3 - Consecutive Arsenal matches where the winner scored three goals
Yep, it’s been a weird start to the Arsenal’s season. Arsenal climbed into 9th place today with a 3-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage. The scoreline today and last weekend ensured that the Gunners now have a P2 W1 D0 L1 F4 A4 record.
12 - Appearances by Barren Dent against Arsenal
8 - Goals Barren Dent has scored against Arsenal in those appearances
Darren Bent’s record against Arsenal is pretty weird. I guess. I don’t know why I included that.
5 – Shots by Cazorla in the first three matches this season for Arsenal (1.7 per game)
3 - Shots by Cazorla today versus Fulham
14 - Shots by Cazorla in his first three matches for Arsenal last season
2.8 – Shots per game for Cazorla last season in League and Champions League play
I noted early that Cazorla looks like he’s shooting less than last year. I’m sure it’s just a bit of hangover from a long summer. The season is too early to tell if this is a deliberate change on his part.
6 – Successful dribbles so far this season by Walcott
4 - Successful dribbles by Walcott today versus Fulham
Walcott had a poor first game with just 1 shot and 0/2 dribbles but he’s shaken that game off and come back in the last two matches with 6 shots against Fener and 5 again today to bring his total on the season to 12 shots with 5 shots on goal. He’s also had 9 key passes and an assist so far this season. Again, like Cazorla, it’s early doors don’t get too bogged down with the numbers just yet.
9 - Ball recoveries by Ramsey
6 - Ball recoveries by each of Cazorla and Jenks
4 - Ball recoveries by Parker
1 – Tackle by Ramsey (of 3)
3 – Tackles by Parker (of 3)
80 - of 87 passes by Parker, 18 of 25 in the final third, all of his misplaced passes were in the Arsenal final third
59 - of 63 passes by Cazorla, 25 of 29 in the final third, all of his misplaced passes were in the Fulham final third
6 – Chances created by Cazorla
1 – Chance created by Scott Parker
73 - of 84 passes by Ramsey, 15 of 20 in the final third
Ball recoveries is a new feature for those of you with the FourFourTwo app. Opta has been tracking the data for a while but 442 just this year decided to include it in their app. I like this stat because, for example Ramsey today, it shows how much a player is hustling to get the ball back for his team. Ramsey didn’t have a perfect performance (tackles were poor and he misplaced passes in poor areas) but he did bust a gut.
9.7 - Shots per goal for Olivier Giroud in Premier League play last season
4.9 - Shots per goal for Lukas Podolski in Premier League play last season
54 - Total shots Podolski took in Premier League play last season
20 - Shots Podolski put on goal in Premier League play last season
55 - Percent of Podolski’s shots on goal he converted to goals in Premier League play last season
107 - Total shots Giroud took in Premier League play last season
38 - Shots Giroud put on goal in Premier League play last season
29 - Percent of Giroud’s shots on goal he converted to goals in Premier League play last season
11 - Shots taken by Giroud in all (non-friendly) matches so far this season
3 - Shots on goal by Giroud in all (non-friendly) matches so far this season
100 - Percent of Giroud’s shots on goal he has converted in all (non-friendly) matches so far this season
3 - Shots taken by Podolski in all (non-friendly) matches so far this season
2 - Shots on goal by Podolski in all (non-friendly) matches so far this season
100 - Percent of Podolski’s shots on goal he has converted in all (non-friendly) matches so far this season
There’s a stat going around by Opta that Podolski was the best finisher in the League last year, scoring 33.3% of his overall shots. Which is true… if you remove shots that were blocked. I happen to count shots that were blocked because I don’t think a player should get an inflated finishing percent if their shots are blocked. Podolski is a classic example of why you shouldn’t count finishing like that. He took 54 shots but 21 of them were blocked or otherwise discarded by Opta in their finishing % stat. That’s nearly 40% of the shots he took which weren’t counted as shots!
And his finishing of one goal every five shots or so is actually really good. You don’t need to inflate those numbers.
And finally, the difference between the match last year and this is simple: finishing. Arsenal were well matched on both days — though Fulham was without Sidwell for a large portion of the April match, so you could say that Fulham outplayed Arsenal on that day — as the stats show but today Arsenal had two players with their shooting boots on, Giroud and Podolski. Arsenal didn’t even create a bunch of gilt edged chances today, just the one for Giroud — matched by the one put away by Bent — so the difference was Podolski and his two goals on three shots.