologist in the closet

  37. Mark S

    Joe-You’re making me laugh. Been following the club for 16 years, and I’ve been fed up since the PSV Round of 16 match where Henry left with his “season ending mystery injury”. Arsenal existed before Wenger, and it will exist after him.

  38. Mark S

    Wenger was at fault again today. There was no “Plan B”. Somebody mentioned earlier why we didn’t try taking some shots on goal from outside of the box. The worst thing that would’ve happened is either the shot is missed or a goes off somebody for a corner. We tried to pass the damn ball into the net again. When Ox shot, Ozil made a run to put into the net…he was offside…but at least it went in.

  39. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    I did say they would be a tough team to break down,

    Good mate of Jose who probarly feed him a few lines …

    Needed plan b years ago
    Still ain’t got a plan b after all these yearsof telling him he needs one.

    As for elnenny
    We still got the receipt .????