DEFENSIVE NUMBERS MOVE FORWARD

by .

So we spoke a little about the need to ramp up the productions numbers in attack. The thing we didn’t cover is our defensive stats. There are some good numbers doing the rounds.

•Most blocks in the PL (includes shots and passes)

•Fewest times dribbled past

•Fewest tackles won

•6th most interceptions

•3rd fewest fouls committed

•4th most aerials won

This follow-up was also interesting.

Good tweet, Chris.

When Roger Federer started out in tennis, he had the best forehand in the game. His backhand was not up to scratch. So he spent a year going to town on perfecting it, which cost him tournaments and success… but the output, in the end, is storied history.

Arsenal came out of last season with the 3rd best defence in the league and a shitty attack, so what did we do? Went out and smashed transfers records to make us even better at defending. We saw our backhand was average so doubled down on the forehand. That ain’t taking us to the promised land…

I mean, that’s a little simplistic. We know that the mission of the summer was maintain the resoluteness of the defence, whilst adding more dynamism to certain positions.

Our keeper has character, dominates his box, and makes game-changing interventions Bernd Leno refused to indulge.

Ben White, the chicken korma eating centre back that would definitely nick your bird if you met him in Ibiza, was brought in to offer us David Luiz like threat in the build-up. He makes less mistakes, he’s faster, he can pass, and apparently, he’s very good in the air.

Tomiyasu is quite simply an actual right back. But we found extreme specificity in his skillset. He’s a hybrid centre back so he gives us aerial coverage and he tucks into midfield with absolute ease. Another huge character in a position we’ve lacked it.

The point from the above statistics is we’ve upgraded the footballers without sacrificing the defending. We’re creating a City model in defence. The players don’t tackle because they are so fast at reading the game and intercepting balls. I think we ranked lowest last season for interceptions.

It’s also interesting that we don’t foul a lot, that shows you there’s a real quality in defence.

The lack of high quality shots at our goal is a team effort. It shows the system is good. This was the pattern last season. We’re difficult to create against because we’re well organised.

Now, the path to the end goal should be: If you have better footballing options in defence that can defend and break lines… eventually, the automatisms set in, and the team bangs in attack… becuase the ball moves fast, with more ambition, and your attackers start to convert.

Average shots per game is 13 right now. Take out City and Chelsea and it’s 17, I take them out because they are two of the untouchables in the Premier League, and we were totally injury-ravaged for one game, and played 60mins with 10 players in the other. European Cup finalists are the exception, the other teams are more the rule, at least until November 20th.

We don’t know which way this team will go, but my suspicion is that we’ll be more around the 17 mark than the 13 mark this season. If that’s the case, then the goals should come. The big worry is our ‘Xhaka at leftback’ right now appears to be anyone we put as our striker. We don’t have the bully we need in the forward line. Auba needs to ball to feet fast and if we’re pressed with discipline, that doesn’t happen. If we use our link player in Lacazette, he doesn’t have the speed to take advantage of situations. Eddie has been impressing everyone behind the scenes, he was superb in preseason, but he doesn’t really take his chances in the league. Martinelli hasn’t progressed.  We need a DCL, Victor Oshimen, or an Ollie Watkins in our starting 11. I suspect if Balogun went on loan for the season, he could be that guy, but that hasn’t happened due to player preference.

So what will the club do? Hope that most teams can’t press to the levels of Brighton? Probably. Because most can’t. But we’ll see after the break. No doubt Paddy and Dean Smith have seen what Brighton did to us, so we’ll get a crack at it after the break.

On that note, see you in the comments.

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210 Responses to “DEFENSIVE NUMBERS MOVE FORWARD”

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  1. Kris

    Our shots per game stat is okay, but I would be more interested in shots per game from inside the box. Those Partey shots from 30 yards don’t fill me with optimism.
    xG and xGA are better indicators, too, I guess.

    BTW, it’s getting more and more likely that the Saudis will be allowed to buy Newcastle. It will get harder and harder competing with the self-sustaining model.

  2. MD-Gunner

    Fair Article from the Mail Online stating:
    “We remain none the wiser as to whether Arsenal have actually made any improvement this season and whether Mikel Arteta has the acumen to restore the club to old glories. Saturday’s goalless draw at Brighton remains an enigma when it comes to assessing their direction of travel right now.

    The goals aren’t exactly flowing and the best sides are still going to inflict serious punishment on a defence that rarely inspired confidence. There are promising signs, however, that £50m summer signing Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes can work together well at the back.

    Back-to-back home games with Crystal Palace and Aston Villa after the internationals mean Arsenal have the chance to kick on.

    Grade: C”

    Looks like the next games will reveal more about the direction as both Villa and Palace also received a grade C. After 12 games with results from those teams we directly compete against is will be clearer if the grading was fair or not. Green shoots at best.

  3. Tom

    “Top 4 is a halfway step, a return to CL
    My expectation is within three seasons, including this one.
    Winning a major title is an authentic measure of eliteness, an expectation within four seasons”

    Englandsbest, so you’ve given Arteta four and a half years since his hiring to make the CL
    I have no problem with your take on the pace of his progress but considering I’ve not met anyone anywhere who shares this sort of patience maybe you should refrain from calling out others who might be less patient than yourself.

    You’re the guy doing 55mph in the fast lane flipping people off and complaining the world has gone mad with everyone in a hurry.

  4. Ty

    Nice article
    We need a striker that combines the attributes of lacazette and Aubameyang(physicality and speed) ,also need to get our fear factor back because most teams feel the can get points against us when we get bullied

  5. MD-Gunner

    Saudi money into Newcastle will make it tougher for European football finishing. They not only will spend on players but also on elite managers as well as on knowledgeable footballing staff. Where will KSE make a showing then?

  6. Pedro

    ‘The goals aren’t exactly flowing and the best sides are still going to inflict serious punishment on a defence that rarely inspired confidence.’

    Tough to take an article seriously that says our defence doesn’t inspire confidence. Quite a sloppy take. 3rd best in the league last season. Since the break, when we shipped in a new back 4 bar KT, it’s conceded 1 goal.

  7. Tom

    “Saturday’s goalless draw at Brighton remains an enigma when it comes to assessing their direction of travel right now.“

    It wasn’t the goalless part that was the problem. It was Brighton with their league’s bottom five wage bill comprehensively outplaying Arsenal with their league’s top five wage bill.

    Same as losing to Brentford wasn’t a problem for me personally as much as Arsenal creating zero big chances against them.

    What would have to happen to Klopp’s Liverpool in his third season for them to create not a single big chance in a game I wonder.
    A team bus fall of a cliff?

  8. MD-Gunner

    Pedro, This is again selectivity you could flip that and say -5 in goal difference after 7 games does support the argument of not confidence inspiring. You can’t take green shoots and proclaim we are now full on stable and mature at the defense, lets see how they will do against the teams that compete with us for top 6.

  9. Ernest Reed

    In the period since Monday forward to today, Arsenal rank #1 in all statistical categories…tied with every other team in the EPL.

    See what i just did there? Its called suiting ones own sense of a reality.

    Reality really is that the club sit 11th in the table with a -5 goals differential. Thats the only stat that matters in the end, where are you in the standings today!

  10. Ishola70

    The defensive numbers will be naturally high thus far because we were obviously outplayed by Man City, were outplayed in the second half away at Burnley and outplayed by Brighton. The second half against Spurs was hold we what have to a large extent which was fair enough in that instance.

    If Arteta continues many times with this let the opposition have the ball approach there will continue to be high numbers in regards defensive actions.

  11. James wood.

    That’s not good defending every man to the deck.
    All behind the ball clear your lines at all costs
    your 50 million pound defender kicking the ball into the stands.
    Pepe on his own goal line wrestling ?
    Showing as much class as a Northern league div 4 side.?

  12. Tom

    “Arsenal have allowed 114 total shots in the PL so far. But only 28 of these shots were on target. That means that only 24.6% of shots they have faced were on target, which is the third-lowest rate in the PL.”

    Another meaningless stat for me.
    Should I complement an opposing defense every time Partey puts one in a row Z?
    Or when Mbeumo dragged one wide from a close range with three Arsenal defenders doing their best Moe, Larry and Curly impersonation do we give them credit for making him miss badly?

  13. Ishola70

    Defensive actions higher up the pitch can be a good indicator.

    This obviously won’t include many headers but rather tackles and challenges won.

    Klopp at Liverpool is very big on defensive actions higher up the pitch.

  14. Habesha Gooner

    Well all this PR from pedro won’t mean shit if we return from the break on performance levels of what we saw at Brighton. Performances really need to pick up. I am happy we are getting better defensively. But I also fear it is down to getting everyone behind the ball. Arteta has instructed everyone to get back to defend. And I don’t think we will ever see good football consistently with him in charge. It is fine margins football. And we aren’t that great at it as similar teams like Atletico Madrid. What I am hoping is this drab football of scoring one or two goals and defending with everyone back will lead to results. There will be few games we will actually enjoy as we did with Wenger before he lost his touch.

  15. Habesha Gooner

    Newcastle is going to be the new Oil club. Things are going to get harder. Villa also have ambitious owners. They are richer than Kroenke and they will invest until they get it right. We need to go back to the levels of the real Arsenal before these clubs start to think they can compete with everyone.

  16. Ishola70

    Under Arteta the team seem to play in a manner that is dictated by what the scoreline is many times.

    We were not outplayed at Brentford although of course they gave us plenty of problems when they attacked and that was because Brentford took a first half lead in that match.

    Again it all goes back to Arteta being a bit braver in his overall approach to games.

  17. azed

    Pedro

    What’s the EPL median for shots on target?

    24.6 % looks good on its own, but if the median is say 25.5, then we are not that exceptional.

    Following on from my post from yesterday about not scoring being the Arteta number, I’ll say that defensive numbers show why we are poor in attack, we defend in numbers and don’t break quickly.

    The best teams start their defence from the front so when they win the ball higher and are closer to their opponents goal.

    Post for tomorrow should be pressing numbers and goals scored.

  18. MidwestGun

    Defending is definitely not our problem.. Our problem is transitioning from defending to attack. We are not that good at it. When we get it right we create a lot of chances but then we have been poor at finishing them. But our transition is hit or miss mostly miss.
    Partey is good at it but injuries and lack of game time and he has been inconsistent and can be swarmed under. Loko is still learning what he needs to do. Xhaka is Xhaka.. occasionally he hits a great long ball but mostly he doesn’t and recycles the ball. Tierney is excellent at it.. but then when he gets to the box he punts in a high cross.
    Ode …. The jury is still out.. sometimes I think wow… and sometimes I think he has to be quicker and sharper. Last match he looked overwhelmed. I actually saw him put his head down like Ozil used to do.after he lost the ball. That’s not encouraging.
    TT- Great defender solid on the ball.. but he hasn’t shown me any amazing ability yet to quickly transition the ball. as a right back. Soares is actually better at it. TT reminds me a lot of Sagna in that regard.

    Additionally we all know about our adventures trying to play the ball off our goal line.. The theory is that Ramsdale, White and Gabi will make us better at it. But the reality is still a work in progress.

    Anyhow.. All I know is we have to duplicate our pressing and transition as shown against Spuds on a consistent basis or it’s going to be another season to forget. Hard to be optimistic when the goals are like finding water in the Sahara desert.

  19. Pedro

    Azed, not sure that conclusion is right.

    Our attack is bad because we don’t hit the target.

    17 shots a game should return more than 4 open play goals.

    Issue is confidence and time spent together.

  20. Ernest Reed

    Is there a stat on quality of shots, Pedro? You are right, 17 shots average is a good number, but the quality of those shots really tells the story of stagnation on the attacking front.

  21. NWM

    KarsaOctober 6, 2021 17:02:59
    5 goals and 10 points.40 goals should make the CL if we carry that on.

    Lol. One nil to the Arsenal

  22. azed

    Pedro

    If Partey shoots 17 times, he might hit the target once. Like Ernest said above, what’s the quality of the chances?

    Also what’s the league average?

  23. The Bard

    Habesha was thinking exactly the same thing. Our last really top period was when there was only us and Man U. Once Chelsea and Abramovitch had skin in the game we struggled. The Kroenkes don’t have the money to compete with some of these newer franchises. Hard to see it going only one way and it ain’t up.

  24. Ernest Reed

    Partey always gives you that unnerving feeling that even with a gaping wide open net in front of him, he’d still bomb the ball over it. Truly he is.a wasteful shooter. He’d be so much more efficient if he were feeding others. Thats just my impression.

  25. NWM

    Pedro

    “Fewest times dribbled past

    •Fewest tackles won”

    I believe a couple of months ago you told us Saliba’s low tackle numbers were a sign of a passive defender and dismissed the fact he was rarely dribbled past.

    He is better off at Marseille, because he wouldn’t play for Arteta and I’m not sure he gets a fair shot next season, but with what he’s doing at 20, he has a chance to be elite.

  26. Tom

    Midwest, I think it’s too early to make any definitive statements how good these signings will be a handful of games into the season.

    The general consensus on Ramsdale for example around here has been that he’s been fantastic and a huge upgrade on Leno, but if you just look at shot quality both keepers faced, Leno’s were the second highest, while Ramsdale’s third lowest in the league thus far according to stats.

  27. englandsbest

    The statistix are good, but I trust my eyes more. They tell me that Arsenal are fast becoming a lean mean machine. And there are two fundamentals that make sense to someone like me, with no professional experience: the need for a solid defence and an exceptional spine.

    Statistix seem to show that Arteta has fixed the solid defence.

    Now that may not mean much to the doomsters, solely concerned with results. But it’s an essential prerequisite

    Moving on to the spine, I’d guess we’d be top 4 material with, say. Lukaku and de Brunne. Yeah, I know, we are not getting either. But let’s remind ourselves that not too long ago we had their equal, and their better. I’d sooner have a (fit) RvP and Cesc. And that’s not to mention Henry and Dennis and Ian and Patrick.

    However, the new GK and the two centre backs seem to fit the bill. It’s too early yet to know whther Odegaard will measure up as an outstanding creative midfielder, but he’s still young. Elsewhere, with Saka and ESR we already have exceptional players. That leaves – and I hope we all agree – a stand-out goalscorer. Auba may have been one – and maybe will still be one at a different Club – but, I fear, not at Arsenal.

    Eddie may. Icertainly think he should be given the chance, an extended run.

  28. NWM

    The Bard

    “The Kroenkes don’t have the money to compete with some of these newer franchises.”

    Stan Kroenke is married to a Walton, he owns more than 1.5 million acres of ranch land across the United States and Canada (almost 2400 square miles), he just paid $24,000,000 for a Beverly Hills Penthouse. They have the money, but like a lot of Billionaires they prefer to make investments pay for themselves.

  29. MidwestGun

    Tom_
    . Hopefully .. Teta has some Leeds game video on an endless loop to show the team .. There is a team that knows how to transition the ball into attack. I agree, it’s a bit early to judge the past transfer window. I am encouraged by our defense though since the switch to Gabi, White, Ramsdale. , so the numbers there do not surprise me. I think Part of why Ramsdale faces less dangerous shots is his ability to organize and encourage the defense and deal with high balls. . But of course the quality of opposition hasnt been equal yet either. Thats why I think it’s early . to say for sure. When people speak of green shoots though… thats what I think of is Ramsdale. and perhaps Loko.

  30. Pierre

    Englandbest
    “The statistix are good, but I trust my eyes more. They tell me that Arsenal are fast becoming a lean mean machine”

    Maybe You should have gone to specsavers.

  31. Damilola

    This current squad would make top4 gallantly only if Mikel Arteta doesn’t mess the team shape and selections up.

    Arteta has to stick with like for like lineups and subs. That is the way to ingrain the team’s philosophy into the players fibre.

    Arteta has to be conscious of players height, speed and defensive awareness as he makes like for like subs.

  32. Tom

    “Hopefully .. Teta has some Leeds game video on an endless loop to show the team .. There is a team that knows how to transition the ball into attack“

    Midwest, Leeds do transition well from defense to attack but they also take a ton of chances pushing players up, and at the back playing a high line with their two CB’s often times almost surrounded by three attackers.
    A suicidal football that leads to the type of scores United inflict on them repeatedly.
    I’m not sure I’d want that type of bravery from Arteta but definitely more than what he’s shown so far.

    When Arsenal break most times it’s even numbers and then it’s up to individual brilliance to create.

  33. Tom

    Pedro, really don’t care about Saliba while he’s on loan but you do realize CB pressures are mostly dictated by a coach’s system and set up, right?

    How often does VVD pressure?

  34. Ernest Reed

    “They tell me that Arsenal are fast becoming a lean mean machine”

    You bust me up EB, you really do.

    My eyes tell me this team is still struggling to find an identity. Care to refute that?

  35. Dissenter

    englandsbest’s lionizing posts about Arteta are reminiscent of the speeches that Dennis Rodman would give to praise Kim Jong Un on arrival in Pyongyang.

  36. Johnno

    So to summarize the threads on here ;

    1. The stats show that our defence is decent
    2. But stats are bullshit
    3. Stats show out attack is crap
    4. Stats don’t lie
    5. Arteta is showing good signs
    6. But he is probably shite actually
    7 but none of it matters because we will soon be the 9th biggest club in The league and only money matters
    8 despite only money mattering – we still argue over whether we need a different coach as a different coach could do better

    Am I up to speed ?

  37. Upstate Gooner

    “Average shots per game is 13 right now. Take out City and Chelsea and it’s 17, I take them out because they are two of the untouchables in the Premier League.”

    Here we go again… if you’re taking out City and Chelsea because they are “untouchables” then you have to take out Norwich (30 shots) and Burnley (18) as well because they are the “shittiest”.

  38. Graham62

    Does it not occur to anyone that the reason we were “the 3rd best(defence) in the league last season” was because our transitions were so frigging slow, we always had players back to defend. Just a sarcastic thought.

    You can say anything to counter the pro-Arteta clan and they’d come back with something that would make you shake your head in disbelief.

    For example: If you were to say Arsenal look devoid of confidence and play like a team consumed with far too much analytical data, there response would be “Yeah but you’ve got to understand that too much confidence can lead too much natural and instinctive actions within the team, that would open up the opponents too often and thus create unnecessary excitement in the crowd. The over consumption of analytical data is a necessary requirement as it will enable the players to be alert and make them open to lots of different options that will make them feel relaxed and in control………………….No it won’t!!

    Remember, it’s all part of the process folks.

  39. Nelson

    Alonso is in very good form. He is very efficient both offensively and defensively. I find Tierney rushes his delivery. The quality of both his passes and crosses are worse than before.

  40. Kroenkephobe

    Matt B

    Ernest: I guess you’re a half empty guy, whereas EB is a half full guy

    Wrong again…. as per. EB is a full-full guy (I’m sure you can guess what I think he’s full-full of). A starstruck Arteta – decidedly not Arsenal – fan who is wallowing in Arsenal’s demise because I suspect he’s not really a gooner. We are suffering our worst ever manager in living memory. That’s painful to all of us on here who care about the club. That you tend to think we’re on some mythical ascent makes me seriously question your credibility.

  41. Kris

    We should have spent the money on Enrique.
    Not convinced by him, but with little preparation his team play with more identity than Arteta’s, who some say needs 2 or 3 more years to instil any sort of attractive identity into the team.

  42. Spanishdave

    Stats mean nothing football is totally unpredictable.
    We are mid table now taken down there by a jackarse.
    Two years for nothing

  43. CG

    Nelson

    “””””Alonso is in very good form. He is very efficient both offensively and defensively. “”””

    Like our Monreal.
    Monreal unlike Tierney ,very understated , great composure and good for the odd goal.

    Tierney not the same player this season.
    Maybe the new contract he got in the summer has dulled his edges.

    Should be dropped for Tavares ASAP.

    Old school management still works even with all this data flying around!

  44. Kris

    Gotta say, this Nations League is better than the fucking Euros.
    The football is better, and we might actually see the 2 best Europeans teams in the final.
    Great advertising for a competition I used to think was shit, but is rising in stature.

  45. Matt B

    KroenkePhobe: Leave it out with the drama…

    You’re clearly younger than you let on, or maybe you only started following Arsenal with the advent of the premier league? Anyone 50+ who supported Arsenal as a kid would remember how poor we were mid-70s to mid-80s and even beyond.

    Arsenal League Position (1973-1986)
    1973-74: 10th
    1974-75: 16th
    1975-76: 17th
    1976-77: 8th
    1977-78: 5th
    1978-79: 7th
    1979-80: 4th
    1980-1981: 3rd
    1981-82: 5th
    1982-83: 10th
    1983-84: 6th
    1984-85: 7th
    1985-86: 7th
    Incidentally, we finished 12th in 1993-94 — I guess you forgot that season too

  46. Tom

    Mat B
    Can you shine some light for some of us Johnie come latelys who started following and supporting Arsenal from the Wenger years how was Arsenal’s wage bill and transfer spend during those mid table seasons?

  47. Tom

    “Incidentally, we finished 12th in 1993-94 — I guess you forgot that season too“

    I thought Arsenal finished 4th in 1993-94 season

  48. Matt B

    Tom: That’s not the point…

    The point is that Arsenal have been shite in the past, and to suggest Arteta is the ‘worst manage in living memory’ is not true.

  49. Mark

    Arteta has presided over the worst start to a season in Arsenal’s history. Breaking the most negative records of any manager at Arsenal before him.

    All true.!

    That any better for you Matt b.

  50. Words on a blog

    So the conclusion of this post by Pedro and his previous post is:

    Arsenal has taught Arsenal how to defend. And in so doing the team has forgotten how to attack.

    The thing is: does he have the wherewithal and the nous to teach the team how to attack?

    I’m not so sure he has it in him.

  51. Goobergooner

    It’s not that the doubters ‘know’ we will lose against poor opposition, we have seen over Artetas time here we can lose against nearly anyone; but this team despite the young players should still be achieving top 6 this season. The only reason we won’t is because our manager has no balls and his attacking football is woeful

  52. zacharse

    So to summarize the threads on here ;1. The stats show that our defence is decent
    2. But stats are bullshit
    3. Stats show out attack is crap
    4. Stats don’t lie
    5. Arteta is showing good signs
    6. But he is probably shite actually
    7 but none of it matters because we will soon be the 9th biggest club in The league and only money matters
    8 despite only money mattering – we still argue over whether we need a different coach as a different coach could do betterAm I up to speed ?

    😂

    love to see an in depth squad analysis

  53. Goobergooner

    I’d rather fail at our target of top 4 that the club got the fans behind at the start of the season (which they didn’t); than to just be happy with wherever we land come end of season because the boys got to run out together over the season.

    I thought this club was meant to be elite

  54. Pedro

    Goober, just saying the word ‘elite’ really means nothing. What are you specifically getting at. What isn’t elite about this project? What would you do differently? If you have standards that are so high, what is the change you are making that takes us to the Promised Land faster?

  55. Goobergooner

    Hahaha so you can use elite but I can’t?

    You know exactly what I’m saying though, if this club came out before their ‘project’ and said this is what we are going for give it time, we still aim for top 4 this season. I’d have given way more leeway.

    Our “transition” from Wenger has been a shambles. And nothing speaks truely elite at this point in time about the club, except the funds that they can spend.

    And you know the answers. Get in a manager that has proven himself. Get in a proper midfield. Play the arsenal way (or change what the arsenal way is with style and substance).

    The amount of money spent last window yet the club and some fans can’t even set a goal for the season. That’s the opposite of elite.

  56. Goobergooner

    And I’ll say again Pedders. I don’t agree with some of the things you say, but I love ya. This frustration is at the club not you.

    And apart from xhaka, I really am excited about this squad.
    But why did project youth have to come in one window? Why couldn’t we have got experience and youth with the money we spent?
    The only reason is so the blokes in charge can keep their jobs because ‘we are building a project’.

  57. Zacharse

    Template:

    I’d rather fail at our target of top 4 that the club got the fans behind at the start of the season (which they didn’t); than to just be happy with wherever we land come end of season because the boys got to run out together over the season.
    I thought this club was _________

  58. LoveSausage

    So we’re celebrating that we’re great at parking the bus and all we need to reach the promised land is a shittier version of Giroud up front. Troy Deeney might be interested.

    You’d never guess that this blog was anti-Mourinho 20 months or so ago.

    On a separate note, it looks like we might have dodged a bullet on a certain highly rated Brighton player.

  59. LoveSausage

    Diss,

    Seems like too big of an coincidence to not be related with the arrest reported by the mainstream media. I’d be happy if that turned out to be the case but I doubt it.

  60. Pedro

    Goober, I love you too.

    You can use the word elite, but you have to be specific about what you don’t like.

    Get in a manager that has proved themselves… like, Emery?

    We know the plan. We like the players. We’ve seen where the football can go. But we’re 4 games in.

    LoveSausage, no idea where you’ve got Jose football from, honestly, such a weird comment it’s not even worth debating

  61. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    I’ve got it from the fact that we’re playing a narrow and deep 4-4-1-1 defence (a.k.a parking the bus) against mid level teams. And now you’re arguing that we need a big lump of meat in #9. What’s the difference between that and Joseball?

    If we don’t want to wait for Mou to get himself fired again, we can go for Dyche. Party like it’s 1989.

  62. bacaryisgod

    Well, there are two reports in the last 24 hours.

    1. Bissouma arrested at a nightclub for an unknown offence.
    2. An unnamed Brighton player in his 20s arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.

    Anything else is speculation and comments on it will give Pedro palpitations.

  63. Goobergooner

    Emery had only achieved glory at Europa level (and at PSG, what should be a one horse race).

    I gave Emery a chance. I have given Arteta a chance. I am willing to give these players a chance and I’m excited about the next few seasons. But if tets tanks this season again it’s just been a waste.

  64. Pedro

    LoveSausage, pretty shite analysis if you are watching us defend well and you call that parking the bus. Honestly; some Arsenal fans are painful.

  65. LoveSausage

    Pedro,

    Lately, any analysis that disagrees with your POV is a shit analysis.

    Sitting as deep and narrow as we do without any real press is parking the bus. Having a starting point higher up on the pitch and pressing allows a team to break and score goals, in addition to avoid conceding them.

    Last season we scored 55 goals which, by any measure, is poor. We still have many games to play this season but so far, it’s not looking like we’ve broken that trend. The numbers are what they are.

  66. Tony

    Massaged stats?

    Not interested in stats other than end of game stats where we do better each game or not.

    What matters are the results simple as that.

    Where we end up at the end of the season in terms of points and place.

    We can be number 1 in all the massaged stats, but if we are 8th again what do the massaged stats mean?

    Absolutely nothing! It’s just a fools errand trying to troll his point home.

    The trolls can troll all they like, but the tables print the truth. The rest is all PR spin ala Bojo’s mob and Untold.

    Let’s see what the tables say 1 Jan 2022 and again in May 2022.

    They are the only stats worth taking notice of.

    All the rest are just mindless, childish mutterings.

    As with all the massaged stats fanfare of best 3rd defense et al and we’ll carry that to the new season where it didn’t even carry though to the Preseason. Nor the early season games of 0:3.

    What do massaged stats get us? Certainly not Europe competition placings thus far. They have had us thrown out of Europe’s cups.

    As you were then.

  67. Pedro

    Tony, if results are all that matter to you, then maybe you should start pivoting your opinion because we just won 3 and drew 1. 10 points from 12. A huge improvement. If you truly are a results man, where’s the updated view?

    Love Sausage, sorry mate, we don’t park the bus. We defend well. Calling it Jose football is shit analysis. We haven’t parked the bus all season, to our detriment against CFC and City.

  68. NWM

    Pedro

    “NWM, Saliba’s low pressures were a sign that he’s passive.”

    Defensive numbers are strongly influenced by defensive tactics. Saliba’s numbers last season were undoubtedly affected by Nice’s tactics, look at his pressures this year. So far, per FBref, Saliba has more pressures per 90 minutes and is more successful with those pressures than White, Varane,, Dias, and van Dijk, to name just a few. Context is everything and it’s the main reason.you have to be careful with stats.

  69. NWM

    Pedro,

    As a follow up, in your post you quite rightly considered the context of playing much of the City match with 10 men, and the Chelsea match without several key players and eliminated the low shot numbers from those games in your analysis of Arsenal’s shooting stats.

    Defensively the context may not be as obvious, but sometimes we need to look a little deeper when considering defensive stats.

  70. raptora

    Pedro: “We know the plan. We like the players. We’ve seen where the football can go. But we’re 4 games in.”

    No, we are 66 games in and we’ve seen where the football is at. 8th and 8th and not looking good again.

    Even if you decide to close your eyes for Arteta’s failures of previous seasons, unquestionable failures mind I say, you still reach the number of 7 games in – the amount of rounds played this season.

    The arbitrary picking of a period that suits the narrative used to annoy you Pedro, it was Wenger’s special. Wenger: “We have beaten Leicester twice so we have done our job against them”. We knew those things are bullshit.

    Table doesn’t lie. After 7 games we are 11th with -5 negative goals difference, 4 pts from top 4 and 4 pts from 16th. We are most definitely not 4 games in unless you are bullshitting yourself and everyone else.

  71. Tony

    Pedro you clearly make my points for me and so far Arteta has proved me right, too.

    Let’s win the next 2 games and our position in the table reflecting the wins positionally, and my opinions will be based on what the table tells us and how we won the two games against Villa and Palace.

    If the football is first 30 minutes of the NLD rather than the Brighton Handbrake; then the signs will indeed be encouraging.

    Your mini leagues Pedro are amazing, though, and I applaud your ingenuity and the lessons learned from Pierre’s legendary Wenger and Ozil stats.

    Nothing new here move on.

  72. Tony

    Raps I think Pedro has gone to sleep probably free falling from a double barreled doses of home truths.

    Football truth is kryptonite to super-Pedro where his super stats armor plates are wearing thin. To be honest they were shit to begin with, but we have to be kind.

    It how Pedro deals with Arteta progressing no further that concerns me as a caring poster.

    I mean what’s going to happen to the blog we hate posting on when Pedro realises his Arteta folly?

    We’ll love writing here because we will be winning again, plying good football and Pedro saying I had you lot going there, didn’t I?

    Then we’ll just timely remind Pedro with being happy with the new boss’s improvements, as we remind Pedro of Arteta’s unfortunately overlong reign helping him to remember all the new records Arteta set, as Pedro always reminded us about Emery’s downfalls.

    Should fun.

    K’phobe & Almunia hope all good and well. Been a sudden surge of vaccines here, so I’ll have had 2 Pfizer jabs by the end of next week. In 4 weeks all the family will have had their vaccinations.

    My son’s finals are done so today will be the first time we’ve had time to really sit down. He’s helping me finish our pictures project and I’m teaching him Light Room editing the app not the real room for negatives. I’ll talk about an app to use.

    Almunia I hope you look to further your satire writing because although we were a captive audience, I’m not sure you realise how good you are. I see Ian Hislop types with creative sardonic quips and witty minds in you.

    Equally, it would be good to read your posts again because it was those that made enjoyable reading in the first place.

  73. MD-Gunner

    10 points from 12, but the table says 10 from 21. And here I thought poor Pedro he typed it too quickly the first time you posted this and I thought maybe your fingers got out of sync and the 1 came too quickly followed by the 2. But now you repeat this again and so it can’t be a mistake anymore,

    Only two explanations, you either are dyslexic, and I feel for you in that case or you need to enroll in Math 101 to understand multiplications.

  74. Kroenkephobe

    Hiya Tony

    Good news about the jabs mate. And I hope your son’s results allow him to do what he wants, ie continue playing masses of golf!

    No football patter left for LG I’m afraid. I’m reading it and not liking most of it because it sounds like peak 80s Pravda interspersed with rantings by angry accountants desperate not to lose the value of a few shares given to them by their bosses. Its no longer a pluralistic forum that allows for debate.

    It’s either jumped the shark or gone beyond parody. I can’t be arsed to work out which.

  75. China1

    Our back five is pretty good

    It’s our inability to dominate the midfield and create genuine chances that worries me

  76. China1

    Yeah sorry but we’re not 4 games in.

    And last season didn’t start on Boxing Day either.

    If we’re going to play these games wenger won loads of titles. ‘Top since Christmas’ one year. ‘Top until Christmas’ the next. ‘Top for a calendar year’ the next.

    I’m sorry it’s just false.

  77. raptora

    Yeah, Pedro is too invested in his Arteta crusade, proving everyone wrong and how he knows better than anyone else. Caring for what’s best for Arsenal is not what it’s all about at the end.

    I’m not saying I know better, don’t get me wrong. But the change of tune in this current Arteta driven Pedro compared to before, is stunning. The double standards are insane. We saw it very well under Emery when Pedro was up his throat from day 1. Pedro would have been posting Sack Emery requests for 20 months now if Emery was bringing us 8th and 8th. But since it’s Arteta, it’s a different tune. Now we are bringing evidence from all kinds of places just to prove the agenda.

    It’s sad cause it’s really changed what this blog was all about. Holding the club to the highest standards in an effort to be a top team again. Top team is keeping a manager that finishes 8th and 8th with a plan to reach UCL football in 3 years from now. When the same manager was promising to bring UCL trophy in 3 years just a year ago. Elite stuff.

    We never heard Raul cost Emery’s head but Pedro already posted 20 times how Edu is the one to blame for the two shocking seasons we’ve had. Covid, shit squad, you name it. Never Arteta. Excuses galore.

  78. China1

    I dunno why but I just remembered a hilarious transfer runout of one of those shit ‘soccer transfer direct’ type websites a few years back when arsenal were STRONGLY linked with making a bid for ‘Signul Iduna Park’

    Apparently the bid was imminent but never quite materialized for some reason.

    I remember doing a double take when I first read it and thought wait… that’s not a Korean… that’s a fucking football stadium 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  79. The Bard

    NWM Yes I know they are wealthy but they aren’t in the same league as many of the other franchises. And they certainly don’t have the ambition. Arteta or no Arteta we won’t be going anywhere while they own the club.

  80. Matt

    All these stat based posts are becoming quite ridiculous. Everybody knows that you can use stats to paint whatever picture you want – I do it all the time in a wok capacity.

    You can use certain KPI’s to demonstrate good performance of a certain department, franchise, partners etc and you can use a different set of KPI’s to demonstrate poor performance on those very same departments, franchises and partners. When you are really struggling to find stats to show good performance you choose one and then add caveats to say if certain events were/were not taken into account, the stat would actually be x instead of y. This is what Pedro has done with the shots taken . If you are having to try and use a stat to demonstrate good performance, but where the actual performance puts you 10th in a table of 20 and you then have to add all sorts of caveats to it, then for me you are desperately clutching at straws and would be better off not even going there in the first place. If there are no worthwhile stats which have us in the top 4/top 6, maybe we should stay away from stats and focus on what we are actually seeing…

  81. Sid

    I teenage boy needs to spend time in the outdoors learning things like girls get excited by a guy with a high notch count,
    Light room editing is great…….. for older guys

  82. DivineSherlock

    Raptora

    You seem unhealthily fixated on Arteta man . There are other things to look forward to re: Arsenal . Arteta will either turn out to be a success or a failure , bringing Emery into the chat everytime isnt gonna help . Emery was a bad choice for us at that time , we didnt address the culture first . Those bad eggs in the team combined with his bad approach led to his downfall.

  83. englandsbest

    raptora

    I have news for you: every season every club starts with zero points. Yet you natter incessantly about the past.

  84. Graham62

    During his initial interview, did Mikel Arteta highlight the fact that it would take him just short of two years to start to get the team to gel? It’s October 2021 and people are saying “We’re only four games in”. It’s pathetic!

    Arteta has had ample time to rectify many, if not all, of our issues. “10 points out of 12” is yet another PR spin by someone who will try anything to justify his perceptions on things. It is quite embarrassing to see Pedro stoop to such low levels.

    He really does treat us like children with these cringeworthy justifications and embarrassing excuses. It’s like being at school “ yeah but we were leading at halftime which means we won the game in the first half”

    Unconvincing 1-0 victories against Norwich and Burnley, a supercharged Spuds win and then outplayed by Brighton. Yes, that’s 10 points out a possible 12 but I think we should only start cheering a wee bit when that becomes 30/36 or something along those lines.

    It is obvious that Pedro is consumed by his love of Arteta but it doesn’t take an Einstein to see that Arteta has not proven anything yet and based on the fact he’s had nearly two years to sort things out, that is still very worrying as far as I’m concerned.

  85. raptora

    Graham,
    You should be aware that the last season and a half never happened. The first 3 games of this season never happened as well. We are 4 games in mate. When did you last enjoy an Arsenal game Graham? Get a grip betwetter.

    Did I do well?

  86. Milo

    What is rather worrying to me, is the low possession percentages. We are supposed to be a side whose tactics are based on possession. I cannot view most of our matches because of business commitments, as well as financial constraints, but that really jumped out to me, that stat. How can we not keep hold of the ball for at least 50 percent of match play?? Ludicrous.

    Gel or no gel, pressure or no opponent pressure, that isn’t football I would want to watch, even if I could see every millisecond of it. Not to mention how enjoyable it must be to play that way.

    I am a romantic though. I want to be entertained. I saw a replay of the Spurs match and was suitably entertained for 60 percent of it. By all accounts, that has been all that has been worth watching of our league season, so far.

    That is not good enough. Agendas be damned, it just isn’t Arsenal football club. Not the past 25 years anyway. Until I know we are a more attacking side, I will wait to renew my digital subscription. I will still try to catch highlights and match replays online, but it is not worth my hard earned time and money, to watch this iteration of Arsenal.

  87. CG

    The Newcastle United official takeover will be the biggest story of season 21/22.

    The Saudi’s are finally coming over to England and I suspect they will not be hanging around.

    They are playing to win, none of this faffing around the edges like what Arsenal specialize in.

    According to the UK Telegraph they want to enact revenge on the big x 6 English clubs who have tried to block the takeover.

    Watch this space.

  88. Globalgunner

    We are watching a football film called the “Curious case of Mikel Arteta”. Its a film about a manager whose record gets reset anytime things get too inconvenient for him. He will get born again at Xmas , just wait and see

  89. Pierre

    We are probably in a situation where things could go either way .
    We are smack bang in the middle of success (top 4/6) or failure ( bottom half).

    Due to our 3 opening defeats , the team/players/manager have been under enormous pressure to turn things around , and in my opinion they are on the way to doing that , but not quite there yet.

    These next few league and league cup games will give us more of an idea where we are.
    The home fans are 100% behind the team, the new breed of fans are bringing excitement to the stadium which is a positive for the players as it allows them to play with more freedom without the fear of every mistake bringing derision from the hone fans.

    Some think there isn’t a new breed of younger fans but i have noticed a much younger , more enthusiastic crowd who have probably waited years to get their hands on a season ticket and with so many older fans not renewing , it has given these fans a chance to ENJOY the match day experience ..

    How long this will last , who knows, results and performances will determine if they stay fully behind the team and the next batch of games are all winnable and could see us in a very favourable position..

    The fans arriving on time for the kick off is a good place to start as previously half the seats were empty at kick kick off time , as they were at the start of the 2nd half and in the last 10 minutes.
    I sometimes wondered why thèy bothered going but hopefully, now it jad changed and the atmosphere woll be electric from the first minute , 3 night games on the bounce will produce a much better atmosphere

  90. Elmo

    We have to be looking to palm off our surplus shiny toys to Newcastle in January.

    Despite what Covid has done to European club finances, hopefully they still won’t be able to attract any of the real top players for a few years.

    Pepe for £60m needs to happen. Auba or Laca could be a headline, ‘PL-proven’ name for their project. Ditto Bernd Leno.

    This could be an opportunity for us.

  91. Kris

    A balanced article on Marseille’s new on-loan captain Matteo Guendouzi:

    “Guendouzi back on track and in line for France debut after Arsenal nightmare.”

    https://www.goal.com/en/news/guendouzi-back-on-track-and-in-line-for-france-debut-after/1g4vzv68cqkojzn8tp6jojnnh

    Deschamps picked him ahead of Real’s Camavinga.
    “He’s been getting a lot of playing time and he’s got confidence in himself,” Deschamps said, justifying his decision to pick Guendouzi. “Beyond the volume of play he gets through and his aggressiveness, he has great technical qualities. He’ll bring freshness, life, and that’s important.”

    So, like I have been saying, his chief problem is not the admittedly difficult character, but for me just his lack of quality to reach the absolute top.
    Great engine, but doesn’t do much defensively. Good going forward, but nothing special. Good vision and passing, but again, nothing special. He’s young, but I think this absence of any specific strengths will block his way to the top more than his character, otherwise coaches like Sampaoli, Emery, now Deschamps wouldn’t prefer him to other choices.

  92. englandsbest

    Graham62

    How could Arteta possibly know in his first interview how long it would take to acquire the players needed? What he DID tell us early on was that the job he had to do would take a while. You should have listened.

  93. englandsbest

    raptora

    By all means discuss (but fairly) this season’s games. But let me repeat the glad news: where the Club ended last season has no bearing on where it will finish this season.

  94. Tom

    “The Saudi’s are finally coming over to England and I suspect they will not be hanging around.They are playing to win, none of this faffing around the edges like what Arsenal specialize in.According to the UK Telegraph they want to enact revenge on the big x 6 English clubs who have tried to block the takeover.”

    Will the Saudi’s revenge enacting include the use of a bone saw again or just the financial means?

    I’m sure MBS will pass the Premier League’s fit and proper person test for new owners and directors with flying colors though.

  95. Negative Nigel

    Oh no.The last thing I wanted to hear.The f** ng barcodes are now oiled up.That’s us screwed for the foreseeable future.That’s four of the five top five richest clubs in world in the prem.Newcastle,chavs,oilers( 1) & manure.We don’t have a hope in hell of competing on any level whatsoever.people can quote Leicester all day long😂The so called,self proclaimed,greatest fans in the universe are about to get a whole lot worse.