Monday, June 17, 2024

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal: By The Numbers

Today’s number is 12.

That’s the number of misplaced passes from open play that Aaron Ramsey made in his role as creative midfielder for Arsenal against Tottenham today. I know this sounds like a truism but typically, your creative midfielder will have a lower percentage of completed passes because he’s trying more low percentage passes.

Ramsey actually had a good percentage of passes for that position today, completing 58/70 from open play to net a respectable  83%. Compare that to Luka Modric who went 28/37 for a 76% rate and you can see what I mean by Ramsey’s overall number looking good.

But what made us Gooners groan was not his overall level of passing which was pretty good but the types of misplaced passes Ramsey made compared to, say, Modric.

(Images via Guardian Chalkboards/OPTA)

Those short misplaced passes in Ramsey’s chart are the ones we tend to remember because we inherently expect shorter passes to be easier. Whereas the longer attempts from Modric are going to be less likely to cause a groan as long as he doesn’t wear the route one pass out. Also important in these two charts is the direction of the passing: Modric is looking forward, probing and trying to get a ball behind the Arsenal defense while all but three of Ramsey’s misplaced passes were sideways and short, with most going to the right.

This inability to create the final ball must have played a part in limiting Theo Walcott to the point that the Arsenal forward ended the game with just 9 passes in open play. Total. And he only completed 7.

But Ramsey’s misplaced passes only tell half the story. The other problem is that Arsenal are all over the map in terms of defensive work from every player on the team. And, while they have only played 7 games in the League it’s looking like Arsenal’s away form has done a 180 from thew first half of last season.

Since January 1st 2011 this has been Arsenal’s away form:

Away record Jan 2011-present — all competitions*

Away record Jan 2011-present — League

Goals conceded record Jan 2011-Present — all competitions
24181023231223141010 = 41

13122021133201143303 = 36

Significantly, 15 of the 41  goals (37%) have come this season alone and teams are now converting goals at an alarming rate. Last season Arsenal converted roughly 11% of their total shots into goals and also allowed 11% of the opposition shots to be converted into goals. This season, Arsenal are only converting 8% of our shots and – this is depressing – allowing the opposition to convert 18% of their shots.

Worse than that, Arsenal’s game plan is to play possession football which in theory should limit the opposition’s chances on goal. Arsenal are still dominating possession clipping along at 57% this season. But whereas last year they kept the opposition to a stingy 10.61 shots per game and just 3.74 on goal they are now allowing 12.43 shots per game and an even more alarming 5 shots on goal per game.

If you will indulge me a bit of speculation, I suspect this increase in both number and quality of shot is down to a failure in defense all over the pitch and not just in the back four. We tend to assign blame to the back four when it comes to defense but when you see a jump like that in both number and quality of shot it tends to point toward a team problem.

Which is sort of born out by when Arsenal are allowing goals as well. 9 of the 16 goals that Arsenal have conceded in the League this season have been scored in the final 30 minutes. This could indicate a lack of fitness in the entire squad or maybe not, since 5 of those 9 came in the Manchester United game.

I will concede the point that there isn’t really enough data on this season to draw too strong a conclusion.

Lest you think me all gloom and doom I had a look at the numbers for The Coq™ and have to say he was outstanding.

87 – Percent passing (2nd best on the team behind Arteta and Gibbs – 91%)
5 – Tackles (2nd behind Scott Parker’s 7)
3 – Interceptions
4 – Of 5 long balls
1 – Was the only player on Arsenal to successfully play a through ball.

Is this the most welcome of all international breaks?

*The dash is the break in the two seasons. Also, all records are in chronological order from left to right.


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what a boring blog


maths is clearly not your favorite…..


What a boring blog!

Donut De Gea

I honestly think this blog is very interesting. Some food for thought there with the map of ramsey’s inconpleted passes.
has anybody else noticed the lack of through balls our players are attempting?


I have a dream! In that dream Wengers puts out this team..
Szczesny; Sagna, Song, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Coquelin, Arteta; Chamberlain, van Persie, Gervinho; A striker of some sort!!


Spot on with the point about a collective team failure in defending, which led to both goals today.

First from their throw, Theo has his back turned and makes no concerted effort to get back. Fuck knows where the midfield were as Defoe had acres to turn into, and that was that. The second wasn’t much prettier.

This team has to work its’ collective nuts off every time we play, in order to rescue this season. Get the video of Chelsea last season on and remind how it’s done Arsene.


@jix. FO back to your pop-up book.

What is holding back Arsenal is every minute that they waste with that capital bag’o’shite Theo Walcott in the squad. Every time he’s needed to ‘man up’, he disappears. His character is as flawed as his footballing abilities. If he was any other nationality but English, he’d have been written off 3 years ago.

Eric Irish gunner

Fucking spot on fuck walcott in the reserves and tell him he’s not the main man or leader figure, and he thinks he’s in the henry mould, fucking joker


But who keeps persisting with this useless cunt? Wenger

Gooner King

You’re both buncha idiots! ‘Yeah, lets bench’ – the only other striker who can actually hit the back of the net next to RVP. What can any forward do when the build up is too slow, misplaced passes galore and just ONE through ball entire game. That one through ball came from Coquelin, who’s supposed to be our DM! Ramsey had a shocker tbh even though he got a goal from Song assist. Everybody’s focusing on our defensive frailties but im more concerned about our game going forward, which doesnt look as strong as before. We lack the individual brilliance… Read more »

Eric Irish gunner

Your the fucking idiot why don’t you take over you fucking tactical genius how many chances does he need to get the odd goal that he does, he’s nearly around as long as that dick Rooney, he thinks he dos’ent have to track back and slates jenkinson in one of his first games against manc scum, some fucking leader alright, can’t wait till you take over mr king and stroke his ego


Shut the fuck up….what’s your name again? Jiz? Yeah I thought so.

Sean O'Donovan

Hi – is this Arsene in disguise?

Jon Hume

Excellent work from The Coq™ – really pleased for him to get a decent performance in after what happened in the North at the game that never happened earlier this season. Hope he comes good, he certainly has the potential.

Sidcup Reds

Anyone who rates Song or Arshavin is a cunt!


Spot on fella


They are both too lazy and unprofessional for our club

Sidcup Reds

Or Benayoun or Rosicky!

Sidcup Reds

Or Koscielny or Djourrou

Sidcup Reds

Or Fabianski or Diaby

Sidcup Reds

Or Wenger or Pat Rice

Sidcup Reds

Or Kronke or Gazidis


That’s really nicely put together Tim.

I’m starting to think that we need to cover our attacking players’ defensive deficiencies by playing two holding midfielders. Subsequently, I really think we missed Song’s presence in the midfield today, and that’s not taking anything away from Coquelin. When Koscielny is fit, I would love to see a twin-axis of those two in midfield with Ramsey or Arteta in front of them.


Agreed. Needs must at the moment.

Sidcup Reds

Or Gunnersaurus or the Silly stadium Announcer

Sidcup Reds

Or the wanky North Bank Highbury student fans


Totally agree Sidcup, the ground is a like a cemetry, long live the South London Clock End, the true Arsenal support.

Muggy Mug

‘True supporter’

Sidcup Reds

Fuck me, keep Chesney, TV, Jack and fuck the rest off!

Arsene knows

Just back from the lane… I thought sperz were nothing special, especially for all the big talk.. 2 fluky goals and for a home team nothing like liverpool were against us at home… but they went 2 up top and went for it so for that gamble they got a few more chances but were outplayed most of the game as we had the extra player in midfield…, we had more of the ball than last year there and at times looked almost like the arsenal of old BUT as usual we did not have enough final balls, make enough… Read more »

Woolwich Arsenal

The Library North Bank that used to run away from the invading Spurs fans in the 1970’s until us Clock End boys changed ends to help them out, North London pussies!

Muggy Mug

I thought it was a football match.

If you want to fight, go join the army. Morons.

jonathan chawora

We were told how Diaby and Denilson were awful and how they were responsible for the demise of Arsenal. If both playes were on the field this afternoon I am dead certain they would not have given the ball away the same way we witnessed this afternoon. With the likes od Denilson and Diaby playing we were always assured of a fourth place in the premier league. Now Arsenal supporters will learn this year that you can never take a champions league place for granted and those players who achieved that feat year in and year out deserve a little… Read more »


COMMENT REMOVED (personal abuse)

Alpha T

Everything u wrote is spot on!
The days of scapegoating are over, this team is collectively cack!
As much as I hate to admit it, if it was Almunia or Fabianski in goal, they would have coped majority of d blame for this defeat, regardless of how many saves they made!


Just heard that Sagna is injured for 3 months. F*ck it.


Brilliant, Sagna is crap



Uncle pats rice

@nigel – wot the fuck is wrong with sagna?


NGE….. not good enough


Top half of the table this year if we are lucky, what a pile of wank, I am so fucked off with the shambles of a team that Arsenal has become, most of you need to wise up and be honest with yourselves – we are fucked


Totally fucked – Wenger out!


It started as a lovely day… splendid weather in London, a picnic lunch by the river with friends and family… pub for the game… Spurs won… and home to watch Jade got kicked out of X Factor. Well I would have traded the family picnic with a draw or win ( Arsenal) and I would have traded the hot waether for Jade to go through. But the day is done… and its history… I breathe and get on with my life


It’s all well and good having creative players,Walcott and the likes, but it’s no good standing on the wing waiting for a killer ball. Get involved get angry and make it happen. I don’t remember players like rocastle watching a game pass him by if he wasn’t involved he went and got involved


Where’s the fight??????

Uncle pats rice

So our back 4 will now consist of santos or Gibbs (ok) BFG no prem experience, Song (a midfielder) and Jenks (championship player) … And we expect to be able to challenge for cups?

How did it get to this?




because of the stubborn manager that thinks championship players can put in a fight week in week out at the top level, something they can only do once every two or three weeks


Has anyone esle noticed a slight lack of tem spirit when celebrating goals? When other teams score, they celebrate in style. VdV almost got sent off because of his celebration, and some of his team mates joined him. For example, when Ramsey scored, Arsenal players seemed ‘happy’ and that was about it. Almost like it was the 5th goal in a 5-0 rout – a like a ‘glad you got one son’ type of congratualtion. Not WAAAAHHHH YOU JUST EQUALISED AND GOT US BACK IN THIS MASSIVE GAME YOU FUCKING BEAUTY!!! I’ve noticed this for a for a months, actually… Read more »

Alpha T

Cos they knew that goal would eventually mean nothing, just like most us!


I got slated for criticism of Wenger few days ago because we managed to pull some wins despite our obvious flaws. I won’t be surprised if we fail to qualify for CL this season!

micky readman

just heard sagna has a broken leg and is out for 3 months…..

it just gets fucking better…..

season is a write off.


yeah and the worst fucking thing about it is we had a quality Right Back who played in the team that beat barcelona, EBOUE. and we fucking sold him. not only did we sell our 2 best creative players, we sold any half decent back up players who didnt mind sitting on the bench. FUCKING CLAP CLAP WENGER/KROENKE. WELL DONE.


You’re right mate, majority of the Arsenal fans were slating Ebour, now they have Jenkinson, an inexperience player from the championship as back up for Sagna, well done Arsene the quality in your decision making for the past six season is of the highest standered


Ur shite live with it


You can show me all the numbers and fancy charts and graphs in the world if you’d like. The fact us I watches a football match today and the fella called Ramsey playing in midfield for the arsenal was absolutely a FUCKING JOKE! That wasn’t good enough today and it will never be good enough for central midfield in thi squad. Loan him out or send him to the reserves. This I the arsenal for fuck sake and that was embarrassing. Yes, I’m saying I would rather have Denilson in there jogging back slower than the referee than to suffer… Read more »


Wow, sorry for the shot grammar. Thanks iPhone spell check.

Bob the Gunner

it was a fine day in Boston until i got home to log on to the internet.


Never seen so many wankers on one site! Stop whining and get behind the Arsenal if you’re real fans. Stop playing the blame game since you lot haven’t the slightest idea what’s really going wrong. Its a difficult season so far what with injuries and out of form players but AW has been there before and can turn things around. Buying in the January window isn’t the answer either….it has to come from the players themselves.


Looks like Zoolander syndrome – inability to pass left :s


Arteta already noted that the most thing the team do in training is extended passing sessions. No collective defending, no long balls, no freekicks, no man marking…


I was sitting watching this match and at times I was thinking, who is this team? Looks like my Arsenal but sure don’t play like them. Everytime they loose possession I fear a goal. Watching Arsenal has become torture. But I’mma keep on watching. Keep the faith Gooners.


I stop blaming the players along time ago, this is completely the fault of the board members and the Manager, you get what you pay for!!!!!

Muggy Mug

£6-7m a year for the manager, wage bill of £126m per year?


I’ll give you some figures:

Arsene Wenger’s salary: Six million quid a year.

Ability to coach a team how to do the basics of defending: Nil

[…] lacking another striker or player to make that big step up. According to 7amkickoff statistics, Arsenal are only converting 8% of their chances. What the hell is this suppose to mean?! We paid approximately 30m for players who can play up […]


Arsene’s SUPER QUALITY PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! please just get us good intelligent players


Thanks Tim, Nice figures… but the bottom line is that Ramsay is having a shocker of a season and needs a spell away. Our season from here “in numbers” is now quite simple. 1) We cant win the league, so this is one less thing to worry about. 2) We can finish 4th, and given our horrendous start this would be a good achievement. 3) We have no chance of being relegated……… 4) We are still in the League Cup and with the correct focus can win it. 5) We are still in the FA Cup and with the correct… Read more »


I’m looking at stats and wondered where was Rosicky? He was one of the bright sparks against Olympiakos. Bearing in mind Theo only made or had 9 passes you would think someone would reason that as a left midfielder/ winger he is not very good! Try him as a striker, what could happen? He can’t have any less impact can he.Too many players are playing out of position and the work rate off the ball is unacceptable. Arshavin being the biggest culprit. This is a season where we go BACK TO BASICS and perhaps start talking to each other. I… Read more »


Oh dear Bizircus, I fucking love your optimism in this truly shity of shity times. I’m usually an optimist, but Sunday’s derby was just one punch too much in what has been truly a trying seven months or so. We peaked when we beat Barcelona and it really has been downhill ever since. On those numbers in this article I don’t want to slate Rambo because of the awful shit he’s been through, but fuck he was awful! I think he’s been shit pretty much all season to be honest. As a squad player playing the odd game or coming… Read more »

Simon Heptinstall

God I hate saying this. But Wenger’s time should be almost up. We need a new manager with new ideas (and a new board/owner). Ancelotti wants the job, give it to him. But thank you for everything Wenger, thank you for helping build the club up more than anyone else has ever done. But you can’t fix these problems, you’re part of it.

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