Sunday, March 3, 2024

Fulham 0-1 Arsenal: ending the “passes forward” meme once and for all

Studs and duds

33 – Touches by Theo Walcott
34 – Touches by Olivier Giroud
4 – Failed dribbles by Giroud¹
0 – Successful dribbles by Giroud and Walcott combined (0/5)
21 – Touches by Lukas Podolski
19 – Touches by Jack Wilshere
3 – Successful dribbles by Wilshere and Podolski combined (3/5)
2 – Key passes by each of Walcott, Arteta, and Wilshere¹
2 – Total key passes by Cazorla and Rosicky
2 – Walcott and Giroud combined key passes
2 – Wilshere and Podolski combined key passes
1 – Wilshere pass to Podolski on the break that really, really, really should have resulted in a shot but the pass was unusually poor from the Englishman
67 – Combined touches of Giroud and Walcott
66 – Touches by Per Mertesacker
1 – Goals scored by Per Mertesacker
73 – Touches by Laurent Koscielny
1 – Assists by Koscielny
7 – Aerial duels won by Koscielny (of 7!)¹
140 – Combined touches of Koscielny and Mertesacker
149 – Touches by Aaron Ramsey¹
0 – Key passes by Ramsey
3 – Shots by Ramsey¹
3 – Shots by Giroud
1 – Shots on goal by either player (Ramsey)
4 – Fouls by Fulham’s Enoh
5 – Fouls by Arsenal’s Ramsey¹
1 – Ticking off for Enoh
1 – Yellow card for Ramsey (which he didn’t protest, because it was an intentional foul)
1 – Foul by Arteta
1 – Yellow card by Arteta
129 – Passes attempted by Ramsey¹
114 – Passes successful by Ramsey
67 – Passes forward by Ramsey
52 – Percent of Ramsey’s passes which were forward
53 – Season average for Arsenal passing forward
26 – Percent of Ramsey’s passes which were backward
27 – Season average for Arsenal passing backward
3 – Poor passes by Ramsey which probably stand out in your mind

Notes on the hustle board

Arsenal dominated possession so it’s not unusual to see a low number of duels won. In fact, Arsenal won 12/14 tackles, 12/25 dribbles, and 12/19 aerial duels. And those 12 dribbles are the best total and the best percent since the win over Swansea. But Arsenal only won 6 dribbles before Wilshere and Podolski were introduced and 6/10 after. Jack tied Ramsey, Rosicky, Arteta, and Cazorla with 2 successful take-ons but he was perfect in his dribbles going 2/2 while Ramsey struggled going 2/5.

Passing forward, the new dead horse people like to flog

71 – Percent of possession to Arsenal
768 – Passes Arsenal attempted (season high)
407 – Passes Arsenal attempted forward (season high)
285 – Passes Fulham attempted
157 – Passes Fulham attempted forward
53 – Percent of Arsenal’s passes which were forward against Fulham (season average for Arsenal)
55 – Percent of Fulham’s passes which were forward
558 – Season average Arsenal passes
12 – Average number of chances Arsenal create per game from a pass this season
46.5 – Average number of passes per chance by Arsenal this season
7 – Number of chances Arsenal created by a pass against Fulham
110 – Number of passes per chance by Arsenal against Fulham
237 – Number of passes in the Fulham final third
251 – Number of Arsenal passes in the Reading final third (season high)
14 – Number of chances Arsenal created that day against Reading
18 – 1 chance every 18 passes in Reading’s final third that day
34 – 1 chance every 34 passes in the Fulham final third

It might, just might, have been a problem not with the passing forward, but with the creating chances. Or as Wenger likes to say, the final ball.

Clearances matter

Another way to look at how attack minded Arsenal were or were not is in the number of clearances that Arsenal force the opposition to make and vice versa. So, for example, if Arsenal have to make 40 clearances and the other team only has to make 10 then you could reasonably say that Arsenal was under a lot of pressure from the opposition.

Over the season, Arsenal generally have the upper hand in this, forcing their opponents to make more clearances than their opponents force them. Against Everton, Arsenal were only forced to make 18 clearances while Everton sat back and soaked up pressure making 35 clearances, nearly double. Against Norwich the contrast was even stronger, 15 Arsenal clearances to 39 for Norwich. And why everyone was so nervous about West Brom was because Arsenal hoofed the ball out 41 times compared to 14 for perfidious Albion.

Today against Fulham, Arsenal were 17/24 clearances (which is a very healthy 71% — season averages about 57%) and Fulham were only 8/19. So, despite Arsenal’s positional dominance, passing dominance, possession dominance, shots dominance, etc. there is a hint there that Fulham was at least as attacking as Arsenal and perhaps, it could be argued, were probably unlucky not to get a point.


Follow Tim on twitter @7amkickoff and on
¹ Led all players on the day
² Led his team on the day

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4 – number of games left this season I’d take us playing that badly and winning.
0 – the number of shits I’d give if we did.


True, but long-term our performances matter. Hopefully Wenger realises how unable we were this season in creating chances, because it will haunt us a lot without new first team attackers.


You will, when we are still talking about this on the 31st of August.


Mooro, I agree mate and its all about the points at this stage of the season, but this squad is nowhere near good enough to challenge for major honours as its stands and if we do get top four I just hope that we push forward and sign the 2or3 quality players needed that will help us compete at the top. We are not farr away yet again but we have said it so many times over the years only for us to settle for what we have and to fall short again. I don’t mind not winning trophies, no… Read more »


I agree mate and this summer gives us the best opportunity to improve things for years.
Should hopefully be none of the annual pantomime of our best players leaving, coupled with some of the deadwood going (about bloody time).
So short term, finish above the Spuds and get top 4, then do the bizzo come the summer to get us back where we belong.


i completely agree with you and do not want to dampen our spirits….. but i have a sneaky feeling that arsene has too much faith in the current batch of players and the upcoming ones like miyachi, jeckinson and the ox (and even gervinho) to make any top transfers this summer…… any transfers that he will make will probably be low profile….


We have no excuses mate, if what they say is true and the money is actually there this time. The reason we have scored more this season is we have a better team but just think if we had rvp too. Giroud is the player we needed to back up rvp last season, ,Santi and podolski would have fed him and with jack back too we may have got somewhere. The fans are living off a top four finish at the moment and again today you could hear people all around and especially trying to get out of the ground… Read more »


We needed Ox, imo.


guess your saying that cause this dude tells us we need to dribble more.
every 2 short passes we make 1 long pass back sounds about right.


Fucking damn right. I’m old enough to appreciate a comment deriding shite English. Read it four times and it does your head in=a fucking poor excuse for a post.

Rad Carrot

3 – Amount of points won
5 – points we are above the dirty sp*ds
0 – Else that matters.

Runcorn Gooner

0 Points Spuds get tomorrow
0 Points Chelski get tomorrow
0 Points Manure get Monday
0 Chance Manure winning League at Emirates
100 percent Happy all Gooners
Might pop down to BetFred


Love it Runcorn….. Made me laugh…. Pressures certainly on now…. Spuds and the Russians have to play each other yet too… More good news…. Can’t see either the spuds or Chavski taking more than a point tomorrow…. Hopefully nought…..! If only we could find this consistency at the start of the season and continue with it….

Glory Hunter

Wishful thinking but I like it!




Hope Bale gets injured again.


Can we see some Arteta season stats, at the end of the season please? I saw the other day that out of approx. 2300 passes in the league he had misplaced only 200!





Just wondering how many passes of Arteta were sideways though and of the 200 misplaced how many were forward played passes. Sory he just reminds me of a slower Denilson unfortunately!


Ramsey was abit dire. But that’s his first below par game in a while so don’t anyone go around throwing idiotic jibes consisting of “i told you so’s” and what not. Giroud is not the most technically adept player and it kinda shown through today, abit gutted for him as he will miss a crucial stage season, buh heck I guess it’s time to see if arsenal from a new dimension (without a physically imposind c.f). There was a time giroud was out and we really played some good football and got results!. Hopefully the same happens this time around… Read more »


Dont think Ramsey’s play was any more dire than the team on a whole, although he should of put the chance he had near the end, to bed… either way its 3pts in the bag for Arsenal so I’m happy. Fulham had more conviction than Arsenal playing with 10 men! Us Gooners were lucky. Giroud frustrated me the whole match, really wanted to see Poldi as main striker.

The font

I love this site but this is the biggest. Load of crap. Info I have had since my doctor told me Its impossible To reduce. My Penis from. 2 inch to one inch being that we have enough tottenham supporters as it is


Are you trying to be NOT funny?, well it’s working!




Rambo's jungle knife

0.2 inch to 1 inch…….Hahahahahaha!


28 – My age
5 – No of heart attacks i nearly got in 3 added minutes!

63 + 12 = 75pts = 3rd place

Well done Nacho. Without your 93-rd minute clearance of a ball headed towards an open Berbatov who was 3 yards from goal, this week we’d all be rueing a 1-1 draw against a sh!te Fulham team with only 10 men.


No good to challenge for honours? Any team can challenge on their day. Just ask Wigan and Birmingham fans, or Swansea fans for that matter.

Master Bates

It’s hard to challenge for the League or UCL , but the Mickey Mouse cups ,This squad has more than enough quality to win those. If liverPoo can win it so can we. They just to believe in themselves and NOT be so fucking complacent like they were vs Blackburn or fucking Bradford.


i think the problem is dribbling….. i know passing game is our philosophy and i like it very much…… but it often fails when teams get 10 men behind the ball and try to hit us on the counter……. i think we need at least four players like rosicky and gervinho in the playing eleven at all times so who have enough talent and guts to take a couple of players on, beat them, run twenty yards before passing the ball…… as good as our passing game is, when teams put up a stringent back four and four more player… Read more »


Hence the Ox is so effective when teams decide to sit deep when playing against us! Hope he plays against United in place of Theo.


I like the Ox and I KNOW most of you hate Gervinho but in such games where teams sit back Gerv is the best option to unlock them. (didn’t talk about scoring)


I’ve always wanted to ask my fellow gooners this:- Who do you hate more Spurs or Manchester united?

Gunsen gunner

Spud are like the annoying little shit next door.Manure are like the cunt poser living across the street polishing his car with wax every weekend even when its raining.


Definateley Man utd. Definately, the team responsible for the downfall of the invincibles, definately the team that defeated our team 8-2 and liked it, defiately the team that had van nistel Rooy in it, Definately the team that always gets favored by Referees and the Media. Definetley the team that took our hero that scored 132 Goals in an Arsenal shirt at the peak of his powres. I wish Fabregas had thrown something heavier than that slice of pizza at ferguson in that dressing room. Wil take spurs any day because the only one i couldn’t stand is Adebayor and… Read more »


second that!


@Gunsen gunner: From a furrener, but order of dislike: 1)ManU, 2)Chelsea, 3)Spurs, City (Tie), but 1) is way out ahead of everyone else. I wouldn’t root for ManU against the Antichrist, Godzilla, or the Pillsbury Doughboy from Ghostbusters.

But actually the main reason I’m responding is that the guy across the street from me does indeed wash his sports car in a ManU tracksuit…



both are the shittest team in the ass…

both gave me nightmares!

both are the worst, the place of traitors, judasshole.


Depends on your geography. If you are from London def. The LWC, if you live abroad(in my case) no question man utd.
Now you have to feel sorry for fans like us imagine having a ‘sp*rs’ team that not only finishes above you every season but also wins the league! I HATE manure


I’m not a naysayer and I know that 3 points is 3 points, especially at this time of the season and with this Arsenal team and I know that he has only just come back from injury and that he has had a very effective season until recently but Theo does my fucking head in!


I just want a team that can challenge for the top honors like we used to. If we cant do it with the best financed club in a 21st Century stadium when can we do it?

[…] I’m not going to white-wash the performance. It was poor. Insipid even. 768 passes and just 11 shots, with 7 shots created by those passes is as bad as I’ve seen from… Scoring just one goal against a Fulham side who had to play 80 minutes with just 10 men. And kind […]


The craven has such a good playing surface and I as an arsenal who knows what a perfect pitch looks like I embrace that.

Unlike the stadium of light, brittania, e.t.c where the pitch embodies their mediocrity. Cunts!


Cherrypick the stats as best you can…Sly Stallone was shit today. I know people are desperate for him to not be shit but he was shit today. He wasn’t the only one. This game and this performance was essentially a carbon copy of the Norwich match. Zero creativity, lots of guys running around rather aimlessly in midfield (see Sylvester Stallone) and not real meaningful intent in the offensive third.

It wasn’t all Sly’s fault but he delivered a typical Rambo performance today.


I think the stats show he was the guy who had most of the ball in a game which Arsenal struggled to create chances and he created no chances.

Hardly cherry picking to make him look good.


He made 1 god-awful sloppy pass in the 2nd half which has undone all of his good work in recent weeks, is concrete proof that he is rubbish and people can restart their twitter abuse.


It’s important to become more decisive and clinical, but also worth noting that we haven’t had Jack fit much and aren’t making the most of Cazorla yet! Watch these figures move in the right direction if we get those things sorted.


I’ll take the points any how they come..its peak out ere for CL..COYG!!!


Giroud’s abit like Mario Gomez or Mandzuik, but he’s not as good as the two perhaps. Cazorla/podolski to play off him as a secondary striker? To do that we need to have a 4-4-2 but we can’t use this formation because we don’t have a world class defensive midfielder to protect the back four. Thus we have to stick to 3 men in the middle not two. Remember Viera? Yes the 4-4-2 worked more efficiently in his time coz he was a physically imposing, no nonsense midfielder. We don’t have that now so I guess that’s what’s holding wenger back… Read more »

HRH Queen Elizabeth II

What is a meme?


After a total of about 1000 passes only one goal was scored. The beautiful “passing ” game. Lol


Not bashing anyone (the players nor the post) but everytime i see number of passes 232, 85% forward from a holding midfield player (Arteta or Ramsey), i think to myself ok, i’ld trade it for 50% of the 50 forward passes from the CAM. These guys are playing deep most of those forward passes are played to the wingers slightly ahead or to the CAM or to each other when one is slightly ahead.
Not bashing anyone but if we had stats on number of passes by Per or Kos and % forward as well, they would be incredible.

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


Fulham should get Sidwell sent off more often, played way better when he got the red….

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