WBA 2-1 Arsenal: 2 goals, 1 shot, By the Numbers

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West Brom:

253 – Attempted passes
166 – Passes completed
87 – Passed failed
66% – Passes completed
86 – Passes attempted in the Arsenal final 1/3
44 – Passes completed in the Arsenal final 1/3
51% – Passes completed in the Arsenal final 1/3
74 – Passes attempted in the Arsenal final 1/3 but outside the box
40 – Passes completed in the Arsenal final 1/3 but outside the box
54% – Passes completed in the Arsenal final 1/3 but outside the box
12 – Passes attempted in the Arsenal penalty box
4 – Passes completed in the Arsenal penalty area
33% – Passes completed in the Arsenal penalty area
4 – Shots
0 – Big Chances
1 – Shot in Prime (miss)
1 – Shot on target (outside of the right boot, from a set play)
1 – Goal scored (set play, assist)

39 – Tackles attempted
20 – Tackles successful
22 – Interceptions
29 – Clearances attempted
22 – Clearances successful
14 – Fouls committed
4 – Fouls committed in the West Brom final 1/3
1 – Penalty conceded

Arsenal:

685 – Passes attempted
592 – Passes completed
93 – Passes failed
86% – Passes completed
219 – Passes attempted in the West Brom Final 1/3
164 – Passes completed in the West Brom Final 1/3
75% – Passes completed in the West Brom Final 1/3
176 – Passes attempted in the Arsenal final 1/3 but outside the box
145 – Passes completed in the Arsenal final 1/3 but outside the box
82% – Passes completed in the Arsenal final 1/3 but outside the box
43 – Passes attempted in the West Brom penalty area
19 – Passes completed in the West Brom penalty area
44% – Passes completed in the West Brom penalty area
11 – Arsenal shots
3 – Big chances
3 – Shots in prime (prime and B.C. overlap: all 3 BC this time were prime)
3 – Shots on target
1 – Goal (Big Chance, prime, set play, header, assist)

14 – Tackles attempted
10 – Tackles successful
16 – Interceptions
18 – Clearances attempted
14 – Clearances successful
10 – Fouls committed
1 – Own goal conceded

West Brom’s plan was always to invite Arsenal to attack and hit the Gunners on the break. Even before West Brom equalized Arsenal had 66% of the possession and the Gunners finished the match with 73% of the possession. So, the huge discrepancy between numbers of passes completed, shots, and other numbers aren’t really a surprise.

What is a surprise is just how deep West Brom sat. Arsenal’s pass completion percentage outside of the 18 yard box is 82%. You wouldn’t normally want a team to complete 82% of their passes in your final third. But what West Brom did was literally pack the box. The result was that Arsenal weren’t able to make any entry passes and finished the match with 44% passing in the West Brom 18.

I went back and looked at Arsenal’s matches and that 44% completion rate is the 2nd lowest of the season. Interestingly, the lowest of the season was the 2-0 win over Bayern Munich (40%). Arsenal have played 9 matches this season where they completed less than 60% of their passes in the opposition 18 yard box and they have only won 3 (Stoke 57%, Newcastle 54%, and Bayern 40%). In the 8 matches Arsenal have completed more than 60% in the 18 yard box they have lost just 1 (also weirdly, Bayern 65%) and drawn 1 (Liverpoo 63%).

This match against West Brom had a huge element of bad luck for Arsenal. The goal they conceded was a strike that Eduardo, one of the most technically gifted players I’ve ever seen play for Arsenal, made once in his career. My honest opinion is that Morrison was just trying to get a boot on the ball. There is no way that he tried to samba that ball in off the volley using the side of his right foot.

The part that is most frustrating isn’t that Arsenal conceded a lucky goal and then an own goal but that Arsenal didn’t create as much as we should expect. Arsenal only had 3 shots on target: Giroud’s goal, a shot from distance, and Koscielny’s shot from the edge of the box. Arsenal also had a hard time creating good shots, getting just three shots in Prime (Giroud’s goal, Campbell’s incredible miss, and Cazorla’s penalty slip).

I’m going to go ahead and say it: Özil might have created the assist and Giroud might have scored but the two of them were largely to blame for Arsenal’s lack of bite in this game.

Özil is great at recycling the ball and his vision is second to none. In fact, he got his 11th assist of the season today and that means he now has a 7 game assist streak in League play. Özil also dominated the final 1/3, leading all players with 40/47 final 1/3 passing. But Özil only went 4/6 passing in the 18 yard box.

Comparatively, Alexis was 29/45 in the final 1/3, which means that he “gave the ball away a lot”. But Sanchez was also 8/16 passing in the 18 yard box. And 3 of those 8 completed passes were for shots. Alexis also led all players with 11/14 dribbling.

Giroud scored a big chance, bringing his big chance conversion rate to an excellent 56%. But other than that goal Giroud was missing in this match. He went 1/5 in the final 1/3 and 1/4 passing in the 18 yard box. It’s probably no surprise that he created zero chances for his teammates. He also only took the one shot, failed in his only dribble, failed in his only aerial challenge, and completed just 4 passes in the West Brom half. He spent the entire match in Jonas Olsson’s pocket and that is absolutely unacceptable from a striker at a top team.

Giroud played the full 90 minutes so, and he’s one of the biggest players on the pitch, I can’t figure out why no one was able to find him. Especially Özil, who probably needed to be a little more adventurous in a match where Arsenal are behind and need a win and try a few things that might not have come off, the way Sanchez did.

After all, Arsenal had Cazorla and Flamini there to recycle the ball. In theory that should free players like Özil to be more creative.

@7amkickoff

Sources: Opta and my personal database

Qq

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Dan

Thanks captain “Calamity” 35 minutes on the pitch and assisted one and scored another…What a waste of space!!!

Eddie McGoldrick

He’s right – giroud was anonymous today, seemed off the boil and uncommitted.

With Gibbs playing on the left (and having very little impact) we were already down one key attacking man and needed big performances from the other key attaching men to compensate. I thought alexis was very good, ozil was good, santi was ok (ignoring penalty miss) and giroud was just nothingy – didn’t seem to be able to bring himself to do anything proactive.

IamaGoober

Proper shit result today. Another huge opportunity spurned with City dropping points again. The most frustrating thing being, United are now ahead of us, so that 3 nil hammering we gave them at home has essentially been chalked off, all from dropping points at home to the Yidds and dropping a bollock again today by losing to these cunts. If we don’t start getting back some of those players on that (ever growing) injury list, everything will start looking like another season where we finished in our pants too early, and we flop out of the league by January.

Petits Handbag

And there is the cunts who stop real arsenal fans going dublin.
Open your eyes

Femi

This is a monumental loss!

Pedant

Crazy match. The headline sums it up.

Nothing went for us and Arteta made the difference unfortunately.

Third Plebeian

Sadly, Arteta has become garbage. We don’t have the squad for a title.

I hope that doesn’t offend anyone.

Matt

Of course we can’t pretend to fight for the title with Arteta, Flamini and Campbell. And Giroud, everybody’s favourite, is just average.

Dan

@ third…Watch out blogs will get offended. you know Arteta is his lost son.

Goondiana Jones

Özil was 2 cm away from a goal to go along with his assist. The pass % in the 18 was low, but arsenal had to pass through at least 8 golems perched in front of goal. In a tight game where the marginals have to go your way to get a result, the story is Campbell’s howler, Santi’s blown penalty, and the other 2nd half close calls.

The only long term takeaway is that now we are Coq-less for the forseeable future. What do you think is the temporary solution: Slot flamini in, or make adjustments to the formation?

Trez

True, but this is why your forwards have to be clinical. I’ve always said it that this team lacks the killer instinct to be champions.
We don’t have reliable finishers. In a tight game like this, Campbell shouldn’t be missing the chance he did.

AnthonyG

Guessing we’ll see Ramsey and Cazorla at the base at some stage. Flamini and Cazorla with Ramsey on the right again as well. Conservative is my guess.

Goondiana Jones

Yeah, I was thinking flamini-Cazorla to preserve ramsey and Bellerin’s partnership on the right. All depends on who comes back from injury too, I guess.

Gandalf

Was just one of those frustrating annoying days.

Conceded from a free kick that shouldn’t have been given, then an own goal, the substitute responsible for the goals subbed off having been substituted on, Ozil hit the post, penalty not given, Campbell missing from a yard out, penalty given and then missed.

Just a terrible day, we’re always bad in November too. Players need to dust this one off and go again.

matt

And here we are. 40 days from the opening of the transfer window and without a reliable Defensive Midfielder. All I wanted at the start of the season was serious competition for Le Coq, an upgrade on Arteta and Flamini (both way past their best, there is no disputing this). We can make do til January but we have to buy in this position if we’re gonna win this league. I hope Arsene knows now, he normally does.

The Wizard of OZ(il)

Not enough quality players… That’s all there is to be said here…

Rob67

This !!!

AnthonyG

Backs up a lot of what I’ve said about this game (and the players) in the other articles.

Having said that and with no due respect whatsoever: There are some real fucking knobends on here today. Couldn’t evaluate a player beyond some stupid video game stats would be my guess.

Alex

Again you’re stupefying! Özil is in a way the problem of the team today! Yes… Each time you find something bad to say about him and you find a way to single him out. Each single f***** time! BUT why was he compelled to go back so often, to take the ball and move it forward? How often was he compelled to do Cazorla’s job?
I often wonder if you’re an Arsenal fan.
Well, another shitty article.

Arsetrophysix

Lol you agree with the author in his criticism of Özil then say “shitty article” you troll.

The article was beautiful and informative. Obviously took time and care to write unlike your throwaway rant.

goonertilidie

I’ve read some very irritating comments today.

Bad form tearing our club captain apart, even if he was well below par. When the shit hits the fan you stay together.

Victoria Concordia Crescit. Just think about what that means.

GarmentDistrict

My guess is quite a few wouldn’t know what it means

snowcalla

Great analysis – can’t disagree with anything. Of course, lack of quality cover for you know what positions came back to bite us again.

Bell was clearly not fit, I am calling Giroud “Gigi” until he toughens up in the box (which will prolly never happen), & really sad for our captain. Santi’s miss was not a surprise looking at him before he took the penalty.

Only bright spark in the defence was Nacho. Mesut & Alexis did not play badly. Just not our day.

Alex

For me it’s just one to take on the chin. When you lose two players to injury, concede an own goal, miss a stonewall penalty shout and then fail to convert another, then it’s just not your day.

We do need players back and options again, I hope we can cling to the top until then

Automatism

Blaming Giroud & Ozil for this game, the two players that actually have done something in the match. Wow.

Tim

Did you read the article? Giroud was abyssal and Özil spent too much time not creating. He’s our most creative player and when we are chasing matches like this we need him to do more. But perhaps it’s harsh on Özil. It could be that Giroud was so god awful that Özil had no one to pass to.

Automatism

Tbh I would still blame our injuries as the cause of all this calamity instead of singling out any of our individual players. BUT if we really really really want to blame somebody for this, to me the most obvious choice would be our captain & co-captain. I would go to them first before anyone else. Both having absolute nightmare of a game. No leadership whatsoever and can’t organize our defensive formation, especially in the first half. & Arteta even contribute directly to their two goals! Sometimes when games are coming thick and fast like this, we just need to… Read more »

Tim

The free kick against Arteta wasn’t a free kick. There was no foul.

To win matches you need players to step up and create goals. Down 2-1 Arsenal only had one player step up and that was Alexis. Özil was happy recycling possession.

Tim

Their first goal was a total fluke. But they scored. So what then? Think about the matches logically. Arsenal should create more than 11 shots against such shitty opposition. Özil is supposed to be our creator, he had more of the ball than anyone, he deserves some calumny over this result. It doesn’t make him a bad player or a bad human and I certainly don’t subscribe to the “nicking a living” bullshit but there is no doubt that he shrank in this match.

Automatism

Aaah yes yes, I get what you’re saying now & I agree with your point about somebody need to step up in the attacking scheme. As I remember, Alexis & Giroud were marked to the ground by their players all game, can’t find any opening (even tho Alexis looks lively). And this is why I actually look at it as a great thing that one of them did manage to score. I can only hope now Ramsey, Theo or the Ox can get back more quickly so we can have more outlet upfront when this type of scenario present it… Read more »

Wolfgang

Someone as ked who was responsible for the loss. Wenger ,of course. He is the one
who picks the team and decides the tactics. Frankly Arsenal overplayed and that’s
why the attack lacked speed and guile.And too many passes.
I aint no coach but Pool beat MC with speed from the back. The gunners were ponderous
and when confronted by a ten men wall,still attempted to waltz through the defence.
So don’t be surprised the gunners are beaten by Zagreb.
Btw,BM and Olypiacos could play for a draw. The 18 year old cl record is there to be broken.

Milan

With the current injury record, I doubt its a bad thing actually….

Steve

Yes Arteta had a poor game but he wasn’t alone. He’s hardly played for the last year how can we expect him to be on top form? It’s obvious were are missing our injured players Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck, Theo, Ox. It wasn’t our day everything that could go wrong did! Yes we could do with someone to challenge the Coq and if he’s out for long he will be sorely missed. Also maybe another option up top but if we had a full strength squad everyone would be fresher and maybe benefit from more compition for places. It was a… Read more »

occam's hatchet

We played poorly as a team. We lost as a team. Even so, we still made enough big chances to win the game, but we didn’t capitalize on them. To say that Özil and Giroud “were largely to blame for Arsenal’s lack of bite in this game,” you have to go out of your way to overlook the performances of Campbell, Bellerin, Arteta, and the loss of Coq. (I may have missed a few, tbf.)

Tim

Özil and Giroud are starters. First team players.

Hal Block Arsenal

my mama said there’d be days like these

JustAGooner

Well I guess its fair to say that Arteta press the self destruct button this time. With self destruct mode ON, Campbell can’t score from 3 meter dan Cazorla slipped 3 cm from the penalty spot.

overmars

The decision that cost Arsenal the game was the decision to replace Coquelin with Arteta. Why not Mattieu Flamini instead. Sadly, Captain Mikel was around 2 days off the pace and the 2 goals he conceded were only a symptom of his general play.

If Flamini had come on for Francis, we might have won that game, as he has the mobility to protect the defence and break up play. This was seen when he himself was brought on.

The attacking players created enough chances to win the game,

Matt

Of course we can’t pretend to fight for the title with Arteta, Flamini and Campbell. And Giroud, everybody’s favourite, is just average.
Lack of depth is telling with all this injuries (another point where all of us like to think is just ‘bad luck’).

Thankfully City, United and Chelsea are soo bad this season, that’s a hope!

Le Jim

I’d be interested in how Hector went. I was so excited for him to come back, but he was pretty shit I thought.

Also, I think Özil struggled because of our lack of options with Gibbs playing, and Giroud often coming WAY too deep for a target man.

Chilli

I am gonna go ahead and say it: maybe the Paris attacks had a profound effect on many of our players. I also don’t want to single out any player in order to scapegoat somone, as I think it was a bad team performance for many reasons. Almost nobody pulled their weight, neither in terms of attacking and creating, nor in terms of defending. We gave away soft goals, had decisions against us, did not create enough and probably deserved to lose. If we want to be champions, we have to concentrate far more and take responsibilty. Everytime we could… Read more »

Meletios

There are games where its just not your day and I think this is one of them. Nothing went for us except the goal. Arteta unfirtunately is the player of yore anymore. Abd somehow even after so much talk if improving processes we are again stuck in the same injury crisis again. Not sure if Wenger is resting players when told by his staff. Cazorla and worryingly Alexis loik off the boil. Giroud was good and Ozil actually was the best player for me yesterday. Ultimately Wenger has another one and half years to win the league. It cant be… Read more »

Meletios

*Arteta is …

Meletios

Apologies..
Arteta is not…

Also if use less than sign followed by a word and then greater than sign, the comments on this page does not register it.

SaintSanti

I dont think only Giroud and Ozil are to blame. If Girouds stats belonged to Walcott, he would be called ‘clinical’ and ‘efficient’. Not saying though Giroud had a great game. His passing and hold-up play was way off. Cant really blame Ozil for the lack of creativity either. For a pass you’re also depending on your teammates. You cant pass a ball when your teammate doesnt make a good run or isnt asking for the ball. I think yesterday there wasn’t only a lack of Ozils creativity, but more a lack of good movement. Sadly, that is hard to… Read more »

North Bank Lee

Yesterday was simply one of those days. The Baggies had ten men behind the ball and one shot on target yet still won 2 -1. We just got to move on. I do not want to make any scape goats but to me this highlighted yet again how poor Arteta is. Quite simply he is too old and way too slow for the PL. This is emphasised time and time again on the few occasions he does come on the pitch for the past two seasons at least. He should have gone to the MLS/Turkey two years ago where the… Read more »