Thursday, September 29, 2022

Arsenal 2011-2012 by the numbers – defense and odd numbers

In Vegas, I got into a long argument with the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number.  — Steven Wright

Odds and Ends

504 – Short passes per Premier League game by Manchester City in the 2011-2012 season¹
501 – Short passes per game by Arsenal in the 2011-2012 season
51 – Long balls per game by both Man City and Arsenal in the 2011-2012 season
8 – Through balls per game by both Man City and Arsenal in the 2011-2012 season¹
22 – Crosses per game by Man City in the 2011-2012 season
24 – Crosses per game by Arsenal in the 2011-2012 season
492 – Short passes per game by Arsenal in the 2010-2011 season¹
425 – Short passes per game by Man City in the 2010-2011 season
10 –
Through balls per game by Arsenal in the 2010-2011 season¹
4 – Through balls per game by Man City in the 2010-2011 season
459 – Short passes per game by Arsenal in the 2009-2010 season¹
370 – Short passes per game by Man City in the 2009-2010 season
9 –
Through balls per game by Arsenal in the 2009-2010 season¹
5 –
Through balls per game by Man City in the 2009-2010 season

1 – Premier League appearance for Arsenal by Park Chu-Young*
6 – Minutes played
3 –
Passes completed
1 – Long ball
4 – Premier League appearances for Arsenal by Vassiriki Abou Diaby*
91 – Minutes played
61 – Passes completed
8 – Times dispossessed
6 – Successful dribbles
3 –
3 – Long balls
2 – Interceptions
2 – Fouls committed
2 – Turnovers
1 –
1 – Blocked shot
1 –
4 – Premier League appearances for Arsenal by Thierry Henry*
94 – Minutes played
23 – Passes completed
4 – Shots
2 –
Aerial duels won
2 – Interceptions
2 – Offsides
1 – Times dispossessed
1 – Tackle
1 – Foul
1 – Dribble
1 – Long ball
1 – Goal
1 – Legend secured


398 – Shots conceded by Arsenal in the League 2011-2012¹
399 – Shots conceded by Man City
622 – Shots conceded by Blackburn
49 – Goals allowed by Arsenal
29 – Goals allowed by Man City¹
78 – Goals allowed by Blackburn
8.1 – Shots per goal allowed by Arsenal
13.8 – Shots per goal allowed by Man City
8.0 – Shots per goal allowed by Blackburn²
167 – Shots conceded by Man City at home in the League 2011-2012¹
170 – Shots conceded by Arsenal at home
12 – Goals conceded by Man City at home¹
17 – Goals conceded bv Arsenal at home
13.9 – Shots per goal allowed by Man City at home
10 – Shots per goal allowed by Arsenal at home
228 – Shots conceded by Arsenal away in the League in 2011-2012¹
232 – Shots conceded by Man City away
17 – Goals allowed by Man City away
32 – Goals allowed by Arsenal away
7.1 – Shots per goal allowed by Arsenal away¹
13.6 – Shots per goal allowed by Man City away
7.9 – Shots per goal allowed by Blackburn away

2.7 – Aerial Duels won per game by Bacary Sagna³
2.8 – Aerial Duels won per game by Nicklas Bendtner
70 – Percent of Aerial Duels won by Sagna
42 – Percent of Aerial Duels won by Bendtner
55 – Percent of Aerial Duels won by Vermaelen
62 – Percent of Aerial Duels won by Koscielny
63 – Percent of Aerial Duels won by Mertesacker
80 – Percent of Aerial Duels won by Martin Squirtle
83 – Percent of Aerial Duels won by Andre Santos (20/24)³
3 – Own goals by Scott Dann²
5 – Own goals by Arsenal² (Koz 2, Ramsey, Song, Verm)

And finally, you know how you hear all the time about how Arsenal tend to coast toward the end of the season? That the last five games of the year the players are already on vacation, etc.?

In order to see how much the team was coasting (or not!) I took the goals for and goals against averages for the first 33 games of the season and compared them to the last five. I did this for each of Arsene Wenger’s three title winning sides and compared those sides to the last five years. Here’s the raw data:

97-98 01-02 03-04 06-07 07-08 08-09 09-10 10-11 11-12
1st 33 offense 1.85 2.06 2.03 1.64 1.91 1.76 2.27 2 2
Final 5 offense 1.4 2.2 1.2 1.8 2.2 2 1.6 1.2 1.6
1st 33 defense 0.85 1 0.67 0.91 0.82 0.97 1.03 1.03 1.24
Final 5 defense 1 0.6 0.8 1 0.8 1 1.4 1.8 1.6

As you can see, it’s not always a feature of Arsene Wenger’s teams to coast in the last five games. In fact, sometimes his teams get better in the final push. The 01-02 side (which is one of my favorites) got significantly better in the final five games of the year, especially in defense. Similarly the 07-08 side, which was the team that many felt should have won the League, got slightly better marks in both offense and defense. Even the 08-09 team wasn’t terrible, a .03 uptick in defense is minor and easily overcome by the .24 goals per game increase.

But these last three seasons, Arsenal’s final five games have been quite shocking. In fact, those 15 games look like this: P15 W3 D5 L7 GF22 GA24.

Here’s what the defense looks like graphically:


Follow Tim on twitter @7amkickoff and on

*This is all three players’ complete League data
1. Best in the League (can be either lowest or highest number, whichever is more desirable)
2. Worst in the League
3. Leads Arsenal

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Diaby has actually played more PL minutes than Park. That’s the first thing I stopped to think about


Love the Stats! Thanks for hours of work just to entertain and educate us.
Much appreciated!


Henry scored two league goals (vs Blackburn and Sunderland)


Henry’s Blackburn goal was changed to a Scott Dann own goal….


For realsies? That’s a surprise, I remember it being on target.

Anyway, at least that’s one good thing Scott “The Solution” Dann did for us this season.


The one against Blackburn got taken away from him thanks to the heartless bastards in thee dubious goal panel

Merlin's Panini

I assume you speak his name in the same way as one would for MATT DAMON!


Scott Dann. As well as his 3 OGs, didn’t the poor fucker also suffer a twisted testicle last season?

Good name for a punk band that.

Arild Orholm

You are correct Mooro, Scott Dann would be a great punk band name!

the only sam is nelson

the goal against blackburn was struck off by the dubious goals panel


Yes, it is a rather dubious panel, isn’t it?


we can put 5 past chelsea but we can let in 4 against blackburn, the problem isnt scoring its defending, and its not a question of talent either, its a matter of discipline,concentration and hard-work hopefully something bould can sort out


Wenger won’t let him.


adma your fucking balls


Adma, you obviously think Wenger’s a clueless twat.

Hint: Arsene Wenger is not that bloke you see when you look in the mirror.


Look at the team vs Blackburn and then the team vs Chelsea, I think all will become clear


have you ever considered sending some of your work to channels like ESPN or such,i know nearly nothing about this sort of stuff but your work is really excellent and much better than the stats shown on those channels.


interesting stats about aerial duels won


I think Sagna’s winning percentage is so high because Szczesny often crossed to him from the goal kick, giving him easy headers to win.


andre Santos’ raised my eyebrows a lot


harzard goes to Chelsea. the power of winning uefa I guess.he will never be the same.I’m smelling m’villa on the way.hope he makes right choices. I don’t fancy French league players.ask me y? [email protected]>>> park,chamack,gervinho,..and le cunt. who else>>> NA$RI

Cygan's Right Foot

Koscielny, Sagna and Song are all from the French league.

There was also Petit, Pires, Wiltord and Clichy. You could also class Vieira and Henry in there.

Vieira only played 2 games for AC MIlan before joining us, after starting his career at Cannes and Arsene had already worked with Henry at Monaco, so another french team.

You sir don’t actually seem to know anything about the teams that produced many of our better players in recent times

why is my name required

i hope our defense becomes mean next season.
And by that i mean not by playing dirty, but disiplined and conceding very few goals hehe


Llorente to the grove? whats your take on that guys?


hmmm. i see llorente as a super Bendtner. he’s improved his passing game a lot this season. he’s not got much footwork and prefers aerial balls to balls to feet, though he’s a bit good at those too. If we can get the two knuckle heads on the wings to improve their delivery. he might be something. But with Podolski already done. another high profile signing in that position is unlikely unless RVP leaves


i was wondering more on if there was any truth to the whole twitter craze and the press conference he has called.


“… he’s not got much footwork and prefers aerial balls to balls to feet…”

So it’ll be a cold day in hell before Arsene signs him then?


It’s rubbish according to Sid Lowe, the Guardian’s Spain football correspondent, who has checked it out. The radio station that was supposed to be hosting the press conference where the announcement of Llorente’s signing for us would be made said there isn’t a press conference and they know nothing about it. The only interesting thing about the twitter rumour is who began it and why?


Yeah, it’s not going to happen. We’re not going to spend that sort of money on a player – he’s priced at around £30m. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did come to the EPL though.


great job Tim..

really surprised by the defensive numbers.. shots on and goals…
but now thinking about it retrospectively it really makes sense.. we just gave opposition really good scoring chances..

those defensive numbers really tell the WHOLE story this time 🙂


the post is already pretty old but i was wondering along Miranda’s lines..

is it your feeling (not sure you could measure that in any way) that we are getting exposed (and give away so many ood chances) because we obvioulsy commit to many players forward (fullbacks and Song/Arteta and occasional crazy run from TV) because our main attacking options are just not good enough to do the job themselves or simply because the way the teams play against us (usually very defensively and waiting for the break)


I agree, the shots-allowed figure, compared to City’s, is shocking but I’d be glad of some help in interpreting it. Is the problem actually the defenders and, if so, which of them – centrebacks, fullbacks? Or is it rather that we lose possession in midfield – more than (say) City does – and don’t regain it quickly enough, thus putting heavier pressure on the defence than it can reasonably be expected to cope with?


Yes, I’m afraid you probably would have to do that, and I’m not sure it’s worth the effort for last season because there are so many anomolous factors – like having no proper fullbacks… No worries. But if you’re into it, how about another helpful bit of analysis to give us hope – or not – for next season: how do Bould and Banfield’s defensive stats with the kids look? A quick glance at the kids tables on Arsenal dot com suggests to me that next season will be a little like all the seasons we’ve enjoyed with Pat Rice… Read more »


Excellent stats as always, thanks!

That stat about how we’ve fallen away in the last few seasons is truly, truly worrying. I also dread to think what would have happened if we didn’t have RvP banging them in this season – the amount of goals we’ve let in is another cause for concern.

Still, if we manage to keep Robin and sort out our defensive frailties, I think we’ll fare much better next season. Hoping Mert’s second season will be as successful as Kos’.


Some great stats Tim – thanks. Happy to have a reason to like Santos besides the fact that he “shushed” Balloteli.


Dear 7amkickoff,

Can you please carefully note that here, in London, England, Great Britain, we spell the word “defence” like this, and not with a fucking “s”.

I know that we are owned by an American, but that does not give you the right to adopt their illiterate spellings.

Please don’t do this again.

Thank you.


Dear Fatgooner,

Wake up and smell the coffee…The British empire is long gone. Even your PM’s dance to the American beat! This is Tim’s blog, who is NOT in London and he can spell Defense/Defence as he pleases 🙂

Simao Segunda

Dude, nobody likes a bigot. So long as he doesn’t spell it as “defffinccccce”, or “dfns”, is it really a big deal?


Dear Fatgooner,

You said “I know that we are owned by an American, but that does not give you the right to adopt their illiterate spellings.”

Being born in England does not entitle you to classify American English spellings as “illiterate”.

Please do not present your subjective opinion as fact again.

Thank you.


Can you please carefully note that here, in London, England, Great Britain, we spell the word “defence” like this, and not with a fucking “s”.


Is that not when you are removing a fence, like with landscaping work?

“Hurry up fatgooner and defence that yard over there!”

Seriously, it is pathetic to harass someone on english versus american spelling


Surely spelling defence with an s is sefence!!


Tim, however you decide do spell defenze, I just hope we do it a lot better next season. We need to become much meaner at the back and more accurate at the front. Perhaps we also need to perfect the accidental fouling of the referee as a number of them have certainly mastered the art of fouling us. On second thought that might not be too good an idea


NASRI spoiled their reputation …sorry about the French league comment.was intrigued by the cunt nasri. meanwhile we Arsenal are capable of winning everything but shit happens and we end up discussing them every season end. these recurring thang ain’t cool..I hope we do click. next season hopefully

Matt F

Amazing parallels between Arsenal and Man City.


The number off times our midfield or midfield/attack gets dispossessed vs.goals allowed could give an indication. At least over say ten seasons.

Note the upgoing number off city short passes on their way to the title.

Simao Segunda

Tim, apologies if you’ve already posted it previously and I missed it, but have you thought about comparing our stats, both offensive and defensive, when playing with 1+ specialist fullback vs. playing without any?


I’m surprised that even after a year (i think) contributing in the website, there are still people who do not bother to check your blog.

Is there any part on the opponent quality for us to concede that much goal? We do have a similar number with M. City and one of the biggest difference is on our away form. How come last season (10-11) become the best away side and now this season (11-12) become like this?

[…] possession and limiting the opposition to the fewest shots in the League (for several years now) Arsenal have a propensity for allowing the opposition the worst shots per goals ratio. Teams don’t get a bunch of chances on Arsenal, typically, but they score goals […]


I dont recall arsenal being awarded a penalty at home in the league all season. Am i correct??? “are we the only team not fouled @ home in the 18yard box all season?”


True ball numbers seem pretty high, are those successful through balls?
In my mind I can only think of an awesome assist (ala DB10 to viera on the last game of the title winning year) or perhaps a through ball that leads to an assists.

From your stats I can only infer that our goalkeeper is shite?

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