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

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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. Alexanderhenry

    I have a funny feeling wenger will quit at the end of the season no matter what happens.
    The club will offer him a new contract but I suspect he will turn it down.

  2. Batistuta

    Lots of emotional, baseless arguments for Eddie Howe taking over Arsenal someone mentioning tradition, pray tell what tradition is that when we’ve not even won the league in god knows how long its been now

    We need a manager who will attract the big name star players not keep some imaginary tradition bull crap, we want the next manager to win trophies or at least be in there with a shout towards the end of the season not some David Moyes esque type of experiment

    Jorge Sampaoli should be one to watch out for too, mad pressing game his teams play

  3. grooveydaddy


    I always included Sampaoli’s name as a possible successor last year.

    Like Jogi Löw, people questioned his suitability for club football or ability to adapt to the English game.

    Seems to be doing well at Sevilla…

  4. Ben

    I think Eddie Howe is not being being given the credit he deserves, what he has done with Bournemouth has been miraculous honestly. He took over when they were in League 2 and were on the course of being relegated to the national league. Fast forward to a few years and he is on the course of establishing Bournemouth as a mid-table team in the Premiership, all while admirably playing positive football.
    To compare him to Moyes is frankly unfair to him. If he had been a foreign manager, there would be more clamour for him.

    Also think he is a better manager than Allegri who really is underwhelming. He was a bit lucky at Milan the season he won the Scudetto as Inter(his only competitor) was on a staggering downward spiral. Remember the uproar when Juve announced him, the fans couldn’t believe such an average guy was going to manage then. Tbf he has done well although I would argue it’s all Conte’s work.

  5. karim


    How could it be Conte’s work when there’s no more Pirlo, Pogba or Tevez ?
    This being said,I watched them at Lyon this week and there was not much to write home about…

    Lyon should have won it, they played 11 v 10 for a long period of the game but Lacazette missed a penalty and Buffon made a few miraculous saves and Juve finally won 1/0.

    Allegri is no genius imo, just a decent coach.

  6. Ben

    Yeah, he is a good manager but not really exceptional. Conte left behind a really good backbone which has massively helped him out a lot. With the squad Juve has and the resources, it is inconceivable that they can fail to win the Serie A, in that case they are the PSG of the Seria A.
    At Arsenal it would be quite different, we are the 3rd or 4th best team in terms of resources and talent behind City, United and Chelsea. To break the status quo and topple the three in the long run we would need a brilliant manager. One who is tactically astute, buys very well and innovative. Allegri doesn’t fit that.

  7. Batistuta


    Lots of average English managers have done the double promotion thingy i think

    Nigel Adkins did so at Southampton a couple of years back and look where they are now compared to himself whose now had his full share of championship clubs to his name, Steve Bruce, the Burnley guy i think have all done the promotion thing, that’s not a very good barometer to judge

    I agree he’s done quite well but that’s his level, mid-table teams level not Arsenal level, David Moyes was at Everton for a very very long time, got champions league football one season i think and yet still fluffed the big stage when given the opportunity despite all his experience in the top flight now compared Eddie just got to stage Howe 2season premiership experience to manage a club as big as The Arsenal, maybe a couple of yrs down the line sure, but for now he’s a no no

  8. Batistuta

    Oh and Howe better than Allegri is absolute boinkers, they are miles apart

    Allegri’s Milan played some beautiful football on their way to winning the scudeto, competition or not they were brilliant and he’s won at Juventus also with even more competition than before

  9. Batistuta


    Yea they’ve been brilliant so far but the sevilla defence could do without Rami, too error prone and chubby for a footballer let alone a defender

    Something about Joachim Loeuw(spell check) just doesn’t sit right though he could still prove to be a good club football manager

    I’d bite the hand of whoever offered us the sevilla scout to be honest and Ben Yedder seems to be doing well over there too, would have had him over Perez but that’s just me, happy with Lucas though,can’t complain

  10. Batistuta


    3goals yea

    3pts yea

    3more years??? based on what exactly,that were on a good run in October??? pls clarify yourself

  11. Pires7

    Based on 20 years of great football, the doubles, the invincibles and the 6 FA cups….and the board already have it lined up.

    Now clarify yourself. Where you from and how old are you?

  12. DivineSherlock

    There can be many criticism of Allegri but he is average ? Please . He made Pogba who he is . Morata too . His tactics are usually spot on . He knew Lyon had an attacking game , so he waited till they got tired and then he put on Cuadrado. Guess who scored the winning goal ? And by the way having Buffon in your team improves any team , just like Pep had Messi doesn’t make him less of a manager.

  13. Arsene's Nurse


    33 Cech
    24 Bellerín
    20 Mustafi
    6 Koscielny
    18 Monreal
    34 Coquelin
    35 Elneny
    14 Walcott
    11 Özil
    17 Iwobi
    7 Sánchez


    3 Gibbs
    5 Gabriel
    9 Pérez Martínez
    13 Ospina
    15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
    31 Reine-Adelaide
    55 Maitland-Niles

    Source: BBC

  14. Arsene's Nurse

    Cazorla has an achilles injury. He was due a late fitness test so obviously didn’t pass that. Hopefully it’s not too serious.

  15. Arsene's Nurse

    Groovedaddy – yeah I think it’s just one of those where he can train but not fully fit. He was subbed during the 6-0 win midweek. At least we’ve got bodies to come in.

    Ramsey pencilled in to be fit next Saturday.

  16. Batistuta


    You joking right, 20yrs of attacking football, you could make a thousand arguments for Wenger staying on but based on the last couple of seasons??? you clearly stuck on what he’s done in the past cus lil reminder we haven’t won the league since 2004,haven’t gone past the………..nah won’t bother with you, you know a dumb argument when you see one, enjoy living in la la land where 2016 is 2006

    We’re playing really well at the moment though,best since 08 so hopefully we continue like this and finish the job this time around, good to see El Neny get a run out today

  17. grooveydaddy

    we need to win (by a few goals would help) to keep the pressure on city

    they’ve got a tough game with Southampton tomorrow, both teams having played taxing midweek games

  18. Pires7


    ‘Wenger staying on but based on the last couple of seasons??? ‘

    What the ones where we won 2 FA cups and have improved our league position year on year?

    ‘We’re playing really well at the moment though,best since 08’

    Who’s responsible for this?

    And you still haven’t clarified yourself.

  19. useroz

    SamesongOctober 22, 2016    12:54:16
    Wilshere has looked poor in this game.

    In most games I’d say.

    Let’s see where the creative juice would come from when Cazorla is out. Not that Elneny is bad, he isn’t CAM type.

    Wonder. If Giroud’s toe is still injured; don’t make bench even…

  20. Pires7


    ‘Let’s see where the creative juice would come from when Cazorla is out. Not that Elneny is bad, he isn’t CAM type.’

    Cazorla doesn’t play CAM.

  21. Leedsgunner

    Middlesborough will play not to lose. Need to be patient… and try to go into half time with a lead…

    Well done Bournemouth for holding Spurs to a point!

  22. Dream10

    Walcott can’t cross a football. Twice he’s made a wrong decision.

    Cech fills me with fear. Regularly looks like he will be beaten. Don’t think he would have made the save Valdes just did on Sanchez freekick

  23. Cesc Appeal

    Feels so samey this performance, loads of possession, blunt up top and sloppy at the back.

    How to pot the defensive side of things has gone for us is really worrying.

  24. jwl

    The Guardian – “But in League One, Daniel Crowley, the Arsenal midfielder on loan at Oxford United, has scored his second goal in as many games to double the U’s lead at Port Vale.”

  25. grooveydaddy

    CL hangover???

    we’re gonna need to dig deep here – sh*t’s just not going our way

    lucky not to be trailing…

  26. grooveydaddy

    Lucky not to be trailing.

    need to dig deep here to get something out of this – sh*t’s just not going our way…

    CL hangover???

  27. Cesc Appeal

    Needs to be much better in the second half, changes needed, Iwobi has been anonymous so might think about pulling him for Oxlade or Lucas.

    Ozil is playing a strange role this year, sort of has licence to float wherever he wants and seems to be either up the arse of the ST or playing ST at times. Could possibly think about shifting Ozil out to LM and Oxlade in at CAM to provide a bit more direct thrust?

    Or Lucas on, Sanchez back out to LM with Lucas at ST who has had a season of playing that role.

    Really, only Cech and Elneny who come out of that half looking any good, Mustafi as well.

    Bellerin is too often defensively naive, needs to tighten up, and Monreal seems to be slipping this year, Kozz wasn’t at his best either.

  28. DaleDaGooner

    Wenger loves playing too many playmakers. No ruthless scorers. Sanchez dropping deep, Iwobi not looking to get into the box and Ozil too. Only Walcott, but he’s not a proper 9. Need to remove Iwobi for Lucas

  29. karim

    Frustrating half.
    Possession up to 72 % but Boro had the better chances and would have deserved to score.
    Can’t believe they haven’t won in 6 games now.
    Shame as the beginning was very good from us.

    Hope Arsene won’t wait like forever to make a change of some sort.

  30. vicky

    I hope Wenger doesn’t wait till 68th minute to make a change. Need to bring Perez on and probably sub off Iwobi. Walcott although dire so far can be relied on to nick a goal somewhere.

  31. Dream10

    Don’t understand why we struggle against pacey wingers. It’s been years

    We’re getting out shot. No one willing to take a risk. Lucas and Chamberlain are needed as they are more direct in the final third.

  32. Danny

    Too bad the 6-0 match wasn’t on Tuesday instead of Wednesday coz we’re just not there so far this match but I guess we’ll all take a crap 1-0 here.

  33. Bishop

    Monreal has regressed this season. He was so good last season.
    TBH Coq and Elneny def not the best combo out of all the combos we good have in MF. It looks more like it has to always include one of Santi or Xhaka for more creativity.

  34. vicky

    Yes, Santi is our MVP alongside Alexis. When he plays regularly people keep crying about his lack of athleticism and physicality without realizing he more than makes up for that with his guile and ingenuity. Although we have plenty of midfielders but none in the mould of Santi.

  35. Leedsgunner

    We looked puzzled that half… why haven’t ‘Boro laid down and given up?

    We need to get over ourselves and put the hard work in.

  36. DaleDaGooner

    The offense is letting the team down. This is where Wenger can be stupid. This Sanchez as a striker trick is not going to work every time

  37. Confidentgoner

    Today is a banana peel day. We look like getting a draw at best, which will be a tragedy.

    And Wenger sits on his bum. Why is he not changing somebody? Giroud and Perez should come in

  38. Confidentgoner

    Today is a banana peel day. We look like getting a draw at best, which will be a tragedy.

    And Wenger sits on his bum. Why is he not changing somebody? Giroud and Perez should come in. Perez for Theo or Iwobi.

  39. DaleDaGooner

    Sanchez dancing and dancing all around and over and about, he can keep it simple by passing and moving forward

  40. DaleDaGooner

    Defensive pressure because the offense is lacking ideas and giving up the ball so easily, that includes the full backs crossing to no one.

  41. Dissenter

    We aren’t working hard enough.
    Yes Boro are sitting back with nine men but we are missing that extra yard to force them into mistakes at the back.
    ‘Could be fatigue though.

  42. DaleDaGooner

    Nobody to shoot from outside, Coq, Ozil, and even Elneny aren’t taking advantage of having the ball from outside. Poor shooters in this team. No wonder we get excited about Xhaka

  43. izzo

    Cant beat a parked bus Arsenal back at it again with the fuck ups! Sanchez is a waster at striker. Question still hangs why didn’t we buy a world class striker and what is the point of Lucas Perez if he isn’t allowed to play? Need better movement and need to move the ball quickly with pace and be more clinical in this types of games. All this tippy tappy doesnt work against parked buses.

  44. izzo