Arsenal 3-0 Burnley: By the Numbers (plus: The 7amkickoff Index)

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Arsenal 3-0 Burnley

Alexis Sanchez broke the deadlock between Arsenal and Burnley with a header in the 70th minute.  It was Arsenal’s third headed goal of the season in all competitions (including the Community Shield) and was a fabulous example of Alexis’ sheer will to win. He is one of the smallest players on the pitch and yet he powered in between two taller defenders and won the ball, knocking a big defender flat in the process.

It would be easy to write 1000 words about Sanchez’ performance today but I will leave that to the 10,000 other Arsenal writers. Instead, I think it’s important to highlight the players and tactics which set up all three Arsenal goals.

Arsenal attempted a season high 49 crosses today (which includes the 18 corners Arsenal took) and 12 of them were successful. It’s important to remember that a “successful” cross just means that an Arsenal player started the pass and another Arsenal player received the pass. It doesn’t matter if the pass went from one side of the pitch to the other as long as two Arsenal players connect.

Typically, Arsenal aren’t very good at corners or crosses but today, the Gunners created nearly all of their goal-chances off play down the wings. So, the first goal was a cross from Chambers. The second goal was a corner taken by Cazorla. The third goal was a cross by Gibbs. Podolski’s rocket volley saved by Heaton was from a Cazorla corner and Podolski’s bar rattler a moment later was from a Walcott cross.

In the final assessment, Arsenal’s play down the wings was so crucial to this match that Chambers and Gibbs notched the two Arsenal assists, Cazorla created three shots from corners, Ox created four shots from the right side of the pitch (one corner), Sanchez had 9/14 dribbles (5/8 were on the left of the penalty box), and Ox had 5/7 dribbles (4/5 were on the right side of the penalty box).

And as if to hammer home the point, Arsenal’s top three players in terms of attacking third passes were Calum Chambers (31/36), Alexis Sanchez (27/38), and Kieran Gibbs (23/30).

The 7amkickoff Index

This is an idea that I have been working on for years. The gist is that I want a visualization which comprises all of Arsenal’s goals scored, all of the goals conceded, and pertinent information about those goals (header, penalty, fast break, time of goal, goalscorer, etc.). To make this idea real, I’ve worked with several people (including my good friend Brian from 11 Cannons) and we have had some rather grand ideas about making it visually appealing but they have all turned out to be difficult to implement.

That said, I like the idea so much that it would be a shame to not publish it just because I don’t have the resources to make it as visually appealing as I want.

Click here for the image.

I think you can click the image to embiggen it.

What you see here are all 17 matches Arsenal have played this season and all the goals they have scored and conceded.

You can see what time the goal was scored, who scored it, who assisted, and how they scored the goal.

You can tell if it was a game winner (red on the right), if it should have been a winner (blue on the right), or if it was the tying goal (purple on the right).

If either team kept a clean sheet I grey out the boxes.

Home team is in bold. Black font is for Premier League games, dark blue for champions league, orange is the community shield (I’ll probably recycle this for FA Cup), and green is the League Cup.

A comma between two letters on the goal scored (e.g. H,O) indicates a headed goal from open play. A PLUS sign indicates two goals scored in the same 5 minute period.

Using this we can say the following about Arsenal’s offense:

15 – Second half goals scored
14 – First half goals scored
19 – Goals scored from open play
4 – Goals scored off opposition errors (own goals, etc)
3 – Goals scored off headers
2 – Goals scored off corners
2 – Goals scored on Fast Breaks
1 – Goal scored off a direct free kick (Sanchez, Southampton)

And we can say the following about Arsenal’s defense:

10 – First half goals conceded
7 – Second half goals conceded
6 – Headed goals conceded
6 – Fast break goals conceded
3 – Goals conceded from corners
3 – Penalties conceded

Using this new visualization you can also see trends. For example, Arsenal have played 17 games and conceded 17 goals. In the first 10 games you can see that Arsenal conceded 10 goals and they were evenly divided between fast breaks and set plays. But since that disastrous night against Southampton in the League Cup, Arsenal have only conceded two goals from set plays, both penalties.

Similarly, everyone is talking about nothing but Alexis because he has scored 4 of Arsenal’s last 5 goals and has nearly single-handedly won two games.

Well, what do you think? Is this a worthwhile endeavor?

Qq

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ARiddlingName
ARiddlingName

#SanchezIsAGunner

Booblicker 2000
Booblicker 2000

I wonder. How are Nacho’s stats compared to, say, Koscielny this season? I think he’s been good for us so far in the centre.

Timo
Timo

I love the depth of information in the infographic, but it’s very hard to read and compare events with time moving apart from the center.

IMO would be much better with each team running in the same direction, even if it makes the image longer overall.

Dial Square Charity XI
Dial Square Charity XI

I would probably try to do something like this:

http://imgur.com/7urNp9h

Just used the data from the first couple of matches…

Jungu Beans
Jungu Beans

Much easier to read and to compare individual matches. However, 7am’s version allows you to see the team’s performance across all 17 games at once, both offensively (left) and defensively (right).

But in case it is not obvious, your (7am) graphic is very helpful- thanks.

cb
cb

Or have them both run from the sides towards the middle?

David
David

#Theredbeastofnorthlondon

josef

I think the stats and the depth are great, infographic definitely needs work – my suggestion would be graphical representations of what’s currently alphanumeric – I’d love to give a hand but other than being up many walls, maybe thinking that you could get on to a local graphic design college and suggest your dissemination of stats in graphics as a posdiblr project for a student – something concrete to work on and for the portfoloio… I think I’m a bit drunk – either way always love your stats and cheers!

cb
cb

I like the idea, I think you could add something by including goal attempts and/or possession stats at the end of the lines, so it’s possible to judge domination of the match and then see how that translated into goals eg did Arsenal had 68% of possession and 30 goal attempts for the oppo to win with their only shot of the match. Comparators are always very powerful, though difficult to change once chosen.

How about league position at the beginning of the match in brackets after Arsenal so that you can see how this is changing with performances, and also put league position for the oppo so that we can see how good the result is.

CB
CB

More colour coding on the goals to show if it was a goal that took the lead, extended it, drew level, went behind. So you can see how important the goals were.

josef

Talking of stats – see welbeck with almost 86% pass completion – he keeps posting extremely high pass accuracy stats for a striker…gotta be good.

assistantref
assistantref

He’s sorta the opposite of Alexis in that respect. He plays it really safe, doesn’t make too many risky passes. It complements Alexis well. If you had both of them trying to thread the eye of the needle every time Arsenal’s possession stats would go way down and we all know how vulnerable we are to conceding goals on the break too so it’s probably a good thing one of our two strikers likes to keep it simple and safe.

Gooner from Pretoria.

Alexis fucking sanchez…

La Défense
La Défense

10/10 – Alexis Sanchez

santori
santori

Disingenuous as per usual

Many of the ‘fast break’ goals conceded were from crosses which should have been better contained by the back 4.

This is the problem with statisticians. They provide numbers without context in broad strokes and try to fit them into a preferred narrative.

NumberWeng
NumberWeng

Very helpful. Jog on you mug

Saffa Gooner
Saffa Gooner

Disingenuous as per usual. Criticism without disclosing that you are you full of yourself.

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash
Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

Santori – if 7AM is disingenuous you are just destructive in the worst possible way. On the one hand you have a clever, generous statistician working for the world’s most popular Arsenal blog working with a team of friends for a long time to create – and that’s the key word here – something new and helpful. Then you come along seeking to leverage this guy’s hard graft for a quick ego boost by discrediting all that hard creative work in a comment that took barely a minute to write. You’re the worst kind of commentator – adding nothing yet trying to destroy something if worth. And to highlight what I said you don’t even offer a solution to what you’re criticising!

“This is the problem with statisticians. They provide numbers without context in broad strokes and try to fit them into a preferred narrative.”

Well, how would you convey that “Many of the ‘fast break’ goals conceded were from crosses which should have been better contained by the back 4?” That’s so subjective.

Well done 7 AM. I like what you’re working on and appreciate all your hard work and what you make for us.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

He’s just pointing out that stats ‘Can’;
1) show an incomplete picture even when done correctly and
2) can be made to prove almost anything.

I work with stats (and produce many) everyday and he’s not wrong. For the few people that are really interested, you need to go into such fine detail that anyone that’s only vaguely interested falls asleep.

Would I do all this work for others entertainment, No.

The old saying “Lies, damn lies and statistics” is predominantly correct unless quite detailed context is added.
But if you think these numbers represent the full picture, good for you.

Kos
Kos

7am – the Alexis of the numbers game

Keep it up you’re awesome!

minato
minato

start counting how many times cazorla wastes possession carelessly.

Zelalem
Zelalem

Come on, I mean, really? Do we have to get on the back of any of our players after a game like this? Santi needs support right now, nothing else. Forgot how he was our best player two seasons ago?
And by the way, I do not think he lost the ball more often than Sanchez did today…!

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

Try counting how many games he’s been MOTM and how many games he’s won for us since he’s been here. Then add in that he’s ‘out of form’ at the moment.
And finally ‘show some class’.

assistantref
assistantref

I didn’t think it was all that bad today. If you’re going to get on the guy’s back do it for his shooting. He ought to have scored 3-4 goals in the last two games.

It’ll come back, but it can’t come back too soon because it’s hard to believe even our chilean beast can manage to keep up this strike rate forever.

Franconyl
Franconyl

Overall i like the idea that you have and the results are quite good, but since you asked, I think the data table has very good information, but this info is much better presented by analysing it as you did after. I mean, for me, this is the kind of data that is better understood when put into context and explained with words rather than just with the table.

Keep up the good work, your articles are quite good and I like the change of style you’ve made compared to the old format!

Goonalizer
Goonalizer

Great post as always @7amkickoff
But I am missing the ‘bare numbers’ in this post of last season and season before.
Things like
3 – Bites by Suarez
0 – Bites by Sanchez
100 – percent chance that Mourinho is a smug

These were so much fun to read 🙂 Get some back again @7amkickoff

o'leary
o'leary

enjoyed every minute of the wing play og arsenal,good to see us mixing up our attack channels!

bitchplease
bitchplease

I wanna see Podolski left foot destroy Anderlect, I think Wenger should start him.

Diaby`s Glassware
Diaby`s Glassware

Good Lord! what`s with our players shooting from outside the box? most shots hit white fart lane than the goal…but we’re scoring and keeping clean sheets..and…..Theo’s BACK!!!!

fresh prince
fresh prince

How many mph was Poldis volleys?

Arsepedant
Arsepedant

Mankind has not yet built an instrument to measure that.

guitareth
guitareth

Well I might tell you what I think of your infographic if I could actually view it! Dunno what happened but where it says “Click here for the image” there is no hyperlink at all. Have tested the page now in Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera and it’s same with all of them, so it can’t be a browser issue. Obviously there must have been a link originally, as so many people have commnted on the infographic, so I can only assume you tweaked the article and accidentally deleted the hyperlink!

crapaud
crapaud

Same problem – cant see an active link to the graphic (in firefox browser)

RF
RF

yes I expect he has been making changes – I could see the graphic and saved it when I first read the article 20 minutes ago, and then the link disappeared since.

guitareth
guitareth

Fixed now – thanks.

RF
RF

Hey, I like the idea for those stats. Not sure having both going from left to right one under the other would help though as it will take a lot more space. I have made a couple changes that might make it clearer and still manageable for you – have a look here: http://imgur.com/2lDTB3O

you get the match score in the middle, then on the outside is the cumulative GS/GA – I only filled in the first two lines, but you get the gist.

You could also centre the whole thing and have arsenal scorer names on the left of the table and opposition on the right where it is at the moment?

What do you think?

And I definitely want to see more of that table from you!

crapaud
crapaud

Youre version is easier to read and in fact I would suggest going one step further by splitting up goalscorers as well – with Arsenal on the left hand side of the table and leave the opposition’s goalscorers on the right hand side

crapaud
crapaud

ie as you suggest re splitting the goal scorers to the left and right hand sides

crapaud
crapaud

and by splitting up the goal scorers on left & right hand side of table (by team) – perhaps that would allow you to provide further insight into how the opposition scorer succeeded in getting his goal. I know it might be a sensitive issue but that could include the possibility of identifying the arsenal player most at fault for the opposition’s goal (in cases where an arsenal player was clearly at fault) – which in reality would be the equal/opposite of someone who provides the ‘goal assist’ – if that makes sense?

crapaud
crapaud

If you did split the goal scorers on left & right hand side of the table as you suggest then that also opens up the possibility of adding in further info relating to the opposition goal scorer – perhaps the equal/opposite of the ‘goal assist’ such that in the event that there was an arsenal player evidently at fault for conceding the goal (or guilty of an offense or error that led to the opposition’s goal) then they would appear in brackets next to the opposition goal scorer’s name – although not sure if such info would be beneficial to painting an overall picture of Arsenal’s performances or whether it would just provide an opportunity for negativity.

cb
cb

Is there the space for goal scorers? You may be better concentrating on just the important facts of the game eg initial league position, what happened through the game (goals, injuries, sending offs etc), the match stats (shots/possession %). This means you can see the key match details and what happened across the season, which would be great. Lots of stories would follow.

You could always have a link to a goal scorers table as they take up a lot of room (especially if a 5-2 5pur2 result), danger of doing too much with one table.

ravenlondon
ravenlondon

Cromulent use of embiggen 7am..

SDB
SDB

Very happy to see the offence starting to click and a couple clean sheets. Since Wilshere left the field against Anderlecht we’ve scored 7 and conceded 0. The stats keep piling up against Jack. When Ozil’s back I can’t see Jack or Santi making it in the starting line up. Another CB and strong DM to partner Ramsey and this team will have a chance at winning the prem.

Mach iii
Mach iii

Sanchez welbeck
Ozil
Ramsey wilshere ox
Gibbs kos per debuchy