Friday, August 19, 2022

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Arsenal: By the Numbers

3 – The number of years that I have been talking about Arsenal’s lack of shots in Champions League play

Look… Arsenal have been the worst team in Champions League play over the last three years in terms of shots per game. By that I mean they have been either at the bottom of the table or second from the bottom in terms of shots created per game for each of the last three years. There have been excuses in each of the three years: Arsenal lost their best player to injury, the team was just learning to play together, the team was just learning to play together, Arsenal lost their best players to injury, and Arsenal have drawn stiff opposition. All true. Still doesn’t change the fact that Arsenal haven’t been able to really dominate in Champions League play. For three years.

So, what you saw tonight against Borussia Dortmund wasn’t much of an anomaly actually. Last season in Champions League play, Arsenal averaged just 8.4 shots per game, the lowest of all 32 teams in the Champions League. Yes, fewer shots per game than any of the tiny clubs from some backwater. And one could argue that they are facing a lot stiffer competition considering the relative wealth of the two clubs. Worse, Arsenal only managed one shot on goal and that was from Sanchez with a crack from distance.

Shooting a lot doesn’t guarantee wins, after all Arsenal have been able to make it into the group stages despite their poor shooting record mostly on the back of the fact that they have an outstanding finishing record and a decent defensive record. But if the team doesn’t create and doesn’t finish, which is what happened against BvB, you are almost certainly going to lose a game.

Probably the most shocking stat is that Arsenal only completed three passes into the Dortmund 18 yard box between kickoff and he 47th minute. That’s not “passes that led to shots” that’s passes. In contrast, Dortmund had their way with the Arsenal box, creating four shots from passes which penetrated the Arsenal box in that same time period. By the end of the match, Dortmund would have 23 shots to Arsenal’s 5 and dominated Arsenal’s penalty area.

Merse is right, Arsenal are a gillion miles away from winning this.

Most everyone was poor

Özil had just 23 passes, 3 in the final third. He did “create” a shot: the 40 yard speculative effort from Sanchez.
Wilshere led all players with 49 completed passes, created zero shots and had just one successful pass in the BvB 18 yard box. Wilshere did lead all players with 5/6 tackles and became the 4th player injured for Arsenal this season.
Bellerin was second, behind Jack (15/19), for attacking third passes (13/18). He didn’t manage to get a single ball in the 18 yard box.
Gibbs was probably the star player for Arsenal: he created two shots, one was a dribble plus a caviar pass to Welbeck. He also led all players in interceptions with 6 and was 2/2 in tackles. YAY!
Arteta was, well, I can honestly say I’ve never seen a worse performance from an Arsenal captain. I don’t know if he was unfit or what but he misplaced 11 passes out of 56 (he is normally a 90% passer) and fell over three times. He also seemed two steps slow to react to danger.
Ramsey only attempted 37 passes, completed 25, and did create one chance (another caviar pass to Welbeck). He didn’t do much else.
Sanchez was lively, won 6/9 dribbles, but also led all players with 5 dispossessed and had several turnovers. He probably should be credited with a shot which was wrongly flagged offside.

I could go on, but I’ll spare you. Hey, I guess Koscielny wasn’t bad. And he didn’t crush his face to death on the post. That’s a win!


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An unusually subdued piece from you sir. We’ll get better in attack as our defence gets better I think. A nice win at Aston Villa would help lift the gloom.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Took a moment to think about the Man U team. Nearly choked.

——————-De Gea—————-
Rafael —- Jones —-Rojo——-Shaw
——–Di Maria——-Herrera——–

A bench of Mata, Rooney, Januzaj, Carrick, Evans, Smalling…..


Is that Juan Mata’s brother on the bench?



Formerly Known As El Capitano

They’re still really weak defensively.
Falcao hardly set the world alight with this debut performance.
I’m 100% not buying into the media storm surrounding them at the moment, yeah okay they splashed out and purchased some top drawer attacking players, but I think they will still struggle with that back four in the Premier League.


What does this have to do with Arsenal last night?
if you want to talk about Man utd fuck off elsewhere


Exactly!!!! We know ManU are shite, we want to talk about how shite we are!!!!

Bould's Eyeliner

cue the “we have to respond” press releases and stomping of Aston Villa which causes the team to gel as an attacking force which sweeps a triple.


Gunner From Another Mother

I’d prefer we don’t hear a peep between now and the Villa match. Just turn up at the weekend and show us what you are capable of lads.


Very true, bc we’ve heard all of it before from the players & manager on numerous occasions only to see the same thing happen. Arsene & the players need to just go do it, not talk about it.


We went backwards, I was almost sure of progress this season. It is early days, we can turn it around, but still depressing. And we seem to have the same defects year after year.


The best managers evaluate the opposition, identify weaknesses and deploy tactics that get the best out of their available players to win the game. Bayern last year – every attack was down our weak left side. Chelski, Man City, Liverpool & Everton have us figured out hence the spankings last year. Wenger has a pre-determined ideal of how he wants the team to play irrespective of the opposition and persists in making players fit into his football philosophy – that’s why we are always filling round holes with square pegs – that’s why we can’t compete with the big boys.… Read more »


The numbers really paint a picture here. Onward to villa!

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

When we signed Sanchez and Debuchy, I was sure we were going to have a good year. I was sure Wenger would press on and finally finish this team – would a strong defence, a tough and unyielding midfield, and a firecracker frontline. I’m fucking annoyed because this Summer, like always, I believed Wenger again, and have been again made to look like a two bob. I have absolutely no confidence that Wenger is the best manager to take this club and team forward any longer. It’s no longer that he couldn’t finish the squad, but that he refused to… Read more »


Still early days in the Season buddy.

Remember, we may not be playing well but we drew 2-2 with the Richest club in England.

I’m resting my judgement on this season until January, then we will see.


yeah and stoke won away against the richest club in England. will they win the league title now?


They then loss to Leicester… Perspective?

Stoke played a good game and well done to them, but that’s got nothing to do with Arsenal.

Formerly Known As El Capitano

‘The Ghost of Paul Robinson’ – I’m not hiding behind the fact that we were extremely poor, one of the worst Arsenal performances I can remember watching in the Champions League. We were second best in every single department, a lot of class players went missing last night, & I don’t think you can rest all of it on the manager. In my opinion we looked absolutely bolloxed from the weekend still, I think that performance against City took so much out of the side, I think not having a decent preseason has really affected the squad. We just don’t… Read more »


Are we suppose to read all of that? We just lost and important game! That was enough punishment. To punish us with guinness record length comments.

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

Explain to me how Wenger is not responsible for the team looking knackered?

We’d look less knackered with more defenders to choose from instead of the same two centrebacks having to play every fucking game.

I’m not trying to have a go at any Arsenal fan, but this just isn’t fucking good enough for a man who takes the sort of wage he’s taking. You wouldn’t accept this sort of shite in any other profession.

Formerly Known As El Capitano

‘iamgunner-lilwayne’ .. its the comment section, nobody is forcing you to read anything pal. If my comment is too long or in depth for your mental capacity that’s not my fault. I donno, in the future, maybe you should stick to colouring books or ‘Play Doh’ .. just try and find a happy medium, where your mind wont be out of its comfort zone but you’re still enjoying what’s going on. ‘The Ghost of Paul Robinson’ I think the World Cup has really got more to do with it then anything else. We’ve hardly had a decent preseason, so the… Read more »


Honest question…..being that Wenger not only gave Arteta the armband, but also said he is happy with Arteta/Flamini, do you honestly have faith in him correcting anything in January? He’s not going to have another captain on the bench, so looks like we are stuck with the immobile Arteta at DM for quite a while


Thumbs down, but nobody will answer the question……… you believe Wenger will strengthen DM in January after giving Arteta the captaincy??? If so, why??

Looking Ahead

Guys, Yes BAD BAD performance, but what will we gain by howling about poor buying decisions now. The next window is still far away and we can only do our best with the current set of players. By howling now (or for that matter later), Boss AW is still going to do only what he deems right!). So now is the time to put the defeat in perspective of the future, losing to BD 2-0, is not the end of the world. We still have to stand together and support the current set of players. Let our voices be raised… Read more »

Gerard monen

Its not only the law that is an ass sir, we missed so many opportunities to buy good player’s in the transfer market . we had first choice to take Fab back only to see him go to Chelsea,we can’t always buy quality in the bargain basement, Had we spent more in the last transfer market the player’s would have settled in by January, now as things are if we wait until then any new signings will have to bed into our way of playing, and why haven’t we seen Cambell or Rosicky being used at least they have a… Read more »


Arteta has weary Limbs


Weary? He’s hardly played. Legs are gone and he’s no Pirlo unfortunately


I meant to say SLOW


The complete stats from this game will burn the eyes out of all Arsenal fans who read it. It has rightfully been sealed away by Arseblog.


Has Wenger given a reason as to why we can never deal with teams who pressure use despite supposedly being so technically good? He talks a lot about vertical play and pushing our midfielders forward into space but it hasn’t really worked for the past several years.

I'm gorgeous.

I sat down and watched that game again. Looking at Dortmund, the intensity of their pressing, their energy, movement and pace… it all felt a little familiar. And that’s because that used to be us. Remember Wenger’s early teams? Especially the Invincibles. Pace, power, pressing and then boom, a goal on the break. Wave after wave of attacking football. More than a little depressing. What really sucks is that our players don’t seem to have any kind of idea how to regain control of a game that’s getting away from them. We aren’t comfortable under pressure and we don’t seem… Read more »


Such a shame that those amazing Wenger teams were from about 10 years ago, and not a trace of them or a winning Arsene have been seen since……..


There are two things you can do to counter high press. You can either pass the ball backwards then launch it up to a striker to try to bypass the high press, or you can try to pass aroudn the high press. Wenger’s recent teams have all tried the latter, but that’s really risky because if you get caught you’re in all worlds of trouble. What the team has really lost is the willingness or ability to send it back to a goalkeeper or center half who can pick out a pass to a striker further up the pitch. We… Read more »


But dortmund goals didn’t come from their high press actually they score from our poor attacks in final third wrong pass the golkeeper gets the ball and bangs it out of seftey and the ball gets to imobille which was not the intention of their goalkeeper to try to find him and imobille gets the ball with only kos and gibbs at the back he easily run with the ball and scores same with theirs second goal, dortmund played good high press but with their attack the din’t harm us the got shoots on goal which were not dangerous.


Shit performance away followed by lifeless draw in the following game.

How sad.


AW’s little experiment with the 4-1-4-1 formation hasn’t worked. Yes Bayern have dominated with this formation for the last 2 years, but we just don’t have the personnel or the positional discipline to emulate that and make it work right now. Going back to the 4-2-3-1 with Ozil in the centre would be the best thing for this team right now


I thought Bayern were rocking a 4-2-3-1 when they won their treble? With Schweinsteiger and Martinez holding and whatnot.

I honestly think Ozil needs some time on the bench. Get the media off his back, let Cazorla in the middle. Or Wilshere. Bring Ozil back into it slowly. Blogs showed those heatmaps of Ozil’s movement yesterday, he’s moving around a fair bit. I just think he needs some time to get back into form.


Sorry but thinking simply changing the formation would have improved us against Dortmund is deluded, it’s much deeper than that. We drew 2-2 with City playing 4-1-4-1 and that was our best performance of the season. The problem isn’t the formation, it was an inexplicable and inexcusable lack of fight. We turned it on (and off and on again) against City, but we just didn’t turn up against Dortmund. Zero pressure, zero tracking back, zero urgency. There’s something wrong with the mentality of the club and switching to a 4-2-3-1 (the formation we played when we were thrashed by Liverpool… Read more »


I can’t understand. What makes Xabi Alonso and Mikel Arteta different. One got two man of the match performance and one became one of the most responsible for our incapability to control the game. If we cross out their name, both of them are players in their thirties whose physicality should be suspect. So, they should have the same problem in term of physicality (which people mostly judge Arteta with). I think it could be just like Tim post in his 7amkickof blog, our system (added with our player capability) is the most culpable for our disintegration. I thought we… Read more »

The Ghost of Paul Robinson

The difference is (at least in part) because Xabi Alonso is a better player than Mikel Arteta.

Yes band Xabi SHOULD have been an Arsenal player years ago, another missed chance by AW….


To be fair, if I remember correctly it was a combination of Arsene typically not wanting to pay an extra 3-4 million & Gareth Barry not going to Liverpool. So it was only half Arsene’s fault, sort of………..


It’s partly the system, but Alonso is also a very good player. He played for RM, one of the most cavalier teams in Europe, and was shining for them. He did have a good bit of support from Angel Di Maria and Modric, but RM didn’t look completely solid until Alonso came back from injury. Since I’m in a lecture and bored out of my mind, numbers: RM lost 2 of 11 games without Alonso and lost 3/27 games with him. Just in la Liga. That’s a noticeable difference he made. We lost 2/7 without Arteta and 5/31 with him.… Read more »


The last part of that comment summed it up………”It’s the difference between good and great”. End of discussion. One is & has always been world class & the other was a decent stop-gap for a year or 2.


alonso and arteta ? ahahah

why not put messi in the same sentence as sterling too then…………


You just tried to compare one of the best players of all time in that position to Arteta, think about that………….even at his peak Arteta couldn’t hold Alonso’s boots. Nothing against Mikel, but there are different levels of players & he is at least 2 levels below Xabi Alonso….always has been.



Da Faq You Looking @_keep Scrolling

I think Wenger doesn’t have fresh ideas in the modern football and he’s content with that. The man is so stubborn that he greedily refuses to buy world class players. Even if he has money he only spends a little, he behaves like Arsenal is his personal property. Why can’t he just resign peacefully? #Wenger out!


Up there with one of the worst Arsenal performances I’ve ever seen in 22 years as an Arsenal fan. We probably had many worse ones during the later George Graham years but they were rarely teleivised and I can’t remember too well. Only watched until 60 minutes as it was 3am in my time zone and needed to be up for 6am. Wasn’t going to stay up for any more of it.


I’m sure you didn’t when you decided to go to sleep after 60 minutes of plat, that embarrassing and disgrace performance from our team didn’t gave you a good sleep.


The way the arsenal defenders escort them when they charge with the ball is vean eyesore

bims lay

not sure the word “escort” accurately describe the way our defenders and midfielders meekly “chaperone?”…”body guard?” them all the way to our 18 yard box when they charge with the ball…..make you wonder whatever happened to the concept of tackling? or heavens forbid, taking a “cynical yellow card” for your team?…what a bunch of &*%$#)*&^%……i am so pissed off

kumbukani kaunda

Wenger out.

fresh prince

You forgot the main number.


1 twat of a manager.


No need to insult the man with childish name calling. You can bring the facts about Wenger being tactically inept, too stubborn, etc……all you want, but chill with the immature nonsense of name calling.


Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere. all central midfielders. That’s where they shine. Not DM not CAM, but what can you do if you HAVE to accommodate them all at once? well push Rambo into CAM where he suffered after the sell of Cesc before he was pushed to the wings where he had nightmares. Plus push Ozil wide left because the midfield 3 are taken. Push carzola who is miles better that ozil (on the left) to the bench because you’ve run out of positions to play them in. what happens when Theo is back? my bet is the easiest option Sanchez… Read more »


I think our best line up with theo comeing back is :

diaby if fit(arteta-flamini)

Watching arteta and flamini in our new season is making me sure that diaby if fit would do a better job then them at least he is tall strong and has physical aspect of his game



Tibetan Gooner

Things are seriously bad at arsenal and it’s time to call some eles or how long and haven’t we watched and waited enough?…I only wish to see better arsenal and for better results only.


Well face it: ManU don’t have more points than us.
Still time to correct this. But agreed, there is a dubious tactical organisation, if any.


The team looked completely unfit. That draw against City was certainly damaging and playing Dortmund just after that was never going to be easy. We also had Arteta and Gibbs coming back from injury and Bellerin making his debut. I would have started Santi and the Ox but I suppose Arsène wanted them to give us an extra burst in the last 30mn. He just didn’t expect our team to concede twice during the game. Our balance seems off this season, we concede a lot and our defense is too often exposed. Last year, it worked well with a good… Read more »


I don’t know if the draw from city was damaging because with what did I get from players interviews after the game they all were happy and talked that’s is great result and in their vocie felt like they won the game, and i think that is the problem we have a team capable of wining city at home like we did in community shiled when there was no pressure to win and if you want to win the title you have to defeat 2 or 3 of the big boy at home and take 2-3 draws away.

Costa Gooner

I’ve been following them for over 40 years including all over Europe. No more will my hard earned money be wasted on utter shit like last night.A lot of the blame has to go to Wenger but the lack of effort by some Ozil,Arteta in particular, is shameful. Will always support AFC but am losing faith in AW.

palace gunner

I must admit gunners seeing ozil play he looked drained arteta was having alot of pace difficulty so he gave some bad challenges now sczny did gd saves but seeing dortmunds goals shows me he is out of goal and made a wrong decision

Man Manny

Many are calling for Ozil to be benched against Villa but I am wondering; should he be judged on his wing play? The young man spoke openly about his desire to play through the middle. So why cant Wenger give him the No. 10 for a while especially now that Wilshere may be out for a while (if speculations are to be believed) and see his input before we think of benching him. I even have a sneaky feeling he may be what Welbeck needs. Just saying.


He needs to either be benched or played as the No. 10 in a 4-2-3-1. If Wenger is committed to 4-1-4-1, which has been a complete disaster for the club so far, he needs to follow through on that formation and drop Ozil. He is not a wide midfielder in a 4-1-4-1 has will never play well in that role. Of course it would make a lot more sense to go back to the 4-2-3-1 the club has played in for most of the last 10 years, and instead of dropping Ozil and start with two of Arteta, Ramsey and… Read more »


One massive plus point from last night : that is a magnificent stadium. Is there a better football stadium in the world? I think not. Admittedly, that was not a plus point for us. But still.


dormund is really likeable team despite our lose say what you say but they are great passionate team with great fans with brilliant atmosphere and they are suffering like we did in last 5 years their best players sold you cannot but not have sympathy for them .like

Rambos mate

Almost every pundit , and fan said that we need a holding midfielder evidence is there look how easy Dortmund got through happened last season against top clubs and last night flattered us , seems are Germans suffering from hangover from World Cup and arteta legs have gone its got to put right let’s start at villa


1 – number of referees who chased back the breakaway for the 1st goal quicker than any of our midfield

bims lay

Football is such a wonderful game……it was 11 of their players against 11 of ours, playing within the same confines of space and time span, yet their 11 men made ours look like…9?…nope!, 8 men? on the pitch?…our “men?” were…out-scored, out-shot,out-paced, out-thought, out-tackled, out-defended, out-attacked, out-foxed, out managed?, out everything!, yet its the same number of men on the pitch….some teams still can put a smile on the face of their fans, by the spirited and valiant way they lose a match, at least by turning up on the pitch and by trying….but this lot has been guilty a lot… Read more »


I said this last year when we lost to them at home. The most important stat in games against dortmund is distance covered: 119.8 km vs 108.4 km. Basically they had one more player on the pitch because they ran their socks of. They do it every time, every game..

Andy Mackenzie

After watching the highlights of all our matches played in the last month, again, I have a come to the conclusion that: I think the basic problem that Arsenal have at the moment, are the Tactics being asked. Arsene wants and demands this, ‘Walk the ball into the back of the net’ style of play. With very little leeway given to the players, I think they are finding playing this way hard to do. Arsene seriously needs to loosen the reins a little and allow our creative and expressive players to do what comes naturally to them, they know when… Read more »


Forget for a minute how inescapably woefully we played, I can’t believe how poor Dortmund were. I mean, honestly, how they fucked that one up so badly that they didn’t win 7 or 8 – 0 is a mystery. How hard can it be to play against a goal keeper and 10 limp noodles?

Red Greens

Thanks for the laugh! Needed that after last night.

fresh prince

What? You want them to have more freedom? Arsene needs to give them less freedom, so they’re not all halfway up the pitch when we lose the ball. I said it before Man Utd haven’t had a defensive mid for years, even Keane was more a box to box, Liverpool don’t really have one. That’s not the problem, the problem is Wenger either doesn’t know how to set them up, hasn’t explained it properly to them or they ignore him.


I’m usually as positive as anyone but I’m really struggling to find many positives to take from that game. They way we played when being 2 – 1 up and again last night just shows either a lack of intelligence or a lack of really wanting to win these games. The boys don’t seem to have the necessary fight to do what it takes to win big games. I don’t know if that comes from the manager and his philosophy of wanting to play everyone off the park. But I do know his successful arsenal teams had that winning mentality… Read more »


Good thing is it is still early in the tournament and we can rectify this performance, still end up top of the group. But we should show a bit more gumption. Otherwise, it really feels as if the critics are correct and we are just making up the numbers. The numbers yesterday were startling. At 30 minute mark, I remember seeing the 15 shots to zero stat. yet no action was taken from the bench to correct our obvious defficiency. For starters, one of two underperforming players in Ramsey and/or Ozil should have been benched. the more nimble footed Santi… Read more »


Would this team have been worse?

Podolski – Santi -Rosicky – Ox
Same defence and goalie, not many options last night apart from Ospina.


Nope, would be the same bc it would still be managed by Wenger. He’s the only constant factor in EVERY embarrassing defeat. If someone would like to debate that, instead of just calling it “negative” or even “untrue” be my guest, please……….


oh id be happy to do that. put it this way …i dont remember you or anyone else complaining when the same tactics were applied by world class vieiera and henry etc. obviously them little shits playing now are too small in the mind to dominate their opponents. if youre telling me that professional footballers need motivation to just do their jobs then i disagree…wenger didnt have to tell vieiera anything or thiery…they felt it on their own to come out and perform at the highest of levels and own the lot in thsi country. its about players character…the coach… Read more »

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