Özil’s Humble Nine
Mesut Özil created two goals for Arsenal today taking his assists total on the season to NINE. FRICKING NINE. To put that in context, Mesut Özil now has as many assists as Manchester United… the entire football club. Half the teams in the League have less than 10 assists, actually.
Nine assists leads all players in Europe’s five top leagues and matches the blistering start (nine assists in 11 matches) to a season that Cesc Fabregas enjoyed last year. For those wondering, Özil’s assists have gone to: Giroud (4), Alexis (3), Walcott, and Campbell. All but one of Özil’s assists have come from open play, that corner today was his first set piece assist of the season.
I don’t have to tell you that the assists record for a season is 20. Nor that record is held by Thierry Henry. Özil has 27 games left to get the 12 assists needed to break that record. Just to show you how difficult that will be: even if he plays in all 27 of the remaining matches, he still needs to average 0.444 assists per90 to get to 21.
That’s not impossible for the German genius. At Real Madrid, with plenty of players up front who looked to score, he averaged almost 0.6 assists per90. He’s in a similar situation at Arsenal, who have a plethora of attacking players.
Özil created 5 shots today taking his total on the season to 47. That means Özil is creating chances at a peerless rate of 4.7 per game. Arsenal have created 169 chances this season (passes for shots) which means that Özil has created 28% of Arsenal’s chances.
But look again at that chart above. Özil is playing out of his mind at the moment. If he keeps up his current pace he will surpass his total key passes for all of last season before Christmas.
As I mentioned last week, Cazorla is Arsenal’s second most prolific shot creator with 34. Combining Özil and Caz together, they have created 81 of Arsenal’s 169 chances. That’s 48%! It’s the Premier League’s deadliest duo.
Petr Cech now has 6 clean sheets in the League this season and that puts him well past David James’ record of 170 all time with 172. Of course, Cech’s record is significantly better than James’ because Cech’s 172 clean sheets were in 343 matches compared to James’ 170/572.
*UPDATE: A lot of places are reporting the 172 number for Cech’s clean sheets, including the BBC. But the Boffins at Opta assure me that Cech is actually on 168 and James is on 169. What’s the discrepancy? Subs. It appears there is more than one way to count clean sheets. Opta only count the clean sheet if the keeper plays all 90 minutes of the game. Other places apparently count a cleaan sheet if the keeper comes on or off and doesn’t let in a goal. Cech only counts full 90s so I guess we will too. That means Cech is one clean sheet shy of King James.*
Thanks to some heroics by Bellerin and a timely offside call, Cech didn’t have to make any big chance saves or shot in prime saves today.
In fact, keeper stats suck.
How bad was that first half?
Pretty bad. Let’s not do that again.
Sources: 442 StatsZone app, WhoScored.com, statto.com, transfermarkt.com, my personal database