Sunday, March 3, 2024

Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal: downward spiral by the numbers

Sterile Domination

395 – Passes by Newcastle
365 – Passes by Arsenal
7 – Shots by Newcastle
1 – Shots on goal by Newcastle
10 – Shots by Arsenal
2 – Shots on goal by Arsenal
51 – Percent of possession Newcastle enjoyed
44 – Percent of territory Newcastle enjoyed
49 – Passes Newcastle completed in the Arsenal final third
7 – Passes Anita completed in the Arsenal final third to lead Newcastle
45 – Passes Coloccini completed (2nd on Newcastle)
92 – Passes Arsenal completed in the Newcastle final third
25 – Passes by Aaron Ramsey in that area (led Arsenal)
3 – Shots created by Theo Walcott (led both teams)
1 – Shots created by each of Coloccini and Taylor (led Newcastle along with 5 others)
27 – Tackles by Arsenal (of 31 attempted, season high)
15 – Tackles by Newcastle (of 20 attempted)
18 – Fouls committed y Newcastle
1 – Yellow card issued to Newcastle by Howard Melton Webb

Newcastle dominated possession (especially in the second half) and yet it was Arsenal, with the 1-0 lead, who ended up creating the most chances and forcing Newcastle back into their own half for the majority of the match. The stats above show that, especially the fact that Newcastle only managed to get 44% of the territory despite owning the majority of the ball, plus the fact that Tiote and Coloccini led them in passing, and Anita, who came on in the 57th minute, was one of Newcastle’s most effective attackers in the Arsenal box (Debuchy was in the Arsenal final third the most for Newcastle but only completed 6/17 passes and didn’t create a single shot). But a few other stats are interesting here too.

Arsenal forced Newcastle to attempt more clearances than the Gunners 24-17 overall and 11-10 in the second half. Remember that clearances often show how attack-minded a team is, even if they aren’t getting shots off. But then when it came to actual shots, Newcastle only managed two in the 50+ minutes from the 40th minute to the end of the match. The Gunners had 7 shots in that same time; one goal, and Walcott’s unlucky miss.

The Bould Effect or the Koscienly Effect?

Arsenal finished the season with one of the better defensive performances of the year but it was simply an extension of all the hard work that the club had put in all season as The Gunners finished with the second best defensive record in the League.

Arsenal only allowed 37 goals this season, which is the first time since the 2008-2009 season that Arsenal averaged less than a goal conceded per game. It’s also the first time since the Invincibles that Arsenal finished in the top 2 teams defensively. And it’s an astonishing turnaround from last season’s 49 goals conceded which put Arsenal in 8th place defensively — Wenger’s worst defense of his tenure.

Much of that good defensive record, however, came since the 2-1 loss to Spurs and subsequent dropping of captain Thomas Vermaelen and starting keeper Wojciech Szczesny. Including that ignominious loss to our London rivals, Arsenal conceded 1.14 goals per match on average. Since then, the defense has tightened considerably and in those 10 games, allowed just 5 goals for an average of 0.5 goals per match.  And Arsenal kept 5 clean sheets.

Interestingly, Arsenal have also scored 1.90 goals per game in that 10 game run, which is the same as their season average of 1.89. Arsenal also only had one scoreless draw in hat 10 game run, compared to the 6 they had in the 28 games previous. They also converted shots and shots on goal at roughly the same rate as they has all season, converting 12% of all shots and 35% of shots on goal. But again, the opposition’s conversion rates dropped from 9% on all shots to just 5% and from 26% to 19% for shots on goal.  So while there were a lot of concerns about Arsenal concentrating on defense at the expense of offense, it didn’t seem to be the case.

Though I will admit that six of those last 10 games were tighter than a hipster’s corduroys and we could have done with a couple dozen goals to give Arsenal some breathing room. But still, the only thing that went on a “downward spiral” was Arsenal’s rate of conceding goals.

As for whether the credit is more to Bould or to Koscielny, I leave that to you all.


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Every year the media tell us how Spurs are better than us and how many of our players will not get into their team etc, etc.
Yet, when the dust is settled each year, they remain firmly in our shadow…where they truly belong.
PS: Never base your decisions and conclusions from things in the media…or you will think you are better better(Spurs) or worse(Arsenal) than you really are.

Runcorn Gooner

The only Stat that matters at the moment is 4th.
Next season I hope that it is 1st. 4 new managers at our rivals,must be our best chance for years

The ghost of Peter Storey

Whilst I would love to think that 1st is achievable, we must be far more realistic. League Cup Final, Champions League 1/4, FA Cup Semi and top 3 in the league will be an improvement, allowing us to seriously challenge in 2014/15.


I’d love to see some stats for Koscielny against newcastle i thought he was absolutely incredible yesterday


i find it quite humorous that even a few months ago Jermaine Defoe was egging on Jack Wilshire to take another bet that we would finish above them, almost mocking jack because we were so far behind.

Wheres all your stats about how Wenger does not know how to teach defending now STEWART ROBSON. 2nd best defense in the league.



If Spurs finished fourth: “what a fantastic achievement and they have every right to celebrate!” What the media would have said.

I wonder what that dude from talksport who has a grudge with Wenger has to say…


Don’t even listen to Talkshite. Utter bollocks.


maybe it’s the MerterKos Effect. Those two are near perfect together.

Jack's Right Foot


Gunner From Another Mother

That’s PERfect





Honourable mention to Ox for coming in at a difficult time and at a difficult position and giving it his best shot. He made 5 tackles and 3 interceptions I think. Wenger was right. The lad can play almost anywhere – Wings, Attack Mid, Defense-Mid

Gunner From Another Mother

I like him quite a bit in the middle of the park. I was hoping we’d see him there a little more after his performance against Milan last year. Him and Rosicky together simply dominated midfield. I think in front of Song?


I just want the team to push forward next season with the same mental strength and defensive discipline.
Someone need to lie to them that only the team which wins the EPL will qualify for the CL. That should get them blowing every team off from the very start till the end.
Well done 7am.

Top Gunner

Either that or Spurs being at the Top of the table, cos we all know we’ll catch & over take them.

Santi Claws

Well, me dog just died, wife ran away with the postman, found out I was adopted and ran out of toilet paper after bombarding the toilet with last night’s curry.

Couldn’t care less. Happy as Larry post-eight pints of lager and a gram of coke. And take it from me, that is one happy-as-fuck Larry.

We love you Arsenal, we do, we do

2013-2014 = 2003-2004

Santi Claws – can’t wait to read your reaction NEXT year when we nip Chavski for the title on the last day!

Who is this ‘Larry’ anyways?

Mr Mackie

Mmmkay, I’m happy that you had a good night, but dont do drugs, drugs are bad Mmmkay!


I think we have learned to have a good balance of defense as well as attack. Apparently Wenger has let Bould have a lot of impact on how the team was managed for the run-in. Just goes to show that it’s not difficult to keep winning and grinding victories if you only want to win and not play attractive football – shows that Arsenal too are capable of it. I’m sure Wenger won’t let us be so defensive minded when we start the next season, but somehow I’m not worried now. Koscielny and Mertesacker make us so safe, I don’t… Read more »


Add on to that run of solid defensive run was that we concede 3 out of the 5 from FK(Wigan) and Pen(Man Utd and WBA). Truly astonishing. I think the big changes was 1)Koscielny run of form and showing his class. 2)Players being shown if you don’t show up you will be dropped(Vermaelen,Szcznesny) 3)Better communication in our defence. 4) Ramsey. His hard work and superb engine at closing down was brilliant(Ben Arfa being tackled when he was about to shoot yesterday was one example.) 5)Midfield. We closed down the gaps together as a midfield instead of a lone charged, hunting… Read more »


Koscielny – 90%
Bould – 10%

Koscielny is an absolute beast.


I would like to dance with him


Would you like to feel the heat with him too?


Dropping TV5 and Schezzy perhaps had more mental effect on the team that we thought.
It clearly was a message to the team that unless they performed to a high standard, they’ll lose their place- WHOEVER they are.
It also gave a clear message that form, not reputation, will get you into the team.
And the result speaks for itself…with all the players upping their games-least of them TV5 himself, who had also played very well whenever called upon since his drop.


Plus Szczesny has been terrific since he returned to the team!


Vermaelen was absolutely awful in the spurs game. He had no idea what Bale was doing and completely ignored his movement for their first goal, then let him pull exactly the same move for the second goal. It shows how much of a player’s form is down to the right state of mind, because on his day Vermaelen is brilliant.


Arsenal have conceded the fewest away goals this season, and where are all the mertesacker detractors? In all 14 clean sheets this season, he’s started and played… Never thought I’d say this, but the defensive aspect is in place for next season, all we need is a striker to add some diversity and take the pressure of giroud a bit. Next season looks very promising indeed!


I think we need one more quality defender as well. We have seen what injuries to our defenders can do.

By the way, I would also like to see a goalkeeper with experience, a defensive midfielder and Higuain! Just saying.

Ian Baldwin

I don’t get why so many people think we need another keeper, all three that we have are progressing nicely and this season each had a clean sheet approximately every third game which is very respectable.


Largely because Fabianski’s contract appears to be up and neither side seems to have made any move to renew it…..

Adam Richards

Agreed, however great our center backs are playing currently, I think Arteta and indeed Ramsey are worthy of mention over the past 10 games too; arguably the whole season as well.

Stupid gooner

Koscielny has been amazing and our best player for me this year! Mert looked a bit dodgy yesterday so I reckon we could still do with another quality center back to partner Koscielny. I am really looking forward to seeing who we buy this summer as I am already excited about next season.


Per isn’t the quickest but he’s world class. Kos has always been a boss, 2 fantastic season under his belt, he’s only going to get better. Our two Germans have got a season each, so has Santi and Giroud, they’re fully adapted and are gonna year it up next season. Now all we need are options, players that can change a game if its not going out way and that’s it cus this squad looks like a real team that play for each other and I think we’ve found the balance we’ve been trying to achieve the past few years.… Read more »


Per has 2 seasons!


I fink it’s Bould’s nd Boscielny’s effect. The lad has been absolutely good since he was called back to d team. I hope our players stay together and learn from this season’s mistakes. Tottenham should Learn from dis season and push for trophy next season. Gunners till I die

Ian Baldwin

Two noteworthy stats regarding the ‘handbrake’:

7: the number of 1-0’s to the Arsenal this season, 2 more than anyone else.

5: times we scored five or more goals, 4 more than anyone else but Liverpool, who did this 4 times.

Read what you want from this.


What do the stats tell us . 760 passes in the game and just one goal.
The goal scored Scored by a centre back from a cross.
So from these statistics we should have have six midfielders no strikers and rely on a defender to come forward and score fom a cross.

A Yank

That and we should convert Ramsey, who entering the Wigan game had the most shots on target without a goal in the Premier League, to a striker (or attacking mid?).


hey AVB, jst stick dat spiral in ur @$$….and nvr mess wid ARSENAL…


What was the cricket result Davo?


Our batting is hopless. Just ike Arsenal has been hopless at winning trophies these past nine tears. Mind you the black caps have more chance of beating England than Arsenal have of winning the Champions league.

Happ Penis

Mate how appalling was that. Kane for captain I say. Good spell from Broad though, can’t take it away


Ooh, so sad…dave…your team missed out again!

loose cannon

dramatic ending to our season. 4 of top 6 teams are changing their managers while those teams need to adopt to a different coaching style. we have stability, wenger and money. it is entirely upon AW to effect some change and really make an impact from the start. we must be imposing ourselves and try to make The Emirates a Fortress so that the name itself will bring respect and awe to the opponents. we need to carry on the momentum. If AW truly believes that EPL is the first priority and CL the second then it should be quite… Read more »


All this manager merry-go-round is overplayed a little bit. MU has a very solid base, they are always there till the old squad plays and the point difference between them and us was huge, they have some margin. Pellegrini is a very good manager, one of his nicknames is El latino Wenger. And the Notspecial One with Abra’s warchest is scary as well. One thing I love about Arsenal is the stability but this aspect in regard of results is overplayed as well. Chelsea without stability won more trophies in the last few years than MU. But I get your… Read more »

Jim Jimminy

Milan are seeded. We wont get them.

Goon Goon Goon

Good end to the season. Would live to see a new young centre back and a world class winger added to the squad. Giroud and Poldi can only get better. COYG!

Eric Irish gunner

Ah feel great today being a gunner, just texted a father of one of the kids we train and said make sure ur son is up training on Thursdays next season when your watching your shit team on channel 5, I think we might have lost a player he’s not happy 🙂


Maybe also note the boundless energy of Aaron Ramsey to our improved defensive display. He is like one player I used to detaste at Man U Darren Fletcher although Rooney is a bo more skilled but he is not a lazy player, he hastles and harries and alwlays gives numbers at the back or foward, more work in the gym and he can become one hell of a box to box midfielder.


While Kos definitely had an impact (not sure why he was dropped in the early part of the season considering he was our best defender last season as well), Thomas Rosicky also made a significant impact. Tim made a point earlier about how Arsenal suddenly improved once Jack Wilshere was dropped. With Thomas Rosicky Arsenal are more organized as a whole. Defense is not only about individuals, it’s how the line in front of the defenders organize themselves. Ramsey, Arteta and Rosicky were near perfect in that sense. I mean, I can’t remember the last time Arsenal were bombarded with… Read more »


I’m inclined to think both helped to some extent – but the real change? Kos and Mertesacker having the opportunity to start together a lot more, particularly in these later months when the record has been really good. Kos was fantastic last season as well, for the most part, but Merts was still settling in for the first few months and then missed the last few due to injury, and there was a fair bit of swapping around due to injuires to fullbacks and all the usual carry-on. I haven’t checked the stats but I’m fairly sure we’ve had a… Read more »


Also have to give some credit to the midfield as well – especially Ramsey. So, so pleased for him that he’s come back from all the negatives over the last year or 2 and really looking like an asset again.


Good point. I can think of at least 10 CB partnerships we’ve had over the last 2 years!!!


All very true. It just reminds you that at Centre back the rule should be: ‘if its not broke……’ You find a pair that works, and build the team from there. Try to change it up only when you have to. The change in balance in midfield has really helped as well. For years, our defenders have been hung out to dry by: our shape, the fact that our last proper DM used to go walkabout, and we’ve been using a non-specialist for a while. Having both Ramsey and Atrteta in the role means we kinds of get a great… Read more »


That’s such a good point re: Ramsey-Arteta. Together they make a DM, but separately they contribute so more much to the team, in such different aspects. Now that’s awesome.

how can i keep calm?! I'm a gunner...

Time to push on, longest serving manager in the league, no players leaving (at least not the ones we don’t want to leave), strong financial incentives, and a team that has experienced and taken on a lot this year. Lets remind them who we are ey? UP the Arsenal.

For me the stand-out performer of the season is just about Arteta.

I don’t feel in safer hands with any other player than him. He’s experiences, plays to win and is extremely clever. He is a football man if there ever was one. Cazorla is a monster who is fast, can dribble, cross … the type of player every team wants. Koscielny is a great defender.

Those 3 for me.

how can i keep calm?! I'm a gunner...

oh yeah and get ready for the koscielny links to fartelona. he’s such a boss… and he’s going nowhere!!!!!!

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

Tom Thumb

I think kos will become one of the top 3 cb in the world if not the top cb.our main priority this summer should be holding on to him.he has been immense in the past 10 games and gives a real calmness and stability to the back four

50 Shades of Gandalf the Grey

16- number of consecutive Champions League qualifications.


Alan Shearer is a cunt.
Quote 1: ” Spurs WILL finish fourth”
Quote 2 : ” Arsenal shouldn’t be celebrating like they’ve won a trophy”
I repeat, Alan Shearer is a cunt.

Johnny Jensen's Bender


Anyone who makes me agree with Hanson (who was strangely untwatlike on MOTD) is a twat.


Every club has its own success requrement. Citeh and Chelsea sacked their managers despite Citeh winning Premiership a runners up EPL and FA cup final appearance, Chelsea sacked their managers despie winning the Champions league a Europa eague.and successive ECL qualifications. Yet despite nine years without a troophy Arsenel have not sacked their manager. if wenger wa Wigan were happy with the FA cup despite relegation. Swansea finsihed down the table but won the Capital One cup. Chelsea won the Europa league Newcastle avoided relegation and celebrated. Spurs qualified again for the Europa.


Seems like your dementia has taken over, half your post didn’t make sense. Arsenel? Yeah sums up the intelligence of your overall post, you can’t even spell the name of the team you apparently support but continually hate on, despite this team pulling off something pretty damn special given where we were at after White Hart Lane.

The ghost of Peter Storey

I remember early in the season when Harry said on MotD that Arsenal had “no chance” of finishing in the top 4. So, how did your season go Harry?

North Bank Gooner

Hes up there with JT, Twitchy and Son, Stewart Robson and Ol red nose.


Funny, I remember in 07-08 we concedes 31 goals and people were complaining that we concede too many, now 37 gets you 2nd best in the league. Have everyone become better attackers or has the art of defending gone to shit?


Great stats as usual. But you are way too hard, from a statistical point of view, on Szczesny. Of those last ten great undefeated games, he started 6. Fab started 4. Szczesney let in 2 goals in 6 matches, an average of .33 per game. Fabianski let in 3 in 4 games, an also great record of .75 goals allowed per gane. Arsenal won all four of Fabianski’s games, while winning 4 of Szczesny’s 6. Yet Fabianski had a team scoring almost 3 goals a game, while in the last six games, Arsenal’s production dropped to 1.3 goals per game.… Read more »

Clock End Mike

Interesting analysis…

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