Thursday, September 28, 2023

Watford 2-1 Arsenal: By the Numbers


75 – Percent of shots in prime (which I abbreviate as SiP and which are simply shots from about 11m to the goal in a semicircle) that David de Gea has saved this season (leads the League). He is also 2nd in the League in Big Chance saves with 71%. If you’re ever curious what a big chance/shot in prime save looks like, check out his kick save vs Liverpool.
14 – Petr Cech is 14th in SiP saves with just 33%, he’s also 9th in big chances saves with just 30%. Last season Cech saved 53% of shots in prime on target and 32% big chances. That was pretty average for a big club. The season before (when Arsenal lost the title to Leicester) he saved 64% of the shots in prime he faced and 48% of the Big Chances he faced.
0 – Percent of the 12 penalties Cech has saved since moving to Arsenal (source:
13 – Percent of penalties saved by all keepers in the Premier League from 1992-Present (source:
4 – Percent of penalties that players have missed (not saved, not scored) in the Premier League from 1992-Present
0 – Percent of penalties which players have missed against Arsenal

Watford 7amxG v. Arsenal

1.8 – Watford 7amxG if we include the penalty
1.05 – Watford 7amxG if we don’t include the penalty
1.35 – Arsenal 7amxG
1.9 – Arsenal 7amxG if we include a penalty that people seem to want for Welbeck’s injury/foul

Watford v. Arsenal two halves

I can’t remember a second half as gormless as this one from Arsenal. If you have one you remember that you’d like me to compare to this graphic I would be happy to do so and update the post with additional graphics (if I can get the data).

But as you can see, I marked all of the things that Arsenal did poorly in the second half in red here. Regardless of the penalty, this was a complete and utter implosion by Arsenal.

Watford 2-1 Arsenal

12 – Aerial duels won by Mertesacker (led all players)
11 – Clearances by Per Mertesacker (led all players)
7 – Clearances with his head (led all players)
7 – Aerial duels won by Mertesacker in the 2nd half
6 – Aerial duels won by Deeny in the final 30 minutes
6 – Aerial duels won by Mertesacker in the final 30 minutes
2 – Tackles won by each of Elneny and Xhaka (total, 4)
1 – Interceptions by Xhaka and Elneny combined (all 90 minutes)
36 – Passes completed by Xhaka in the first half (of 46 attempted, 80% pass completion rate)
18 – Passes completed by Xhaka in the second half (of 26 attempted, 69% pass completion rate)
18 – Misplaced passes by Xhaka
3 – Total number of Xhaka’s misplaced passes which were long balls
1 – Key pass from Xhaka (corner, assist)
1 – Through ball from Xhaka (unsuccessful)
1 – Time caught picking his nose instead marking Cleverly
38 – Passes completed by Elneny in the first half (of 42 attempted, 90% pass completion rate)
23 – Passes completed by Elneny in the second half (of 24 attempted, 94% pass completion rate)
1 – Through ball by Elneny (successful)
0 – Key passes by Elneny
50 – Percent average for players to score on Big Chances
1 – Big Chance for Ozil in this match
9 – Total Big Chances Ozil has scored in the Premier League since 2015/16 (when I started tracking)
21 – Total Big Chances Ozil has attempted in Premier League play sin 2015/16

And finally.. a few notes on the weekend’s matches:

0.29 – Expected goals for Man U against Liverpool, Pool’s 7amxG was 2.14 – the match ended 0-0 and United should consider themselves lucky or…
1 – Assist for Joe Hart (West Ham) v. Burnley. This kick also counted as the only Big Chance created in the match.
18 – Man City have created 18 Big Chances in the last three matches: 10 against Palace, 1 against Chelsea, and 7 against Stoke. They have scored 10 of those Big Chances, 4 against Palace and 6 against Stoke
13 – Actual goals City have scored in the last three matches
12.14 – Expected goals for City over the last three matches
2.18 – Expected goals for Crystal Palace v. Chelsea. Chelsea only managed a 0.87 expected goals.
10 – Total expected goals for Chelsea so far this season – that’s 9th in the League this season. However, Chelsea are a strange team in that they tend to overperform and score more relative to their chances created.


Sources: My personal database,,,


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100 – percent disappointed, was looking forward to being 4th in the league after we scored.

100 – percent not a penalty for them.

Kroenke\'s Dusty Wallet

0 – Desire from players
17 – Hours after game where Chips Keswick found out the result
100% – Chance of this type of defeat happening this season again
13 – Predicted defeats this season
919 – Thousand pound bonus Gazidis got
0 – Offer in £ that should be on the table for Ozil
0 – Fucks given by Kroenke
0 – Chance of this getting better under Kroenke’s ownership

Adrian from London ON

I thumbed down because of the ozil comment and the kroenke comment. But I love what u said about chips!
You did see ozil’ s pass for Iwobi? And you can’t blame a player for one missed chance. It happens to everyone, just unfortunate timing. I think ozil should’ve started and welbeck given time to get back to match fitness. Look what happened…

Glen Helders Left Foot

Did you see Ozil’s embarrassing and cowardly attempt to head the ball before watfords equalizer?


1. number of comments before me. I’ll get my coat


100% wenger out


Wondering how this compares with the away game to Everton last year.

Plenty of chances to score and settle the game in our favour – instead of taking them, we lose.

Reality check

And city soon after.. lost from a winning position


Nose picking is an art………when one is in the middle of a nose picking exercise, one is usually distracted from other activities like marking an opponent………


2- Number of defeats down to scandalous refereeing


I don’t get it. We as fans consistently overlook bad referring decisions and instead endlessly go on about the incompetence of manager and the shortcomings of the team. If Lacazette’s foot was offside against Stoke then Watford’s second goal should be ruled offside.
Some teams in the Premier league seem to have the referees in their pocket and something is very wrong. I watched Bournemouth vs Man City earlier in the season and the referee literally robbed Bournemouth off 3 points.
Stoke should have been a draw and Watford should have been a win. That’s 17 points and 3rd place.


I don’t really see how we can use this as an excuse as we have definitely had luck with decisions going in our favour. Wasn’t Mustafi lucky not to give away a pen recently?


ok well if we’re going to be like this then NO! he wasn’t lucky because they then had advantage given which cech saved and that goon who put it wide. So what more do you want? for them to have advantage plus two shots an when they fuck it up i guess they should have a penalty??? refs are shit an yes we missed two opportunities so we messed up but if the ref got it right it would’ve been a shoddy 1 nil win…but still a win.


You are right because I think the cleverly goal was an advantage after the BFG seems to have handled the ball before the goal. If he had missed then people would have said Arsenal were lucky


Westbrom should have had a pen for Mustafi’s tackle and we should have had 2 penalties for handball i think against Bellerin. All i am saying is there is either no consistency in refereeing or there is a bias. It has got nothing to do with luck. It is the system. What are they going to do about the dive. 3 points lost is 3 points lost. If you are talking about taking retrospective action then i have a solution. Get both teams together for a round of penalty shootout or something like that. It’s baffling that football doesn’t have… Read more »


I took think the Mustafi one was a penalty but we have to remember Rodriguez actually played on and took a shot which hit the post. All i am saying is there is no consistency in decisions.


People going after Özil need to remember, we had 5 defenders on the pitch and 2 defensive midfielders. If you’re blaming him for the goal, you’re probably a dick head called Martin Keown


Did Keown actually say the goal was his fault? That’s rich.


He did.Even Wright wasn’t happy about his comment.


9 points behind City already, and can see that gap widening soon…. 100℅ we need a new top manager in the summer


Uhmmm City hasn’t lost a match yet. They are having a great start to the season. They are in top form right now.

Oh Crumbs

Why wait till the summer?


A lot has been, and will be, said on Ozil and Xhaka and rightly so but Elneny’s stats were eye catching here too. 2 tackles all game, 94% pass completion but 0 key passes. So if he’s neither creative nor destructive, what’s he meant to be doing exactly? A tidy player no doubt, but that’s not enough.


Drawing 1-1 away from home after a poor attacking performance, only a few seconds to go till the final whistle and Arsenal’s goal is under pressure. The 4 players in the title picture were the only ones who cared about the game. Bellerin, Elneny, Xhaka, Kolasinac nowhere to be seen in the picture.

Deeny is wrong. This Arsenal team isn’t soft. They just doesn’t care.




I don’t know what people see in him to be honest as Denison use to do more with skill and he was still seen as not good enough.


Denilson is a great comparison because his Arsenal struggles really started when he was asked play as DM which he was not suited to at all. Elneny suffers off the ball in a similar way but also lacks the vision to play further forward as well. He rarely loses the ball but he rarely does much with it either it seems.

Clock End 20

Please can we never play Xhaka and Elneny together again?


seconded. If Santi and Coq brings the best off each other this two seems to bring out the worst not just from themselves but also the team in the process laying bare all that is wrong with Arsenal as a footall club at the moment. No pressure to advance, just average


It’s funny, if you combined Xhaka and Elneny’s best qualities into one footballer, it still wouldn’t be a proper DM. I don’t understand why we expected to get away with it tbh; playing a midfield that even on paper would fundamentally struggle to win the ball back.


One good match with them together its lets see more of this, After one bad match its this is the worse combo ever lol


Is Xhaka not playing at the level he could or is he rather simply a bit shite? Can’t make up my mind yet


Me either, was so excited for him when he first arrived but I’m struggling to find ways to defend him now. Shouldn’t be that difficult to stop misplacing simple passes. And Bellerin’s inability to stop crosses is beyond ridiculous now, glad it was mentioned in the player ratings.

Crash Fistfight

I’ve gone round in circles with Xhaka. When I saw him playing in the Euros I was completely disappointed and wondered why we went for him when William Carvalho was doing the job I wanted Xhaka to be doing (why has he still not left Sporting? – there must be an underlying reason that I’m too stupid to see). Then, after a while I started to think he could be like Xabi Alonso for us and actually started to like him: great pass accuracy, fantastic sweeping passes to the wings, the occasional thundercunt of a shot. Now, it seems he’s… Read more »


The irony of Xhaka trying more risky passes is that they aren’t even forward passes, trying to find Lacazette or Welbeck in space etc. Instead they’re sideways to Elneny in congested areas or cross-fields to fullbacks which tbh should be bread and butter for a CM.

I have time for Xhaka because of his technical ability but he’s still too raw and hasn’t really developed the football IQ you need to be a consistent top CM at this level yet.


I don’t know what has happened there, but it almost seems like the innate qualities of Xhaka and Kolasinac have disappeared the last few matches. Are those qualities being coached out of them? Kolasinac has lost some directness to his attacking – and defending to be honest- play, and it almost seems like Xhaka has been coached to try more risky quick one-time passing, but it’s not going well. He was better when in many of those situations he would quickly possess, THEN pass.

Up the Arsenal

Kola is injured he was clearly very uncomfortable playing.

Crash Fistfight

Yes, that was obvious – he was barely involved and was barely moving, either.

It was the perfect set of circumstances to go to 4-2-3-1 and yet Arsene still doesn’t do it. Why does he stick to a formation/strategy/game-plan so rigidly? He’s not helping anyone by doing so.

Crash Fistfight

It’s the Arsenal effect (or should that be the Arsene effect). A player arrives, playing direct and within the first 6 months of arriving they have turned into a short-passing shadow of their former self.

Couple of examples:

1. Rosicky was banging in shots from outside the box early on and then barely scored the rest of his Arsenal career (his scoring ratio was not very high).
2. Arshavin saved our season, looking like a genius player. Second season: shite. Cue everyone saying he ate too many pies/was crying because Russia didn’t qualify for the World Cup.

Faisal Narrage

Yep, it’s frustrating when we get players and we “Arsenalise” them. I’m sure Ox has a lot of mental weaknesses, but when he arrived he was so direct and full of unpredictability. But in 6 years, we turned him into a typical Arsenal player; reduced his individualism and flair for the greater boring system. From what I hear, it was the same issues the academy had with Wellington Silva and Gnabry, they were just too individualistic for the “Arsenal Way”. It’s why we need a new manager, the system is flawed, but the man who made the system refuses to… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

If that is the case with the academy, maybe we should’ve tried to get Dennis Bergkamp back at the club.

I remember reading in his biography that that was the first thing he changed at the Ajax academy – the players were all very good, technically, but there was no individualism.

It’s a problem that seems to be widespread in Dutch football at the moment, judging by the national team’s performances recently.

Faisal Narrage

That’s an interesting point.
But yes, I know football is a team sport, but I think there needs to be a balance between individualism and team identity.

Right now, as seen in Dutch football, there is this homogeny of players, probably caused from taking “Total Football” to the nth degree. Now you can see in arsenal a team that just lacks identity.

Faisal Narrage

IMO, Xhaka kinda represents everything wrong with Arsene’s thinking. He said earlier in the year that the primary reason for Xhaka was because against teams who sat very deep, we needed an extra player in midfield who could unlock defences with long passes. All that may be true, but it totally negated 2 key points; 1. As we’ve seen in recent years, teams who sit deep haven’t been our problem, it’s the teams who come at us and press us hard. This also includes the Top 6 teams, particularly away. He was so concerned of a scenario that, quite frankly,… Read more »

Crash Fistfight

To go even further on that, Arsene said at the beginning of last season that he saw Xhaka as a box-to-box midfielder. Then he changed his mind to say he was a DM.

I watched one game at the Euros to see he was a deep-lying playmaker (a budget Pirlo, if you will), yet “I’ve managed for 25 years” Arsene Wenger can’t see that when he sees him in training every day (and presumably paid some attention to the scouting reports on him/possibly watched him a few times for Moenchengladbach), FFS!

Faisal Narrage

In Wenger’s world, everyone is a CM.
If he stuck with his plans, we would have the likes of Song, Diaby, Nasri, Ox, Xhaka, Ramsey, etc. all as box to Box CMs.

Adrian from London ON

Hey 7am, I think you should give those swing numbers as a percentage instead of straight difference. You’re awesome. Thanks!!


Good suggestion. Thanks.


Can we get the shots on goal or heck even the shots Arsenal tried after Watford Equalized? Or even the passes completed?

Cliff Bastin

Drop Xhaka for Jack for a few games. And also that man city expected goals figure is just insane.


By the way, Blogs you’re too generous when saying that “Arsenal lost the title to Leicester”. We actually never really challenged to win it that season, only finished second at the very end because of other teams implosions of their own…


Pretty sure the Blogmeister was being ironic with that statement!

Bruce Lee



Mertesacker aside, we were abject, as was Neil Swarbrick. Another depressing testiment to the extent of Arsenal’s decline in the last 10 years or so.


I can’t speak for everyone but it feels like Manchester City,United and Chelsea are no longer a rival of ours. A few years ago selling RVP to Utd or Adebayor to City would’ve been selling to a direct title rival. Now, if Sanchez goes to City yes it’d make them stronger but not to our detriment. That for me sums up the state we’re in. Its hard to remain positive about our season when it feels like we’re in a state of decline under Kronke. Genuinely concerned that in a few years we’ll be a mid table club taking about… Read more »


Level points with Chelsea…


Ok. Not sure what your point is? Chelsea are Champions and you really think we’ll be on the points as them come the end of the season?




2 created chances by Özil in 30 minutes. Btw, since when Özil disturbs a team when he enters?


Rightly fuck off Arsenal. I’m done with this shit. I have more productive things to do with my life. Supporting Arsenal is like continuing to stay in a relationship where your partner continually disappoints you and you think, oh they’re gonna change eventually, but you know they won’t.

I’m done with Arsenal. Thanks for all the memories and fuck right off.


We all saw the chart on tv about where Deeney puts his penalties and yet Cech jumped the other way and looked ridiculous. Don’t Arsenal have anyone who looks at these numbers?


Cech is a joke at penalties. He does that shaking it all about thing which makes him look like an idiot and then flings himself before the ball is even kicked.

Crash Fistfight

That’s because of his old-man joints that don’t allow him to make any explosive movements, but hey-ho, Szczesny smoked in the showers.

A different George

No one can save a good penalty kick. Good penalty kick: (1) close to any of the four corners of the goal with some (but not necessarily a lot of) force OR (2) penalty-taker able to delay long enough to see which way keeper is going, then slide it to the other side.

Which means: it’s all up to the nerve of the taker, very little to do with the ability of the keeper.

finnish Gunner

What would’ve been Watford 7amxG if the offside for their 2nd was correctly called? I guess the shot that lead to goal is somewhere around 0.6-0.7 xG?


7am, Thanks as always for doing this! Any sense from the numbers of when things unraveled? 46th minute — team came out unprepared? Missed shot, any of them? Penalty? Substitutions?


Interesting questions. I didn’t look that closely. It looks like right after half.


0- Key passes from both Elneny and Xhaka (Come on! Exclude the corner).

Every time I see the numbers section in arseblog I look exclusively for Xhaka stats and it’s keep getting worse..
In another team Xhaka would be benched at least for a game. However at Arsenal no one seems to get punished for a poor performance (Xhaka, Bellerin, Mustafi, lets not get into Ozil’s and Alexis’s).
Instead all that AW do is timeshare for his players. Of late it feels like AW is playing Sim city with his players to keep their mood happy!

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