Arsenal’s Away Record is the Worst in their Premier League History
(all stats for Premier League play only)
13 – Away games played by Arsenal in the Premier League this season
3 – Away wins by Arsenal this season
23 – Percent of away games Arsenal have won this season
15 – Goals for in away games by Arsenal this season
21 – Goals against in away games
13 – Points won in away games
1 – Points per game by Arsenal in away games this season
That average of just one point per game is the lowest of any Arsenal side in Premier League history. The second lowest total was 1.14 averaged in 1994/95. That was the season George Graham was fired for bungs.
Winning just 23% of their matches is also Arsenal’s lowest total in the Premier League era. What might be a surprise is that the second worst away record was netted in the 2000/2001 season when Arsenal won just 26% of their away games. That season was marred by a 4-0 loss to Liverpool and 6-1 defeat at the hands of Man U. Though Arsenal still managed to finish second.
Part of the problem is Arsenal’s attack. The Gunners have averaged just 1.15 goals per game, that’s their 6th worst offensive output in away games since the start of the Premier League in 1992/93. The very worst ever Arsenal offensive output in away games was that inaugural 92/93 season when the Gunners averaged just 0.71 goals for per game. Arsenal finished 10th that season.
But the real problem is Arsenal’s defense. Arsenal are conceding 1.62 goals per game right now on away days. That is actually the second worst defensive record Arsenal have had in the Premier League era, behind the 1.68 goals allowed per game of the 2011/12 season when Arsenal lost 8-2 to Man U and then went out and bought Per Mertesacker and a real midfielder, Mikel Arteta. Arsenal haven’t had a midfielder since Arteta.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Arsenal’s best ever defensive record in away games was the 2001/2002 season. That year Arsenal not only averaged 1.95 goals scored per game but only allowed 0.58 goals per game giving Arsenal an incredible 73% away win rate. That was the season Arsenal won the League at Old Trafford, 1-0 after all of the Neville brothers tried to stomp Arsenal’s players into the dirt.
The three highest away winning percentages were generated by that team, the Invincibles, and it’s no wonder that Wenger predicted they could go an entire season unbeaten. They were that good.
Errors Prove Costly
22 – Errors by Arsenal players this season leading to an opposition shot on goal
11 – Errors by Arsenal players this season leading to an opposition goal
Arsenal are top of the table this season. The errors table. With two errors for goals last night against Swansea Arsenal have now conceded 11 goals off errors this season, 4 more than the second worst team in this category, Southampton.
This isn’t really a new thing for Arsenal. They have been one of the most error-prone teams since 2012/13 when they allowed 14 goals off 39 errors. Interestingly, it looked like Arsenal had finally gotten the errors down to a dull roar last season when they allowed just 4 goals off 19 errors for a more “mid-table” errors feel to the team.
But whatever confidence the team had been building in defense has completely evaporated and the Gunners are on track to concede nearly half a goal a game in errors this season.
Petr Cech leads all players with 4 goals conceded off errors, Bellerin leads all defenders with 4 errors (but thankfully only one goal conceded), and Granit Xhaka leads all midfielders with 2 goals conceded off errors.
Big Chances Conceded
Those errors last night, plus at least 3 others which weren’t counted as individual errors leading to a shot, led to Arsenal conceding five big chances against Swansea. That was only the third time this season that Arsenal have allowed the opposition to create five big chances in a match. The other two were Liverpool (0-4) and Chelsea (2-2). Arsenal have also only allowed 4 Big Chances in a game once (Liverpool 3-3).
Unlike all those other times, Arsenal weren’t under an enormous amount of pressure. If I total the interceptions and possession loss in Arsenal’s own half, it was just 6 times last night against Swansea (2 tackles – Xhaka and Ramsey; 2 bad touches – Cech and Elneny; and 2 interceptions). Arsenal lost possession in their own half 10 times against Chelsea (2 interceptions; 2 each for AMN, Alexis, and Iwobi and 1 each for Xhaka and Bellerin). And Arsenal lost possession 15 times in their own half against Liverpool (3 interceptions; Holding 4; Ozil 2; Coquelin 2; and 1 each for Ox, Giroud, Alexis, and Xhaka). The loss to Swansea last night wasn’t Arsenal under an enormous amount of strain from a highly active pressing team.
Sources: Opta via Squawka (errors) and Whoscored, my personal database, the Premier League web site (for the away matches records)