Thursday, February 29, 2024

Arsenal 1-1 Man U: Mistakes undo hard work, By the Numbers


4 – Aerial duels won by Sagna (of 5)¹
3 – Successful dribbles by Ferdinand (of 3 tried)¹
5 – Successful tackles by Koscielny¹
7 – Successful interceptions by Koscielny¹
3 – Blocks by Johnny Evans¹
3 – Blocks by Arsenal
15 – Clearances by Evans and Ferdinand (of 23 attempted)
6 – Clearances by all of Arsenal (of 20 attempted)
6 – Failed clearances by Koscielny (of 6 attempted)¹
5 – Key Passes Cazorla¹
10 – Key passes by Cazorla, Ramsey (4), and Rosicky (1)
10 – Key passes by Man U
5 – Shots by Cazorla¹ (tied with Rosicky for most)
2 – Shots on goal by Cazorla¹ (tied with Rooney and RvP for most)
68 – Passes by Ramsey¹
55 – Passes completed by Ramsey¹


Above is Ramsey v. Carrick. As you can see, the main difference is that Ramsey was deployed further up the pitch than Carrick. This is indicated by the dribbles (2/3) the key passes (4 v. 1), the shots, and in the percent of passes forward by Ramsey. Ramsey only ended the game with one tackle but he helped press United and caused a number of indirect turnovers. Ramsey’s attacking numbers, though, aren’t bad and that’s a season high percent of passes forward (74%) from the midfielder.

It’s also interesting that every one of his misplaced passes (save just one) were forward.

Oh, and this is a pretty normal performance for Carrick — only about 13 passes below his average. This is the player that many, including Arsene Wenger, felt was player of the year and he’s not, statistically, any better than Arteta.

Arteta leads the League in passes per game and is a close second in passing %. Arteta also leads Arsenal in tackles attempted per game, interceptions, and in long passes with an astonishing 176/196. Carrick is roughly the same as Arteta, except his passing is much less accurate and as an example, his long passes are just 194/260.

Last Time Out


The first column is the full time stats from the first match between Man U and Arsenal at Old Trafford which Arsenal lost 2-1. The second column is the half time data from the 1-1 draw at the Emirates, the third column is full-time, and the fourth is the differential.

It was always going to be easy to be better than Arsenal were in the first tie because by my measurements that was Arsenal’s worst performance of the season. If the penalty, the error and the red card weren’t bad enough, the Arsenal just never did get into an attacking grove and created the fewest chances this season in League play and worse didn’t even really attempt to win the ball back.

As you can see, this time out Arsenal were much more direct with that metric of “shot creation” very high on my list of determining direct v. indirect play. Rather than a shot created every 99 passes, Arsenal were almost three times as direct and created 16 shots off nearly 100 less passes. Arsenal also dribbled better (Gervinho was 0/1), tackled more, read the passing lanes better, and fouled less.

The other metric I love to use to see how much attack a team is putting out is the number of clearances they force the opposition into. In the first meeting Man U has the edge forcing Arsenal to make 29 to their 26 clearances. In the second meeting, Arsenal forced United to make 42 clearances while only being forced into 20 of their own.

One black mark in the hustle department is that Arsenal were terrible in the air. Dreadful. Worse than dreadful, woeful. Arsenal were 0/4 in headed clearances, 6/20 overall in clearing the ball with Koscielny getting 0/6. Koscielny was also 0/4 in aerial duels and Podolski was o/5. Podolski, Koscielny, Walcott, Cazorla, and Gervinho combined for 0/13. That looks like a Giroud sized hole in both offense and defense.

19 – Goals by Theo Walcott in all competitions for Arsenal this season (career high)
24 – Goals by Theo Walcott in his previous two seasons at Arsenal (combined)
12 – Goals by Theo Walcott in Premier League play this season (career high)
6 – Shots per goal for Theo Walcott in Premier League play this season
22 – Goals by van Persie for Man U this season (minus the penalties)
5.86 – Shots per goal by van Persie for Man U this season (minus penalties)
0 – Percent chance that I’m saying that these two players are exactly the same
9.7 – Shots per goal by Giroud for Arsenal this season
5.1 – Shots per goal by Podolski
100 – Percent chance I am saying that Theo and Podolski might benefit/fill-in from a run without Giroud who leads Arsenal with 107 shots

14 – Errors by Arsenal leading to opposition goals (tops the League along with Wigan, stat courtesy Orbinho)
23 – Potential points those errors have cost. Errors not accounted for below didn’t cost points, just time off our lives. Some errors happened when we were in the lead, some when they were in the lead, and some when we were drawn, points subtracted based on best guess of outcome at the time of the error.

  • 2 v. Man U – Sagna pen
  • 1 v. Chelsea – Szczesny pen
  • 2 v. Liverpool – Vermaelen error
  • 2 v. Southampton – Sagna error
  • 3 v. Swansea – Vermaelen and Jenkinson errors
  • 2 v. Everton – Sagna error
  • 2 v. Fulham – Arteta error, Arteta pen.
  • 3 v. Man U – Cazorla pen (miss!), Vermaelen error
  • 3 v. Norwich – Mannone error
  • 1 v. Chelsea – Koscielny error
  • 2 v. Man City – Mannone error

Count that however you want. I’m sure there will be squabbling over the totals and who is to blame for which points dropped but the overall point remains: Arsenal make errors in both big games and little and those mistakes cost Arsenal points, if even half of those points were not conceded, Arsenal could be sitting on a points total of 76. Second place easily. That could be overcome with more offense, perhaps, or just as easily by less crazy mistakes like Sagna made today versus United.


All numbers via Opta or my personal databases

¹Led both teams
²Led just his team


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Runcorn Gooner

Yes we certainally are champions at shooting ourselves in the foot.

Nasir khan

Well in my view we need a striker of cavani’s stature no matter how expensive he is arsenal greedy board should sanction deal for’s time to forget RVP and move on.if we didn’t get that kind of player that only the board is to blame.

It Is What It Is

Not Falcao?


Ramsey is fast becoming our engine. So happy for him.


Carrick who?

Nasir khan

We r fine in the midfield it’s the striker we need only a 30 plus goal scoring striker and we can b untouchable once again.if the owner of would have been alisher


Kills me yo say it but reason that fuck Carrick looks better,is because he has better players around him that work hard and that hate to lose.


I don’t wanna hate on Ramsey because he a did a lot of things really well. But one of his “chances created” was a pass to Podolski on the break when he should have passed to a wide open Walcott. It’s little things like that which separate a solid player from a really good one, and that separate this Arsenal side from the Arsenal side that won titles.

On another matter, how has Rosicky managed to play this long and still be so ridiculously one-footed? The difference between him and Cazorla was stark in terms of getting off shots.


Cazorla is a bit of a freak though, I’ve never seen anybody that good with both feet


Cazorla is Godsend talent. Rosicky is a Rock’N’Roll Right Footed maestro. Loved them both to death


True, but this game was the first time I’ve ever seen Rosicky shoot with his left, and it was the kind of shot that even Gervinho would be ashamed of. He took that outside-of-the-boot shot because he’s too afraid to use his left, and unsurprisingly he missed.

Nasir khan

Yea arsenal r like gun without bullets these days


Give Ramsey time. He is slowly building his game back to where you would want it to be. It does seem that he started with the defensive role and had allowed himself to attack more and more as his confidence has grown, so I think his vision will improve.

That said, the guy will never be Cesc; that isn’t his job. Then again that is what Cazorla, Wilshere and Rosicky are for.

With Rosicky, I guess he can get away with being that one-footed when his right is such a thing of beauty


I agree with you that Walcott was the better option for that pass and that there are aspects of Ramsey’s game that he needs to improve on (and I think he is working on it). But let’s remember that Carrick is 31 and Rambo is 22. Looking at the stats with that in mind it makes me really hopeful for the future, he has lots to learn but he also has the time to do so and that’ll make him an absolute class player come 4-5 years from now when he hits his peak. It’s the same story with Wilshere… Read more »

Absentia Rose

Well there are only few footballers who are ambidextrous and Santi is one of them so comparing him and Rosicky in that area is not really fair. Have you see Jack or Poldi shooting with right foot?


We lack any steel; Emmanuel Petit, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Gilberto Silva, Patrick Vieria all turned in their Arsenal graves watching Wojciech Szczęsny rolling on the ground after his knock in the face…

Bould's Eyeliner

what does a save that salvaged 1 point have to do with anything about lacking steel. Getting hit in the face with a shot hurts.


Wojciech Szczęsny has balls of steel (face of steel maybe?) to do any kind of save. It’s a SAVE and it count heaps


Obviously no one (or nothing) has hit you in the face. Or maybe you are a boxer so you are used to taking hard blows. That said, I think it was a decent save by the goalie who made himself big to deny Robin van Judas a clear goal.

Cygan's Anal Beads

Yawn “bring back tony Adams”


Wojciech Szczęsny saves a certain goal with his face and he has no steel? Bollocks. (Remember, as Dr Ferguson has made us all aware, a ball to the head can easily be lethal 🙂 ).

As to steel. Did you watch the game? The Dutchman ended up attacking down their left yesterday, because every time he went down the center, he ran intro a brick wall called Koscielny.


Not only did the shot probably hurt and momentarily stun Szczesny, you have to say that it was a decent strategy to stay down, force a whistle, and let the team regroup after conceding a couple good chances in a row. Of course, Sagna’s errant back pass happened right after this, but this is besides the point.

Nasir khan

I think we arsenal fans should get over these names now the players mentioned haven’t Won the CL so I dont rate them as Roy keane David beckham.only players I miss are Henry and bergkemp that’s all.


Going in I was almost positive we were gonna concede from a corner or a set-piece..
Esp. With giroud missing..

Looking at those headers numbers it’s a miracle we didn’t…


7am, am I right in thinking that clearances are “sucsessful” if they find a team mate? So Koscielny’s stats of 0/6 dont mean he was terrible in the air, he might have dine well to win all these headers and get the ball away, but it fell to a united player?


That is correct.


Koscielny was 0/6 in clearances AND 0/4 in aerial duels. He was beaten every time there was a contested ball in the air. Almost as if they knew where to aim the ball,


C’mon, for that to happen, they’d need to know to target him, and intimate details that meant they could fire balls where he was weakest, and there is no way that could happen…oh 🙂

Seriously, people have pointing about what we missed in attack yesterday, but I agree with you that what Giroud does for us in defense was highlighted simply by him not being there.

On the flipside, did Koscielny lose anything on the ground yesterday?


So Koscielny is Bosscielny on the ground, but not so much in the air. That´s why he needs a BFG next to him. So the fact that Kos + Mert works but Kos + Verm does not starts to make perfect sense.


So in our current unbeaten streak we only made a defensive error, seems good enough for me. Hope this streak continues.
Ramsey got quite an engine, I love the way he sprints everytime, both offense and defense, and that check on Nani, awesome.
Rosicky’s sliding tackles were sweet as always


We have made other errors, they haven’t cost us (Mertesacker v. West Brom, e.g.)


The stats overall show that football is a game of attrition. Each side will pass the ball hundreds of time and make many clearances . Players will also make hundreds of runs or actions which will not actually involve playing the ball. There will be between 15 and 20 shots or headers attempted. Between 6 and ten will be on target. About three will actually go in. So both sides will play a hell of a lot of football for very little return. And some times it is luck or an officials decision which decides the game. If I was… Read more »


Fully agreed. Watching Bayern v Barca last week I was trying to see what made Bayern such a good team. The never-ending pressing and passion were clear, but Bayern took almost all of their chances. Not to mention, this is the same for when we beat them in march.

Clinical, I believe would be the proper word for it.

It’s a rare thing for us these days. A bit of shooting practice over the summer (and a top top striker) would do us a world of good.

Fed Up

I think the RB is starting to be too much for our Backy he cant anymore keep running up and down the flank; seems like age and two leg breaks is catching on him.
That being said, he’s still an incredible defender and id keep him as a center back for next season

[…] and while I know it’s fashionable to complain about corners and goals conceded from set pieces its really been the 14 errors leading to goals that have cost Arsenal this season. By my count, Arsenal have dropped 23 points from their matches this season because of 12 of those […]


I thought the ref had a solid game too and thankfully ignored Sagna’s 2nd yellow situation.

[…] which has a bigger impact on final League position over the course of a season. You might then ask, what impact did errors* have on Arsenal’s defensive record this season and what would Arsenal’s record look like if they had been able to eliminate just the errors […]

[…] 来源:[Arseblog News] […]

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