Irony not lost that Arsenal press struggle with basic data

by .



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”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. kc

    Hey stroller there’s nothing honorable about being an Arsenal season ticket holder these days. It makes you a sucker. Quit acting above other Gooners just because your ignorant enough to still throw your money away. You also have zero room to complain about Wenger. Your part the reason he’s still here.

  2. Red&White4life

    Niall Quinn on Sky : “Arsene staying doesn’t mean there can’t be changes. ”

  3. Cesc Appeal

    When you listened to Neville, Quinn and Henry yesterday, it is amazing how willfully ignorant they are, Quinn goes from saying Wenger decides everything at Arsenal to then saying that there can be changes with him in charge but that those changes have to be accepted by him.

    So, they admit he’s a control freak, drunk on power, no dissenting voices in the club, but agree that there should be change, but only change he accepts, so basically no change.

    It really is incredible the watering down of IQs to defend Wenger. The club needs to change, badly, we cannot have change with Wenger here, therefore the equation is rather simple.

    You either get rid of Wenger and change, or you keep him and you watch the slow regression of Arsenal for another two seasons.

    It is actually an incredibly simple problem, the only reason it has been made to look difficult is because of the people who based on sentimentality don’t want to see Wenger go.

    Seriously, if any Arsenal fan buys into this ‘succession deal’ or ‘Wenger evolution deal’ bollocks, they deserve to be slapped, that shit was called on here months ago.

  4. Wenker-wanger

    There’s no “reinventing myself” regarding Wenger.
    It’s clearly obvious this fraud is inferring that others are to blame and by changing personnel and pretending to arrange his management differently, there will be a different outcome.
    People who believe this are as deluded as Wenger……Kings clothes springs to mind. I’m sick of ex-players not having the balls to call it how it is. How they can even consider that this goon should continue is beyond me.
    Leicester city have demonstrated how a different manager can transform a team on the pitch.Raneiri was sacked, not allowed to re-invent himself. New manager 5 wins on the spin.

  5. RJM

    Don’t understand why people should give up their STs for that cunt. What happens once he’s gone how do I get it back? Fuck that…
    And protest at the away ones…..
    A more than half empty stadium for the rest of the season and he’s gone.
    It will prove there’s an irreconcilable rift between the fans and Wenger. Gazidis own words – it’s unsustainable. Whether the ticket revenues are in the bank or not.

    Every fan that goes to any further home games while he’s still in charge is supporting Wenger!

  6. Red&White4life

    “Every fan that goes to any further home games while he’s still in charge is supporting Wenger!”

    Yesterday the stadium was full of them…

  7. Mick Kartun

    Any walk out after first minute kick off and giving fingers act with over half empty stadium will do the image damage especially to the ponsors and commercial sides.

    But not to attend and sit like dummies is the hardest thing to do for the majority ST holders.

  8. Leedsgunner

    Wenger is akin to the captain of the Titanic blaming the iceberg for being in the wrong place rather than accepting responsibility that he should have taken more care as the captain of the ship.

  9. Redtruth

    Give up your season ticket and go back on the waiting list immediately and when 2021 comes, you’ll have a further 2 seasons before you can purchase your season tickets, that’s only 2 seasons to wait without Wenger.

  10. Micheal

    The blame lies with the weak, indecisive Gazidis and his wretched absentee landlord owners in America. Why, for fucks sake, is Gazidis not making the decision about Wenger’s future ? What is the board’s view on events ?

    I have been involved in business for many, many years and I have never, ever come across a situation in any compa y where an employee (Wenger) is dictating terms to the owners or executives (Kroenke, Gazidis, etc). Wenger is deciding whether he goes or stays – Not Gazidis, Kroenke or the board.

    Unbelievable, fucking unbelievable.

  11. Rambo Ramsey

    Gael Clichy warns Arsenal fans to be careful what they wish for as he hails ‘perfect’ Arsene Wenger

    Says the cunt that escaped Wenger at the first opportunity

  12. china

    i go to one of the world’s most expensive restaurants twice a week.

    i actually think the food is really average and i want them to improve the recipes but after the meal i always make a point of telling the chef the food was great

    hopefully the restaurant will take these compliments and my continued custom and interpret this that they should change the recipes and fire the chef

    this is the level of nonsensical logic involved with half the arsenal fans right now

  13. Snowman

    I really think Wenger is texting all these ex-players asking for favours. Because honestly they have no business in who is best for Arsenal football club especially after they all jumped ship once it started sinking.

  14. china

    as someone on here said earlier, what it comes down to is that a large section of the fanbase really aren’t particularly fussed about arsenal per say, and see going to games simple as a fun saturday afternoon pass time

    win draw or lose, whatever, hoorah for the boys!

    we are expecting too much of the fanbase because ultimately most of them are not emotionally invested in the club, it’s just some saturday entertainment, nothing to fuss about

    i’m sure we’ve all gone to sports matches for teams or sports we’re not particularly fussed about, or we’ve attended something just as a tourist. in that setting you can’t expect these people to feel angry about losing 10-2 or be bothered by terminal decline because from their perspective they’ve just seen a thrilling 12 goal CL tie involving some of the world’s best players (all playing for bayern….)

    these ‘fans’ are incapable of being bothered by what happens because ultimately arsenal are just a casual pastime

  15. Rambo Ramsey

    China, the problem is this need that most people have to be seen as classy. Even if they don’t possess inherent goodwill nature….Pathetic really.

    One only needs look at all these scores of pundits and players singing the same song, putting themselves on a higher ground and sneering at those who are not prepared to join them in such pretentious bs.

  16. Leedsgunner

    “Gael Clichy warns Arsenal fans to be careful what they wish for as he hails ‘perfect’ Arsene Wenger”

    If he is so perfect why did he ask to leave? lol… makes Wenger’s position all the more pathetic.

    Can’t he fight his own battles?

  17. Red&White4life

    “Wenger is akin to the captain of the Titanic blaming the iceberg for being in the wrong place”

    I’m sorry, but IT WAS THE (f*cking )ICEBERG’s FAULT!! (lol)

  18. Cesc Appeal


    There is nothing better than hearing Sagna, Clichy, Fabregas, Nasri etc all talk about how Arsenal should stick with Wenger and so should the fans, you know, in the exact opposite fashion to what they did.

    This is the most bizarre year of football I’ve ever seen, people like Neville who lay into Wenger’s teams every week for the past however many years for repetitive failings then saying he should stay because of ‘loyalty,’ players who left Wenger due to lack of ambition saying he should stay, and a PR campaign that would make political propagandists think ‘hold on, that is a little transparent.’

    What is missing from these people is any semblance of logic or merit to their claims, that is why we are seeing any new deal for him being talked about as ‘a gamble’ now.

    Why is my club a plaything for an old, outdated man too scared to retire, and a chip to be gambled with in a stare off between Wenger with his yes men and reality?

    What the fuck is going on.