Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle: By the Numbers

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Premier League Stats

2 – Number of goalless draws Leicester have this season
3 – Consecutive matches Leicester have been held scoreless (fewest in the League)
10 – Matches which Newcastle have been held scoreless this season (most in the League)
3 – Consecutive 0-1 losses for Newcastle
1 – Save by Petr Cech off a Newcastle “big chance” to deny them a goal and keep his 171st clean sheet, while also simultaneously leaving Steve McLaren “scratching his head”
9 – Clean sheets by Arsenal this season (2nd behind Man U who have 10)
45 – Percent of Arsenal’s matches that the Gunners have kept a clean sheet this season
34 – Percent of Arsenal’s matches last season that the Gunners kept a clean sheet
3 – Number of clean sheet Arsenal have kept since Coquelin was injured 7 games ago
43 – Percent of Arsenal’s matches that have ended in a clean sheet after Coquelin’s injury (3/7 – we don’t count the West Brom match because he was injured in that match)
50 – Percent of Arsenal’s matches that ended in a clean sheet while Coquelin was available (6/12 – same as above)
0.75 – Goals allowed per game with Coquelin
1 – Goals allowed per game without Coquelin
45 – Percent of tackles successful with Coquelin
41 – Percent of tackles successful without Coquelin
20 – Interceptions per game with Coquelin
17 – Interceptions per game without Coquelin
15 – Chances created per game with Coquelin/Cazorla
10 – Chances created per game without Coquelin/Cazorla (remember when people were all “Coquelin stifles Arsenal’s attack!”)
55 – Percent of possession Arsenal have had on average all season with or without Coquelin
7 – Number of games that Arsenal have played without Coquelin
100  – Percent chance that 7 games is too small a sample to say anything conclusive about the Flamini-Ramsey partnership but I give you the stats anyway because everyone likes to argue about this kind of stuff

How Arsenal Are Top of the League

2.17 – Points per game by Arsenal this season against “top 1/3” teams (best in the League)
1.83 – PPG by Tottenham this season against “top 1/3” teams (2nd, in Arsenal’s shadow, this season)
0.17 – PPG by Crystal Palace this season against “top 1/3” teams (worst in the League)
2.11 – Points per game by Arsenal this season against “bottom 1/3” teams (10th in the League)
2.75 – Points per game by Man City this season against “bottom 1/3” teams (best in the League)
2.62 – Points per game by Arsenal last season against “bottom 1/3” teams (best in the League last season and the season before, BTW)
1.17 – Points per game by Arsenal last season against “top 1/3” teams (6th in the League, Man U and Man City topped, with 1.75PPG, Chelsea was 3rd)

What Arsenal’s trend of PPG against top and bottom teams looks like over the last 6 seasons:

top-bottom

McLaren’s Itchy Head

McLaren felt like his team deserved something from the game, as do most managers after the match. But did Newcastle best Arsenal?

It was pretty tight and Arsenal did let Newcastle have more chances in prime areas than we are used to seeing from the Gunners. Petr Cech even had to make a save off of a big chance by Wijnaldum. But the numbers do look fairly even and Big Mc might have a bit of a case:

Arsenal-Newcastle

I suspect Newcastle should feel a bit like they could have gotten a point out of this match. Considering the fact that they got their shots off in dangerous areas.

As an aside, that last line, Expected Goals (xG), is a bit of a debated topic and there are two main pieces I would suggest reading: This very detailed explanation (warning, Spurs site) and this piece complaining about the model. Personally, I fall on the side of making a model very simple so that everyone can understand it. MCofA is the guy who invented xG (I think!) and so I included his numbers as a contrast to mine.

Think of expected goals as “how many goals a team would have scored if they took those same shots from that same place, based on the averages other teams have scored off those same types of shots”.

I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for that definition because their models are very complicated. Mine isn’t.

Ramsey

-Led both teams with 67/76 passing (Tiote was second with 64/64)
-Was second for both teams with 24/29 passing in the final 1/3 (Özil #1)
-Led Arsenal with 3/4 dribbling (tied with Özil) and had 2 successful dribbles in the Newcastle 18 yard box (Özil had 1 — both of these are unusual, you don’t see a lot of successful dribbles in the 18)
-Led Arsenal with 7 ball recoveries (Özil was tied for 2nd with 6)
-Led Arsenal with 10 attempted tackles, but only won 3 (Flamini led Arsenal with 6/9 tackles)
-Led Arsenal with 2 shots on target, Arsenal only had 3 shots on target the whole game (Giroud had 5 shots, got zero on target, had one go out for a throw in)
-Created 2 chances for teammates, both from open play (the same number as Özil but Özil also created 2 chances from set plays (corners) for a total of 4 chances created)
-Had just 1 interception (tied with Özil, Mertesacker, Giroud, and Campbell)
-Nearly pulled his groin going for a side-heel flick pass

@7amkickoff

Sources: 442 Stats Zone app, my database, Statto.com, and other sites as linked

Qq

60 COMMENTS

  1. Ramsey is really an enigma. How can someone be so good and bad at the same time. It feels like he actively sabotage his own hardwork

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    • I can’t figure him out. He runs a lot, which is great for the team, but he does a lot of odd stuff: his tackling is weird, he doesn’t intercept the ball, he passes a shitload, he creates, he also loses the ball more than anyone except Alexis, he doesn’t dribble well (most of the time), and he gets into the opposition box a lot. I love him but you’re right, he’s an enigma.

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      • As enigmatic as Ramsey can be, I do wish people would criticize his game and not his character. Like you said, Alexis Sanchez also loses the ball a lot and our Chilean is 2nd behind only that wastrel Coutinho in avg shots per game in the entire league. And we don’t speak about Alexis as if he has some mental issue or character flaw.

        If you watch the 25-yarder Ramsey scored at Anfield in 13/14, he had to wait for the ball to bounce a few times before he struck it. In the replay you can see him slowing down, with his head still and perfectly positioned over the ball before he strikes – he was right in the groove in that stellar half-season. The guys busting a gut to get back into that groove, so let’s support him and appreciate the work he’s done in Cazorla’s absence.

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        • We don’t criticise Alexis because he produces. A reasonable percentage of his attacks become goals. Rambo’s percentage is appalling.

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        • The problem with Ramsey isn’t his game it is his attitude. If he understood that defending is just as important as attacking and that in the role he’s currently occupying he’s to contribute equally to both sides of the game, then why doesn’t he play like that? He’s the Welsh Yaya Toure. Runs one way jogs the other.

          With 2 minutes to go, 1-0 up vs Newcastle, he was running into their box with his hand in the air screaming for a pass when he should have been stood near the half way line with Flamini. If he doesn’t know by now that he shouldn’t be doing that, I’d question his ability to learn. It’s not even something an amateur footballer should need to be told, it’s common sense. Until he curbs his ‘ego to score goals’ as Ozil puts it, I wouldn’t trust him in that role.

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          • True, he was in their box but by that stage chambers and Gibbs had joined the game for Walcott and Giroud so maybe could be forgiven for thinking they’d have his back. Still should have passed and made the game safe.

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          • At 2 minutes to go he was playing in attacking midfield because chambers had come on in midfield and Ozil had gone off. Ramsey was meant to be playing further up the pitch, you wouldn’t have minded if he was in that position that late in the game.

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        • People stick it to Aaron because of his selfishness and rather pedestrian thought process. He’s also fond of Hollywood tricks which can be annoying when there’s no need for them.

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          • Apparently if you constructively critique Ramsey it makes you an idiot. Glad to see I’m not the only idiot. It was interesting watching Ozil yesterday, so many times others were not on his wavelength (which I get cos not many are, he is that good) but he is becoming more vocal and demanding of his team mates. The times others, Theo, Ox, Ramsey, bellerin and Giroud picked the wrong pass or couldn’t make the right weighted pass and Ozil’s frustration was obvious. Top of the league and big away games coming up Liverpool and Stoke, glad Sanchez is back and at least we might be able to rest some players for the Chelsea game hehe.

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        • For the 2014 cup winner alone I’ll always have a soft spot for Rambo, and I do think people have a fixation on highlighting the slightest error. Christ, Imagine if we had some of the dross currently parading in the Man Utd midfield. Or Jordan henderson

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          • Except Arsenal apparently if caz and coq are fit. Sort of dilutes your statement I guess.

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          • Not really. When he is fit he plays somewhere in Arsenals midfield. Sometimes it was on the right but he was still playing. Not once this season has Wenger benched him

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          • i spose you can turn outside right of front three into midfield but I would hardly call Sanchez a midfielder so not so sure really but admire your attempt.

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          • “i spose you can turn outside right of front three into midfield but I would hardly call Sanchez a midfielder ”

            it was a 4231, with sanchez and ramsey playing the outside roles in the band of 3 with very different styles. frequently the case in recent years that we’ve have someone more midfield-y on one side (cazorla, ozil, rosicky, ramsey) and someone more strikerish (walcott, sanchez) on the other side.

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      • My view of him on either side of his purple patch two seasons ago is that his wastefulness outweighs the good ON AVERAGE (he still scores or assists occasionally, obviously, but nowhere near as much as he should and ditto for making critical defensive plays).

        However, when you add finishing to his repertoire, he suddenly becomes one of the top midfielders in the world because he is so fantastic offensively off the ball, moving to receive passes or drag the defence around – he might have the best positioning and movement off the ball of any CM in the world. But as long as he wastes the chances created it is all pointless.

        That mammoth potential, which we actually saw realised for half a season two years ago, makes him so frustrating. He could be the best CM in Europe, playing like this he’s a backup CM we play grudgingly and who Wenger has been gifting games at RW while hoping to see finishing ability re-emerge.

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        • Or..not bad for a back up to Santi… don’t know of any other squad that can boast that talent as a number 3, centre mid..

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        • Santi hasn’t been scoring goals too lately and yet Ramsey’s measuring stick is different to Santi’s?

          They are just two different players. Ramsey is deployed on the right only because he’s too valuable to be left out, when Coq and Santi offer the much needed balance for Wenger’s liking. A player who was so good as part of a middle two with Arteta cannot suddenly become bad. This is a collective game and all about partnerships and units. Ramsey alone is not the reason for how he plays. Others’ actions affect his.

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          • I personally don’t care too much that Cazorla hasn’t scored this season nor that Ramsey missed the other day. My problem with Ramsey is he doesn’t play the position he’s allocated on the pitch, i.e. that of one in a deep lying midfield pair. The emphasis on it being a pair.

            Ramsey’s position is often 20 yards or so in advance of his midfield partner and it’s why our defence is so easily exposed. The knock on effect of that is our game becomes disjointed and slow. Players who should be playing further up the pitch have to drop deeper to receive the ball greatly reducing our goal threat, players like Walcott and the Ox, making them look bad in the process. Even when he is deeper, Ramsey lacks the technical skills to be a top class playmaker in the Cazorla mode.

            Personally i don’t know what Ramsey’s long term future looks like at Arsenal. He’s not a deep lying playmaker in a pair and his game is best suited to a midfield 3 with 2 more disciplined players behind/alongside him which we don’t play. I wouldn’t move or drop Ozil to accommodate him.

            Ramsey does have great qualities but they’re not suited to our style of play or formation as it now stands. I don’t know how long we persevere with trying to fit him in the team, especially now he’s 25 and no longer can be described as a youngster.

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      • Rambo had 3 or 4 tackles that would have seen him on the treatment table.There’s this tackle he likes where he runs past the opponent then sticks his leg back into his path (trying to pinch the ball). He is run over almost always. Then the flicks he does make me wince because he seems to apply alot of uneccesary pressure on his thighs which we all know is a problem area. He is so over his horrid leg break it seems but abit more caution is needed IMO.

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  2. It’s becoming more obvious that he’s trying to do too much, at least in my opinion. Ever since his heroic efforts (particularly his goal scoring) a couple seasons ago he looks to be trying too hard to replicate that form.

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  3. Tim,
    Interesting data.
    Aaron Ramsey is an excellent box to box player. Not everybody is Mesut Ozil. Last time I checked, there was only one one Mesut Ozil, and he plays for the Arsenal. Two seasons ago, the Ozil Ramsey Giroud Cazorla Wilshere Arteta bunch could find each other with amazing passes, but rotational fouling has resulted into rotational injuries, and the automatisms have somehow eroded.
    I have a minor problem with statistics relating to groups of opposing teams. Usually, statistics from previous seasons are based on the final ranks of the opposing nineteen teams, but statistics about the ongoing season are based on current rank for the opposing teams.
    Another problem I have is how the teams are divided. I would like to suggest that the 20 teams in the Premier League be split in four groups of five. This would mean more data, a dream come true for statisticians.
    As to Newcastle, they did foul a lot, mostly small fouls, and Anthony Taylor was happy to ignore these small fouls, but he spotted each and every one by our players. The commentators were very biased from this standpoint, as their colleagues were earlier when Moreno of Liverpool was fouled by Antonio of West Ham with impunity, leading to the first goal scored by West Ham.

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    • Ray from Norfolk-I wondered if I was the only person noticing that Newcastle players could tackle with their arms (ala Gary Neville) and tackle by falling into our players’ legs with impunity. Sometimes they’d fall into us and we’d get called for a foul on them. Bizarre. The problem was that it happened with such great frequency that it became normal for this game. Hell, Monreal got smacked in the face and looked to be bleeding and there were crickets.

      We cannot win with our smurfs if games against otherwise competitive opponents are reffed like this.

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      • You’re right Arsenalnut, our smurfs have been been found wanting especially in those moments when the refs are calling everything against us.

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  4. I thought it was interesting starting Walcott and Ox together, given that neither is known for dropping back into central mid for defensive cover, though the stats could suggest otherwise.

    Also, did Newcastle tackle at an absurdly high rate, or was their performance typical of teams whom the ref allows to “get stuck in” against Arsenal?

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    • I think our shape changed during the game and that we were involved in some interesting tactics, despite the fact that Arsene doesn’t do them.

      There was a long period in the first half where the Ox was between Ozil and the Ramsey/Flam axis in central midfield. At the same time Hector was starting forward like a wing. During the period when Hector terrorized Ayoze Perez he was generally further up the field than the Ox. Did anybody notice how often Giroud defended in the final third and that he was coming back to get involved in deep linking play in the middle third.

      Weirdly, the announcers never mentioned a word about any of this. Of course they never saw a Newcastle foul either. I particularly liked the color guy who thought Arsenal’s win was “unearned”.

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      • Since I’m on an announcer rant. Could anyone on the USA feed tell if the color man was saying that Ozil had “hazy” skills or “lazy” skills? I already had a bad attitude by that time and need a reality check.

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    • Whoa there Goondiana, you’re referring to the old Theo and not our new Theo 2.0
      I been watching Theo 2.0 closely since he’s been back from his calf strain. He’s been a defensive beast. His tracking back and tackling has been awesome. I watched his off the ball defensive contribution today – the stuff that you’ll never see on camera. Take my word for it, Sanchez aside, the best I’ve seen from an Arsenal winger in many years.

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      • I’ve loved seeing the emergence Theo 2.0. Toward the end of the first half and much of the second half though, Newcastle was freely lobbing crosses in from our left flank. Whether it was Ox or Theo (or both given that they have freedom to change flanks), it seemed like Newcastle was taking advantage of a winger not tracking back to assist with defense. I could be wrong, but it seemed like the crosses dropped off when Gibbs and Campbell were introduced.

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  5. I like the technical ability & comfort on the ball combined with the defensive prowess of Kos the boss.
    I say let him have a tryout at the CDM position while Gabriel takes his position in the back four.
    At 30 years he isn’t getting any younger, it’ll be a big task for the boss to continue in the all action style of defending. A switch to CDM would prolong his career as well, keeping his experience head with the team for longer.

    @7amkickoff Can you compile some data comparing Koscielny with someone like fernandinho or our very own Le coq.

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    • No need to worry about Kos. Center backs and goalkeepers have the longest careers. CB’s will often play until they’re 35 because they do less running than every other outfield player.

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      • Disagree. Laurent’s game is all about his legs. He anticipates a bit but mostly he outuns attackers nd the ball. As a case in point, late in the game he outran a Geordie middie down their right side and defused an attack by kicking the ball into touch. When he started the Geordie had such a lead that my first thought was crap we are getting a red card here. Laurent beat him by a full step. He’s got wheels and that’s his game. Plus he confuses them by spouting anarcho-syndicalist poetry at his opponents (in French, the official anarcho-syndicalist language).

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  6. You got it wrong with Giroud abit there. The “shot” that went out for a throw in was actually a cross but it was a terrible attempted cross nonetheless.

    Ramsey should be scoring there no question. The reason many of us are quite cross with him is that the game was far from won and he still took the 50/50 chance of a shot when a pass to Joel would have been 100% tap in. There’s your by the numbers.

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    • Can I just add sir that newcastles two best chances were Ramsey giving ball away and what was he doing at the end when we have a free kick with minutes to go and instead of taking his time and playing simple ball to keep possession he goes for the Hollywood pass and gives possession to them. Very frustrating. I actually think he is quite a lucky player as lots of his terrible decision making where he loses ball don’t result in goals against. (Think Ox where almost every time he lost it they scored) still he has a great engine and can be a real asset if he can speed up his thought process.

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  7. I just watched the game again on Arsenal player and I’m confused about Özil apparently getting a yellow.
    I didn’t see him get booked, yet the B.B.C. match report had a yellow against his name. Did Taylor book him after the game?

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    • He got booked for being offside, late in the game. He was put clean through, was flagged but the whistle went just before he kicked the ball forward in an attempt to race clear. Another absurd decision from an appalling ref. Booked for dribbling the ball away after the whistle

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      • Top of the league even though officiated by cunts every week, without Santi, Coq and Sanch!
        The jury can stay the fuck out.

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  8. I think when it comes to Ramsey, Wenger specifically played him in the right for a reason and preferred playing Cazorla in the middle, basically playing to his strengths (and oddly the “know is all” Arsenal fan brigade criticized him for that). Ramsey’s strength lies on and around that 18 yard box, be it making that dangerous run in the 18 yard box, thereby providing an additional striking option (and we all know how good he is in doing that) and also in that fox in the box role ( where he has that uncanny ability of being in the right place at the right time ). When you are playing him in the Cazorla role, you are stifling him in playing to his aforementioned strengths because you need more discipline in that deep Central midfield role, wherein you have to have to focus more on defensive duties like intercepting, tacking etc which are not his strong points. Only time Ramsey looked good yesterday was towards the end when Newcastle opened up and he could make more runs in the 18 yard box.

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  9. Rip – Özil was booked right at the end for kicking the ball away when a Newcastle free kick was given (think the referee had blown for offside when Özil was through on goal).

    Really enjoy these articles – always give me a new insight into a match.

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  10. A shakey win – I was delighted that we won it, because from the outset it looked like one of those dreary performances where we get nothing out of it. I lean less on the ‘stuff of champions’ narrative but three points is three points.

    Hopefully the players can get some rest as well as some coaching in the two weeks or whatever it is until the next league game. After Sunderland, this month looks very tough with counter-attacking teams comprising the lot — I may be wrong but I think Liverpool, Stoke and Chelsea are among the fixtures.

    We seem to struggle far more in games where other teams counter-attack — this game being a case-in-point. I suspect that teams with a bit more quality would more readily punish us for leaving so much space in the middle of the park like we did yesterday.

    I only hope we’re a bit more savvy in the tougher fixtures – if we come out of this month well – I might start buying into the ‘stuff of champions’ narrative.

    As for the Ramsey discussion, for me he is obviously world class and its great to see how much he’s developed. But I was completely with Joel Campbell when he squandered that chance. The upcoming games require a lot more awareness and discipline than he showed against Newcastle. Its a massive chance for him to prove himself while Coquelin and Cazorla are out. Hopefully with a bit more time for coaching, he can learn to make better and more conservative decisions when it matters.

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  11. I wonder how much more different Ramsey plays with a DLP like Arteta who provides the strengths he lacks. Just as Coqzorla make a symbiotic match, I think Ramsey needs a symbiotic match that isn’t a typical combative DM but a deep-lying playmaker.

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  12. 7 am – it feels like you are on the verge of coming up with the football version of wins above replacement with your comparison of the with/without Coq Arsenal team stats. What makes it problematic is that we are also missing Cazorla and also Alexis at the same time. Taken in that context it’s a bloody miracle the team stats haven’t dropped off more.

    Imagine Citeh without Aguero, Yaya and Kompany at the same time. It would be delicious. Playing us isn’t quite so delicious unless the ref eats his whistle.

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  13. I was able to watch the game last night after the festive period and I am glad we won.
    I thought Giroud,Kos, Czech and the amazing number 11 won the game.
    Santi is missed a lot as only he and Ozil seems to be able to turn around opposition players when we are strongly pressed. I would think Wilshere would be better suited at replacing Cazorla than Ramsey.
    If Ramsey wants to play in the middle in the future when everyone is fit would be to do the Coquelin’s role(he used to be a good tackler our Welsh fella) but with an amazing attacking potential.
    Happy New year to all goobers.

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  14. How many steps do you have to run with the ball for it to be considered a dribble? Do you have to take someone on?

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  15. Blame Arteta for Rambos shortcomings. He was perfect for him until he lost out to nobody (there was no Flam & Coq was at Charlton) then Rambo had to play well with another partner. Thumbs up Ramboooo

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