We’ve got Mesut Özil!
Mesut Özil led Arsenal with 3/5 tackles today! That brought his total tackles attempted this season to 43 and his total successful tackles to 28. Today’s tackling output was 11% of his season total!
He also led Arsenal with 6 key passes today. This follows up on his 7 key passes in the last match meaning that the Arsenal play-maker now leads the League in key passes per game with 3.1. But Ozil has created 13 chances in the last two games and since he only created 69 chances this season, that means he’s completed 19% of his total key passes this season in just the last two games.
Ospina made his first goalkeeping error of the season today and it was so bad that it had people pining for Szczesny, who was on the pine. But before he was benched, Szczesny made 6 errors and allowed 3 goals off those errors in just 17 games in League play. To give that some context, in 44 appearances in the Premier League and the Champions League last season, Szczesny made 6 errors and allowed 2 goals. Szcz also averaged about 2 saves per goal last season and was down to just 1.4 saves per goal this season before being benched. Meanwhile, Ospina has saved 3.18 shots per goal and made just the one error. Now before you get all weird about “errors” they are, in fact, subjective – just like all stats.
|Saves per goal||1.4||3.18|
|Errors leading to a goal||3||1|
|Big chances faced*||30||15|
|Big chances scored*||13||5|
|Big chancce conversion%||43%||33%|
|*Before Coq and after|
After the match everyone was looking to me for some stats that prove or disprove which keeper Arsenal should stick with: Szczesny or Ospina. And since both keepers played almost the same number of matches there could be a good basis for comparison. There’s only one problem: Arsenal changed playing style with the introduction of Coquelin and that coincided with Ospina becoming Arsenal’s number one.
As you can see from the stats above Ospina blows Szczesny away in terms of clean sheets, goals conceded, saves per goal, and errors. But, there’s a small problem in that Szczesny faced a lot more shots per game and faced double the number of big chances (big chances are like a 1-on-1 with the keeper) than Ospina.
I think the stats show Ospina is a solid keeper who had a much better defense in front of him than Szczesny had. However, Szczesny compounded his team’s defensive problems with numerous defensive errors.
There is one area however where Ospina may be susceptible…
Corner, header conceded
Guess what happened today? Arsenal conceded another headed goal! This time the assist wasn’t a cross but rather a corner. That’s the 13th League goal Arsenal conceded off a header this season. Arsenal conceded just 36 goals this season in League play but 13/36 is 36% of the goals allowed off headers.
Last season, Arsenal conceded just 8/41 goals (20%) of their goals off headers. And the season before we conceded just 6/36 (17%) goals off headers.
This goal was Ospina’s error. However, it’s interesting that since Szczesny was dropped Arsenal have conceded 16 goals (in all competitions) and all but 4 of them (12) have been either a corner, a cross, or a penalty.
And three of those four non-crossed goals came against Monaco which was probably Ospina’s worst game of the season.
Cazorla, whoa whoa whoa whoa!
Cazorla’s pass to Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s 4th minute goal handed the Spaniard his 10th assist of the Premier League season and his ‘pass’ to Walcott in the 37th minute handed the Spaniard his 11th assist! That made him second behind Fesc Cabregas for assist king in the League.
Cazorla’s second assist highlights a slightly problematic aspect of counting assist stats. It’s pretty lear from the replay that Cazorla was shooting but struck the ball poorly. Walcott nipped in and finished for him handing Cazorla the assist. Opta now counts this as an “unintentional” assist which I think is fantasti since it more accurately reflects the reality on the pitch. I wish there was a place where I could see which player has the most unintentional assists but I don’t have that data.
It was so nice to see Wilshere and Walcott back on the pitch today.
Walcott scored a hat trick and that brought his season total number of goals to 5. That is more goals than either Welbeck or Ozil (4 each) who have both played 4-5 times as many minutes. He’s scored 5 goals off of just 23 shots!
Walcott also showed a bit of his skill in the 18 yard box today, completing a rare dribble-and-shoot goal. It was his only successful dribble on the day and he’s only completed 8 dribbles all season. Theo also completed 100% of his passes today. Sure… it was just 15 passes. He also only had 33 touches! Well, the kid is just, erm, efficient!
Wilshere was 49/52 passsing, 3/5 dribbles, and scored a beauty of a goal. But he didn’t create a single shot for his teammates. Boo!
All total the British players accounted for 15 of Arsenal’s 28 shots today. That’s the British core we were looking for at the start of the season!
All stats from Opta an the 7amkickoff Index