19 – Arsenal shots v. West Brom
3 – Arsenal shots on West Brom’s goal
8 – West Brom shots
1 – West Brom shot on Arsenal’s goal
6 – Premier League matches since Arsenal last attempted more than 15 shots
3 – Premier League matches since Arsenal last kept an opponent to 8 or fewer shots (Tottenham, 10 men, 5-2 win for the Arsenal)
13 – Premier League matches since Arsenal last kept an opponent to just one shot on goal (Stoke)
27 – Premier League home matches since Arsenal last scored a penalty at home (17 April
2010 2011, 1-1 v. Liverpool, van Persie 98th minute.)
3 – Penalties awarded to Arsenal in Premier League play at the Emirates since that game (Fulham 2012 (miss), WBA 2012 x 2)
11 – Penalties awarded to Manchester United in Premier League play at Old Trafford in the same time
6 – Penalties denied Arsenal in that same period in Premier League play (both home and away, according to the notes I take on matches)
1 – Thing that people will be venting their wrongteous fury over all week
Hustle and Going Forward
48 – Completed passes by Wilshere (third best)
59 – Attempted passes by Wilshere (second best)
31 – Number of Jack’s passes that were in the WBA final third²
31 – Number of Jack’s passes that were forward passes
4 – Key passes by Jack Wilshere³
5 – Key passes by Chris Brunt²
4 – Number of Chris Brunt’s key passes that came from a dead ball situation
5 – Successful dribbles by Jack Wilshere²
4 – Attempted through balls by Jack Wilshere²
0 – Number of times that Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla were either dispossessed or had a turnover
24 – Tackles attempted by Arsenal
10 – League matches since Arsenal last attempted 24 or more tackles (Chelsea, 30)
24 – Aerial duels Arsenal won
13 – League matches since Arsenal last won 24 or more aerial duels (Stoke, 29/70)
56 – Duels won by Arsenal (tackles, dribbles, and aerial duels)
13 – League matches since Arsenal won at least 55 duels (Stoke)
The other day, Arseblog asked if I could look at Arsenal’s passes forward v. passes backward to see if there was an overall trend in passing backward that had developed for Arsenal over the last few weeks and to see how that compared to a good run of games last season.
I thought that the numbers weren’t available but then this morning discovered that the 442 Stats Zone app has them. So, I compiled passes forward, square, and backward along with passes in the opposition final third. Since every game is different in terms of passes per match, I chose to compare the direction of the passes against the total passes attempted as a percentage. Right now, I just have this season’s data but it shouldn’t be too hard to get last season’s data imported, if there’s interest.
As you can see, Arsenal actually are trending upward in passes going forward over the last few weeks. In fact, the Swansea match and the West Brom match both were season highs of 56% forward passes. The difference in the two games is that Arsenal didn’t play the ball back as much against the Baggies as they did against the Swans (again, as a percentage of overall passes).
The Norwich match was the pinnacle in terms of passing backwards as a percent of overall play at 33%. If you look up at the hustle board you will also notice that it was one of the worst performances from an overall duels standpoint as well, as Arsenal only won 9 tackles all day.
As I said, I also looked at passes in the final third as another indication of how much Arsenal have been attacking the opposition as of late. Today against West Brom, the Gunners were right at their season average with 31% of their overall passes in the Baggies area. Against Man U, Arsenal had their most timid performance and managed just 19% of their overall passes in the United final third. And against Swansea, actually, Arsenal had their most aggressive attacking performance, managing a whopping 42% of their passes in the Swans danger area. It’s no surprise that Swansea hit Arsenal with two concise counter attacks, exploiting the space Arsenal left because they were parking the bus in the Swansea final third. And yes, parking the bus is an apt description, considering that Arsenal managed just 10 shots that day.
They had far less possession in West Brom’s area today but managed 9 more shots.
All numbers today via Opta, ESPN, or my personal database
¹Best in the League in this category
²Lead both teams in this category
³Lead just his team in this category