by .

I would normally do a riposte article to the xG counter-argument that went off yesterday… but there wasn’t need for one, I think most people seemed pretty fine with the reality of our messy data this season.

There were two common comebacks.

‘You just don’t like data that doesn’t align with the project’

MOST IMPORTANT METRIC: 5th in the league.

‘Stop manipulating data to suit your agenda’

MOST CLEAN METRIC I HAVE: 5th in the league.

You can get angry that I put some context on the xG, but the most important metric right now is that we are 5th in the league. If you’re using data to delegitimize a young team doing really well under tough circumstances, may I show you a delightful bin you can get in.

Some other interesting metrics.

We’re averagely conceding 12.77 attempts at our goal per game with the new defence, with 4.2 shots per game on target. Skewed quite heavily by bad days at Brighton and Liverpool away. Plenty of work to do there, Chelsea and Liverpool are conceding 9.7… City, and incredible 6.3. But, not bad considering the newness of the defence.

To be honest, I actually thought the most interesting splicing on data was the table since the new team started.

5th for goals scored.

3rd best defensive record.

Joint 2nd for points accrued.

That is quite spectacular when you consider:

1) It was basically 6 new players.

2) They were all under the age of 24.

3) The mood around the club was absolutely grim.


Our attack really needs to kick up a gear. There’s no denying that.

There are two ways that is going to happen.

1.Auba is going to click with the system and start getting into the right positions. Arteta can gamble on the 2018-19 superstar coming back to his best. He’s said a few times that the goals will come. How long will he hold out? Things are so bad, he’s even missing penalties this season.

2.Arteta is going to try something different.

The Liverpool game showed the way for other teams. Lacazette dropping deep has been a huge part of our resurgence over the the last 3 months. His 95th minute goal saved a point against Palace and after that, we never looked back. He set the tone for aggression, his confidence and experienced allowed for him to seamlessly link defence to attack, and he made a difference.

Liverpool sussed that at the weekend and we didn’t really have an answer.

Is it time for something different?

We haven’t seen much of Martin Odegaard this season, the form of an older head playing for his future has been too much for the Norwegian. He’s not a sulker though and he is more than capable of opening up teams on his best days. Could he be used to make us a bit less predictable in build up play over the next month?

Nico has been sat on the bench, for good reason, but it’s hard to deny that on his day, he also offers us something we’re lacking: Final ball and finishing. He always delivers good numbers, even if he is generally very inconsistent and infuriating. He was nothing at the start of last season, then he came back into contention hard. He’s also not a sulker, he works hard, can we roll the dice on him again?

Gabriel Martinelli has been poor this season. He’s been given chances. He hasn’t taken them. But we know there’s a player there. Every young player goes through a slump. It’s about time he came out of his. What can he offer to our attack? He’s a relentless presser of the ball, even though we haven’t seen much of that in the last 6 months. Can he find that spark? Can he work with this team? Can he be the tip of our spear we lack?

There are two other options.

Eddie, who I thought was exceptional during the preseason games, but hasn’t been given much in the way of love. He’s not a fan of Arteta, I’m pretty sure he’s signaled he won’t do a deal, so the club might be resigned to losing him in January. Could we use his newfound confidence? Would it be worth a go?

Folarin Balogun has been in rip-roaring form in the U23s. His attitude has been so good. The horror show against Brentford cannot be laid squarely at his feet, he had no prep for that game either. Is there something he could do? Does he have the power? Is there an ESR moment for him?

December is the month for heroes. Last season, Smith Rowe broke the first team and never looked back. He did it against Chelsea. He showed the doubters what he was all about and now he’s an England player.

Who wants to be a hero this month? December is going to need the full squad. We play Newcastle (H) on Saturday, then we’re up against United (A) on the Thursday, followed by Everton (A) on then Monday. There will be minutes going around. Who will get them? Who will make a statement with them? How will this young squad deal with a 3 game week?

First, we have to deal with Eddie Howe taking to the dugout for the first time in his second game. He has a helluva job to do there. He has Steve Bruce players which don’t map to his system at all. The one thing they have going in their favor is that all of those players want to be there for the dazzling riches that are coming their way. It’s a big game for us. Will we be on our knees feeling sorry for ourselves like teams of the past? Or do we have the minerals to deal with disappointment?

We shall see…

We’re recording a podcast this afternoon, stay tuned to your phone for that when it drops, because it’ll be a damn cracker let me tell you.

BUT, before you listen to that, may I invite you to jump in on our latest after the Liverpool game. Matt and Pedro chatting the Liverpool game. We hope you enjoy it. x



226 Responses to “IS IT MARTINELLI TIME?”

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  1. China1

    Which part of what I said was wrong?

    That you used to say 5th in the table (or 4th under wenger) was unacceptable when things like xG suggested a correction incoming? And that you now say 5th is what counts and there will not be any xG corrections incoming?

    Nope. Straight fact.

    No matter how confidently you say it, people here remember what you’ve said. We’re not new on this site. You can spin all you like in advertising as that’s the nature of the job but saying one thing today and tomorrow saying the opposite and just being like NOPE doesn’t wash

  2. Leedsgunner

    How can the players demonstrate to us that they back Arteta’s vision?

    Go and defeat Newcastle comprehensively.
    Go and grab three points versus Man United.
    Go and ground out a win and we face Everton.

    If we do that, this loss becomes manageable; because this season everyone is dropping points unexpectedly.

  3. Pedro


    Read Leeds comment for clarification and don’t try and rewrite the full 360 I did on Emery. It was always Context + Eye Test + xG.

  4. China1

    I’m curious if anyone can even quantify how xG is calculated and how goal scoring chances are objectively calculated considering what defines a goal scoring chance is entirely subjective anyway.

    xG like most of these stats are full of dubious grey area and subjectivity. I’ve said that since forever. Eye test is what counts and a few stats can only support that analysis not replace it.

    So yes xG analysis is largely bunk for arteta. And it was for Emery too. Emery failed the eye test from the second half of his first season onwards and arteta ranked the eye test last season and has recovered quite a bit this season.

    That’s where we’re at

  5. China1

    No Pedro during Emery’s long unbeaten run we were shutting up shop defensively, putting in battling performances and winning games by taking one or two chances.

    And you were yelling from the roof tops about xG corrections incoming even when we were literally winning.

    Please please don’t assume we have the memory of a goldfish.

    We can bag on Emery for days from the second half of that season up until he got sacked and rightly so. But you were throwing xG daggers at him when he was doing legitimately well in the early days.

  6. Leedsgunner


    Not a problem.

    As you know, I’ve been a severe critic of Arteta from the beginning but I think the shift for me is this summer.

    There comes a point when we have to step back from the narrative and look at the actual evidence in front of you.

    Arteta is changing the culture of the club. That is why I’m backing him.

    Yes, he will make mistakes but as long as he learns from them, I’m happy to see how this story finishes.

  7. Pedro

    Lol, China, we were getting ripped through the middle and getting lucky.

    You reimagined the run. Remember, you lost this argument… Emery was sacked. There’s no nuance around it. He was shite and should have been removed in the summer.

  8. LoveSausage


    Not sure which games you were watching under Emery but we were under siege pretty much every game. We had no midfield to stop the counter, it was a free for all.

    I’m not convinced by this managing the game narrative – I feel we were lucky to escape against both Spuds and Leicester after we gave up all initiative. But the fact that we did escape is explained at least partly by a defensive solidity that just wasn’t there under Emery. I mean, we had Mustafi as a starter. If that doesn’t tell you everything…

  9. China1

    Pedro we were a good team in the unbeaten run. We then drifted to average and then desperately poor by the end of his tenure

    The winning streak was a good one

  10. Leedsgunner

    Things I wish Arteta would change starting tomorrow:

    1. Find a role for Martinelli and Balogun.

    They are the future – Auba and Laca are the past. I’m not saying that Martinelli and Balogun are starters but they deserve more game time… and if it works it might save us millions. It might also convince Nketiah to sign his extension , when he sees youth being given more time.

    2. Figure out a new partner for Partey. He can’t do this role by himself.

    No, in the long run, Xhaka isn’t the answer.

    3. Bring back Bruno the amazing physio.

    4. Odegaard and Pepe are £100m+ talent we should be getting more out of. Arteta has built himself a reputation as a great coach… time for him to especially prove it… with regards to these two. If he can we will start scoring more goals.

    5. Bring in an older experienced coach to advise him when games like Liverpool or Brighton happen again. At the moment, his back room staff – do they challenge him enough to think outside the box? Or are they all yes men?

    6. Start blooding our most talented youth like Patino etc.

  11. China1

    Personally I don’t see that Pepe will make it. I’ve blamed Emery and arteta for managing him poorly but sooner or later I would’ve hoped for more out of him and it’s now been years

    If we sell him he needs replacing with quality, but as it stands I’d take 25-30m for him or a direct swap for a player who can walk into our first team in any of CM/CF/Wing positions

  12. PhD2020

    PedroNovember 24, 2021 02:17:03
    It’s 2021 my friend, ‘statistician’ is quite a dated label, and incredibly broad.I was an analyst.

    What do you mean by statistician?

    I might be wrong,but I stand corrected.Within the UK- as a qualified or certified statistician albeit through an Institute or through an accredited degree program with some prerequisite statistical module components at graduate /postgraduate level or a professional program,one can see fit to declare themselves as a ‘Statistician.’

    If it’s aligned with significant,approved industry experience(optional) or a stand alone industry experience that is significant in years- certainly helps.

    Either way,you are given the basic fundamentals to work from the program which you can marry with your industry experience(of which you have decades of).

    From there,whatever line of industry you choose to engage in,is a matter of one’s choice or preference.Albeit the pharmaceutical industry, aerospace industry, sports industry, medical industry, government industry,banking industry,etc,etc…Since one has been grounded and trained in the fundamentals.

    You said you are an analyst-fair enough.

    But again,I ask the question given the above information-are you a qualified statistician?

    I’m not being anal here,really am just asking.

    Analyst of?

  13. Pedro


    It’s over my friend. We were lucky during the run, because we all saw it… then it came unstuck. It’s not a point of debate now, it’s just part of history.


    You said the most important thing in football was the table. So we are in agreement that what is going on now is good.

    The 27th of Feb is your date, but for me, the most important future date is Jan 2nd. That’s when we’ll know if we’re in properly in a fight.

  14. Pedro


    What you are asking is still really garbled.

    I’ve worked extensively in data for blue-chip organizations as a consultant.

    I’ve set up insights and analytics teams at performance advertising agencies.

    I’m grounded in the fundamentals of supply chain data and digital advertising data.

    I’ve been paid as a professional in both.

  15. Tony

    “You said the most important thing in football was the table. So we are in agreement that what is going on now is good.’

    Totally agree and if we keep with the pace in a tough period and late Feb we’re still in the hunt for 4th I’m ok about it.

    Arteta seems to get things wrong against top 4 at least. That and pressure games as the 2 semis with Emery. Saturday’s loss told us more about Arteta than the young squad capitulated.

    Too many why questions for me I was questioning before the game.

    Pedro in case you’re in any doubt I’m 100% behind the team I just don’t have your vision & belief regarding Arteta.

    By February 27th I might be late to the Arteta party if we’re in with a real chance, not a Walter Mitty one, of getting 4th.

    We’ll see then but until then I guess you and me will be butting heads at times; I’ll try to be on my best ADHD processing before adding my POVs assessing the positives and the negatives of the performances of team and manager.

    Isn’t that normal in football and life in general?

  16. Pedro


    Losing to Liverpool didn’t tell us more about Arteta than the young (YOUNG) team we have.

    It told us we have a young team that needs to learn.

    There was no managerial magic that was saving that game. They are the most devastating team in the league by a margin.

    Any future date we’re doing well by is a good thing. It’s normal to assess where we are based in the context,

    We’re 5th.
    Doing well.
    Hopefully about to nail December.

    No need to be calling for firings or saying the manager is shit.

  17. Pedro

    PHD, I’ve been paid to interpret data for a large chunk of my career. I’m more than capable of analysing a bit of xG data, which, let’s be honest, is one of the more basic metrics invented by company to sell data tools.

  18. PhD2020

    PedroNovember 24, 2021 04:02:42
    I’ve been paid to interpret data for a large chunk of my career.
    Thank you Peds..

    We finally got to the point.You interpret data.

    I appreciate that comment.

    How’s life with you in general?

  19. Pedro

    PhD, tough times at the moment. But hopefully, corners are turning.

    How is life for you, what’s the plan for the holiday season?

  20. PhD2020

    PedroNovember 24, 2021 04:12:59
    tough times at the moment. But hopefully, corners are turning.How is life for you, what’s the plan for the holiday season?

    Why so?

    It does appear recently that you are coming across a bit edgy..But I guess the year has been a bit tough on a few people(perhaps a slight underestimation of the numbers) maybe,which is perfectly understandable.

    Well keep the faith..

    As for me,I’m ok.It is what it is.Looking forward to the end of the year to be honest.And we go from there.

  21. China1

    Pedro lol that mistakes from the kids are because they’re inexperienced but mistakes from the manager simply didn’t happen apparently

    Issues arteta contributed to which we can say with the benefit of hindsight

    1) choosing Tavares over Tierney. Most of us agreed with the call (myself included) but it turned out wrong.
    2) not taking Tavares off when we could see the kid was falling off a cliff early in the second half
    3) an offensive strategy in the first half that just consisted of passing to Saka which clearly was not working. One of the few times we went left ESR created an (offside) goal with some neat play. Why didn’t we try that side more?
    4) selection of sambi. I agreed with the call before the game but in retrospect it was probably wrong and he got rightly subbed early.
    5) selection of auba and laca – made sense on paper but both played badly. Might have got more out of martinelli or Eddie
    6) Saka looked miles off the pace by the second half and never looked like contributing towards a goal, Pepe on might have helped
    7) pointless saving the third sub until the 85th minute only to make an equally pointless el neny > partey sub. That sub either should’ve been made much earlier if partey needed saving or leave him on and bring on a more useful player in another position much earlier.
    8) arteta got the kop all fired up as the 13th man by lobbing his purse at klopp. This was a catalyst for their improvement
    9) we brought on Ode which in hindsight wasn’t a good choice as he didn’t inject any pace or urgency into our game to give them anything to think about. Ode is a good player but we know he’s prone to these passive performances and this was another.

    So yes. All of the above points fall under Arteta. What would the score have been if we’d managed 2 or 3 of the above differently? We can’t know, but we do know they were probably mostly all incorrect decisions in hindsight.

    So laying all the blame at the inexperience of the players completely ignores the wealth of points above which could’ve changed the game for the better but didn’t happen.

  22. Pedro


    It’s easy to label mistakes after a game, but let’s be real, Liverpool are monsters.

    An unfit Tierney, Pepe, and AMN are the literal alternatives, but it’s a stretch to suggest they are changing things in a game like that. Especially the handbags with Klopp, it was such a non-event.

    It’s not really analysis, you are just saying what the opposite of every decision was on the night, claiming that would have changed things.

    As for the handbags, please. People have spent the last year calling Arteta a meek cone boy. He has a bit of a ruck with Klopp and now you want decorum.

    Weren’t you out here telling everyone about Guendouzi’s winnertivity for having a pop at Maypay AFTER the Brighton game? Sharp pivot here.

  23. China1

    I just did Pedro and I’m pretty shocked how simplistic it is

    0.1x # of shots = xG

    Jesus I thought they were basing it on some serious underlying data not a 2 point equation LOL

    So if you take loads of hopeful long shots each game or hopeful efforts from circumstances when it’s really not on, your xG flies up. Meanwhile if you don’t take many shots but you’re getting 4 1v1 chances per game you might have low xG because you didn’t take many shots

    And this right here is why such stats should be kept at arms length. Overly simplistic as hell lol

  24. Pedro

    PHD, amen to that. I’m going to be in London in December. Can’t wait to take in some games and soak up a bit of London at its best.

    Right, that’s me over for the night, a pleasure chatting to you all. Have a good one and make sure you take in some of that Colin Lewin pod. He’s a top, top talent.

  25. China1

    Pedro yep it’s absolutely easy to criticize with hindsight but isn’t that what a post match analysis is? I don’t recall you pulling punches in post match analysis in games where we did badly under managers you didn’t like

    Re the handbags point, it’s not about the scrap. I didn’t mind it as much as most. But it was dumb to rile up the kop. Rio Ferdinand highlighted this as well that the last thing you want to do at anfield is get the crowd baying. He did that.

    Some of the issues above were understandable at the time (Tavares starting is a good example) but the fact is he was not proactive about addressing our biggest problems as they unfolded during the match. That’s his job. You don’t wait til the 85th minute to make that pointless partey sub – if he needs protecting you do it on 70 mins and if he doesn’t you bring on (for example) Pepe for Saka on 65 mins instead.

    He made some mistakes prior to the game and he made some mistakes during the game. That’s the reality. I’m happy to move on from the pool game as our overall form is good these days – but I don’t agree with whitewashing blame from the manager for a game in which he’s clearly made several mistakes

  26. China1

    A progressive pass is any pass that starts in your half and successfully reaches a team mate in the other

    And xG is just 0.1 x # of shots

    For all you stat monsters out there I hope you see how lightweight these kinds of stats are

  27. China1

    Lol this means if in one game you defend for 80 mins but in the last 10 mins you get a couple of one on ones as the opposition tires – you get tackled by the keeper as you try to take him on for the first one and for the second chance you do an ozil style lay off for a team mate to tap in but he does a welbeck and faceplants into the goal, not even touching the ball – in this case your xG is a stone cold 0.00 despite having two glorious chances you’d be expected to score

  28. Tony

    K’phobe re your music suggestion with my old friend recently, I’d just got the Alan Parson’s Project rare live concert, so we watched that and some excerpts from 7 live concert videos of Rolling Stones I’ve got and then finishing watching videos with the latest Floyd Delicate Sound of Thunder tour Blu-ray.

    Then switched to the latest playlist I’ve been compiling while chatting.

  29. Tony

    ‘He made some mistakes prior to the game and he made some mistakes during the game. That’s the reality. I’m happy to move on from the pool game as our overall form is good these days – but I don’t agree with whitewashing blame from the manager for a game in which he’s clearly made several mistakes’

    Pedro does like changing the narrative away from anything that even mildly questions Arteta.

    The table will keep things honest.

  30. China1

    Pink Floyd always had the best names

    Delicate sound of thunder
    The wall
    Dark side of the moon
    Animals (their most underrated album!)
    A momentary lapse of reason
    The division bell

    And so on

  31. Zacharse

    “Villarreal, managed by ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery, are 12th in La Liga, having only won three of 13 domestic league matches, but were the better side in the first half and start of the second.“

  32. MidwestGun

    China your not interpreting XG correctly .. It is simplistic but not like your saying.. XG assigns a value for chance of scoring based on factors like distance from goal and ease of chance. So if a player would normally score the chance 10 out of 10 times.. he gets an xg score of 1. If the shot he takes he would have scored 1 out of 10 times he would get an xg score of .1 if he would have scored 2 out of ten times then he gets an xg score of .2 and so on and then the final xg score is a total of all those values. So if a team takes 10 shots and and they all have a 1 out of ten chance of scoring their final XG score would be 1 or 1 goal expected in that game because they took ten shots with 10% chance of scoring. or .1+.1+.1+ .1 +.1 +.1 +.1 +.1 +.1 +.1 = 1. Their is a subjective nature though because some statistician out there in each match has to decide how many times out of 10 each shot would have scored. But say a shot from the halfway line you would say probably 0 out of 10 times a shot from 8 ft away maybe 9 out of 10 chances.

  33. MidwestGun

    Another example would be a team takes 4 shots in a game.

    The first one has a 2 out of 10 chance of scoring. or .2 the second a 5 out of 10 chance of scoring or .5
    The third shot a 3 out of 10 likelyhood of scoring or .3 the last one a 9 out of 10 chance of scoring..or.9

    The final XG number would be 1.9 .2 + .5 + .3 + .9. or nearly 2 goals. Clearly the more shots you take increases your likelyhood of scoring but also the difficulty of scoring is factored in on each shot based on if that player were to take the shot again 10 times from that same spot.

  34. MidwestGun

    By the way Im not a stats nerd.. so XG to me is kind of pointless. As last time I checked actual goals are what counts. But it does make sense mathematically because it does factor in difficulty of each shot. People have been doing this for years… You hear it all the time … he would have scored that shot 9 out of 10 times or that was a great shot he would have only scored that 2 out of 10 times. XG just tries to quantify all that in one number.

  35. MidwestGun

    When XG first was being discussed in depth on here a few years ago .. I had to look it all up so I could see what the hell people were talking about mostly. Anyhow.. I was just taking a break by reading through Le Grove to get away from my brother the Chelsea fan who is visiting so I can’t hear him talking about their 4-0 win today against Juventus over and over and us not being in the CL anymore. I figure its bad form to punch out your brother the day before a holiday.. 😀

  36. Goobergooner

    That comment from leeds, while true does not reflect the reality that is getting on peoples’ nerves.

    What Leeds failed to mention is that the xg stats Pedro was peddling for Emery were in the middle of his 22 unbeaten run. Not after our dismal end to the season. Not after our loss in EL final.

    So Pedro, go and post it up on the next blog, but you’re just rewriting your own history and skipping past the events being questioned.

  37. Goobergooner


    “but he does a welbeck and faceplants into the goal, not even touching the ball – in this case your xG is a stone cold 0.00 despite having two glorious chances you’d be expected to score”

    Hahaha that whole comment was hilarious

  38. Tom

    . “But it does make sense mathematically because it does factor in difficulty of each shot. People have been doing this for years… You hear it all the time … he would have scored that shot 9 out of 10 times or that was a great shot he would have only scored that 2 out of 10 times. XG just tries to quantify all that in one number.“

    Arsenal average 0.08 xG per shot, ranking them 16th in the PL.
    Which is more telling than the number of shots they take per game.

  39. James

    I completely agree, I fed up with people using Xg stats or chances created/not created. The most important thing to consider is actual goals that actually win you games. I don’t care if our Xg is -1, that doesn’t mean we won’t score it has no relevance. Xg not only relys on the players to create but the players who are potentially scoring to get in positions to have a chance and to take their chances when they come. The issues, which the the author has hit the nail on the head is our strike force itself. Not the tactics, not the system nor the coaches.

    We did the right thing in giving Auba a contract, we needed to at the time, there was no other option. But Auba is not the striker we need now and is in serious decline. The fact we have to sacrifice our system to shoehorn to central strikers is very telling. Its telling that the manager knows there’s a huge problem up top. Laca was signed by wenger to score goals as he was so prolific in France, not to be a creative player. Now he’s having to play as a false 9 to cover bases that Auba can’t.

    We have a main striker who’s 2 main attributes we’re pace and goals. His pace seems to be sliding and if he doesn’t score he does virtually nothing and becomes a passenger. I can’t remember the last goal auba scored outside the box either. He’s not a player who scores or makes goals out of nothing. We need one striker who does everything not 2 strikers who can sort of do some things, but not really great at those things their being asked to do. It’s probably going to be the most expensive piece of the puzzle, look at what Lukaku cost Chelsea.

    Martinelli? Maybe, but it does solve the issue of 2 strikers having to do 1 players job allowing us to play a true creative talent in behind or main man. I think he will be hungrier than Auba but will he come short too often, does he have the physical presence to occupy defenders. He definitely has the pace, skill and finishing ability but I think it’s time to give Odegaard a shot in Lacas role and Martinelli a chance.

    If we don’t try we’ll never know

  40. Mulerise14

    Well,we will keep our eyes glued to the table…truly it doesn’t lie,Tony said Feb 27th and Pedro said Jan 2nd, but for me it is the last matchday … In the meanwhile, what would Tets do against Newcastle?
    He has so many calls to make.
    +442 or back 4231? ( I would be tempted to bring in Ødeegard,we must integrate him with others and go back to 442 against top teams and rugby teams)
    – Tavares or Tierney (I don’t want Tavares to loose confidence,if I were the gaffer I would stick with him+ I just love how he opens up that left side coming infield)
    -Niles or Sambi?(Sambi for me….his main problem that game was Partey as he didn’t come to the party.)

  41. Tom

    Taking bunch of shots from outside the penalty are is kinda like making bunch of crosses to no one……… neither gives you a high probability of scoring.
    That’s why xG for shots taken can be a useful tool to assess teams attacking performance.

    James, Auba had a year left on his contract , so if a year after giving him the new highly lucrative deal he’s no longer the player that fits the clubs needs, then maybe letting him run out his original deal was the better option.

  42. Pierre

    I think it’s fair to say that not many were criticising Arteta’s team selection up until about the 35th minute when he made the mistake of falling for klopp’s tricks, and from then on the tempo and intensity of the game changed..

    Maybe our tactics should have been slightly different at the start of the 2nd half as liverpool’s tails were up,, to continue to try and play through the press at that stage of the game was suicidal as we were conceding possession every 30 seconds in and around our own area for a 5 minute spell before the mistake was made for the 2nd goal…

    For a 20 minute period in the 2nd half we were under seige and it is very difficult for a manager to turn the tide once liverpool are in full flight, always better to stop the tide before it starts, sadly this wasn’t the case and we continued losing possession , 17 turnovers in a game is the highest in the league this season shows the futility of trying to play through the press..most of the turnovers were in that 20 minute period in the 2nd half i would imagine.

    Even pep and city have suffered the same fate at anfield as have the top clubs across Europe, so no need to despair but hope that Arteta treats it as a learning curve.

    I doubt that we will see him inflame the home crowd again and i would hope that he would read the game better the next time the side are under seige.

  43. Leedsgunner

    Expected goals stats can be managed, massaged and manipulated, like anything, that’s why I didn’t mention it… not because of any agenda on my part when I was talking about Emery.

    The table is the great leveller. Where we finally finish at the end of the season is the only statistic that counts.

    Europa League has to be the bare minimum for Arteta… especially with the backing the club gave him…

    I hope the Kronkes realise that they’re going to need to spend the same amount again at the very least to fix our attack and midfield.

    If we do that I would bulk up the squad with the best of our youngsters from the academy and players we have on loan.

  44. Mulerise14

    James I so much agree on your take on this…..we have not come this far to now sit on our hands… this squad needs help and it is glaring enough for a blind man to see.if takers comes for either or both we let go sharp.we must begin to phase them out, given more game time to our lads.
    .i really hope we buy a top striker who can combine their two main attributes.supplemented by Balogun or Martinelli

  45. andy1886

    It’s hardly rocket science but clearly where we finish is going to be decided not by games against the top three, or against basement dwellers like Norwich or Newcastle (wanted to throw in Spurs there), but against our competitors for places 4-7.

    That’s why we’ll have a much better idea of where we stand by mid-December following games against United, Everton and West Ham. If we’re still in the top five at that point I’d be more confident of a decent finish.

  46. Leedsgunner

    Liverpool was a free hit. It didn’t prove anything we didn’t know already.

    The real proof is how we respond in the next 5 games in the league. If we bounce back against the likes of Newcastle, Everton, Southampton West Ham and Leeds with wins our losses to the top sides become blips and not disastrous.

  47. Rich

    Tom, I was one of the few who was happy for us to sell Auba in 2020, or let him run his contract down, it was an emotional decision to hand out the contract we did

    Giving a mega contract to a 31yr old who was all about athleticism, was unlikely to end well, players usually dip physically in their early 30s

    When players who are reliant on their physical attributes dip, they usually fall straight off the edge of a cliff

    Central midfielders + central defenders use their experience, positional awareness, and tactical nous, to adjust, and tend to peak later in their careers, as do goalkeepers, it’s these central areas of the pitch where experience is usually vital

    Full backs statistically peak earliest around mid twenties, and forwards best years are usually from 24-30

    Wenger’s policy of only 1yr extensions for outfield players over 30, was the right one IMO

    Since Aubameyang is likely here for another 18 months, we’ll have to find a way to extract some type of value out of him, I’ve never been his biggest fan, but I don’t see the type of dip we see with Ozil

  48. Rich

    Andy, 19 games would be a good indicator of where we are, so after Boxing Day

    We need to take 15 points from the next 21 available

    35 points at the halfway line would put us on course for 70 points if we sustained that average across the second half of the season

    We’ll hopefully then improve at the business end of the season, as new players settle, partnerships on the pitch improve, and clubs still competing in Europe, aren’t as fresh as we are

    I’ve got us down for 69-74 points, which should be enough for 5th, and give us an outside chance of 4th

  49. Rich

    We’re linked with Renato Sanches, this is his injury history, via Transfermarkt:

    21/22 Muscle Injury Nov 16, 2021 – 8 days

    21/22 Meniscal Injury Aug 14, 2021 Sep 30, 2021 47 days

    21/22 Thigh Problems Jul 29, 2021 Aug 5, 2021 7 days

    20/21 Muscular problems Apr 26, 2021 May 5, 2021 9 days

    20/21 Muscular problems Apr 12, 2021 Apr 23, 2021 11 days

    20/21 Muscle Injury Dec 12, 2020 Jan 7, 2021 26 days

    20/21 Muscle Injury Nov 14, 2020 Dec 8, 2020 24 days

    20/21 Hamstring Injury Aug 23, 2020 Sep 16, 2020 24 days

    19/20 Hamstring contusion Oct 3, 2019 Nov 3, 2019 31 days

    19/20 Hamstring contusion Oct 2, 2019 Oct 23, 2019 21 days

    19/20 Hamstring Injury Oct 2, 2019 Oct 19, 2019 17 days

    18/19 Ankle problems Feb 3, 2019 Feb 14, 2019 11 days

    17/18 Hamstring Injury Jan 27, 2018 Apr 22, 2018 85 days

    17/18 Hamstring Injury Jan 6, 2018 Jan 26, 2018 20 days

    17/18 Thigh Problems Oct 21, 2017 Nov 18, 2017 28 days

    17/18 Thigh Problems Oct 11, 2017 Oct 20, 2017 9 days

    16/17 Cold Feb 27, 2017 Mar 6, 2017 7 days

    16/17 Hamstring Injury Jul 11, 2016 Sep 7, 2016

    He’s 24, and there’s giant red warning triangles all over his hamstrings, surely we wouldn’t be this stupid?

  50. China1

    Midwest it seems actually there are multiple different xG models

    0.1 x number of shots is one model and is the most simplistic

    There are considerably more complex ones as well tho which is much harder to break down

  51. China1

    Goober I shit you not welbeck is the only CF I’ve ever seen in top flight football who is only take as 50/50 to score vs face plant and miss from 3 yards out

    How many fucking times man I mean really

    There was one game where he missed two from a few yards out in one half. I mean for fucks sake 😂😂😂😂😂

  52. China1

    Actually the more complex xG model used by opta uses machine learning and AI

    It is still learning based on generic analysis of all football rather than individual players tho. The significance of this is a clear sighted on the edge of the box for Salah is a serious goal scoring opportunity whereas as we said Welbeck hasn’t scored more than 3 of those in his career. Both players’ contribution to xG would be expected equal. But one thing I’m certain of is: Mohammed salah and Danny welbeck are not equals.

  53. Rich

    Jamie, not sure we needed the benefit of hindsight to know that a player who’s all about elite athleticism, was likely to dip physically from the age of 31-34

    We need to become much more astute in identifying signs of progression + regression in players

    Wenger’s policy of 1yr extensions for outfield players over 30, was the right one

    Players like Bergkamp who never really had much pace, and was an elite technician, tend to play on a bit longer

    Take away Aubameyang’s explosiveness over short + long distances, and what else does he offer?

  54. James

    It’s crazy Pierre people don’t realise how good we’ve been since the start of 2021. Because we’re not playing Man City or Liverpool style of football and smashing teams 4-5 nil were apparently crap. Our comparison compared to Liverpool is not to be laughed at since the start of the new year. We are actually on title challenging form, even though we won’t win the league but it’s progress.

  55. James

    Agreed Rich at the time he was scoring goals but looking at it now looking back Auba joined under wenger when we were very creative. Forward 3 years the game has changed beyond us and the type of player a top club requires has changed