Saturday, September 30, 2023

Southampton 0-2 Arsenal: By the Numbers

1 – Away games Arsenal have won against top 10 opponents this season (Southampton)
0.5 – Points per game average in away games against top 10 opponents by Arsenal this season
0.5 – Points per game average in away games against top 10 opponents by Sunderland this season
0.75 – Points per game average in away games against top 10 opponents by Tottenham this season

41 – Number of goals Arsenal have scored in the second half of matches this season (leads the League)
18 – Number of goals Arsenal have scored in the last 15 minutes of matches this season (second in the League behind Everton, who have 22)
11 – Number of goals Chelsea have scored in the first 15 minutes of matches this season (Leads the League)
6 – Number of goals Arsenal have scored in the first 15 minutes of matches this season (9th in the League)
37 – Number of goals Liverpool have scored in the first half of games this season (Leads the League, Chelsea are second with 33, Tottenham 3rd with 28)
23 – Goals Arsenal have scored in the first half of games this season (5 more than they have scored in the final 15 minutes)
32 – Saves that Cech has had to make in the last 15 minutes of matches this season (2nd worst behind Sunderland’s 42)
9 – Saves that Man City keepers have had to make in the final 15 minutes of matches this season (leads the League)
6 – Goals conceded by Cech in the final 15 minutes of matches this season (3rd best in the League behind both Spurs and Chelsea who have conceded just 4 goals off 18 shots on target and 21 shots on target respectively… and this next bit is really crazy)
25 – Saves Cech has made inside the 18 yard box in the final 15 minutes of games this season (2nd most behind Sunderland, again)
2 – Things Arsenal have in common with Sunderland – they can’t win in away matches against top 10 teams and they concede a shedload of shots on target in the final 15 minutes of matches. The main difference is that Sunderland have conceded 18 goals in those final 15 minutes. I don’t know how many points “Cech has earned Arsenal” with these saves. I just found this stat today.

Follow up on Alexis and his turnovers

I wrote a piece about Alexis’ turnovers over on 7amkickoff this morning and I wanted to follow that piece up with a little more data here.

Alexis had 7 turnovers today, and here I’m using just dispossessed and bad touch not bad passes or the number of times he failed a dribble, and this follows a trend I’ve noticed with him lately. Alexis’ turnover numbers have increased almost directly in relation to Arsenal’s end of season negative spiral.

Here, I created a chart that tracks his 3-match moving average over the season. Arsenal are in blue and Alexis red:

After the Swansea match Alexis’ turnovers go in clear waves. The numbers aren’t matched to the matches, the match names are just there for reference, this is a moving average. The trend for Arsenal since switching to the 352 is that turnovers are down for the club but for Alexis his end of season run-in has been clearly troubled.

The natural inclination is to say that the turnovers could be causing the losses but the opposite could be true, the losses could be causing the turnovers. Alexis could be reacting to negative scorelines by trying to do too much and thus forcing turnovers. It could also be a bit of both. Either way, there is a direct correlation between an increase in Alexis’ turnover numbers and Arsenal’s end of season poor run.

He had another 7 turnovers today but then he also went 8/10 dribbles, scored the game-winning goal and passed the ball to Ramsey for the (pre-)assist on the second goal. It’s also true that in the 23 matches of 2017 Alexis has scored or assisted 16 goals in 14 matches.

His goal scoring has dried up a bit and he has only scored 4 goals in the last 10 matches though that’s still a decent return since a goal every other match considered good for a striker. The problem is that by his own high standards this is a huge drought. He has scored or assisted 39 goals in 47 appearances for Arsenal this season. So, 4 in 10 explains why people are grumbling so much about his turnovers.

Match Stats

Unusual game today. Arsenal completed more passes, which is normal, but they also tackled more than Southampton 26-19 and forced more turnovers 26-19. Those tackle and pressure stats are unusual. I think I’ve only seen Arsenal force the opponent to make more turnovers than them a handful of times across all matches this season.

Mustafi led Arsenal with 5/5 tackles, Monreal was 4/4, and Xhaka was 3/3. Ramsey was 1/4, Holding 1/3, and Gibbs 0/2. Ozil had a comically bad tackle and went 1/2 on the day. The fact that Ozil was out there tackling makes me wonder if Wenger didn’t ask them to tackle more on the day.

Xhaka led all players with 71 passes and also led all players with 28 forward passes in the opposition final third. Alexis and Ozil were 2nd best with 27.

Ozil had a crazy 6 key passes on the day and got his reward with his first assist in 8 matches. Ramsey also got an assist but he’s in one of his now customary goals droughts. Ramsey last scored against Lincoln in the FA Cup and has just 2 goals on 57 shots for Arsenal this season. He’s one of Arsenal’s most profligate shooters, getting just 12 shots on target from his 57 attempts. This explains why he doesn’t score more.

Giroud scored his 6th substitute goal of the season and that was also his 25th Premier League headed goal. It’s great for Arsenal to have a player who can come on late and add a different dimension to Arsenal’s attack (and defense!).


Sources:, Whoscored, my personal database and the 442 Stats Zone app


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As usual we as fans of one of the world’s richest clubs are just ok with another unconvincing win against a poor side, and will all be happy with a possible top 4 place. We are also to blame if we get more of the same mediocrity next season with Wenger..


We’re so bad in the first half of games it’s almost amazing. It’s approaching legendary status.


Thanks for posting about the main takeaways I noticed from this match. -I was extremely impressed with our tackling, especially slide tackling in an aggressive manner. It gave me glimpses of the match against Man City in the FA Cup semi-final. Mustafi and Monreal were excellent all evening at this. -Alexis turned the ball over an insane number of times, especially with a bad touch or bad pass. How many times did he, in total, lose possession? -Xhaka was an excellent distributor of the ball. What was his pass accuracy (%)? -Also, you can see that Ramsey is slowly working… Read more »


Alexis’ turnover numbers are right there in the article. It’s in the section helpfully labelled “Follow up on Alexis and his turnovers”. It’s a good article, you should read it!


It also says the numbers Do Not include bad passes and failed dribbles. It IS a good article. You should read it more carefully before making a crack like that!


You’re absolutely correct. Our best attacking player making a bad pass or failing to dribble is still not something to obsess over. Let’s celebrate the fact that Alexis just became the first Arsenal player to hit 20 league goals since Van Persie. That goal which kept the pressure on our rivals was his 14th away from home, a league high total. And he’s started 33 out of 35 Premier League games (the most after Nacho who’s started 32). If our squad was strong enough to rest him once in a while maybe he’d tidy up the messier aspects of his… Read more »


Nobody likes a dry lunch

a different George

I thought another crucial takeaway was Ozil’s six “key passes,” a remarkable number. Without taking anything away from Alexis’ brilliant goal, notice how well defended he was, running between two closely marking defenders, when Ozil squeezed the pass perfectly between them.


Consistently excellent analysis.

The pleasure I felt watching Alexis score that beauty was doubled knowing how much it pissed off his haters. 20 league goals while being shunted from striker to left-wing is a remarkable feat.

Cliff Bastin

6 – Manure’s league position before their 25 game unbeaten run
6 – Manure’s league position after their 25 game unbeaten run was ended by us

Q Mantis

Slow or poor starts seem to have been with us from the start of the season and it’s interesting that we allow some shots on goal near the end of games. Poor starts and chances given away at the end of games will always come back to slap you in the face. I guess the 3 at the back is trying to address this by giving us a platform to build on with no more cheep/easy goals given away. I wonder if this is the way forward next season, if so then quite a few current players will not fit… Read more »

Ponsonby Gooner

Could conceding so many shots towards the end of games be related to fitness? There were some stats floating round a few weeks back about how we’d run a lot less than the opponents that had beaten us recently

My wig smells cheesy

Surely it’s because we are chasing goals at the end of games so often, because we generally put ourselves in the shit


I’d like to compare Ramsey’s shots vs goals ratio with Gabriel Jesus.


It would be very interesting to look at sanchez’s stats (bad touch vs failed dribble vs failed pass) in arsenal games this season. But it doesn’t matter much if he had already made up his mind to leave. Then its the job of his new employer!!!


So Wenger always says Rambo has it all in his locker. I agree, but I think he leaves all of his skills in his locker and forgets to get them out for the games. Per above numbers, he leaves his shooting boots in his locker.


I actually think his willingness to take a few shots is the positive he brings to the team. Our players are all so shy of shooting. If he keeps shooting they’ll start going in eventually.

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