Sunday, January 23, 2022

Cazorla and Koscielny: by the numbers

Koscielny Extends Contract

26 – Age of Laurent Koscielny when he signed a “long term contract extension” with Arsenal
4 – Years most of Arsenal’s “long term contracts” run
33 – Games started by Laurent Koscielny 2011-2012
91 – Interceptions by Laurent Koscielny**
2.8 – Interceptions per game by Laurent Koscielny**
3.6 – Interceptions per game by Stilian Petrov*
2.6 – Tackles per game by Laurent Koscielny
2.9 – Tackles per game by Alex Song**
4.5 – Tackles per game by Alejandro Faurlin*
33 – Fouls committed by Laurent Koscielny
88 – Fouls committed by Marouane Fellaini*
9 – Yellow cards given to Laurent Koscielny
6 – Yellow cards given to Marouane Fellaini
10 – Yellow cards given to Alex Song**
11 – Number of assists by Alex Song**
1 – Number of players in the top five leagues who have a season double-double of assists and yellow cards
1.9 – Aerial duels won per game by Laurent Koscielny
2.7 – Aerial duels won per game by Bacary Sagna**
3.7 – Aerial duels won per game by Younes Kaboul (led all center backs)
1 – Aerial duels won per game by Vincent Kompany
61 – Percent of aerial duels won by Laurent Koscielny
56 – Percent of aerial duels won by Thomas Vermaelen
70 – Percent of aerial duels won by Bacary Sagna**
71 – Percent of aerial duels won by Kompany and Kaboul
5.1 – Clearances per game by Laurent Koscielny**
13.4 – Clearances per game by Ryan Shawcross*
8.9 – Clearances per game by Robert Huth
6.2 – Clearances per game by Vincent Kompany**
60 – Percent of possession averaged by Arsenal in 2011-2012*
40 – Percent of possession averaged by Stoke in 2011-2012
69.5 – Pass percentage by Stoke (worst in the League)
100 – Percent chance that Stoke simply hoof the ball out with nearly every possible possession which is why they have two players in the top 10 of the clearances per game category

Santi Cazorla is coming to town?

(click to embiggen)

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Santi Cazorla from Malaga and I wanted to give readers a sense of what the player offered compared to two key Arsenal starters (whom he might fill-in for) and compared to a player Arsenal were linked to last season, Juan Mata.

Not covered in the chart above is the fact that Cazorla is a versatile midfielder who played across the entire midfield for Malaga last season — even playing defensive mid when needed. You could intuit that from his outstanding workrate in both the defensive comparisons and his overall passing vision, but just in case, I wanted to make it clear that he can and does play in any position in midfield (left, right, and center).

From a team defense perspective Cazorla pulls his own weight for Malaga, tackling and reading the passing lanes better than any of the other three players listed above. In fact, one frustration with Theo Walcott is his lack of  defensive presence at Arsenal which Cazorla beat hands down at Malaga. He’s also a very clean player and despite all of the tackles he made, Cazorla was blown for just 20 fouls last season and shown just 2 yellow cards.

People often caution in reading too much into these numbers because Spain is very different from England, especially in interceptions and tackles per game. For example, Toulalan led Malaga with 5.3 tackles per game, whereas Song led Arsenal with 2.9. Cazorla averaged just 2.2 tackles per game but rather than simply discount that number, I see those tackles as indication of a player who is used to playing team defense. A characteristic that Arsenal have need for.

That’s one reason I have included Mata’s numbers from both his time at Valencia (v) and this season at Chelsea (c). As you can see Mata’s defensive numbers took a slight drop when he switched to the Premier League. Is it fair to expect similar from Cazorla should he make the switch to Arsenal?

What you also see is an increase across the board in nearly all of Mata’s offensive numbers: turnovers down; key passes, crosses, through balls, crosses, long balls, crosses, passing percent, and even assists all up (did I mention crosses?). Again, we can’t simply extrapolate the numbers and expect a similar bump from Cazorla but I would be shocked if Cazorla played 38 games for Arsenal and didn’t double his assists output from his time at Malaga. Malaga’s leading goal scorer was Rondon with 11 goals and with Giroud and Podolski on the end of Cazorla’s passes I suspect we’d see a different story.

Those crosses, long balls, and through balls numbers are all the number that were successful for each player (could you imagine a single player hitting 281 long balls a game, not named Paul Robinson?) over their respective season. I didn’t include percentages because the chart was getting too long already but Cazorla’s crossing percent is up there with some of the best. Theo was 18 of 134 crosses which was just a 13% completion rate. Cazorla was 62 of 211 for a 29% completion rate. Crosses are a low percentage pass but 29% is a very good rate, for example, Mata averaged 26% for Chelsea last season.

Overall, Cazorla looks like a versatile player with a great range of passes, who is willing to put in the work defensively, can beat a man off the dribble, isn’t afraid to shoot, and played all 38 games for Malaga last season. He is exactly the kind of player that Arsenal could use. That’s if he wants to come, if Arsenal are really interested, and if Malaga want to sell him for less than his £40m release clause.


All numbers are for domestic league competitions and for the previous season only, unless otherwise stated.

*Led the League — League stats only, 20 or more appearances
**Led his team — League stats only , 20 or more appearances

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Never mind that. It’s Vuvuzela time!

Looks like we’re not even pretending Santos is a defender anymore – he gets in on the wing ahead of Ryo – kinda disappointing. Diaby starts: Not disappointing.

Eric Irish gunner

Looking at the state of that pitch I’m suprised diaby is playing, would love to see him stay fit and grow in confidence

Happy Gunner

From what I gather we’re doing this to Diaby on purpose. It’s throw him in the worst situations possible, and let him sink or swim. I hope he makes it through :-D.


From the always decent 7amkickoff.
I say we get this guy and forget about the ridiculously overpriced brazilian ganso. Don’t know why but why are they overpriced like that!
(hulk, damiao, moura, oscar)

Footballing gods I guess. please!

big black clock

Anybody else seeing a shift in Wenger’s mindset this summer? I mean, a young Ganso who’s full of potential vs Cazorla who’s in his prime, and he goes for the latter. Not to mention a 25 year old Giroud and 27 year old Poldi, all players who are in their prime. Looks like he’s really aiming for trophies this season 😉

Merlin's Panini

I’m wondering if it’s something to do with his contract being up in 2 years. Maybe he’s going to go hell for leather for trophies as a parting gift. I hope that’s not the case but it’s possible.


Could be that – I’m sure there’s a bit of that in it. But it could also be that he’s reluctqantly accepted that the experiment of developing our own kids Barca-style isn’t going to work in the Premiership – they either fail, or they get crippled by thugs (Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey), or when they flourish it’s only to get picked off by Barca or City. He bought Arteta and Santos last year and they’ve worked out pretty well so maybe he’s decided it’s the best way to go. In the short term it probably is, but since we’re a club… Read more »

Happy Gunner

I believe our youth experiment could have worked, but we would’ve had to win 07/08. We had that season, no problem, and that was largely a group of homegrowns mixed with experience. We haven’t REALLY recovered since imo, and I’m hoping this year singals the return to a true challenge! 🙂

big black clock

Off topic: If anyone is worried about the way our players are playing right now, I just want to say Bukit Jalil stadium has one of the worst pitches in Asia. I should know since I’m an Asian myself.

Getting impressed by Gervy, Diaby and Jenkinson so far.


It’s pretty incredible. Divots everywhere and Diaby just opened up a MASSIVE crater right in front of the Malay goal. I half expect the local wildlife to wander onto the pitch at half time to convert it into a watering hole.

I know they can’t all be Emirates turf, but still, you wouldn’t fault Wenger for going mental at someone in the backroom if someone does their ankle on this.

big black clock

I’ve been so spoiled by the Emirates pitch that I cringe and curse when I see pitches like this.

Wenger y u spoil me?!


Yeah that pitch looks horrid… winced when Diaby went down….Diaby seeing alot of the ball..running the show quite well…


So you are an asian who wishes he had a big black clock!.

big black clock

My black grandfather had one. Big, sturdy, and ever reliable. My aim is to one day have a big strong clock like he had.

Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

I have a big deck!


A versatile midfielder who likes to shoot is what we need!

From the stats I was going to say that his assist rate has room for improvement (in 38 games) but that fact that he has played “everywhere” on the pitch explains that quite well. Since you put this much work into this interesting article I assume Arsenal is on the verge here 🙂

Bobby Pires

“Malaga announce their financial problems will be cleared soon, no intention to sell or negotiate about Cazorla.”

Either this is true or its just an attempt to make us bid higher than we need to, lets hope its the latter as we are shrewed bidders and I hope that if we do bid it would be enough to land this guy.

Am I getting ahead of myself?

Eric Irish gunner

This is not a bad game santos is like a new striker for us


Mannone in Malaysia! Please Vito, i want at least one directionless spin – kick from you…


“Overall, Cazorla looks like a versatile player with a great range of passes…”

He also looks like John Turturro. Put a mauve leisure suit on him, and no one will f*ck with the Jesus……

David S.

And we just got those purple away kits. I think this is fate.


The Big Podolski


I believe Cazorla’s been named the best player in Spain & in the top 5 a number of times according to a statistical analysis paper they have over there and I think everyone would be happy to see him play for Arsenal. I however shall believe it when I see it 🙂

big black clock

Can we have a statistical comparison between Fabregas and Cazorla blogs? Or maybe Cazorla and any of our current midfielders. Should give me a more realistic picture of what to expect from him. Right now everyone is making him sound like some sort of messiah for us, as usual.


He’s a very good player but not in the quality of Fabregas I’d say (very few are). I didn’t mean to big him up too much with the stats analysis comment ‘cos I believe Denilson was statistically brilliant for us too…You can’t expect him to be as good as say Juan Mata (what a miss). Having said that expect him to form a symbiotic relationship with TGSTEL only to have his leg broken against Stoke 5 games in & never return the same


I compared him to Theo and Arteta.

Last arse

007: Koscielnys code name!

Eric Irish gunner

Eisfeld comes on for theo and shows him how to finish


Ice cool finish from eis.
Ice ice ice baby

the only sam is nelson

Frimmer in hot water for baiting a spuds troll on twitter

still, once he’s been given the harshest possible punishment it’ll show that the likes of John Terry can’t get away with… oh, wait


that run from the ox where he ran by like 4 players was immense, shame no one ran into the box to help him out

Rad Carrot

Mmm. Not to be negative nelly, but there’s absolutely no chance of us landing this fellow. Malaga don’t need to sell him, and even if they do, he’ll go to a money-bags club for more wages – he can demand what he wants. If he does leave Malaga, he’ll end up at Man City or Chelsea, I’m afraid.

Let’s focus on keeping Walcott and getting in some quality players who’ll play for us without breaking the bank.


I didn’t know Arsene frequented the comments on Arseblog? This is awesome!

big black clock

“Malaga don’t need to sell him”

You haven’t been reading much news, have you?

Rectum Spectrum

you’re last sentence actually suggests getting rid of walcott.

Rad Carrot

Heh, I thought a lot of people wouldn’t be happy with this.

It’s really not guaranteed that Malaga need to sell him – they’re not in any particular financial crisis, they’re just paying some debts late. People who think they’re in a Rangers-esque scenario are wide of the mark.

I know Arseblog is covering this guy particularly heavily, and don’t get me wrong – I’d love to see him at Arsenal. But it’s not going to happen, not when the player’s holding all the cards and he moved for the bigger wages not 12 months ago.

Happy Gunner

I’m not really in the mood to dig for it, but I was reading up on their situation… they haven’t paid several of their players. They’re either in trouble, or really stupid.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

“they’re not in any particular financial crisis, they’re just paying some debts late.”

You do know that the penalties for not paying your players can be quite harsh. There are many ways to fuck up a club, but two of the best are not paying your players, and not paying the tax man. It’s not just the punishments either. Player morale sinks quite fast when they know that some or all of them are not being paid properly.


With Giroud and Podolski on the end of Cazorla’s passes I suspect we’d see a different story.

Lest we not forget about Five Head. That’s all Cazorla will be able to see around the defenders heads.


Hey gays. I made a YouTube video on Cazorla.

Rectum Spectrum

thanks Stephen. I really like it when they put the little yellow ring around the player so we know who to follow.

Rectum Spectrum

so from this we can deduce two things: cazorla and arteta would be a phenomenal midfield force, and theo walcott is only *just about* worth the 65k/week he’s flatly turning down.

honestly, i am indifferent to if he is sold or not (walcott) i’m ‘meh’ on the topic. he hasn’t done enough to make me feel it would be a massive loss.

[…] that’s enough for today. Despite getting up at 2am to work on my By the Numbers piece on Santi Cazorla it looks like I was a day late and a dollar short as Malaga are now trying to crush rumors that […]


Can we get a by the numbers for players contracts. E.g. Number of players who run their contract down to 1 year and stay. Number of players who sign new contracts vs. leave..etc.

Getting in Walcott’s replacement early too. Can only be a good thing.


left, right and centre.

We are in England not America.

One Nil

And yet 7am Kick Off is not in England.

He’s based on the USA West coast in Washington (the state), hence the blog name 7am Kick Off – which refers to the time games can start over here.

The 5am ones are brutal. 🙁

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You lucky Americans. In Sydney we watch the weekend games between midnight and 6am. If you want to follow the PL live from here you have to live nocturnally. (Which I do)

The only games starting at a reasonable time of day are midweek matches, which start between 4,30 an 6.30 depending on kick off time and the state of our seasonal time changes.

It is so weird watching an afternoon match played in the snow when it is 2am and the temperature is still in the mid 20s here.


You’d think in the digital age that people would start to figure out that a) people are writing in countries other than one’s own, and b) people outside the UK are fans of Arsenal.

Also,strictly speaking, “centre” or “center” is not an English word. Look up its etymology before you claim spelling ownership!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yep, it’s all that bloody Webster’s fault. Look at the trouble he’s caused. Bloody Glory Hunter. He’d be a Man Shitty fan today.


“We are not close to signing Cazorla. We are still working that out,” said Wenger after the match (according to channelnewsasia dot com).

A step in the right direction.


“We are not close to signing Cazorla. We are still working that out,” Wenger told reporters immediately after the match in the capital Kuala Lumpur.


the “working that out” part sounds kind of good


“Embiggen ” LOLZ

nah, good post fella… always an interesting read


The kick off times for Australia are even worse (especially midweek games) I’d kill for a lunchtime kickoff like you lot are privilege to as opposed to 11pm-4am lol


Spot on Rob – Brutal Start times. Watching a game against the Mancs at 2 am Monday morning then going to work plus the midweek CL fixtures.

Andrew Maher

Absolutely worth it. I stay up to stream it on my computer. Do you guys go to any bars to enjoy the games?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I watched games at the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel when I used to work at Darling Harbour. A couple of pints of Guinness (cups of coffee, was the description I used in the office) and a live game (whoever it might be) on a Saturday and Sunday night was just what I needed, and if Arsenal were on it was perfect. The place was always crowded with desperate people trying to talk their way into somebody’s undies, but at least the bouncers kept out the worst of the drunks.


But at least you can catch most, if not all Arse matches on live TV. Unlike the Saturday 3pm k/o’s here in England. Then again not many k/o at 3pm Sat these days (thanks to Sky as well as the Europa League)

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

It’s a rare weekend when you can’t see Arsenal live in Australia. I’ve got Foxtel’s Sports package (for all the matches from Sky and ESPN) plus Setanta. Apparently Setanta have upped their coverage the season coming, with the League Cup and more Championship matches. We also get FA Cup, SPL and Scottish FA Cup, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Dutch and Russian games, Internationals, both European “leagues”, MLS, the A League, Asian Champions League, and both of the main South American Cups. I’m currently watching Liverpool v Roma on ESPN, then the MLS All-Stars against Chel$ki, and afterwards I’ll try to… Read more »

Gooners n roses

Hi guys,
I was there last night, and i admit the turf was bad (always like that actually). however, for two seasons running, im able to watch arsenal play which is quite a privilege! It feel so good to be able to see them live, thou im wuite dissapointed with no poldi n giroud. Nevermind, hope to see them both come next year!


I think 7amkickoff makes a very important point that Cazorla (we can all dream) plays a cross the midfield. We need some invention out at RW, at the same time with Rosicky carrying a knock and Ramsey flattering to decieve, it would be great to have more options through the middle (granted Pdolski can also play there and possibly Eisfeld who looed sharp). And with gervinho open to the preys of ACN, Cazorla can fill out left too. With the 25 squad number, there is precious few spots at the moment to add. i think we’ll have a spare up… Read more »

[…] 来源:[Arseblog News] […]

[…] can get an inkling of why Arsene is so eager to bring the player in from my Cazorla By the Numbers piece on Arseblog News last week. Here’s the infographic I […]

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