Thursday, August 18, 2022

Arsenal 2-0 BHA: by the numbers

2.93 – Expected goals for Arsenal
3 – Big chances created by Arsenal
1 – Big chance created by Alexis (backheel, goal, for Iwobi)
1 – Big chance created by Iwobi (foe Alexis, miss)
1 – Big chance created by Kolasinac (for Ramsey, saved)
25 – Shots by Arsenal
18 – Key passes by Arsenal
13.4 – Key passes per game average by Arsenal (4th best in the Premier League)
1660 – Days since Nacho Monreal last scored in the Premier League (away to Swansea, 16 March 2013)
1 – Intrepid reporter who was at the Swansea game and happened to be filming

105 – Passes attempted by Monreal (led all players)
102 – Successful passes by Monreal (led all players, 97% passing)
268 – Successful passes by all of Brighton and Hove Albion
3 – Bad passes by Monreal (of 105)
4 – Bad passes by Lacazette (of 19)
4 – Bad passes by Iwobi (of 42)
4 – Bad passes by Kolasinac (of 38)
5 – Bad passes by Mustafi (of 92)
10 – Bad passes by Bellerin (of 47)
10 – Bad passes by Ramsey (of 75)
11 – Bad passes by Holding (of 99)
12 – Bad passes by Alexis (of 51)
14 – Bad passes by Xhaka (of 94)
69 – Forward passes by Monreal
80 – Forward passes by Mustafi (this is really great considering he only fluffed 5 of them – also notice that 80/92 passes were forward while 69 of Monreal’s 105 passes were forward – if you needed evidence that Mustafi’s job in the back three is to start the Arsenal attack, you just got it.)
6 – Key passes by Alexis (which includes 1 big chance)
3 – Key passes by Kolasinac (which includes that big chance)
2 – Key passes by Iwobi (which includes a big chance)
2 – Key passes by Monreal
1 – Key pass by Xhaka
2 – Successful tackles by Xhaka, Kola, Ramsey, Sanchez, Mustafi, and Bellerin
7 – Times Alexis lost possession (led all players)
6 – Times Ramsey lost possession
5 – Times that Iwobi and Lacazette lost possession (each)
4 – Successful dribbles by Alexis (of 5, led all players)

0.55 – Expected goals by BHA
1 – Shot on target by BHA (from 20 yards)
0 – Big chances created
128 – Passes in the Arsenal final third
10 – Passes in the Arsenal box
26 – Arsenal passes in the BHA box
18 – Crosses attempted by BHA (9 on each side)
12 – Crosses attempted by Arsenal (11 on the Bellerin side, 1 on the Kolasinac side)
5 – Number of those crosses attempted by Arsenal on the Bellerin side which were Xhaka corner kicks
3 – Number of his crosses that were accurate (well, they hit an Arsenal player)

5 – Accurate long balls by Alexis (of 6 attempted, led all players)
1 – Accurate throughball by Alexis (led all players)
17 – Number of time Shkodran Mustafi yelled “GUYS COME ON GUYS” when Arsenal were doing the handbrake thing that they love to do!

Alexis was the MoTM for me today, his dribbles, chances created, and big chance backheel set him apart from all the others but special mention to Monreal who had a whale of a game from the center back position. Someone needs to have a word with Xhaka. We can’t have a CM who can’t tackle, doesn’t really play defense, and is sloppy with the ball.

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Sources:, my personal database


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As I was watching the game, I had the thought, “Is Alexis purposely freezing out Kolasinac?” Not sure if he was or not, but the lack of crosses from that side seems to support what I observed. Strange because he always seemed to dovetail pretty nicely with Monreal’s runs from LB.


Alexis is just greedy, he was doing his me, me, me thing most of the game. He gets lots of praise when he does something that comes off, the backheel was clever play, but there were plenty of bad decisions before that. He’s a mixed bag most of the time, not as good as pundits would have us believe, but still capable of a magic moment to change the game.


Not as good as the numbers would make you believe also? Odd comment to an article showing a breakdown of how the players played showing he had a very good game.


Numbers aren’t everything, they tell you that he had successful dribbles but they don’t tell you they were to nowhere, or that a teammate was ignored when a better pass was available.His decision making, especially in the first half was poor, so yes, not as good as numbers suggest.


What most turn overs of possession??


The Bosnian Beast just wasn’t getting the ball at all and, as you sussed, that was largely down to Alexis always turning inside when he got the ball. Sead started to play inside of him second half just to try and get involved.


Mustafi looking better than expected whilst Xhaka looking dodgy. The Coq can pass as well and give more defensive solidity.

Thanks for this analysis always interesting.


Mustafi accepting responsibility for being the governor at the back in Kos’ absence. Kept his (usually wasteful) long balls to a minimum.

Xhaka has forgotten how to pass and this should create a space for Jack to get into the team soon.


It was always evident that Ramsey-Xhaka will never work, Xhaka can only play with a proper CDM, meaning the best he has at Arsenal is Elneny. Personally I think Elneny is unbelievably underrated. He has so much potential but sometimes he can be a bit lazy to go to be physical. I think Wenger should should develop Elneny and make him a starter. Xhaka shouldn’t be a starter, especially against sides that press. I think the best mid duo for pressing sides are either Iwobi-Elneny with Wilshere playing 10


Wenger in thrme numbers by saying we are not ruthless enough 🙁


Where do you get the xG from? Is that your personal database or


21 – Wengers anniversary.

Faisal Narrage

Growing concerned by Xhaka.
At the beginning my thinking was to build the midfield around him, but so far this season, he’s proving to be the weakest link of our midfield/whole team so far.

Not been great on the ball
Can’t dribble
Can’t defend
Gives the ball away endlessly
Not mobile

I’m not quite sure what his justification is, which is scary as I was expecting this season to be the big breakthrough for him.

Michael Bolton Wanderers

And he’s slow in everything he does, from running to passing. Quite worrying


He has looked to play it safe ever since the Liverpool game and doesnt ask for the ball even half as much, needs to be dropped to regain some composure.


Get Jack back!


Interested to see a game where Elneny and Ramsey start together. Unpopular combo but worth a try. It wont happen unless Ramsey is chosen to play a non-premier league game. And with his and Xhaka’s fitness record that might be never.

Carlos _ Santana

We’ve made good progress since pool.. Really glad we’ve got the depth in the squad to balance the league and europa.. I liked how quick iwobis feet were.. I think we would have seen Jack had we had more goals.. But that handbrake thing needs a looking at Haha


If only Xhaka could at least pick out the Lacazette runs from deep when we are missing Özil. Long balls are supposed to be his speciality.

Gudang Bedil

Exactly, I’m surprised we don’t see enough of his long balls. It’s what his main strength afterall.

Clive St Helmet

I’m not certain he’s suited to a system without wide forwards, much like Theo isn’t. Xhaka wants to exploit the gaps behind the last man out wide with his long passing, but playing 3-4-2-1 doesn’t really expose these gaps. I think a return to 4-2-3-1 would help him but doesn’t seem likely at the moment.

Is the time right to see Wilshere in the midfield two with Ramsey?


I’m no tactician nor done any professional coaching, but can’t the 2 AMs, which in this case was iwobi and Alexis go out wide to receive those long passes and then come inwards? That will create targets for xhaka’s long balls won’t it?


Am I the only one who thinks that Elneny is just as good with long balls but also terrific when it comes to creating chances with surprising passes ( a la Wilshere, Ozil)

G. Arrow

The wide areas are for the wingbacks. Iwobi and Sanchez out wide would mean (1) that they are occupying the wing backs’ vertical strips (2) that there is no player in the middle area as 3:4:2:1 has no #10.

Kostas Greek Gooner

Agreed, but how can you play log if they sit so deep?

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

IMO, Xhaka’s the sort of player who’s well more than skilled enough to play in the Prem, but is marginal in terms of being athletic enough to play in the Prem. And when I say marginal, I mean fine margins, as in having teamates who understand he is limited in the “get out thea & run a’raand a bit” aspect would compensate for that nicely. It would also help if he could start using his right foot occasionally for simple passes, of course. My personal fantasy is that he’s a player in the mould of Pirlo, but a raw one… Read more »

Bai Blagoi

I loved the COME ON GUYS stat, thank you so much!


Was Kolasinac’s effort which was headed off the line not big chance


Odd that you put the number of shots stat but failed to include the number of shots on target, of which we seemed to have quite a lot by my reckoning. Thought we were inefficient in front of goal until I caught the Newcastle/Liverpool highlights! Lordy!

Kostas Greek Gooner

Lacazettes’ wrong choice (on the first half on a 2v1 situation) to shoot alone and not pass to Alexis doesn’t count as a big chance?


Think this Xhaka situation is getting a bit more annoying than just a few games now. Might need to be taken out of the team for a few games to recalibrate his passing especially. Number of times Lacazette peeled off a defender but ball never came was really a bit frustrating.


By the way, have to respectfully disagree about the Alexis man of the match comment. Too many times he simply checked inside with Kolasinac on the overlap or a forward pass to Lacazette was alarming to see for me.


Monreal man of the match for me – again. He just keeps getting better and better.


…. and he scored!!! MotM for me too.

Bai Blagoi

Nacho Man has always been top. But it is so easy to overlook a hard working defender


The game was as routine as can be for Arsenal. It looked like it and the stats back that up. I still have a bit of an issue with our game management and the substitutions. Defence wise were actually poor. We were on top for the most part but defending is about concentration and our lapses will get us into trouble. Just like against West Brom and Bate, we afford weak teams too many chances and periods of domination in our games. How can we keep Chelsea to so few chances and yet lose our organisation versus lesser teams. I… Read more »


Striker, 5mf, 2dm, thats 8 players correct? Then what 2 CB and 1 goalie. So basically no defense on the flanks. Just right down the middle. Awesome.

Sub patterns irked you because he didn’t use a young player to give experience to with this straight forward game? I guess AW should have used a B team for the match too?


To be fair the younger players are getting minutes in the League and Europa cups. I too woild like to see them get a run out in the league but the game was not totally safe..BHA were still making chances. I think Arsene was right to play it safe


Monreal seems to have turned it up a nacho.


I think Xhaka may be fatigued, or distracted. Perhaps, the international break will do him good. Anyways, I wanna see Elneny and Wilshere against Watford.


“Someone needs to have a word with Xhaka. We can’t have a CM who can’t tackle, doesn’t really play defense, and is sloppy with the ball.”

This is a worrying downward trend. Hoping it doesn’t cost us points in big games.

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