Friday, March 1, 2024

Snapoli 2-0 Arsenal, plus the Champions League Draw: by the numbers

Napoli 0-0 Arsenal: first half

Shots: 5-3
Shots on Target: 1-1
Passes completed: 137-265
Final 1/3 passes completed: 18-41
Backpasses: 3-15
Tackles attempted: 18-6
Fouls: 13-8
Cards: 2-0
Interceptions: 10-14
Clearances: 3-14 (I like clearances data because it shows how much the defense is under pressure)

Napoli 2-0 Arsenal: second half

Shots: 8-3
Shots on Target: 4-0
Passes completed: 233-173
Final 1/3 passes completed: 49-40
Backpasses: 6-5
Tackles attempted: 8-8
Fouls: 3-8
Cards: 1-4
Interceptions: 10-4
Clearances: 5-14
Tiredness: 10-1,000,000
Sending off which changed the game: 0-1
Games against Man City this weekend: 0-1

Studs and Duds

This is a match better quickly forgotten than raked over the coals. Everyone looked rather jaded, except Flamini who ran the most of all players with 13474m. Giroud had 9 turnovers, a number I can’t remember seeing a player post in a single game. To put that in context, Flamini has 9 turnovers in 15 appearances this season and while Giroud was the focal point of the Arsenal attack and just about the only outlet, that’s still a shockingly high number. All told, Giroud was dispossessed 4 times, caught offside 3 times, and had the 9 turnovers to go with 2 shots and 0 key passes or successful dribbles.

The game was killed when Arteta was sent off so, it’s no surprise that we don’t see a bunch of spectacular numbers. That referee, Viktor Kassai, has refereed two previous Arsenal matches, Braga and AC Milan. In those three games, Arsenal have a combined 0 goals for and 8 goals against but what’s weirder is that I remembered his face as a referee who I thought lost games in the second half. Sure enough looking back, he’s given 4 cards in the first half of those games and 15 in each of the second halfs. I’m not sure if that’s unusually high or not but it was strange how Napoli got away with so many fouls and high kicks in the first half and then Kassai decided to clamp down on the game in the second.

Stats for Champions League Play 2013-2014  

8.7 – Shots per game average by Arsenal
32 – Rank of Arsenal in shots per game of the 32 teams in the Champions League (tied with AC Milan)
7.8 – Shots per game average by Arsenal in last season’s Champions League play
31 – Rank of Arsenal in shots per game last year
7 – Shots per game Cristiano Ronaldo is averaging in the CL this year
8 – Goals Arsenal scored this season in CL
9 – Goals Cristiano Ronaldo scored this season in CL (record)
3.2 – Shots on goal per game by Arsenal this season
3.4 – Shots on goal per game by Ronaldo
9 – Shots on goal per game averaged by Bayern this year (rank: 1)
6 – Yellow cards Arsenal received this season in CL play
31 – Rank of Arsenal in yellow cards received in Champions League play
26 – Yellow cards Arsenal received last season in the Champions League
4 – Rank (4th worst), last season, in discipline
3 – Yellow cards Arsenal received in the second half of the match against Napoli
2 – Fouls Arteta committed
2 – Yellow cards Arteta received
5 – Fouls Behrami committed
0 – Yellow cards Behrami received
16 – Aerial duels won per game by Arsenal
2 – Rank of Arsenal in aerials won per game
17.8 – Aerial duels won per game by Arsenal last season in CL play
1 – Rank, last season, CL blah blah
57 – Percent of possession Arsenal controlled this season (Opta data)
6 – Rank of Arsenal in possession controlled
– Number of teams above Arsenal in the possession stats that they could get in the next round (Barcelona, Bayern, and PSG)
6.8 – Shots conceded per game average by Barcelona this year (rank: 1 – fewest)
90.7 – Percent pass completion rate by PSG (rank: 1)
10 – Through balls per game average by Barcelona (rank: 1)

Squad valueI think Wenger’s nickname for Atletico is “lucky.”

Values taken from


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Arsene’s reluctance to use Theo is slightly strange..Both Giroud and Ozil benefit if Theo playys..I hope we play this Team against City..Szczesny; Jenks,Mert,Kos,Gibbs; Flamini,Ramsey,Ozil,Rosicky,Theo and Giroud.


Maybe he doesn’t think too highly of Theo+Jenks.


City have Kolarov/Clichy on the left side..We will have to exploit that weakness..And I doubt Nasri will do a good job tracking back either


i would not play jenkinson at all. Flamini yesterday proved he is not lost for pace and that was what worried many folks. put flamini there his passion only will scare that woman Nasri and will have. clichy running back to his own half. PLAY FLAMINI AT RB! Petition!

Runcorn Gooner

The defining point of our campaign was the decision to try an beat Dortmund at Home.
a draw and we would have won the league


Please for religious gunners, today is a day of fasting and prayer for Sagna’s recovery. A Sagna-less Arsenal will not be a good idea on Saturday.


Off topic but did anyone else see Thierry Henry swear live on TV? Legend.


I thought our keeper had an off day, too many lazy passes by most of our players, watching higuain score like that is a reminder to arsenal that as good as giroud is we need a world class forward if we are to win the league


14 – successive seasons we’re thru to the last 16.

Let’s give the team some credits. We made it from arguably the toughest group which some so called experts had written off our chances initially. Neither us or dortmund nor napoli deserves to be eliminated and i’m not sure if either of city, chelsea or man u could survive if they are in this group.

If we’ve to take a defeat during this run in Dec then this one in naples would probably be the least material


I Like that lineup but monreal has to play against navas on saturday, gibbs played 2games in a row and for wenger to start him against napoli you cant help but think wenger has his heart set on monreal vs navas(spanish leftback vs spanish winger) and in truth, gibbs looks tired in recent games. So i think we should lineup like this against city. Back five = shezzny-jenko-BFG-boss-monreal
double pivot= Flamini-ramsey
front four = Feo on the right, ozil in th middle, Rosicky on the left. Giroud up front. Subs: Fab,verm,gibbs,jack,caz,arteta,bendtner


I did not think Giroud was jaded. I thought he was isolated with not sufficient support. We were too slow to support him. Also, because he was left to do most of the work, he had to try and get behind their line but he isn’t the quickest try as he may. I also did not think the chance was effectively killed off for us once we went down to 10. I thought we could have nicked something from the game. Instead Wenger opted for a defensive shell which invited more pressure in our half (not to mention sent the… Read more »


Very well put. Our second half tactics were dreadful. Oh, well. I guess the boss is human, after all. And in the long run, even if we’d won the group and got an easy opponent in the round of 16, our opponent in the quarters would be picked from the exact same choices we’re facing now, plus United and Chelski. Gotta beat the elite at one point or another if we’re gonna lift the trophy.


I wouldn’t blame Arsene too much. We failed to consistently get a hold of the ball all game. That was a team that should have been able to do just that more consistently. He should have made better substitutions though. I thought we really could have used Jack and Theo on the pitch much more than Aaron in that game.


We realy need podolski, I cant help but think he’ld have scored more goals than giroud with the services behind him and in truth he’s an awful lot faster/sharper than giroud that’s why I still think we need another striker (preferably, one faster than giroud) in january or we get a proper left winger(still wonder why gnabry sits on the bench) and push lukas to a permanent CF role. Seriously I’ld love to see us lineup like this at some point in the season. Backfive= shezzny-jenk-BFg-Boss-mon. Double pivot= ramsey-flamini. Front three= Feo-ozil-gnabry. Prince poldi leads the line but can swap… Read more »


According to these stats Ronaldo is better than our entire team combined :/

emir of emirates

no….no he scored more..than our teamo


I guess Walcott was being saved for city. We didn’t look like a team who wanted to win, we knew we had all but qualified already. Maybe our players had city on their minds and they didn’t wanna over exert themselves


I hope we get Madrid though, I’m tired of barca v arsenal, although we always seem to get barca, pre planned maybe


Exactly what i was thinking about the referee. In the 1st half there was a Napoli player who made 2 fouls in a matter of minutes and having got a yellow for the 1st one, the 2nd foul looked like a bookable offence but he let it go. I didn’t feel so aggrieved because I thought fine that can goo either way. Until he gave that Arteta 2nd yellow. On top of it being a dive, it was a similar challenge to the other prick’s one in the 1st half minus the contact. But alas that’s the way it goes… Read more »

Black Hei

I don’t think Wenger got his tactics wrong despite a loss. People have been crying out for Theo to start, but we have always seen how poor when Theo starts with Jenks on the right. The 2 of them are not really good with the ball at their feet and with Napoli pressing really hard, Theo would have been a very bad passing outlet for Jenks. This is not a criticism of both players but it shows Wenger maybe knows his folks better than people on internet. Today we were overwhelmed at Naples. That does not mean we are crappy… Read more »

dink arnold

I’m with you on not starting theo, but as he was bringing on Monreal, then they scored, he should’ve not brought on Monreal but brought on Theo instead. Giroud was tired at that point and was playing the lone striker role waiting for long balls. I would’ve much preferred Theo taking the place of Giroud and we would’ve had that counter attack outlet.

Black Hei

I will agree with you halfway on that.

I would have brought on Theo instead of Monreal for Rosicky for your idea to work.

The midfield is owned by Napoli and any form of supply to Theo would have been cut off. Forget about balls over the top or through balls etc, players do not have time to even hoof it with accuracy. W/o Giroud, Theo would have been even more isolated.

But with Giroud, a lucky one-two or a header can put Theo clear. Especially if Napoli is trying to squeeze spaces with a high back line.


The only Draw i dread would be Real madrid and Bayern. The rest despite their superiority have proved to be beatable. personally i would settle for PSG or ATHLETICO but something tells me will get BARCELONA and knock those sorry cunts out.


And why are people talking rubbish about theo. he was our week in week out player last season whose name was first on the team sheet regardless of whether Jenkinson was behind him or Sagna.

Now cunts are saying he cant play with jenkinson oh he doesn’t defend oh he doesn’t retain the ball oh my mother dont like him. Either people have short memories or people just dont like the lad. stupids!


Theo is a superb player and was immense last year, but don’t kid yourself that defensively he is solid. Far from it. Who ever plays behind Theo needs to be a full back of the highest order and that’s not Jenkinson…………..yet. If Sagna was fit I’d have expected Theo to play, but Jenks is a little careless and a little rash. In a game where you are aiming to keep things tight at the back, a Theo/Jenks combination is tactical suicide. Arsene made the right call not to play Theo yesterday (assuming that’s why – he may not be back… Read more »


After considering this the whole night, I am hoping we Draw that “Our Rival” for whom the former Chimpanzee of the circus plays.


l wonder why wenger insists on using midfielders as wingers eg Wilshere and Carzola l honestly think Carzola should be dropped and Gnarbry or Rosisky be put in his place we need natural wingers not these make shifts


Obviously want to congratulate the lads for getting out of a tough group but will no doubt pay the price for not winning it! Draw on Monday and strangely i think the best Draw for us would be Barca! Avoid Madrid and Bayern at all costs and Atletico would cause us all sorts of problems. Very compact team who wouldnt give us a second on the ball. Failing Barca, PSG would be the draw(Hoping Ibra doesnt turn up on the days). Barca havent looked the team they where this season and are vunerable at the back. I also think our… Read more »


Look guys, Wenger didn’t play Theo because : Theo on right who does’t track back and defend when needed+ Jenkinson with whom I wouldn’t trust my right flank.

Two guys who can’t defend on same flank = BAD
Two guys who can’t defend on same flank when we are a man down = DISASTER


Fuck that bullshit.


I agree with Heroldgoon. Of course Theo is better with Sagna but he can still play with Jenks and has done many times. He does track back as well. I don’t think we would have lost 2-0 if Theo played and we definitely would have had more than one shot on target.

Apparently some fans didn’t get to the ground before kick-off, well they didn’t miss anything.


I knew the match would be boring so it doesn’t really baffle me, what baffles me is the improvement of some of our players and actually the scores… hmm 2-0 with just a shot on goal Giroud; for example, he needs to improve on his movement frustrate defenders in a way best known to him and try create space by him self and desire to win games like the glimpse he showed against Spu*s then he would be unpredictable and highly dangerous. Jeckinson: Good he is a hard player, But he should use his brain often. Flamini: Should realize a… Read more »


I’m no tactical genius but to me this conception that Theo is awful at tracking back and supporting his RB defensively is false. I can go with the whole ball retention thing cause he doesn’t retain the ball as well as the other fellas who can play in that position. However, I think because he has a reputation as a Striker turned Winger and is a natural finisher, there’s this idea that he simply doesn’t help out going back. IMO Theo tracks just as well if not better than Santi or Ozil would if they happened to be on the… Read more »


Gotta love Transfermarkt. They’ve just upped Ramsey’s value in some arbitrary fashion, yet still think he’s worth less than the OX, nearly half as much as Podolski and well less than half of Santi or Jack.

The Arsenal squad value is so low because no one knows what half of them are actually worth, and everyone else except Athletico and maybe Bayern spend monopoly money on other clubs’ players

Tee Söng

I’m disappointed but not too surprised. Bayern, the best team in the world right now, have been in a similar situation, only needing to avoid a big loss but could afford to lose, and they’ve lost twice in that situation, this year to ManShitty and last year to us. A couple of seasons ago Milan needed to avoid a four goal loss to us in the second leg of a tie and they lost 3-0. That situation and mindset of having that cushion is psychologically difficult, even for a team as good as Bayern. And weren’t we denied an absolute,… Read more »

Arsene's sidekick

Well said Tee. The plan seemed to work for the better part of the match. Could have easily ended nil-nil but there u have it.
Anyway unless I’ve misjudged what a turnover is that’s a worrying stat for Giroud. Really needs to work on his game. A class striker come January is a must!

In defense of the HFB...

I think that Giroud turnover stat is HIGHLY misleading, personally… For starters, counting an offside as a turnover – although in principle the same thing, I suppose – seems a little prejudiced against strikers. Surely? Doesn’t quite seem the same thing as the kind of ‘unforced error’ I’m picturing. (Also, if Adebarndoor still gave a fuck about actually playing minutes on a football pitch, he’d lead the world in turnovers in this case.) Secondly, Giroud is going to commit a lot of these in his time… BUT he is also going to pull off the occasional stunning flick-on, nod-down, nutmeg-through,… Read more »


Sounds like Victor Kasai is a match fixer.


I do love theo. He’s an awesome finisher, and as dangerous as anything. But I’m still not convinced enough in his ball skills / close control to pick him against city or other strong teams over someone like cazorla. Admittedly cazorla isn’t yet himself. But I’d probably choose rosicky against city. Somebody who can go forward and back and provide a more solid overall game. Theo for me is something you unleash against lesser opponents or against teams you need to tear a new one. The city game probably needs to be a bit more controlled. To do them tactically.… Read more »

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