Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: by the numbers

Stoke 1-0 Arsenal: by the numbers

Depressing result, instead of the normal 7amkickoff Index let’s try a little exposition.

I think of clearances as an indicator of how much a team is working the opposition defense. If team A forces team B into making 40 clearances and team B forces team A into just 15 clearances, then I think team A showed more attacking threat. In today’s match, Stoke forced Arsenal to clear the ball 51 times and Arsenal only forced Stoke to clear 30 times. Arsenal average 33 clearances a game, which is right in the middle of the pack at 10th best. Stoke average 32 clearances a game.

Stoke’s dangerous passes which forced those clearances mostly came in the air and Arsenal were forced to clear the ball 32 times in the air compared to Stoke’s 16. But even if we remove the headed clearances, Stoke still held an advantage of 14-19.

Most of Arsenal’s clearances, however, happened high up the pitch and outside the box. But the problem here is that even if we just count the clearances in the 18 yard box, Stoke and Arsenal both had 17. That means by that metric, Stoke created as much if not more havoc in the Arsenal back line as we caused in theirs.

Worse, 12 of Stoke’s clearances came in the final 20 minutes — after they had scored. That means that for the first 75 minutes, Arsenal only forced Stoke to make 18 clearances, quite an easy day at the office for the Stoke defense. In that same time, Arsenal were called upon to make 47 clearances. And when you work the defense that much, you increase the opportunity for the defenders to make an error.

If it’s any consolation, Mertesacker, Koscielny, and Gibbs led all players with 13, 11, and 10 clearances respectively.

The shots stats were just as bad. Shots in the 6 yard box and the area up to the penalty spot are much more likely to score than speculative shots from outside the box (about 40% to 3%). I feel like shots from distance actually show timidity and lack of discipline. So you can imagine how disappointed I was when I saw Cazorla take not one but TWO cracks from distance when Podolski was wide open right in front of him, and right in the danger area where you expect teams to score at nearly a 40% rate. Stoke finished the game with 4 shots from that 40% area, getting three on target. Arsenal had just one and it was blocked.

Worse, Arsenal only created 10 chances in that game, mostly because Giroud was basically nullified through a combination of physicality and aggression.  But Arsenal are at a four year low for shots created and have a horrible record when coming from behind. The opposition have scored first 7 times now in League play and Arsenal have only won one of those games (Wet Hams). Man City, Liverpool, Man U, and now Stoke have all beaten Arsenal when they jump out to an early lead.

Giroud was stamped on twice and we shouldn’t discount that stat just because he seemed to make a meal of most of his challenges. Stoke decided to be physical with him, the ref allowed it — and has a history of allowing physical play, and Giroud was bullied out of every ball. Giroud finished the game with 7 turnovers, leading all players, and also finished the match leading all players in “being fouled” with 4. That stat is debatable, however, if you felt any of those turnovers were fouls and fouls were turnovers.

If there’s a glimmer of hope here, it’s that Arsenal took 4 shots in the last 20 minutes of the game. It’s no coincidence that stat matches the arrival of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Wenger’s change in tactics to play a 4-4-2 with Ox providing width instead of having Sagna play the winger.. Ox led Arsenal with 2 key passes, both of which were really dangerous chances. Moreover, there were plenty of chances that he created which went begging.

Finally, Stoke’s penalty was lucky, let’s just put that out there. That was ball to hand if I ever saw it. And if you need an explanation of the new handball rules, Graham Poll provides one:

Regarding handball they now ask the referee to consider the proximity of the potential offender to the person last playing the ball, the speed of the ball and importantly whether the offender’s arms are in a natural or unnatural position.

So the question of intent is now, did the offender deliberately place his arms in an unnatural position to increase the chances of the ball hitting him?

If the answer to that is yes then it is correct to penalise that player even though it used to be argued that was ball to hand.

No chance that was a handball. Not under the new rules and not under the old rules. Koz was going for the ball and trying to balance himself. If you’ve ever played football, you know that you make that arm motion all the time when you’re in the air.

Garbage call.

Not that Arsenal created enough chances to win that game.

photo (17)

@7amkickoff

67 COMMENTS

      • Sorry but is it just me that is becoming fed up with Jack lying on the ground and when the ref stops
        the game he gets up and continues playing.AW seriously needs to speak to him about his recent
        overall performance to get him back to where he was several years ago.We need Jack to be on his
        game consistently to drive the team forward

        Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

        • JW has turned into a whiner. Just get off your arse and do something to win the ball back rather than sitting down and throwing a tantrum. He needs to be taken out of the starting line up for a couple of games to give him a kick up the backside. Flamini, Ozil, Gnabry, Cazorla and Oxlade Chamberlain is my chosen midfield. Sanogo up front. Giroud has got to go at the end of the season. He is not good enough to play for Arsenal, especially thinking about the great strikers we have had in the past 2 decades.

          Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

        • His passing hasn’t been great either. Jack’s off form, but the boss keep playing him?

          (Arsene, thats why we have more than just 11 players in the squad…)

          Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        • The lack of protection given to players like Jack is ridiculous. England are never going to get past any decent international opposition if referees aren’t enforcing the same rules of the game at domestic level – firstly because the best English players will be injured too often and secondly because the poorer English players are made to look better by “cheating”.

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    • You will feel better when you stop blaming ref or opponent when we lose the game. Football games always have unfair ref (one of Arsenal stretcher is spuds fan after all) and opponents who are rugby players. Just stand up and play the game like a man. Just think about it, will our god Bergkamp fall down and whine all the time, or reluctant to go into 50-50 tackle, or flat feeling after losing the game? I have more respect to Sturridge when we won Liverpool at FA cup. He showed he really cared. Lastly, I know we need to get behind the players, but sometimes they need stick, especially young players like Wilshere. They take it for granted. He doesn’t seem care and it shows when he plays. If they are down because we f**k them, then be it. That means they are not deserve to be Arsenal players.

      Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11

      • Giroud took 10 times the lumps anyone here could have. Stoke should’ve finished with 9 men at most, and that’s it.

        If you know we should get behind the players, man up and do so.

        Thumb up 19 Thumb down 6

      • If you support Arsenal and you watch a match with a biased ref, you will be angry at him. If there is any doubt you either didn’t see how poor the officiating was or aren’t supporting your team.

        Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

        • Very true.. But when all the time Giroud got kicked and stamped, we never saw Jack, Mikel or even Rosicky or any teammate even joining his protests? Look at all other big teams – they protect and support their teammates and talk to refs. But we never do…

          And then look at Wenger & staff- nothing much.. Any post-match comments on this scandalous refereeing? Nothing from team or manager – No wonder, teams kick us about in away games more than most and call us ‘soft’..

          BTW, How badly we missed Flamini in this game, eh?

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    • Normally I would say no to this comment, but considering he kicked Arteta and stamped on Giroud (both deliberate to my eye), and fans of other teams have complained about him – Spurs fans twice – I would say yes, what goes around comes around, and I would not feel bad if he broke something.

      Thumb up 35 Thumb down 2

      • When Charlie Adam came up with Blackpool, he had a remarkable number of yellow cards. I remember saying on twitter how unusual it was to see a player in the Championship with so many cards, he must be a dirty motherfucker. I was taken to task for that, because I was making a judgement based on stats and not ever having seen the guy. But I guess the stats were right, because that guy is dirtier than Alan Pardew’s touch line laundry list.

        Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

        • I agree.

          I used to think Adam was just reckless. But he’s actually deliberately dirty. ‘Malice aforethought’ stuff. He’s a disgrace.

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  1. 10 – Number of times we need to win in the PL for a chance to win it now.
    10 – The number of games this team is capable of winning.

    COYG <3

    And don't think I'm disappointed, or don't want to criticise anyone, but OMG SACK WENGA, and GIROUD PLAY ONLY CUZ HE FRENCH and other crap like that is useless.

    Get behind the current team, at least till the summers when a few things can change.

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 15

  2. Don’t let the penalty deflect any attention away from the fact that we were completely shit today, and while I’m on a roll, wtf is it with Wilshere laying on the ground for ten fucking minutes every time he gets tackled, 1, get the fuck up and help win the ball back, 2, I shit myself cause I think your glass ankle has been shattered…

    Thumb up 71 Thumb down 6

  3. Tough place to get points, but we surely needed them today. I think this is the start of the collapse I am afraid. I hope I am wrong. But I am not am I.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

  4. This is not the only game this season we have been shit in, remember Liverpool? This has been the trademark for Arsenes teams for the past 8 years.
    Players are all tired, virtually the same lot plays in the FA Cup, Champions league,EPL, Carling Cup.
    Arsene will take the responsibility at the end of the season, let’s give him time.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

    • How much more time would you like to give him?? Don’t get me wrong, for the money spent on players he’s done brilliant, but maybe we need someone willing to spend a bit more freely…

      Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

  5. Beautiful job as always, Tim. Watching Schurlle, a fresh player from the blue cunts’ bench scoring a hattrick really made me wish we had such capable people bought in June (or January) to freshen things up. But never mind, Arsene knows, as always.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

  6. we were poor yes, but only 10 games to go, even if it was only 5 games left i wouldn’t write off arsenal yet of the tittle.Anything is possible, only the last day of the season will determine who will be the 2013/2014 champions.Keep the faith!COYG!

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 4

  7. Arsenal… Why are you like this… Slipping down, when standing straight is the only option… Where are we lacking..? I know its inspiration… When AW bought and bring Ozil, I thought the factor of lack of inspiration is covered… But it has gone just the opposite… Ozil is suffering the same; just like Arsenal gave a piece of lack of inspiration to him… This is where Ramsey could have played a part, but unfortunately injury played its part beautifully, atleast for the fans of our opponents…

    We have quality, gameplan (no plan B), ‘few’ good players in our midfield & a lot in defence… As this is football and scoring plays a vital role, we dont have ‘that’ quality in our forward dept..

    Next time, we will get it next year, atleast we qualified for UEFACL, FA cup is not important. These are some sentences or defensive methods that fans including me use… And that too for 9 looooooooong years…

    The next thing we depend upon for defending ourselves is LUCK… What the holy “LUCK”. We decide our luck… Everyone does… I agree that luck plays a part; but not good as we do, our team does…

    This is not a complaint, as anyone can do that. This is my grief… (In malayalam, “ORACHCHANTE RODHANAM…”).
    Dear Wenger, please spend some cash and buy a good finisher. I read the Arsenal returns and budget for the previous year, and I know we are making a lot of money… (I am sorry, you and Arsenal mgmt. Not me.)

    Before talking about the need of a finisher, just take a look to our midfield… Wow… Thats the word… We have Cazorla, Rosicky, Ozil, Wilshere, Ramsey… Enough for any team to win the UEFACL. No…? Okay here goes the list… We have Arteta, Podolski(as of now), Chamberlane, Flamini, Kalstrom(dont laugh) and Walcott… So, these are the players who can get the ball from the back to the penalty box of the opponents… Yes, we just need to finish it, convert it into a shot at goal. Unfortunately we are not able to do that cos we have “Girooo” in there, and he is not a finisher. Just look at Dortmund, Bayern or even Manchester Utd(again, dont laugh). Lewandowski, Muller or RVP respectively, just need to finish, just shoot at goal…

    Poor Girooo, he dont even know what a shot is(he tried one against Everton). I havnt seen him scoring a goal with a “shot”. He manages it with some flicks, deflections and headers(although he is good at it, most of them go towards ballboys). Poor lad… He is still an Arsenal forward, just cos we dont have a quality striker, or Wenger’s interest. Hearing about RVP’s return, the first thing that comes to mind is the jobless Girooo.

    So, no way round. If we want to end the trophy drought, and if you Mr. Wenger, want to go out as a legend, please strengthen our attack. Dont be adament in playing Giroo.
    Because, 9 years is a long time…

    -Gunner till I die…

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

  8. Get Wilshere off of the fucking pitch. He gives more balls away than an African charity and he’s on the floor easier than Suarez was during his heyday of being a cunt. He runs with the ball as if he’s sure he won’t lose it, but then he always fucking does, and then either goes to ground or stands there for a few seconds looking around with his arms out like it was someone’s fault they weren’t available for whatever the hell he was about to do next. Fucking hell

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 9

  9. I understand why other team’s fans see Wilshere as overrated. He runs around like a headless chicken and looks lost most of the game. He gets fouled often because he doesn’t bother passing until there’s no opening, where the pass just becomes futile. There was a chance in this game but he pushed Sagna so far wide that the chance just went.

    Off-topic, but I really feel like smashing Charlie Adam’s head in with a brick as well.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  10. Arsene is still the man, but no plan B and referee was a dick all day.
    Lack of strikers and all that..its just that winning the title now depends on other teams loosing…from being in our control before..we might still win it though…
    Also, it looks like there is problem in the team, something is going on in the background..it seemed we lacked team spirit, not playijg for each other today..and also Wenger, against his nature did not defend the midfield and forwards in the press…

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  11. Once again, it was team selection and tactics,
    That cost us.
    Yeah, wenger is great, but his also an annoying dick!
    When we lose…
    What bugs me the most is…
    why did our players tweet stupid smug pictures
    of them self wearing rugby kits?
    A bit of fun… maybe…. not so funny now is it.
    Did that not make things worse?

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  12. What an incredible goal by Higuain to draw us level at the end there…..

    Oh sorry, its just a miss by Yaya Sanogo

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 18

  13. We can’t win games playing Sanogo… We need to strengthen the squad with good n intelligent attackers(that was our trademark). But now we have lost the touch. #Sad

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  14. Shocking ref decision with penalty n adams should be sent off , but think we bottled it today was scared about being tackled , this is not a new problem , this is England !

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    • Not only Adams (twice, but not even a yellow?!) but Pieters as well.
      Scared of being tackled? Did you see Arteta Wilshere and Giroud’s day out at all? The ogres kicked them all over the pitch.

      Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. While I’m disappointed with the performance, which was way below our standards, I was more disappointed we didn’t make changes earlier. Over the last few years, Wenger has refrained from interfering when things aren’t going well. Trust in the players is admirable, but we desperately needed a change of tactics and personnel and it came too late.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  16. Every time you think of blaming the boss for not buying in jan, think about this. Spurs spent a hundred million, with the whole summer to plan and they are still shite.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  17. Wenger is obssessed with playing five central midfielders behind Giroud. Arteta Wilshere Cazorla Rosicky Ozil Ramsey Flamini: These are all central midfielders and Wenger wants to play 5 of them in most games. Arsenal need pace in the wide attacking area’s to get crosses in for Giroud. With Walcott out for the season, Chamberlain or Gnabry must provide pace to the Arsenal but Wenger seems reluctant to play them. It is very poor squad building and team selection from Wenger. Cazorla and especialy Ozil need runners prepared to run in behind, for them to be truely affective but Wenger stupidly and stubburnly ignores this.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  18. Giroud cant finish, he cant run, he cant pass, he has no sense of atk positioning, and the only space he has heard of is outer space, and he is still trying to work out how to exploit it to improve his game. Wenger constantly tells him to exploit the space, but poor Giroud is at a loss how to accomplish this seemingly impossible mission. Surely you cannot manipulate space to become a better footballer?

    Imo Giroud needs to bulk up. A man his size ought to be doing the bullying, and not be at the receiving end. He does not have much going for him in terms of skill, but the one thing he do have is his Size. Yet he does not seem very strong, and every defense make him their biatch and put him in their pocket way to easy.

    A player his size should be a nuisance to play against, and should not take any crap, and should buldoze the defense into submission and dewtroy them in duels. He does not have speed, agility, tecnique or any other special skills to fall back on, so if he lacks strenght aswell, then what good is he.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

  19. One +ve was to see Sonago get to a goal scoring position..even though he bolted, but atleast he looks to have the natural instinct….just needs to sort out his shots

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  20. Until the end of the season i want atleast one of or both gnabry and chamberlain playing. A lot of pace on the wing can help when a team is trying to score a goal

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  21. now it’s come to that point in the season where the cliched line is used- “every game is a cup final game now”. unfortunately even with the best efforts you win some cups and you lose some. there it goes- arsenal’s final 10 league games.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • the jury is still out- this is his first year in the PL
      I think his team mates are expecting (like the fan base) for him to be a savior…
      the other players are still required to move off the ball.
      while I am concerned with our lack of defensive ‘mettle’ in mid
      I’m more concerned with our situation and movement up front….to static
      nobody is dragging the cb out of position like Bayren did to us
      thjeir is nobody who migrates to the hole when Giroud moves (not that he moves that often)

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  22. Who did we have to kick them back ? We still get bullied and it’s not a new tactic , yes the ref should have sent Adam off , this is England is not the first time we been kicked of the pitch and it won’t be the last ! We need a squad of players who can adapt to any game , the only midfielder who can tackle is flamini.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  23. Fuck it. Might as well play both Gnabry and Ox on wings. Pace, ability to beat a man and get behind is what were missing. At the minute were just playing in front of teams. Does anyone else think we should tinker with 4 4 2 again?
    You hear Brendan Rodgers in the post match interview saying they’ve been working on a 442 diamond all week…..1 week and they come up with a gameplan to win. I get the feeling we just try and play tika taka all week. ITS NOT WORKING!! Where the tactics. You have to adapt to the opposition. Instead just thinking if we play well we will get something bcos we have good players.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    • yes
      we have to change tactics based upon the teams we are playing
      carzola, ox, and rosiky in the hole behind giroud would have been a better option…flammer and arteta sitting deep
      but we need to play 2 strikers occasionally
      if you watch sonogo and giroud when yaya came on you could see they were running into the same zones…i.e. because they often don’t play on the pitch together…

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • I think that because of our formation…Giroud is starting to feel isolated and has to do it by himself…which is somewhat true against 3 defenders (diamond formation)..the other teams are learning to push the 4th defender forward with 5 in mid…

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • we’ve lost the desire to beat anyone with the dribble and because of the congestion in mid….our flicking is breaking down quite rapidly..we can’t use goalmouth tactics in midfield

          Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Amen brother. And how many years have we been s aying this? Another groundhog day season. And one common denominator.

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  24. Stoke got a harsh penalty seeing he also pushed kosc to the ground harsh pen, giroud had been challenged nearly all play at him from stoke players was ankle or leg smashes unfair decisions by ref to not send off the player, good statistics by the post above with balls cleared from stokes half, unfair match

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. Why the fuck wasn’t Flamini playing? We needed him to play against this rugby team. It would have been more suited with wilshere playing where rosicky played and flamteta in front of the defence. I’m so tired of seeing giroud moaning after every tackle or every time he loses the ball. when is he going to realise this isn’t the french league and u don’t get fouls for players breathing too hard on him.

    Stoke make me so angry. Their fans are pathetic.Booing the whole game, cheering when they get a god damn throw in. Screaming cheat to giroud when Adam stamped on his leg. Purposely giving Shawcunt sorry Shawcross motm just so they could get an extra cheer in. I fukin hope they get relegated they are a disgrace the inbred cunts

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • yeah- I would have move Ox-Chambo to the hole behind Giroud and gave him free range with Carzola and Rosiky
      Jack and Ozil have their heads up their arse right now…going into Denilson mode.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. ‘He’s got to be stronger and more resilient than he showed yesterday. The physical treatment works on him because he lets it. He doesn’t refocus his unhappiness into his own performance, he complains and looks outraged but defenders know once that starts they’ve won the battle.’- Arseblog
    equals
    ‘don’t like it up em’ Spot on with Giroud comment, but we’ve been collectively doing this as a whole for a few years now.
    We can’t rely on our defensive mids to break down a team with the dribble…when it doesn’t come off the other team is upon us…quickly
    1. the defensive mids are losing the ball in poor positions
    2. the forward must not be statuesque up front…and probably we should be playing with 2 forwards occasionally so we know wtf were doing when we have to do it…
    3. it easy for the other team to push their back line forward and ‘give it up em’…when they have us outnumbered 4-1 in our offensive third.
    4. our midfield are looking a lot like Denilson lately.

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  27. If we can forget about the match for five seconds, 7am is a fantastic asset to the already spendid arseblog network. Well done

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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