Bit scattered, apologies if that bothers you but it was a hell of a game and one which is actually not that statistically interesting because most of the actions came in bursts. To compensate for that I did a little comparison below for people who want to know what Arteta might be contributing to the team.
54 – Successful passes by Youssuf Mulumbu (of 64 attempts)*
51 – Successful passes by Carl Jenkinson (of 59 attempts)**
9 – Successful passes by Theo Walcott
1 – Truly lackadaisical pass by Theo Walcott which nearly cost the game
16 – Passes by Robin van Persie
27 – Passes Robin van Persie averages per game
22 – Successful attacking third passes by Alex Song*
20 – Successful attacking third passes by Tomas Rosicky in 45 minutes
4 – Successful attacking third passes by Theo Walcott
14 – Successful attacking third passes by Youssuf Mulumbu**
2 – Key passes by James Morrison*
2 – Key passes by Song**
1 – Key passes by Marton Fulop
2 – Key blunders by Marton Fulop
2 – Assists credited to James Morrison*
0 – Assists credited to Song by some stats places
4 – Successful dribbles by Yossi Benayoun (of 5)*
4 – Successful dribbles by Fortune (of 6)**
22 – Successful tackles by Arsenal
7 – Successful tackles by Alex Song*
5 – Successful tackles by Andre Santos
3 – Successful by Youssuf Mulumbu**
*Leads all players
**Leads his team
The Importance of Being Arteta
A note on the method.
I chose the last 16 games because 1) it gave a decent sized sample 2) was during a period after the players had time to all adjust 3) was during a time when most of the first team was healthy and had had ample time to gel and 4) was a crucial period for the team and thus more noticeable without even looking at the stats. Many pundits like to include Arsenal’s first three games of the season in their “without Arteta, Arsenal did X” numbers but doing so unnecessarily inflates Arsenal’s problems without Arteta by using a period in Arsenal’s season where the team was in utter chaos over the transfers of Fabregas and Nasri. And especially Nasri who put foot on pitch but essentially refused to play as he was dispossessed 9 times in that game.
What this chart shows is that Arsenal completed similar percentages of passes with and without Arteta and even very similar total numbers of passes in both the first 11 games and the last five. What is amazing, though, is how there’s a reversal in the shots, shots on goal, and equally as importantly, in the oppositions conversion numbers.
Whether it was caused by Arteta’s absence, by the injections Szczesny was receiving, or the opposition just playing their game better is not clear but what we do see is that in the last five games of the season, when Arteta was out injured, Arsenal’s forward thrust dried up and they became more vulnerable to the opposition’s attack.
More of this on twitter @7amkickoff and on 7amkickoff.com