WBA 2-3 Arsenal plus Arteta: By the Numbers

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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

7am

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Bunburyist
Bunburyist

Thanks for quantifying what many of us had felt but couldn’t quite “prove” (insofar as those numbers are “proof”). Arteta has been crucial for us this season, both in defense and attack, but also, more generally, in bringing discipline to the midfield. Without him, I feel we’ve been all over the place in the middle of the pitch, especially because Song just seems to live in his own world (Arteta knows when to cover…which is OFTEN).

Anyway, I’m glad that season is over. We’ve got a lot of work to do if we don’t want a repeat, though quite honestly, as I’ve said on another forum, I’m extremely proud of what this team achieved. To go from 17th to 3rd after losing our best player in Fabregas, losing Wilshere for the season, losing our fullbacks for two months. losing 8-2 to United, and integrating 3 new and key players, is nothing short of miraculous, especially when you consider that we finished above teams like Liverpool and Chelsea, who have spent bazillions on their squad.

Credit to the players and to Wenger.

Alistair
Alistair

I think we need to print a stats of Walnutt and show it in his face during the contract negotiations…….

How fantastic it would be, AW with a paper on walnutts’ face and screaming at him, “do you deserve 100k/week you lil bastard?”

Rambo
Rambo

Happy st totteringhams day

Charlie

How do you define a “dribble?” Seems to me, in my ignorance, that you’re drastically under-reporting the amount of dribbles Yossi took during the entire 90 minutes.

feygooner
feygooner

They’re Opta stats, Opta defines “dribble” and what-not, Tim just reports Opta stats, he doesn’t actually count dribbles etc himself.

If you ask me though, the more I hear about Opta’s methods, the more suspicious I get.

Camilla
Camilla

Leave it to Wenger to get some player for Everton that everyone thought was a bad panic purchase but ended up being completely brilliant.

Camilla
Camilla

Oops. from* Everton.

prhyu
prhyu

Not really oops. though. Everton really had no choice because of their bad financial state. They had to sell Arteta. Still it turned out great for us and I actually thought he’d be a good buy. I just didn’t realize how good.

why is my name required
why is my name required

i hope Rvp signs on. Please don’t go and stay with us and be a legend like Dennis

Rickross
Rickross

I would like to think Robin would be a legend even if he did leave, purely for dragging our arses to third place and being a great captain (which we have missed ever since Henry , let’s be honest fab wasn’t the greatest). The only thing that could tarnish his reputation is if he dares to go to man city. I’m pretty sure if one more player if ours goes to that club I will burn it down myself! I mean do they have a scouting system or do they just send them all to the emirates.

Cygan's Right Foot

One injury-free season and suddenly he’s legend. Yes he’s been great and we wouldn’t finish 3rd without him but let’s reign in the legend talk.

Seaman, Adams, Bergkamp, Henry, etc… are legends for what they did for the club over many seasons – see http://www.arsenal.com/the-club/armoury-square/who-are-the-legends- .

I think RvP needs a few seasons at the top with Arsenal to be a legend at the club. If, after all the time out he’s had over 8+ years, he’s turned that easily for money and a shiny trophy (see Nasri as an example) then he’s no better than the other mercenaries.

Wenger has shown patience throughout every injury-hit season, where fans were calling for him to be sold and to buy a new striker, that Robin owes him a great deal.

Highberry
Highberry

Totally agree. He’s got a couple more seasons until he achieves that status, but if he stays, achieve it he will. I really think he will stay, You could see it when Henry came back, the way the crowd reacted, he wouldn’t get that at any other club. Plus 3 more good seasons he could easily break Henrys goalscoring record!

Rickross
Rickross

Not disagreeing with you but when Fabregas makes it onto friars bridge, with people like Liam Brady, And becomes a “legend” surely van persie has been just as good a servent, maybe even better because when we needed fab most last year he didn’t turn up in like RVP.

I know Fabregas wasn’t part of your argument, I just think if he has acquired legend status why not RVP?

Highberry
Highberry

I would argue that Fab isn’t considered a legend, at least not by anyone I know. Fantastic player, yes, but no where near a legend for the club

Cygan's Right Foot

I get the feeling Fabregas is on the bridge for younger fans that don’t remember the chants of ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’ ringing out from the away fans when we beat them 1-0 again and again but joined Arsenals fan base after the invincibles season.
We have had our own fair share of glory hunters that have, thankfully, fairly quickly joined the City group…

Greg
Greg

I’d like to see Rosicky’s stats with and without Arteta. I think that might be the key to it. Some players just thrive together, and Tomas is in the centre of all our attacking moves.

lwax
lwax

What about Gibbs’s tackle at WBA that saved the season?!

Mark
Mark

Priceless, but by the numbers monetarily speaking finishing 3rd would increase the league merit payment slightly over last years finish. And of course we could estimate ~$25m for making the CL Group Stage.

christo
christo

what about how gibbs’ man was wide open

Ben
Ben

1 – Orgasm inducing block by Gibbs

MothGun
MothGun

For the brillant shot-blocking tackle alone, Gibbs is my MOTM.
Marton Fulop is a close 2nd.

SG_Gunner
SG_Gunner

Actually, so many Gunners were aghast that Wenger had signed Arteta. It was such a disappointment for them. All the negativity in the media was turning most of the fans heads like money was turning Nasri’s head and Barca titles were turning Fab’s head (despite him being contracted till 2014).

We give too little credit to Wenger’s intelligence. Yes, he has his faults but he knows his team best and generally he knows which player will fit in best in the system. That is one reason he pursued Jagielka for so long. Look at Everton’s defensive performance. Arteta ticked all the right boxes and his desire to join us led to that signing. Just shows that actually, Wenger does try to sign lot of good players but lots of times salary cap leads to players going to other teams (e.g. Mata) who offer better salary.

Most of last summers signings were good signings. Arteta, Mertesacker, Benayoun, Ox, Santos, Gervinho, Jenkinson have all contributed and done their part this season. The only signing which mystified was Park who I see as a gamble/insurance policy give RVP’s injury record. 7 out of 8 is an exceptional record and I hope we gunner fans will give credit where it is due.

A CAM and a true DM alongwith some squad players would complete the picture for future tittle challenges. Let’s not forget, we already have Eisfield getting lined up for the future CAM role. An experienced guy right now for CAM role would be perfect .

atid
atid

How about rosicky and arshavin for CAM with lansbury or diaby if he ever gets fit.

Eric Irish gunner
Eric Irish gunner

I think we also need a back up keeper it’s frightining to think we need to inject an injured keeper for a few games rather then play your number two, what would happen if he got a serious injury

gunsen gurner
gunsen gurner

Lansbury can fuck right off.I’ll never forgive him for smiling like a clown when the final whistle went at Old Trafford.

prhyu
prhyu

True. With Fabianski and Mannone seemingly leaving, we need a solid number two. Lots of papers saying Michel Vorm, but I don’t see that happening. Anyhow, we’re going to need someone who can be a back-up to Szczesny and if he comes with a load of experience that’d be a bonus.

HR
HR

I bet West Brom are regretting having a back up keeper and wish that they too injected Ben Foster!

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

Ben Foster gets injected with penis all the time.

tinomuvonga

While I am not really surprised to see a rise in opposition opportunities because of the injury to Arteta, the goals drying up is a little odd. To be honest after roughly 30 games for Arsenal you never really noticed Arteta threading through-balls and creating numerous goal scoring chances, so I don’t understand why we stopped scoring as much. He just didn’t really seem that important to the offence but obviously that’s not the case.

22 – Successful attacking third passes by Alex Song*
7 – Successful tackles by Alex Song*
2 – Key passes by Song**

If Song want’s to live in his own world and put up numbers like these I am more than happy. I know a lot off people are pretty upset with Song’s role in the team this year. Everyone has their idea of what they think he should be doing so I can understand the frustration.The fact that he has been playing in this manner ALL season leads me to believe that the manager approves. The numbers he has put up make a compelling reason as well.

I have personally enjoyed most of his performances this season. Many want him to play like Obi Mikel or Parker but I don’t enjoy watching any of them. They might prevent a goal or two but they will not help your team score. Remember those teams still finished lower than us. When the team needed a goal Song didn’t pass off the responsibility to anyone else…Dortmound, Loserpool, Everton, even at Norwich.

atid
atid

Basically song played the arteta role yesterday with coquelin coming in as the dm. after 15 minutes it wasnt working but once they settled down it was pretty good. i dont think we could rely on coquelin as dm for a whole season just yet but if him and mvila shared that role with song and arteta sharing the cm role i would be quite happy with that. wilshire could be eased back in as our am with rosicky.

Rickross
Rickross

What position does Coq play in? Or is he some super utility man who can play in every position? If so who needs RVP just play Le Coq as a striker he seems to fill in bloody well in almost every other position!

neutral
neutral

I think yesterday Wenger was trying out the formation he would like to play with M’vila and Song together in midfield, just replace Coq with M’vila. Considering Song has been probably the most effective attacking midfielder on the team it would make sence to move him forward and play another defensive midfielder.

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

@rickross

We should attack with our coq next season.

iSayed

I dont think people criticized Song for playing like an AM or for not playing like Mikel/Parker. He was criticized mostly because he tried playing one too many Hollywood passes when a simple, obvious passing option was available.

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

And also for blatantly ignoring his defensive duties as part of the team. Which cost us points.

Bob the Gunner
Bob the Gunner

I hope we get to keep Yossi Benayoun.

grumpy_gunner
grumpy_gunner

Sign him up Arsene! It was through Yossi’s efforts that we got Champions League and he deserves to enjoy it with us. He probably won’t get it with Chelsea (fingers crossed for Bayern).

gunner_expat
gunner_expat

well if you want bayern to win, then your pretty much saying the S*urs should get some Champions league action.

But then again, chelsea would become the first london club to lift the trophy. perils on all sides,

Luckily we are already on the other side.

IndianGooner

gunner_expat,
If Chel$ki doesn’t win the final, the totts will have to go through the qualifiers to reach the CL proper…

Best scenario for us is for Bayern to win the CL & totts to go out in the qualifiers.. That way We can still be the first London team to win the CL, totts dreams to play CL proper shattered & Chel$ki to play a season of Europa league..

Cygan's Right Foot

The chances of the spuds going out at the qualifying stage is increased due to the fact they won’t be seeded and so will most likely play a big name team

MadJens
MadJens

I not overly optimistic for the simple fact that Yossi has stated that he wants to play more. And with Prince Poldi coming in (and LANS Wilshere), I think Yossi would get even less time on the pitch. Which is a shame, because I really like him not only as a player but as a person too, but it is what is.

IndianGooner

I don’t think Arsene would go with an attacking 3 in many of the games and would like someone like Yossi to play the wide role.. Also, we need to give the first part of next season as settling time for Prince Poldi and Lil Jack may need time to get fully fit & back to his best after his season long injury..

prhyu
prhyu

Which is what Arsene wanted Na$ri to play on the wings. “a cross between a winger and a midfielder” I think was Na$ri’s expression. F*** him.
Still it’s true we need someone like Yossi.

Bob the Gunner
Bob the Gunner

Tottenham will crash out during group stage anyway so it doesn’t matter if they are in the Champions League or not.

gooner
gooner

The thing about song is some people don’t understand what role he plays.
The manager says he encourages song to push forward and that’s fine by me. The numbers are there for all to see.
When he has played with Arteta and TR7, they have really worked and covered each other when one or two push forward. Song has even dropped to CB to cover TV’s runs to perfection.

The thing about song though is that he was formally one big scapegoat. A big target for the boo boys and i can tell you it’s very hard to shake off. Even RVP has a bad game from time to time but when song has one of those there will always be some ‘i told you so, all these years’ fans happy to print.
For me the numbers sum it up and RVP too hints at it too in his column.

To me song is the best in his position in an attacking team. I would take him over busquets.

MothGun
MothGun

Simply saying Song is the easy target for criticism and that people do not know his role is a bit unfair and inaccurate, I think.

There is no denying that Song is quite a brilliant player, playing in that unique role he is playing for us. But at the moment, for Song to be truly effective and shine, he needs the help of his fellow midfielders who understand his role and also to have the tactical discipline and knowledge to cover / inter-change with him. Which is why Song often have his “A” game when playing alongside Arteta (this season) or Wilshere (last season).

However, when you take Arteta or Wilshere out, he has been found out. Of course, this could be criticism for either Song, who lack the tactical awareness to adapt when the likes of Arteta or Wilshere are out, or that their replacement were simply not good enough or lack the playing time where good understanding can be built. My guess is, its probably a bit of both.

Mills
Mills

To be fair I think most people have an issue with Song constantly trying the fantastic when the simple will suffice. He has given the ball away a number of times in very dangerous positions when keeping possession is far more important. Having said that, this is the first season he has been able to push forward so freely and I imagine he is still learning the trade …

Devil
Devil

Wts the nuber of Pounds raised by Arsenal and Jack for charity? I guess Piers Morgan gave away 10k last night.

Rodders1971

1-team from London that finished 3rd.
1-shower of shit from Enfield that didn’t.

chrisss
chrisss

“when most of the first team was healthy and had had ample time to gel”

sure arteta always has ample time to gel

goonergirl
goonergirl

Totally unrelated:

Glad the season’s over. Now to enjoy the CL final as a neutral: If Chelsea lose they miss out on CL next season, if they win, Tottemham miss out…either of those would be a satisfactory outcome…

feygooner
feygooner

I’m rooting for Bayern, I don’t want CHELSEA to win the Champions League before us. God, that would be awful.

mmiki
mmiki

I just hope that cup game against Dortmund isn’t a sign of things to come.

Andre's 25 yarder
Andre's 25 yarder

I am DEFINITELY a Chav$ki fan for the Champions league. I might hate JT, Ca$hley, and their buddies, but to see the 5pud2 qualify for C.L. and then get chucked out???

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 PRICELESS!!!!!!

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

lol I am rooting for Bayern as thay presents a scenario where there is only one London team in the group stages.

Spurs I am not worried abt as they are not going to be seeded for the Qualifing draw and are therefore in all likelihood going to face a team from Germany, Italy, Spain or France and get knocked out anyway.

So only one team in the Group Stages.

Andre's 25 yarder
Andre's 25 yarder

im just too much of a spud hater. it would make me feel all warm inside to see Arry twitching away as he saw thursday night football become a reality, despite having managed to qualify. if the spuds qualified, and did better than we did i would be so devastated, it doesnt bear thinking about! was hard enough watching that chinless cunt dancing around with the premiership trophy yesterday, he need some attention with blogs rusty spoon grrrrr

rant over 🙂

feygooner
feygooner

Besides, even if Chelsea lose, Spurs would still have to play a qualifying match against a potentially tough team which they could easily lose. I think everybody would be happy with that outcome.. Both Chelsea and Spurs lose 🙂

Andre's 25 yarder
Andre's 25 yarder

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

DB10**
DB10**

I can’t wait to see teary faced terry.

Comedian
Comedian

yeah and when he goes up to collect the runners up medal i hope he does his best slipping act make sure the whole chelsea team falls down the stairs.
now that would be a sight to watch.

MothGun
MothGun

Chel$ea to lose the final.
Spud to lose the qualifier.
That is the only satisfying outcome.

Comedian
Comedian

fuck chelsea fuck spurs.
we are in the champions league and they still are not.
and heard a chant from a chelsea fan berlin berlin we go to berlin idiot doesnt even have the idea where is the final held(those are chelshit fans).

Arseblood
Arseblood

The problem with Song and one or two others is their attitude. Skill and abillity are not in doubt. Application and desire are qualities you can’t buy and have to come from within. Ego is Song’s biggest problem. Barca players have amazing abillity AND commitment.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Oh So Many Things to say, lets start by wishing everyone a very happy St. Totteringham’s day.

To prove that he is a total muppet, this is what Harry had to say abt the Final between Bayern and Chelsea:-

“Obviously I want Chelsea to win. I’m going (to Munich) and looking forward to it. My allegiance is Tottenham only, I want to see us in the Champions League next year.”

Will you tell him or should I?

Thank You Spurs for reminding us all season through your mind the gap campaign that we should be above you and officially we have now “minded the gap”.

Next season is one which is full of anticipation but the work only gets harder, as Fergie will stop short of nothing to come back from arguably the biggest slap on his face in his entire career, and Man City will try and build further. Chelsea will be stronger but their rebuilding will suffer due to lack of Champs League football ( I don’t see them winning the Final), a little bit. Plus the the second line of clubs (putting it loosly) in Everton and Newcastle will also aim to take the next step. So we need to alert, and really plan out rebuilding. Given the strength of the league we can’t afford to take half measures.

This however is not the time to talk of that, there is a whole summer for that…….let’s celebrate the achievement, that somehow, with even our worst team on paper for as long as I can remember we finished above Spurs and Chelsea. Kinda shows how wrong therefore it is to refer to this as the worst team, as well its not about what the team looks like on paper I guess, its about what you do in the middle, and the fight you show, and in terms of that its probably our best team in a long time.

Lots of work to be done, but for the moment, Happy St. Totteringham’s Day aunt

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Oh and yes Benayoun, should be signed, if for nothing else then purely as a thank you for his immense contribution to our cause this season.

He was huge in the final run in, and he does bring a poachers instinct which we could do with next season.

It rare I say this for a loan signing but he gave it his all for us, and never looked like an “on loan” player who knows that this is just a stop gap arrangement, and in all likelihood whatever this team does, he will not be affected by it next season. No, he was always committed to our cause.

That is what is professionalism and giving 100 % everyday is all about and we could really really do with a player like him all season.

Its true what they say, ‘give your all for the badge and name in the front of your shirt, and they will remember the name at the back’.

Sign Benayoun, even if we can’t give him the game time he deserves, he is still much better than having a Denilson in the squad and not playing him.

Benayoun, thank you for your contribution, a Legend in my eyes.

kels(naija)
kels(naija)

well personally i dont want chelshit to be the first london club to win d CL, so bayern should woop their ass, as for 2pur3, they wont make it through the qualifiers.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Oh Bayern will win………I know the EPL is tough, really tough, but then again, you have to be a poor team to finish 6th, you don’t finish 6th cos of bad luck or accidentaly, if u r 6th then its because u are poor (by Chelsea’s normal standards of the past few seasons, and the stadard you expect of a CL Finalist as well.)

So a poor team with half their key players suspended and out injured, will not win. I know ppl will point to Barcelona and while that was a herculean effort no doubt and a fully deserved one for Chelsea, they have got to have used up their quota of luck, and there is no way that they will get that lucky in the final again.

Nope not happening.

prhyu
prhyu

There’s also the fact that Chel$ea’s centre-backs are all injured. How about that? Luiz injured, Cahill injured…Luiz is coming back, but Cahill is still in question. Worst-case (or maybe best, take your pick) scenario, they play Luiz and Essien or something.

North Bank Gooner
North Bank Gooner

Take a bow Yossi, hope you get what you desire, God bless!!

John Gunner Fan Forever

The best thing to happen is for Chelsea to lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final and Spurs to be drawn against a top side in the Champions League qualifier and lose. Think Ashley Cole will be the first player to lose in a Champions League Final 3 times!

I want Arsenal to be the first London club to win the Champions League, not Chelsea!

shavid
shavid

bang up for Bayern winning the Champions league.

Spurs qualifying, then getting knocked out in the qualifier in August!

And if they do manage to get through then we”ll knock them out in the Quarter Final.

To be honest, as much as i hate the scum, they probably deserve to be there.

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

Wash your keyboard out with soap Shavid. Spurs deserve to be minuturized, preserved in amber, and kept at our stadium. We own them.

HR
HR

3 – Number of times in recent memory players have said ‘Whatever happens I’ll always be a gunner’ – Viera, Henry & Fabregas.

3 – Number if times Van Persie has said something along the lines of ”Whatever happens I’ll always be a gunner” in the past few weeks.

0- Number of Arsenal players who have said this that are still Arsenal players..

Bunburyist
Bunburyist

Ouch. That’s a hard truth there, HR.

I wonder whether Wenger is serious about forcing RVP to run down his contract. Somehow I can’t see it. We’ll take the £50m and run, probably.

Tyler
Tyler

I think Arteta was one of the most essential players this season. He was injured during the January doldrums and during the end of season run.

In that stretch we won only the WBA game and that one probably because their normal keeper was ruled out by training injury.

Looking forward to next season when Arteta comes back healthy again. Fingers crossed we can resign RvP. I wish there was some way to keep Yossi, too, but I suspect we’ll be busy trying to sell a bunch of non-performers and won’t have the quid to buy Yossi from Chelski.

– Tyler

Rectum Spectrum
Rectum Spectrum

Bayern beat Madrid over two legs, the final is in their stadium, and Chelsea are missing half their squad. Bayern will triumph for sure. Spurs’ squad, decimated by the euro’s, will face tough qualifiers and hopefully lose. Will be gteat fun watching as we conclude our transfers.

Jim
Jim

So, what do you say now Mr. George Graham about arsenal finishing 3rd. As i remember it was you who said that it would be Arsene’s greatest achievement if arsenal finished in top four this season. Don’t underestimate Le-prof.

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