Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Arsenal 0-0 Everton: by the numbers

On stats…

1 – Bourbon poured
11 – Post Meridiem as of the time of writing this
0 – Whole stories that those stats tell

Stop me if you’ve never heard someone say this, “stats don’t tell the whole story.” I know you have, I hear it several times a day. Hell, I retweet it several times a day. But the funny thing about that old chestnut (and the one about stats being a bikini) is that no one  that I know pretends that stats tell the whole story or that they “reveal” everything. They are simply, like some people, useful tools.

Take for example yesterday’s 0-0 draw with Everton. Jack Wilshere, by statistical measures, had a pretty poor game. He only attempted 30 passes (5 more than Distin), only completed 23 of those and only completed 7 passes in the Everton final third but he did create one shot.

He was also 0/1 on tackles, had just 1 interception, and only suffered 1 foul. Oh, and he was 1/5 on attempted dribbles, and had 4 turnovers, and was dispossessed twice.

Wait… what? This is one of Arsenal’s best dribblers (50%+), a player who has only had 20 turnovers in 19 games before today, the most fouled player in the League, and here the stats have him dribbling pointlessly all over the place and turning the ball over like he’s Luis Suarez or something.

Yeah, well, that’s what happens when the referee gets calls wrong. Wilshere was fouled twice and they weren’t called. The only foul the referee did call was when Fellaini elbowed him in the face and he finally turned around to the referee and pleaded for the call.

This doesn’t make all stats useless. Saying that is like a child finding one bad toy one day and throwing all the toys out of the pram. Nor does what I said above render all stats 100% valid and prove that Jack is lacking sharpness: he was, but the referee was also poor.

So, as George Carlin once said “somewhere between Famous Potatoes and Liver Free or DIE is the truth.” Which is to say you have to use a little observation and understanding with your data. For example, you might have noticed how those stats were just useful above. You know, to tell a story, like the one about the ref getting a lot of calls wrong yesterday.

The Game, one hot mess

Everton clearly came to the Grove to ugly the game up and they did that following the Man U plan of “kick first, then sit back and ask questions later”. It’s not in the least bit ironic to me that Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands taking notes on the game, this was the strategy he adopted in 2004 to end the Arsenal 49 game unbeaten run.

The stats bear this out. Not only is there Darron Gibson’s 3 fouls in the first 33 minutes, which should have culminated in a red card, but was followed by 57 minutes of saintly behavior. But Fellaini also made 5/6 tackles in the first half and then followed that up with just 1/1 tackles in the second half. Leading all players with 6/7 tackles at the final whistle.

The result of them uglying play was that neither team managed to get the ball into the other team’s final third and neither got many good chances. Arsenal only managed 27% of their overall passes in the Everton final third (62/231) and Everton just 22% in Arsenal’s final third (52/233) in the first half. You may have noticed that Everton had the slight edge at half-time in terms of passes attempted. That changed in the second.

For those who like their data more direct, Arsenal took just 3 shots in the first half and Everton 4.

In the second half, Everton only attempted 156 passes compared to Arsenal’s  276 but both teams managed to try 40% of their passes in the opposition’s final third! And the result was that both teams took 8 shots in that last 45 minutes as they looked to get the win.

Neither keeper, though, was worked very hard throughout the match as both just made 2 “saves” on the day and had 0 high claims and 0 punches.

From where I’m sitting, with my second bourbon, it was an ugly game. So ugly, I might pour another and ask it out on a date.

Studs and Duds

4 – Shots by Ross Barkley, the round mound of going to ground (lead all players)
3 – Shots by Ramsey, the little engine that couldn’t
75 – Passes attempted by Ramsey (led all players)
59 – Passes attempted by Arteta
84 – Passes Arteta averages on the season
61 – Passes attempted by Fellaini (led Everton)
24 – Touches by Theo Walcott (68 minutes)
19 – Touches by Oxlade-Chamberlain (21 minutes)
0 – Chances created by Theo Walcott
2 – Chances created by Oxlade Chamberlain
5 – Tackles by Gibbs (of 5 attempted, led Arsenal)
4 – Tackles by Ramsey (of 5 attempted)
4 – Tackles by Seamus Coleman (of 4 attempted)
2 – Tackles by Coleman in the last five minutes (Everton only attempted 3)
5 – Interceptions by either Coleman or Arteta (led both teams)
2 – Interceptions by Coleman in the last five minutes (all of Everton’s interceptions in that period)
6 – Blocked Arsenal crosses by Everton in the last 20 minutes
4 – Number of Podolski’s crosses that were blocked in the last 20 minutes


Bonus: Ramsey v. Fellaini

Someone on twitter asked if I would compare Ramsey and Fellaini like I did in the first fixture and just because he asked nicely I made this chart:


Nice people get more flies than honey.

Erm… or something.

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Well that’s all very well and good, but one does have to remember that stats don’t tell the whole story.

Runcorn Gooner

Lost Count – The number of clear chances Giroud has missed this season


Stats are like bikinis.


Sweet and sexy but cover up the good bits?


Funny. I thought Everton wanted champions league. The slow walking injury time subs would suggest otherwise.

Why not

That was cringe worthy to say the least. Disgraceful in my book

50 Shades of Gandalf the Grey

At least the ref compensated for the wasted time!


4 – Number of goalless draws this season by Arsenal in PL
75 – PL games since ManUre last had a goalless draw

7 – Number of times Arsenal failed to score in PL this season

2.46 – Goals/game for Arsenal in PL in games in which Arsenal did score (64/26)
When it rains goals at Arsenal, it pours


What is that ManUre stat there for? This game has nothing to do with ManUre


Just to illustrate the difference in number of goalless draws played out by them when compared to us. It is them we should be competing against, not clubs like Sp*rs or Everton

Parisian Weetabix

Ultimately all our games have to do with ManUre. We have to do better than them – and every other competing team – to win trophies. This is a very interesting stat, because it shows the difference between a team which has won trophies recently, and one which hasn’t. Perhaps it’s a playing style thing, perhaps it’s a player mentality thing. To my mind, the one massive advantage United have is SAF. He knows football, he can explain football, and if you’re not playing good football he’ll yell at you until you do. Wenger doesn’t have the personality to do… Read more »


Seems to suggest that we don’t have the ability to turn around poor offensive displays during any particular game. When we’re on we’re on. But when we aren’t clicking it’s very difficult for someone to step up and say “hey, we’re going to fucking score today”

Dave Gooner

No mention of Giroud’s profilgacy , lack of vision, inability to hit the target, inability to be in the box when required, lack of any guile or any finesse…?

We should have won that game last evening.


Giroud is going to be another Chamakh, I fear. Not because he does not have the talent. But because he is not suited (yet) to play alone up-top. If only AW would pair him up with someone (Poldi?), I think it would benefit the team as well as him. But that won’t happen and his confidence will continue to go down (he wants to score goals) to the point where he is loaned to another PL club where he can’t even get a game because his confidence is zero and he has turned to sh1t. I hope I am wrong.


You will be wrong about this I am 100% sure. People have been praising Giroud’s influence all week and the guy mises a few chances and he suddenly becomes the next Chamakh. His goal return this year for a first season in the prem has been satisfactory, his overall contribution has been excellent. Unlike Chamakh, I feel he has a strong personality, and whilst he will always miss opportunities (like all strikers – look at Higuin’s conversion rate), the more he adapts the more half chances will end up in the net.


but I agree he should play with Poldi…:)


He’s not decisive though. Has he ever scored the first goal? I genuinely don’t know, but he doesn’t often score key goals that change point outcomes. We need someone who does that, other than Cazorla. Who has been well and truly run into the ground at this point.


This is precisley what I meant. I’m not saying he is as bad as Chamakh. (far from it, he is very talented), only that his career is going to follow the same pattern because we don’t want to play to his strengths


Giroud doesn’t have a prolific strikers instinct. He should be bursting onto the six yard box when then the low crosses come in, instead he’s caught on his heels on the edge of the box far too often. Twice the ball was played right across the six yard line last night and he was nowhere in sight. Walcott down the middle with Poldi & Ox on the wings for me.

60 + 15 = 75pts = 3rd place?

Giroud should spend the Summer doing two things:

1) Playing basketball
2) Learning how to tap-dance

Both are great to improve the speed of your footwork. Unlike Ligue 1, a central-striker in the EPL will get a quarter-yard, half-yard at best. Yes Giroud is slow compared to Aguero/RVP/Suarez but he’s also got a lot else going for him.

I believe merely a marginal improvement in the speed of his footwork could lead to a doubling of his goal-tally next season.


That has been on of our many problems, the lack of men to attack the ball when a cross comes in. Our midfielder don’t have that instict to get the goals, jack, arteta, e.t.c prefer to stick outside the area and control play.

You wonder how goetze gets more prolific it just that. A knack to want to score goals gets you in those dangerous places inside the box.



I can understand if you are Arteta, or Vermaelen, that Wenger/Bould says to you “ok when you start a counterattack don’t stay up for the next 5 minutes”. But everyone else needs to contribute by running into the box to receive crosses, not just Giroud. You’re guaranteed a “hit-and-miss” striker if there’s only one person who takes responsibility for the striking role…


If it was a Champions League match, Everton would have finished with 9 men and Arsene would get a touchline ban.

[…] report – By the numbers – Player ratings – […]

Wenger's Glasses

Fuckin’ referee.


Would like to know how many corners we had. And why we don’t seem to want any of them. Clearly we don’t train in this area, just wonder why? A goal’s a goal.


Arsenal will make the ECL no doubt. We can’t yet seriously compete with the top two but are worthy third place holders. We shared the points with Everton twice. They are at our level. Feel sorry for Everton coz looks like they will miss out on Europe to Swansea who are 40 points off the pace and Wigan who are 50 points down on the leader. We should have beaten Everton but then we should have beaten Blackburn and Bradford too. Another should have could have season.

Mach III

Not the best performance from our team. Finishing wise, someone has to have a crack at it! Oxlade chamberlain pulling it back for giroud – have a crack! Arteta free on goal but decides to dribble – have a crack! Referee not blowing for some of the outrageous fouls – stop smoking crack! I’m not singling out Ramsey, he had a few good defensive plays, but just seems like he wasn’t entirely there last night. In attack he scuffed the ball out numerous times. His first touch was letting him down. Kind of like his body wasn’t doing what his… Read more »


Poor return from Theo last night. It took me 10 minutes to realise he was actually on the pitch. After that I watched him closely and he had one of those nights where he seemed like he was just going into the most congested areas, and then sticking his hand in the air for the ball when there was no way of getting it to him. It’s daft to suggest he does it deliberately to hide, but it does make him completely ineffectual. The change when the Ox came on was palpable, as Sagna then had someone to help get… Read more »

Clock End Mike

Agreed, one of the big things I hoped Walcott would have learned last year from playing with the Dutch skunk was how to find space and position himself. He’s improved a lot, even since last year, but he’s still a work in progress. He’s still young — remember, TH14 had all his best years ahead of him at TW14’s age — but I’m not sure what he’s learned this year (except perhaps how to negotiate a contract!).
Nevertheless, I’m one of his bigger fans, and I’m delighted he’s going to be a Gunner for the next few years at least.


Fellaini was everywhere last night. We needed a Patrick Vieria like DM to negate his influence, and to protect our ball players. Ramsey is not the answer, although he was probably our best player last night. He can’t finish at the moment as he ‘Ramseyied’ another chance in this game.

Hope Wenger signs a DM like Capoue or Matuidi and maybe a forward like Jovetic to truly replace RVP. As many have said Giroud is a ‘good’ striker, but doesn’t really have the potential to be ‘great’, unlike Jovetic.


The amount of times that Arsenal players get a clear sight of goal and, instead of shooting, try and pass the ball to another player is driving me wild.


3 – Fouls by Gibson in first 30 minutes
0 – Fucks given by ref


If Giroud could hit a cows arse with a banjo, all stats would be irrelevant!


The most important stat this season is just 64 goals scored in 33 matches.

Not enough.

Giroud is not rubbish. But he is not, and never will be, the striker who wins us the league. He is a decent second striker. That’s why the priority for next season is to sign a top-quality goalscorer who will net 25-30 goals next term.

I can’t see Wenger buying one, though.


I think he will buy one, actually, but I do agree with your point, Giroud is a good striker and his all-round play is excellent, but we need another, better, striker to win us these types of games, and to compete for the title.


Would love to see a stat on the distance Ramsey ran during the game. Seems like he was near the ball at all times

[…] 来源:[Arseblog News] […]

[…] will be doing a post-match piece for the same Talking Heads feature on Arsenal.com and my customary post-match By the Numbers piece for Arseblog News. Also, my tweets will be featured on Arsenal.com tomorrow. Not sure where yet, but […]

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