Irony not lost that Arsenal press struggle with basic data

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Press Secretary Sean Spicer right back at it the day before a big game. The staunchest supporter of the regime dropped another hit piece on player of the season, Alexis Sanchez. The man Wenger can’t drop, because the player wants minutes so badly, is now on the shit list and our man over at #madeUfink towers is dropping press briefings like Chemical Ali in his prime.

‘It has been a source of great frustration to Arsene Wenger this season that, despite Sanchez’s histrionics making it look as if he works hard, he actually covers less ground than you think.’

You have to look at that statement and really gasp. 43 starts for club and country, 23 goals, and 12 assists. I don’t know where Sanchez factors in the league for chances created, but I’d imagine he’s among the highest in Europe this season. The guy is a powerhouse and there are plenty of clubs queuing up for his signature.

This is the central focal point of the argument of ‘work rate’



Ok, so first up. Out of those 5 players, who would you take at Arsenal? Maybe Firmino? Let’s play a game before we jump into what ‘work rate’ means. If you combined the starts, goals and assists of all the players mentioned above, here’s how that one player looks against Sanchez.

Starts Goals Assists
Crouch 13 7 2
Okazaki 19 6 0
Barnes 13 5 1
Firmino 34 10 5
Borini 12 1 0
Sanchez 43 23 12
Difference -112% -26% 33%

So the combined player has played 112% more games than Alexis, delivered just 6 more goals and offered up 33% less assists.

Now let’s talk about these stupid numbers and hardwork. I already referenced last week that when Carlo A’s Madrid team analysed Atleti under Simeone, they noted that Diego Costa tended to have a good game when he ran 9km. That’s one of the hardest working terriers in the game. So that was their benchmark. So much more goes into hardwork outside distance covered. Sprints are where a striker makes his money, not distance covered. According to the LiveStrong website, the average time for a normal man to cover 10k is between 50-70 minutes. For an elite athlete, it’s 30minutes. So now you can start to see that a distance covered number on its own really doesn’t tell you much, because 10km for an elite athlete is chump change over 90m.

Our pitch is 105m long, cut that in half and you have the area Sanchez is loosely playing in. 9km a game is sprinting half the pitch 171 times, that’s 1.9 times per minute of the game. Ok, now bear with me, there’s a thing called context in sport and data. The context of Okazaki, in his 19 starts, is he plays for a team that play long ball after breaking from deep, that involves a lot of long sprints and his team play deep defensive without the ball, so he’s chasing shadows a lot of the time. Arsenal, on the other hand, control possession in the opposition half. If your style is not long ball breaks, there is only a certain amount of running you can do per game, because you’re breaking down deep blocks outside the box. Sanchez doesn’t need to chase shadows all game, bar in the big ones. Liverpool are counter attacking that aren’t the best in posession, they play with an agressive press and he leads that. I don’t even want to give Peter Crouch the time of day… he’s 36 years old and he’s playing for a new deal, he’d run to London if you asked him to.

Anyway, the point is, Alexis works incredibly hard. This statistic is poorly thought out and the worst thing is it’s put there because it’s dripping in agenda. If Sanchez is ranked 32nd in a table that doesn’t consider games played, that doesn’t consider sprints per game, that doesn’t consider the impact of the players goals and assists. Well, it’s a f*cking stupid statistic that would be laughed out of the room at any other club outside one that is trying its hardest to position our best player as the problem, vs our beleaguered dictator.

I mean, I feel I went to town on that, so the idea of me picking apart Spicer’s second story about Wenger planning the clubs future for the next ten years is beyond tragic.

‘Gunners boss Wenger is already looking at big summer targets with Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette top of his wish list, the club want a new academy boss and, in the long term, a director of football.

‘The master plan is for Wenger to help rebuild the club in the next two years of his contract and get it ready for a successor to take charge when he eventually retires.’

Look at the state of that. Wenger, who has never won the Champions League, is likely to finish 6th or lower this season, has his two best players leaving, has the fans calling for his head, has lost the dressing room… thinks he can plan for the next ten years and he’ll consider a Director of Football in the long term? Two years is not long term. There should be no choice on the DoF. But again, Wenger runs the show. Shame of it is, now the narrative that’s starting to creep out is we’ll do a Leicester because CL now doesn’t matter?

Don’t bet on it people. Conte, Klopp, Poch and Guardiola with another year to bed in, Wenger already totally clueless against teams in the top 10. Wenger is dead, he’s sinking this season, and you should have no faith in him restoring the club to former glories because he’s proved with or without money, he’s f*cking useless.

As for today? Let’s see how it pans out. I always have a good vibe against City and I think we could turn them over. Makes no difference, either way, this isn’t a major turning point in the season.

Interesting to read Kelly Smith, who oversees the ladies development squad, have her damning say on Wenger.

“My mind on Wenger has been turned a bit,”

“I was always on the side of supporting him, but seeing the performances the last two or three weeks, with the lack of effort, the disorganization, it seems to be the players have really lost the passion to play and get up for games.

“It doesn’t seem as if they’ve got that hunger there any more.”

Fairplay, this is what Ivan should be noting behind closed doors.

Right, enjoy the game.

477 Responses to “Irony not lost that Arsenal press struggle with basic data”

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  1. Jeff

    Bellerin is fast becoming yet another player cattle branded with the Wenger insignia. Started off well and now he’s just a shadow of former self.

  2. Federer

    Bellerin is an example of what Wenger does to players with prospects or a blossoming career.
    Takes you up and shreds out whatever is left of your footballing intelligence.
    Just take a look at Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Sanchez, Wilshere, etc

  3. BillikenGooner

    Coquelin makes me wish for Denilson. How this guy keeps getting on the pitch, let alone starts, is beyond me.

  4. useroz

    Gutless Walcott. 25 yards to run into the box/ byline and instead passed 40 yard back to own half. Fuck off with Wenger.

  5. vicky

    Shocking passes from Xhaka and Coq.

    Well, we all know Wenger is the big elephant in the room but 70% of our squad is pathetic. Most of them not good enough to play for any top 10 team in the league.

  6. davedale

    20 minutes gone in a game we must win and we have had zero attempts on goal!!!!!! Can’t pass 5 yards at the moment, if city score again before half time this could get really messy. Still don’t think he will go though unfortunately.

  7. S Asoa

    Nice to see Wenger feeling his innards churning in a mixer.
    – for the perversity of pissing over the fans .
    Bould is cool by his side

  8. Confidentgoner

    Expect City to score more. This buffoon should just leave. The players ain’t even interested.

  9. London gunner

    Sane or iwobi looooool

    God we are such a shit team don’t even have any good potential in the team

  10. Dissenter

    Xhaka’s passing is average at best
    His positioning on the field is sub-par
    He can’t tackle
    What can he actually do?

  11. useroz

    Coq would have certainly conceded a pen had he attempt the Fernandinho slide tackle on Sanchez. Wot a gulf of diff in skills…

    Rebuild my arse.

  12. Jamal

    Xhaka and Coquelin both on yellows. Nothing more than Donkeys who shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team

  13. vicky

    I would have Song over Xhaka and I didn’t rate Song much. At least he could tackle and was decent at long passes. His positioning , although below par,was still not worse than Xhaka.

  14. useroz

    Wot have welbeck and Walcott done. Not much….

    But then Walcott equalised

    Wenger to announce he’s staying at HT

  15. Rambo Ramsey

    Hey shut it you all, Bayern Munich are interested in signing Xhaka.. says Xhaka’s former national team manager. That proves he’s a top, top player!

  16. Ishola70

    ” Wenger to announce he’s staying at HT”

    lol as said before it’s the battle of the naive managers.

    It’s raining goals …… hallelujah

  17. Ishola70

    Wenger will spin and say it was a fantastic game of football end to end and no team deserved to lose.

    He will say it was a fantastic advert for the EPL.

    Two naive sides slugging it out.

  18. Jeff

    Do you reckon Wenger carries the contract in his brief case everywhere he goes in case something favourable happens so he can sign there and then? LOL. It’s joke isn’t it.The whole thing is one big awful joke.

  19. useroz

    Who says Welbeck is strong?? Don’t see him winning Fuck all 50/50

    Perez isn’t on bench as u know. Serious? @home and needing points??.

  20. Tomtom

    Man City fans singing louder than the Arsenal fans. Pretty impressive considering City can’t even outsing others when they’re at home.

  21. Berg

    weak pathetic team built by that old fool who’s retirement project we have become. Problem is we have so many pathetic weak fans who follow him like a cult

  22. China

    Wenger was salivating at the thought of signing the contract at half time but now knows he has to delay

    It’s heartbreaking stuff

  23. China

    Seriously who was that practically walking back on the left side for their second goal?

    Was it xhaka? I presume so as he was white and coming from midfield…

  24. useroz

    Walcott needed to hav hit the target at least fr there. 1 – 2 @HT

    The crowd makes it too easy for Wenger.

    Wenger out needs to be GLOBAL. And only then, the owner may get hounded by the US etc media.

    Clichy had almost nothing to do.

    Gez our backline is porous. Ospina or not.

    The first goal was utter embarrassment.

    If we don’t (and we won’t) change in 2H, City would pick us out.

  25. Alan

    Playing with two holding midfielders yet the defence is wide open. Have to say Koscielny is totally finished. I thought it was just poor form but he’s looking more and more like Mustafi by the game.

  26. Ishola70

    Danish Gooner:
    “I dont Think any other side supposedly a top side conceeds so many cheap goals”

    Can’t defend for shit and will continue not to be able to defend for shit as long as Wenger stays.

  27. Danny

    Shit I just noticed we’re playing again on Wednesday night at home to West Ham.
    Reckon after todays match I’ll start skipping matches, this season is the worst since Graham’s last season.

  28. Carts

    Ozil’s doesn’t have to do very much to get paid.

    From when we allegedly offered him £280k p/w I don’t know what to think

  29. leftsidesanch

    hahaha that is a car crash cb pairing, anyway im watching netflix on my tv and this game is on mute on my mobile phone as thats all the respect this clown club deserves.

  30. Wenker-wanger

    As for city, they are not a very good side. They have had the chances against a shite arsenal and they really can’t get over the line. Wenger gets let off the hook again.