Arsenal 2-2 PSG: By the Numbers

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11 – Premier League and Champions League matches Arsenal have played with Cazorla this season
2.5 – Goals scored per game in those matches with Cazorla
0.9 – Goals conceded per game in those matches with Cazorla
11.5 – Chances created per game with Cazorla
14 – Shots per game with Cazorla
6 – Premier League and Champions League matches Arsenal have played without Cazorla this season
1.81 – Goals scored per game in those matches without Cazorla
1.17 – Goals conceded per game in those matches without Cazorla
8.1 – Chances created per game without Cazorla
9.7 – Shots per game without Cazorla
3 – Number of top teams Arsenal played with Cazorla (Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG)
2 – Number of top teams Arsenal played without Cazorla (Man U, PSG)
1 – Number of times Arsenal played Tottenham without Cazorla
8 – Number of times Arsenal won with Cazorla (w8, d2, l1)
2 – Number of times Arsenal won without Cazorla (w2, d4, l0)

So, this is all factual but it’s also a bit harsh and we certainly need more data. Arsenal played three top teams in six matches without Cazorla. Two of them were after the Nationalism break while Alexis was clearly suffering the effects of his injury. That means 50% of the matches without Cazorla have been against tough opponents.

Arsenal also seem to have a problem figuring out the best midfield partnership. Wenger has tried 5 different midfield duos this season: (4) Coq-Elneny, (3) Coq-Xhaka, (4) Cazorla-Xhaka, (5) Coq-Cazorla, and today with (1) Coq-Ramsey.

The charts below show that by far the best pair is Coq-zorla, second best is Xhak-zorla, and third is Coq-Xhaka. The worst is Coq-Ramsey though I am judging that on one game (tonight’s game). The second worst, however, is Coq-Elneny.

partnerships partnerships-goals

I think this confirms some people’s “eye-test.” Arsenal struggle to get the ball out of midfield with Coquelin and Elneny and they also seem less solid defensively. It’s an odd partnership to say the least and probably explains why Wenger started Ramsey in the middle.

All Action Aaron

2 – Ramsey was 2nd on Arsenal with 2 shots, one fewer than Giroud
5 – Arsenal only took five shots
59 – Ramsey led Arsenal in passes with 59
17 – Ramsey was third on Arsenal with 17 passes in the final third (of 21 attempted)
18 – Alexis completed 18 passes in the final third, of 33 attempted
10 – Of Alexis’ 15 misplaced passes in the final third, 10 were attempts in the 18 yard box, he failed in every attempted entry pass today, all the other five were also forward passes
1 – Of Ramsey’s 4 missed passes in the final third, 1 was an entry pass into the 18 yard box
1 – Alexis was just 1/5 on crosses, his only “successful” cross was retrieved by a fullback after he missed his intended target in the middle
3 – Ramsey made 3/3 dribbles, leading Arsenal
12 – Ramsey led all players with 12 ball recoveries
10 – Alexis was second with 10
6 – Ramsey led all players with 6 tackles, he also led all players with 10 attempted tackles, 7 – Number of Ramsey’s tackles which were deep in his own half (he won 4)
2 – Ramsey led Arsenal with 2 interceptions, tied with Mustafi, Coquelin, and Alexis – this was an unusually low number of interceptions for Arsenal considering the fact that PSG dominated possession
3 – Ramsey led all players with 3 fouls
1 – Özil only had one key pass, off a corner
1 – Number of times Ramsey was punched in the face by Cavani (led all players)
2 – Ramsey truly played both ends of the pitch
270 – Minutes Arsenal have played in the last three matches against Tottenham, Man U, and PSG
24 – Total shots Arsenal have mustered in those three games
4 – Shots on target by Arsenal in those games
4 – Goals by Arsenal in those three games
2 – Own goals scored by Arsenal in those three games
1 – Penalty won by Arsenal in those three games
1 – Penalty conceded by Arsenal in those three games

@7amkickoff

Sources: Opta, my personal database

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Sultan

Wonder what is our gameplan if Giroud is starting, how do we attempt to bring him into the game?

Runnings

Ramsey is no Cozorla…too busy making back and side way passes after stopping the flow while telegraphing his runs making it harder to finish them…..he is just not good at tiki tacki plays

Ciaran

He made some great blocks and tackles last night but I agree he didn’t progress us going forward. Just when we have a chance to counter attack… He turns and passes it backwards and kills any momentum.

occam's hatchet

I miss Santi (and Hector) so much right now. I can’t take another winter with a dysfunctional midfield. Please find an answer, Arsene. We already knew the Ramsey-Coquelin midfield was shite.

andr

Tell me how the previous game against PSG worked out.
I believe Cazorla was playing that game. Also, the games against Southampton and Burnley were also poor even with Cazorla. So its a bit superficial to say that Cazorla is the magic solution to all our issues

occam's hatchet

I didn’t say he was magic (although he kind of is). If you’ll recall, when we played PSG away we were still in the process of working out our attack, Alexis was still working out his striker role, we even managed a put together a few chances and had a couple shots on goal. We have played our best football this season and last with Santi-Coquelin and a mobile CF. Santi may not be perfect, but his qualities are obvious, and we miss them when he’s out. Ramsey-Coquelin cannot control the tempo, cannot transition quickly, cannot retain possession, cannot link… Read more »

Jake

Pro ramsey propaganda. Anyone who actually watched saw his limitations

andr

Like being involved in all our best moves? As somebody on twitter pointed out, Ramsey was having to play both as b2b and as the deep lying playmaker at the same time.

Stringer Bell

It’s a little embarrassing really. Denilson use to have similar stats. You could change your name to ramblog ?

GoonerAbroad

I think a big problem is why try to play the same way regardless of who is playing. Cazorla is unique in our current squad, so it baffles me why we set up as if we’re playing the Coqzorla pivot regardless of who we actually have in midfield

assistantref

Yep. Cazorla’s the only midfielder we have who is two-footed, and the only midfielder we have who can dribble in tight spaces. When he’s in the team he makes creating chances much easier because he is just so good at creating space, both by being able to use either foot and by being able to get away from people coming at him. Without Cazorla in the team we lose that that extra space he can create. But we don’t seem to adjust our team dynamic as a result, which is just weird. It’s obvious that nobody else in the midfield… Read more »

coala

>3 – Number of top teams Arsenal played with Cazorla (Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG)
Chelsea – They were garbage at that time
Liverpool – We lost
PSG – It might be our worst performance in the season so far (yes, worse than the games against united)

I like cazorla as much as the next gooner, but saying our bad performance is because of his absence is way too oversimplifying.

Rich

I’m just baffled as to why we spent £35mill on Xhaka?
It wasn’t a panick buy or opportunistic and seemed very deliberate.
Which is unlike us.
Thought he was good vs Spurs and yet gets dropped for the next two.
Im not saying he’s the answer to the problems we’re facing.
Just seems a bit odd

Jenko's Arsenal footie pyjamas

1 manager that needs to sort out this dross

Heihaci

Is this going to be a season of draws?

Pete

Let’s hope not. It wouldn’t be the first time draws have been our undoing.

Chamakh

Some observations: Jenkinson is not CL level. He limits our attacking and was partly responsible for their second goal. Ramsey is better as a CM than on the wing. His passing was too cautious at times but his pressing and tackling was good. Coquelin limits our build up and passing. When cazorla isn’t on the pitch to provide balance to the coq his weaknesses are exposed. We don’t seem to have another player who really works when paired with him. We aren’t that solid defensively either so I wonder if it would be time to try a combo of Xhaka/Elneny/Ramsey… Read more »

Mootilated

Alexis Sanchez is so prone to making mistakes and misplacing passes. It’s actually ironic when you see him huffing and puffing when a team-mate does the same.

George

He was abysmal today. He really needs to keep thing simple(r), especially when he’s out wide.

And as much as I rate Ramsey, I can’t believe he’s being rushed back in like this when it’s clear he very (and understandably) rusty. I mean, whose cornflakes did Xhaka piss in?

Mootilated

I like Sanchez, I think he’s a very good footballer. Just not very consistent. As for Ramsey, I can start to understand why Arsene Wenger is trying to fit him in the squad; Alex Iwobi is just unreliable and therefore I can see why Ramsey replaced him on the left against United. Yesterday I feel like Ramsey was chosen ahead of Xhaka due to his ‘creativity’ I guess?

gunnerfan ov palace

A draw or win for arsenal fc was needed now they topped the clge a group now let team concentrate on top four in prem well done arsenal fc bellerin has been missed with cog and mustafi kosc gibbs or monreal doing some gd defending at times gd comeback

meh as fuck

wat

Newxieland

5 midfield players to fill 2 spots but only 1 combination works..

Please sort it out Arsene.

Thanks

Stillmatic

It’s funny how we all believed Xhaka was bought to pair with Ramsey as an improved ramsteta partnership as they seemed to work so well in paper, yet it’s the one partnership Wenger seems keen NOT pair for whatever reason.

I was convinced he would start with Ramsey Xhaka yesterday.

Chamakh

Exactly. Why not try Xhaka/Ramsey or Xhaka/Elneny as we are playing pretty sh*te atm

Arky

We thought Xhaka was to partner Ramsey? There I was thinking he was there so we didn’t have to play Ramsey at CM ever again, to replace Cazorla either in the short or long term and/or play alongside him.

I’m surprised the numbers in this article didn’t add last season’s with Cazorla/without Cazorla numbers which are even more telling.

Chamakh

I think there is too much discussion about Cazorla. He is injured and there is nothing we can do about that, doesn’t matter what percentages we have with or without him.

The bigger issue is that Coq is ineffective without cazorla and we still keep playing him in every match. Time to set up a more ball-playing midfield with Coq on the bench.

Bravefart

We see the match pitch but not the training pitch. Presumably Arsene has not seen them click yet. Clearly the reluctance to introduce Xhaka yet must have a basis.

loose_cannon

I think Wenger thinks Xhaka is off the pace and recalling his NLD performance and tbh I’d be inclined to agree. Saying that I’d like to see him get a chance and a Wilshere-less Bournemouth at home would be a good opportunity to see Ramsey and Xhaka in the middle

Alex

Sorry, but stats don’t always tell the truth. I like the way you make down Özil once again ! Ramsey = NO CHANCE CREATED ! But do you mean, Özil must be benched for Ramsey? Yes, we saw what it was gaist Liverpool. What is missing is a real n°8-n°10 combo. Cazorla was playing most with Mesut and we know the results we had. Check the stats on the official site: Cazorla Özil was always our most efficient pair exanching the most passes. Now Ramsey prefers passing to the defenders and ignore Özil. You can check individual stats, but it… Read more »

Jack

Regarding the article picture, how hilarious was Ramsey’s reaction to getting bitch-slapped on the neck by Cavani!?

Hooks

You’re happy that one of our own players got hit in the face/neck and find it funny? Okay.

If that’s a fan…

Crash Fistfight

He got hit (/pushed) in the chest and acted like he had just been chinned. I found it pathetic – we’d be moaning if an opposition player had done the same. Not having a go at Ramsey – it’s just embarrassing that footballers act this way.

Colfromdeal

Think it was humour.

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

OK, expect playing the first leg home I think this year CL finishing second is better to draw a lesser team then 1st, depending of real.m which I think they will finis second. As second we could draw : Barcelona, Juventus, Monaco, Dortmund, Atletico M, Napoli Finishing 1st we could draw, Bayern, Real.m, B,leverkusen, Benfica, Sevilla, Porto. And why would Real wants to finihs first if they do the could draw : Arsenal, Bayern, City, Benfica,Porto, B leverkusen Finishing second the could draw : PSG , Juventus, Napoli or Benfica, Moncao, Licester So tell me which one is better, it”s… Read more »

AKB(Not the one your thinking of)

Why would Real be concerned about who they play??they are the defending champions and should have enough to beat most of the mentioned teams…..or that’s what I would say if was a Real fan.

As for our team, I think finishing either first or second doesn’t matter as there are good teams on either side of the draw. But hey, if u wanna win the thing, you perform at the best level irrespective of the opposition. Based on last night, we might need to step up our game a bit….

Another yank

Is Xhaka’s adaptation period almost over? The midfield is just at sea lately. Plenty of competency just no fluidity. Cazorla is excellent at collecting and playing out of tight spaces, especially in deep positions when he receives from the center backs, we really lack a second option(so far because of the midfield permutations) to comfortably move from our third to the attacking third, a base to ping possession off or settle the game down/pick up the tempo. Jack is probably our best (if we could find Ramsey from 2013/4) at moving between the lines with the ball, but he’s in… Read more »

loose_cannon

Glad the stats back up what I saw with my eyes, a good performance from Ramsey if not vintage. Also interesting how we finished the game 4-4-2, Walcott and Ozil wide with Giroud and Sanchez up top. Henry was hoping we’d switch to that this season and the change in shape could be the answer to our recent struggles. Maybe.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Isn’t Ozils pass in the buildup to the penalty a key pass? Best moment of the game in my opinion

SaintSanti

Looking on the bright side: now we can become second and avoid drawing Bayern Munich. Wenger is a Genius.

Only glitch is now we’ll probably draw Barcelona.