Arsenal Comeback Hams
In League play, Arsenal have conceded the first goal just 12 times this season.
Their record in those matches is 2-4-6.
Both wins were against West Ham.
Both wins were 3-1.
Podolski has 6 League goals this season.
3 of those goals have come in these two fixtures.
In all competitions, Podolski has 10 goals for Arsenal this season on 34 shots, that’s a goal every 3.4 shots but he only averages 1.7 shots per game.
Yaya Toure has scored a goal every 2.9 shots this season, though he has 10 goals from penalties (6) and free kicks (4).
100% chance that you’ll hear that Podolski is a “clinical finisher” today.
Ramsey to Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey went off injured in the Boxing Day away match against the Hammers.
Before Ramsey was injured Arsenal’s record was 12-3-3.
After Ramsey was injured Arsenal’s record was 8-4-4.
Ramsey only played 20 minutes today but he created 2 shots for his teammates, got an assist, took 2 shots for himself, and even had a tackle (high up the pitch as well). He only misplaced two passes today, both were probing passes in to forwards.
Ramsey got his first assist in almost 4 months today!
Giroud converting in Prime positions
As Arsenal Column pointed out, Olivier Giroud has converted just 18% of his shots from prime positions. Colin Trainor and I count prime positions differently and using my much narrower definition of prime as just including the 6 yard box and a narrow strip up to the penalty spot, Giroud has converted 8 goals in 36 chances. That’s a 22% conversion rate and a slight bump up from the 18% mentioned in Arsenal Column’s piece. By my count, Arsenal’s overall conversion rate from prime positions is almost 28%.
Giroud scored today and it was a stunning goal of eye-watering beauty. He only took 4 shots and 3 were in prime positions. Yet there is a sense that perhaps Giroud could and should be finishing better. That sense is born out of watching him miss a big chance again today one-on-one with the keeper he tried a little flick instead of just shooting at the goal and Adrian was able to save. In fact Giroud has missed more of those big chances than any other forward this season, 16 of them by my count. He missed 19 of them last season as well and was rather quietly critiqued by several stats bloggers and in the papers for his poor finishing from good positions.
It remains to be seen if Giroud can turn this around and start finishing those good chances in front of goal. Maybe he’ll be like Ramsey and once he starts scoring he’ll just never stop? Or maybe we will all just accept Giroud for what he is and move on?
Cazorla Man of the Match (Plus some Kallstrom stats)
Cazorla led Arsenal in passes in the final 1/3 with 27/31.
He led Arsenal with 3 key passes.
He created a goal for Podolski.
He led Arsenal with 3/4 dribbles (tied with Demel and Diame with 3 successful dribbles).
He led Arsenal with 2/3 through balls.
He was 2/2 in tackles, both covering for forwards on both sides of the pitch.
He had 2 interceptions.
Kallstrom led Arsenal in passes 70/84 (tied with Arteta 70/75)
He had 9 ball recoveries, second best on Arsenal
He led Arsenal with 5/7 tackles.
He also led Arsenal with 3 fouls (same as Koscielny).