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Where to from here? + Player ratings and stats

by on October 3, 2011

Not nice at all. That was a just a massive *bleugh* really. This is meant to be a mostly-stats based match report and I suppose it will be, but there are one or two things I wanted to say first.

Firstly, I don’t mind dropping the three points. Even against that lot. I know it makes them think they’re decent (which let’s be honest, they’re not), but 3 points dropped isn’t that bad considering that this is a transitional period. That’s the important thing to remember, this is a transitional period. This squad clearly doesn’t have the confidence on the ball that we’re used to seeing from previous Arsenal sides and that’s showing. Saying that, we should be able to get decent results out of our fixtures after the international break. As I was saying to a few people yesterday, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we were to spend in January, with names like M’Vila and Martin being bandied around.

The other thing I wanted to say, Bacary Sagna’s injury is far more important than losing yesterday. The man is quite simply a rock and will be sincerely missed. I’ll probably speak towards the end of the international break about who we can expect to fill in for him and more about the team, but without Vermaelen, Wilshere and Sagna our team is a hell of a lot weaker. I was speaking to @simonafc on twitter yesterday about the amount of serious injuries we suffer and it’s just unreal. 5 broken legs since May 2006, plus Cesc’s hairline fracture. Only Sagna’s and Nasri could be counted as bad luck out of all of them, the rest are simply dangerous or malicious tackles. There’s also Gibbs’ broken metatarsal, from a horrendous tackle. RVP also broke his metatarsal in 2007, although that wa probably bad luck. Szczesny breaking both his arms as well, Miyaichi’s broken leg last summer. Djourou’s dislocated shoulder which seems to have absolutely destroyed his form from last season where he was part of the second-best defence in the Premiership.

Those are just the ones we were able to remember of the top of our heads as well, it’s just unreal how many injuries we get. Horrific. People blame our medical team or whatever, if it’s a bad tackle (like the majority of the above) then the medical team have nothing to do with it. It’s about adequate protection from the referees and the FA. Still, I’m being side-tracked, time for some (sub-standard) analysis.

Wojciech Szczesny made 4 saves and one good claim, but a pass accuracy of 43% compared to Brad Freidel’s 71% is somewhat worrying, as is 2 of his 13 attempted long balls being successful. Although the first goal was a top finish (and a handball…) he will have been disappointed with himself there, as his reaction afterwards showed. He got down a bit too early and the ball swerved much more than he was expecting. It’s the kind of thing that comes with experience, but there we go. The young Pole get a 6 from me.

Bacary Sagna did well up until he came off. Obviously he wasn’t as good once he came off. Interestingly, he had 45 touches, a lot less than Keiran Gibbs who had 81. Keiran Gibbs also won 2  aerial duels compared to 0 from the Bacman. Keiran Gibbs played two key passes and had 1 successful dribble, compared to 0 and 0 from the Bacman. Okay, this is getting interesting. Sagna attempted one tackle compared to 5 attempted by Gibbs, but did make 2 interceptions compared to 0 from Gibbs. The Englishman trumped him with 3 effective clearances as opposed to 1 from Sagna, but did give away 2 fouls. 2 more than the Frenchman. Thinking about it, the Englishman might have had a better game than the Frenchman with 54 passes at a 91% accuracy compared to Sagna’s 28 at 82%. Obviously, you have to take into account that Sagna only player 60 minutes. Gibbs gets a 6, although the statistics are in his favour, he was pulled out of position for Van der Vaart’s (illegal) goal. Sagna probably gets a 6, given that he went off after 60 minutes and was maybe not quite as good as he usually is.

Per Mertesacker and Alex Song. Ahem. Kept a very, very high line. Interesting, given that Defoe and Adebayor are clearly faster than them. Saying that, they won 3 aerial duels between them, attempted 1 tackle each and also both made 2 interceptions as well as a combined 7 effective clearances, 2 shots blocked and 4 ‘offsides won’, i.e. an opposing players caught out be the offside trap. Admittedly, they did that quite well. Although there was one instance where Szczesny had to save one-on-one from Adebayor. Mertesacker gave away a foul, surprisingly. Song gave away 2 fouls, not bad considering his somewhat interesting foul count when he plays in midfield. Mertesacker had an 86% pass accuracy ratio, although neither of his long balls actually found a team-mate. Alexandre Song had disappointing 78% pass accuracy, much lower than it was against Olympiakos, although 4 of his 6 long balls found a team-mate. Obviously he also picked up a nice assist for the goal, whereas all Mertesacker picked up was a booking. Per Mertesacker probably gets a 6 but Alex Song might just sneak a 6.5. The assist might have worked in his favour there.

Francis Coquelin. I’ve been ‘bigging up’ this young man for some time, like most other people who watch the Arsenal youth sides. He was my man of the match. That’s probably a bit biased but I don’t really care. I think a 7 will do nicely here. I really just think he does a good all round job. 5 attempted tackles(joint highest on the team with Kieran Gibbs), 2 interceptions, 2 effective clearances and blocking one shot show that he’s up to the job defensively. An 87% passing accuracy isn’t at all bad, neither is 4 out of his 5 attempted long balls or 1 of his 2 through balls finding a team-mate. There was also apparently a last-man tackle in there somewhere. Not sure I remember that, but who am I to distrust Opta? One small problem though, the young Frenchman was dispossessed 7 times, 2 more than any other Arsenal player. Still clearly a bit raw then. As I’ve already said, Coquelin gets a 7.

Mikel Arteta had maybe a quiet game by his standards. That’s not saying that he was bad, because he’s set the bar pretty high so far. He had the joint-highest touches on the team at 91 (once again, joint-highest with Kieran Gibbs). He played 2 key passes and drew 4 fouls, more than anyone else on the team. Saying that, he was dispossessed on 3 occasions. He attempted 2 tackles, as well as making 2 interceptions and 2 effective clearances. He also had the joint-highest passing accuracy at 91% (once again with Kieran Gibbs!!), playing the highest number of passes on any Arsenal player (87, Kieran Gibbs played 56 for the record). Also, of the 9 longballs he played, 9 were successful. That’s nice. Mikel gets a 6.5 from me, not a bad game as I said, although I was a bit disappointed with his movement and the movement of Aaron Ramsey, speaking of whom…

Rambo! He got a goal. Nice. I said I was a bit disappointed with his movement, the truth is he still hasn’t found his consistency since his injury and  whenever he has the ball he looks like he’s looking for that killer-ball all the time. The sooner Wilshere gets back the better, I get the feeling young Aaron needs a rest. He took 2 shots, both on target, as well as playing 2 key passes and 1 successful dribble, although he was dispossessed on 5 occasions. Defensively, he attempted 2 tackles and made 1 interception, but that was about it. His passing accuracy was maybe slightly lower than he would have wanted (83%) and only 1 of his 3 crosses found a team-mate, as opposed to 3 of his 4 attempted long balls. An unfortunately quiet performance from the Welshman, the goal means he gets a 6.5, but he’s just looking so laboured at the moment, like the rest of the attacking quintet.

Theo. *sigh* It really isn’t working for him out on the wing is it? Quiet for so much of the match. In fairness, he took 4 shots, more than anyone else. Aside from those and his 1 interceptions though, that’s pretty much it. 9 passes and 25 touches over 72 minutes is just poor really. It’s a strange dilemna really. Do you stick him in the middle in the hope that he proves he can cut it there, or keep him out wide until he earns his place in the middle? Let me know. Either way, Theo gets a 5.

Gervinho doesn’t do much better, 46 touches, 2 shots, and a key pass isn’t bad, but not a single dribble? From Gervinho? Defensively, there was only a single interception like Theo. 27 passes is slightly better, but nothing really came off. The worst part though, that miss. Good Lord, that was horrendous. The lack of end-product from Gervinho is starting to become a worry now. 5.

Robin Van Persie. 1 shot, 2 key passes. 2 successful dribbles as well (as much as the rest of the team combined). He always puts the effort in though and 1 attempted tackle, 1 interception, 1 effective clearance and 1 ‘shot blocked’ proves that. One of everything, like a pick ‘n’ mix. A passing accuracy of 66% is pretty low though, especially for someone like RVP, for whom technique is the main strength of his game. That’s about it really, a 6 for Robin.

I won’t rate the subs, just because. Jenkinson didn’t do too badly, Gareth Bale had him for pace once or twice, but he showed his usual crossing accuracy so wasn’t particularly a threat with 0 of his 7 attempted crosses reaching a team-mate. Wow, I wish Theo was more like that, instead of his average of 1 in 3…

Benayoun and Arshavin, we just didn’t seem to have anything left by the time they came on.

I’ve said this a few times, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a change in formation, things can’t get much worse and we just look so stale and laboured in the final third, unlike the old 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 of the Invincibles.

Right, that sucked massively. International break now, hopefully we’ll work on a few things. Highlights here if you want to relive them. As always, leave your views in the comments section whether you agree/disagree with my ratings. Have I been too generous? Don’t forget that you can follow me on twitter as well @SavageGooner and you can ‘like’ us on facebook.

Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Comes Through Harmony

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4 Comments
  1. diamond dave permalink

    wenger is dillusional and so is gazidis and the rest of the arsenal board, frank mcklintok, george graham, the list goes on and on, have all said this is the worse arsenal squad they have seen in a long time, how right they are, when you sell fab and nasri and clichy you have to replace them with the same quality, and lest be honest what he bought was bargain basement buys, what the idiot wenger can not see what everyone else can is there are major proplems with this squad there is no depth or quality, and lets be honest a club that hikes prices by 6% want us to watch this? wenger has destroyed this team with a philosophy that has not worked, in any job you are accountable for your actions and he needs to go, how many drk clouds does he have to keep trying to peek through looking for excuses, we all knew by the squad we had we would not be winning any trophies, and a majority of arsenal fans have been cosistent that we will be fighting relegation, and by the performances to date that shows to be the case to only get 7 points from 7 games, yesterdays game showed the defensive frailities, it also showed with nasri and fab gone we can not finish a game, yer it is fine having 60% of the ball but the game is won on scoring goals, wengers comments irritate me, because he comes out with the worst verbal diarohea i have ever heard, and wenger should go before he causes more damage to this already weak and fragile team, and kroenke needs to stay in america and follow the sports out there he has no clue about football, and gazidis comments, last week i want to build a bigger fan base and build succes on the pitch, well another idiot if he calls this success then woolworths should have never gone bust, you have bought players that are just average, and there is a saying what you pay for is what you get, and that has been shown in the results, wenger needs to stop the rubbish talk and the promises and become realistic, and come off planet zorg, and get back to reality, and start by doing that by leaving and take gazidis and kroenke with you, you have taken this club backwards, and in a perilous situation, all just to line the pockets of the shareholders, here is a question for the idiots at arsenal, how will you fill your stadium if we get relegated? you will find it will be a struggle to survive, you destroyed this team and it is about time you all walked.

  2. TonyT permalink

    Hey, I wanted to ask you from which site do you get your statistics from?

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