Thursday, December 7, 2023

Arsenal 2-1 Everton: By the Numbers

Bayern Hangover

Despite the big game played in mid week, Arsenal continued their domination of the box with another commanding performance against Everton. Here’s the box score:

box-scoreIf you need a refresher on the terms SiP and Big Chances read my article “Cech Mate: by the numbers”.

As you can see Arsenal dominated Everton in every shooting and scoring category. The one quibble I might have is with Opta’s Big Chances data. I thought Cech’s save off the Deulofeu shot toward the end was a big chance but I guess it wasn’t as clear cut a scoring opportunity as I thought at first glance. It’s not a major quibble though because I don’t know if you reasonably expect a player to score in those situations against a competent keeper.

With a match in hand the Gunners are now top of the League in Shots in Prime with 63 and with 32 Big Chances created. And with the big chance shutout today they are best in the League in terms of limiting those chances to just 10 allowed and the best defense in the league in terms of allowing the opposition shots in prime with just 19. This goes hand-in-hand with Arsenal’s best in the League goals allowed numbers which added one today off a lucky strike by Barkley.

Cech has been a major, and I mean major, reason why Arsenal are playing so well in this first part of the season. He tops all the ‘keepers in the league in terms of BC save % with 75% and in SiP saves % with 78%.

The one place Arsenal are struggling a bit is in converting shots inside the box but not in prime positions. They are currently just 1/71 which is just 1.4%. To put that in perspective, that is where we normally see Arsenal score over 10% of their shots. This conversion alone accounts for the reason why Arsenal aren’t matching their expected goal output.

One last bit here: Leicester scored again today and with that goal (a big chance scored in a prime position) took their season tally to 10 big chances scored and 14 shots in prime scored (don’t add them together, there are overlaps).  Leicester also dominate teams by not taking silly shots from outside the box and instead focusing their shooting on close range shots, taking 62% of their shots inside the 18 yard box.

But defensively they are atrocious and they have allowed more shots in prime than they have created (42-49) and have allowed almost as many goals off those shots as they have scored (12 allowed, 14 scored).

Leicester are a team who like to walk the ball into the net, who are known for a wide open style of play, but who are easily broken at the back. Leicester are playing football the Arsenal way. Well, I mean the way that Arsenal are portrayed by the media and some sections of fans.

In reality, though, they have conceded 17 to their 20 goals scored. Only one Arsenal side under Arsene Wenger had a record that bad for the first 10 games of the season and that was the team he cobbled together after Nasri and Cesc left.

Goals from headers

Arsenal scored two headed goals today and that makes 4 total on the season in League play with 2 in Champions League play. The four headed goals in League play is just one fewer than the three “best headed goals teams” in the League; Leicester, Southampton, and Newcastle.

Fans love corners and free kicks because they build suspense and we love a good bullet header goal. Who could forget Sanga’s emphatic blast to get Arsenal back into the North London Derby? But I’m not sure how important headed goals are to winning the League. They certainly help in single match situations, Arsenal wouldn’t have won with two of them today, but over the course of the season I wonder how statistically important they are?

If I was an enterprising young fella, who needed a math project, I might look to see if there is a relationship between on-field success and headed goals, headed shots, and goals from corners. All the data is available in under the details tab.

Having looked at the stats for some time and seeing which teams tend to lead the League in these types of goals my gut tells me that there’s an inverse relationship. But, my gut flunked math.

Incidentally, the last time Kozzer scored was against Leicester in February. Another 2-1 win over a scrappy team in blue. But his last headed goal was against Stoke at Arsenal in January of 2015.

Ox v. Rambo

There’s a significant drop off in total passes made when Ox comes on for Ramsey and a drop in passes in the opposition final third. This is because Ox is much more direct and less likely to get himself involved in buildup play. For example, today against Everton, the Ox only went 8/12 in the attacking third whereas against Watford, Ramsey went 21/26.

Ox is also much more likely to take on the opposition with a direct dribble, deep in the opposition box. Again, the Watford match is a good example: Ramsey tried 3 dribbles (0 successful) with 2 of them in his defensive half and against Everton, Ox was 4/8, all of them in the Everton half and 5 of them (2 successful) in the Everton final third.

You can see these numbers in the averages as well. Ramsey averages 63 passes per90 and Ox averages just 44: Ox leads Arsenal with 7.3 dribbles attempted per90 while Aaron Ramsey is far below him with 1.8.

The other thing Ox does differently is cross the ball. Ramsey tends to try to be on the end of crosses whereas Ox is more of a supplier. Ox attempts exactly twice as many crosses per90 than Aaron, 2.8 to 1.4. Aaron’s crosses tend to be a bit better quality, however, as both players find a teammate about once every other match (0.5 per90).

I’m not saying one is better than the other. I’m saying they are different and it’s something to look for in the upcoming weeks.


Sources:, 442 StatsZone, ESPN, and my personal databases


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Is there any information on how many aerial duels Giroud won and how many Lukaku lost? Thanks


Lukaku 3/6
Giroud 3/5

Koscielny 2/6
Gabriel 2/2
Giroud 1/1

Everton’s not a big aerial duel team


I’d love to see that stat actually. I may be wrong, but I don’t remember seeing him (Giroud) fluff any big passes from the keeper !

eboue's cleft

18800000 the number of times I screamed at my TV today and one more thing FUCK OFF maureenho. I know you cunts ll love that

Tom Thumb

Great point about ox v ramsey,having different options with different playing styles is a huge advantage to have,same goes for Ollie v Theo,one has pace the other has great strength and hold up play,this is the most balanced and also the strongest squad we’ve had in over 10 years,onwards and upwards

Consice Pete

Fine, Ox dribbles more. One missed pass prooved quite costly. Forcing things too much.

Clock-End Mike

Interesting comparison between Ramsey and the Ox. The figures make the point very clearly.

Danger Mouse

We should remember that its not that long ago that Ramsey’s performances used to get the same poor reviews as Ox’s are getting now. Wenger stuck by Ramsey and nurtured the player and helped him become something special. We fans need to show some patience with the lad. It’ll click for him soon enough.


The longer he keeps the ball the more likely nothing will come of it have seen it too many times it’s like a mind-fuck for me.

And when asked to just pass the ball around Ox will somehow mess still mess that up.

He’s sticking out like a sore thumb atm for all the wrong reasons. He needs a change in fortune asap.


Just imagine if Ox’s footballing quality was as good as his banter…


Arsenal fans… always looking for a scapegoat, even when things are going well. It’s the Ox and Gibbs who seem to get it at the moment. Ramsey had it. The had it. Jack had it. Really annoys me. Just stop looking for shit to throw at him. It’s the ox’s fault that barkeley’s weak shot deflected of gab into the net? Bitch, please.


He isn’t up to scratch. It has to be said.


Or maybe his form has dipped and he needs some patience and support to get it back?

Danger Mouse

The same was said about Ramsey.


And probably by the same people…


And while you maybe right about Arsenal fans the same might be said about the Arsenal players. That when one picks up form one other in the group is likely to lose his.

Weird yes, but hasn’t the same been happening with injuries?

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Would be interesting to compare chances created and converted too. I’m personally frustrated with the Ox recently so I may be biased, but I think Rambo is a mile ahead of him.


I will have to look at that in more depth


Great post as always, Tim. Just one question: doesn’t a Big Chance Saved for Arsenal mean at least 1 Big Chance for Everton?


Nice piece, Tim. Like your data on the Ox. Its different than all the stuff about him trying to prove himself, being young, inexperienced, unconfident, etc. On set pieces, or, as I like to think of them, Big Sam Soccer, here are a few non-statistical observations. First, none of them ever qualify as Big Chances or Shots in Prime, right? Although it is possible that they are a takeaway from a blocked/intercepted, saved BC or SiP. I can’t see how they would ever be the source of league leadership. Then again, if one is playing in a European League where… Read more »


Wenger mentioned this in his press conference today, I believe, regarding that “to fight at the top we know we need some goals from set-pieces, between eight and twelve.” Assuming that he is not just making this up (which would be bizarre), that would suggest that there is some relationship between at least goals from corners/setplays and success. Also unclear if he’s counting penalties, but I would tend to assume not. In any case, it seems likely to me, without having done more than a cursory analysis, that headed goals/shots would not have a relationship necessarily to success, although obviously… Read more »

The 49ners

100000000 number of times I refreshed my browser to know what’s happening… couldn’t see the match.. #COYG


Honestly thought Hollywood A-lister: Gerard Deulfleou (best actor in a mini-series) would sit in the directors box and not join play.


Let us be honest – he was a threat throughout and if you take away the Arsenal bias, half the time he WAS fouled. I will take him any day to Ox – at least, he has basic passing mastered.

Deulofeu deserves a bigger team -another team would have made better use of him for sure


1 – Mirallas. Once a cunt always a cunt.

Quickly shoulder charged Gabriel soon as he came on [ref missed it] then ofcourse clattered ever so intentionally into Gibbs.

Would like to smash his face.


loved the way Gabriel dismissively looked back to see who ran into him and filed it under “annihilate later” . He’s well on his way to legend status for me.


Monreal aswell.I love the way he instinctively tells divers to fuck off. I can recall Di Maria last season and ofcourse there are many more.
Nobody messes with Nacho.

Man Manny

How many points has Arsenal?
I can’t tell right now
But there is an easy way to know
Simply multiply Chelsea’s by 2
And you’ll find out
That’s by the numbers.


Just a thought. Every now and then I worry about life after Santi and wonder who we could replace him with when or if he decides to move. I reckon Isco would be a good replacement, was a star in the same malaga team as Santi and with Rodriguez at Real Isco isn’t really a guaranteed starter. Wenger usually knows what to do but I can’t say I’m at ease with a Santi-less midfield.


We have another two years to work it out.

It’d be nice if Wilshere could take over that spot. He does have some similar attributes. But that may be a pipe dream given his injury record – at best he could be there half the time and someone else fills in the other half.


Ramsey? Wilshere?


Isco would be a dream signing, for sure.

Goone's Farm

Giroud looks like a fearsome thick-mustached overweight french butcherin that picture. A handsome one, even!

Goone's Farm

+ butcher in that picture.


Giroud looks like he’s moving in for the kill…

Gutbukket Deffrolla

Mimic MY goal would you? I’ll teach you, you cheeky defender you.

occam's hatchet

Here’s an interesting number: 2.71 – Mesut Özil’s games/assists ratio, the best in Premier League history.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

Nicking a living, assist by assist.

Diaby's Glassware

Ozil could find Moureen’s replacement. I mean Giroud just had to jump…and celebrate. It was that good

Diaby's Glassware

I think Chambo’s jinxed. He loses ossession, we concede..Lost to Barkley in the Asia trophy too and they got a goal. God get his form back please


I think Chambo needs to focus on what he’s doing, rather than what impression he’s making.


Great column Tim. I think some of you guys are too harsh on the ox, he’s relatively young and needs a run of games to really come into his own. But his humble, hard working, willing to learn and has all the attributes to be top class. Some times we overlook mistakes of certain players bcos of their usually high standards. Example; alexis not content with giving the ball away in his own half multiple times against bayern, today decided it would be cool to give it away even closer to our box. Alexis is my favourite gooner right now… Read more »


Alexis was awful today but still like Theo, you give him a sniff of a chance and he will usually bury it. Apart from all the other things Theo doesn’t do, of course.

Oh, and is it all that Madrid rumours messing with his head?


The Madrid rumours that he came out and dismissed completely?


Yep, he did so in public, as you would expect. I mean, does anyone expect him to say otherwise?

Rip Van's Winkel

My hands are sore from ‘hi-fiving’ over the last five games.


This is the best football column. Please keep doing it.


Any reason why it’s showing 1 big chance saved and 0 big chances for Everton?

Was that the Lukaku moment?



Cool article as usual but I don’t quite understand the ‘Big chances saved’ column: how can Arsenal have an output of 1 if Everton had 0 ‘Big chances’?

Anonymous Kumquat

Interesting what you say about Ox being more of a provider than Ramsey. Wonder how much who plays on the right influences whether Giroud or Walcott starts up front. Good to have options though.


Ox needs to get a good run of games to come good. I think he deserves that before people start slating him.
Actually Alexis had two consecutive bad games now, apart from his usual outstanding hardwork ofcourse. If I dont know better, I would say he is trying to become the next Messi.
Although bit surprised Arsene played him, he must be in the red zone or has he transcended that barrier.


Tom Stillman mentioned that Sanchez plays a lot better with Walcott up top than Giroud. I’d go even further to say he played better with Welbeck up top too…

Gutbukket Deffrolla

I’d go a step further and say he plays a lot better when he’s not utterly knackered through having no break in the last 473 years.


Nice piece. Just a question on the box score you posted up there: if Cech (Arsenal) had saved a big chance, then how come Everton did not create a big chance?

Good win. Now the focus shifts to Sheffield Wednesday.

Die Hard Gooner

Fans are being harsh on the Ox is an understatement. The kid is just doing too much trying to impress. but I still believe he and Wilshere will become top players. Remmember last seasons man city away game? or the bayern away game the season before? that is how much of a shift he puts in. but nothing is going for him at the moment. but he just has to play himself back to form. I saw players give the ball away in more dangerous positions than that he gave away. but he was unlucky. he and walcott need to… Read more »


The only problem is his consistency has been in the toilet since he arrived and his best hasnt come close enough to emulating someone like sanchez efficiency due to injuries, lack of involvement. Statistically hes average and thats a worry but given he can stay injury free a run in the side would hopefully see him blossom into the attacking midfielder his artributes suggest he can become.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

You could see from the signals he was giving as he came on that Flamini was told to get up front and presumably terrorise Everton in their own area. Wenger has brought him on to play him this way before. If Offence is the best Defence then having Flamini chasing the opposition around their own area and taking a few opportunistic pot shots (and he has scored a couple this season already) is a good way to keep the buggers occupied with something other than trying to attack us.

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