Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Arsenal 3-0 Stoke: By the Numbers

First-half Box Score:

Arsenal struggled to find cohesion in the first half and created just 7 total shots with just one on target (Mustafi). The problem was that Arsenal couldn’t string together passes because they weren’t occupying open spaces and many players looked static.

Monreal completed just 60% of his 30 pass attempts in the first half; Ozil, who went on to complete 33/40 (83%) final third passes, managed just 78%; and both Wilshere and Elneny looked like they were playing football on another planet as they completed just 85% of their passes in the first half.

This is reflected in Arsenal’s expected goals of 0.56 in that first half compared to Stoke’s 0.36 expected goals.  That 0.2 difference between the teams reflects accurately the quality of both teams in that half.

Arsenal were also forced to make a ton of tackles and interceptions in that half. Those stats above are tackles won. Jack led the team with 3/5 and Mustafi won 2/2 tackles in that half. Also Bellerin and Monreal won their only tackles in the game in that first half. Elneny didn’t win a single tackle in this match.

As for interceptions, Mustafi won 3 in the first half and Elneny made his only interception of the game in the first half as well.

Aaron Ramsey’s only defensive contribution to this game was a blocked pass in the first half. He made zero interceptions and was 0/2 in tackles.

Arsenal Box Score Full Time

Utter domination.

Please note that I count penalties in my expected goals formula, though I only count them as a regular big chance. It’s just how the math works out for me.

Even though they won two penalties, Arsenal still created two additional big chances. Combined with the two penalties that brings Arsenal to 78 Big Chances created this season, third best in the Premier League. That’s still 23 fewer than Man City who have run away with the League title with their incredible attack. Liverpool are second best with 88 Big Chances created. So, 78 Big Chances in a season where many players were out of sorts and where Arsenal were in transition in terms of attack should give Arsenal fans hope that next season the Gunners will be back with one of the best attacks in the Premier League.

Aubameyang took four shots today (including the penalty) giving him his first back-to-back 4-shot game for Arsenal. However, he had zero shots before Arsene brought on Lacazette. He only had 19 touches in that first 60 minutes and just two touches in the Stoke 18 yard box.

Auba had 17 touches in the final 30 minutes. All his touches were wide in that final 30 minutes except his 4 shots, 3 were in the 18 yard box, one from deep (blocked).

(Aubameyang touches final 30 minutes v. Stoke – via

Ozil had another “Ozil” game. Despite being starved of service and struggling to connect passes in that first half, Ozil’s quality shone through and he created three chances in the first half. In the second half, he continued his assault on the Stoke gates creating three more chances for 6 chances in one game. Ozil now joint (with DeBruyne) leads the League in Key Passes per game (3.2) and is second in total key passes this season (84).

And finally…

Stoke look like a sure bet for relegation this season. Their attack is ok, but ironically, for a team known for their tough defense, this Stoke team has the worst defense in the Premier League.

With Arsenal’s four big chances today Stoke took their total to 79 Big Chances allowed – leading the League by 13 Big Chances allowed over Watford and Bournemouth’s 66. Stoke also have the worst expected goal difference in the League this season using my expected goals formula.

Even bringing in Paul Lambert hasn’t done anything to help Stoke’s defense. They have 17 expected goals against in his 9 matches in charge. To be fair, 9 of those have come in the last three games against Man City, Everton, and Arsenal. But things aren’t going to get any better: they play Tottenham, West Ham, Burnley, Liverpool, Crystal Palace, and Swansea on the last day of the season.

Fingers crossed that they get relegated, that the team goes bankrupt, that they tear down that awful stadium, and that their fans spend that money on dental services. They have been one of the most despicable clubs in Premier League history and relegation alone would be too good for them.


Sources: Opta,, StatsZone app, and my personal database


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I liked the LMAO combination up front, lots of potential especially if Auba’s generosity is common to all of them.

Lots of goals there, especially with Ramsey behind, we just need to defend well too.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

A stat that is rather apt for a ‘numbers’ and ‘stats’ related segment. Was looking at the table and Arsenal are closer to the team in last place than to the leaders. (33 points behind City and 31 ahead of West Brom). Kind of sums up what a sh!t season its been.


Yes, but LMAO plus Ramsey plus someone who’s not a true defensive midfielder (probably Xhaka) playing “holding” mid, plus a back four in which both outside backs constantly bomb on, is not a recipe for cohesive, balanced play, not just on defense, but also when we’re trying to build from deep against a high press.

Faisal Narrage

There’s a reason why attacking acronyms come in 3s. Having 4 attacking players on the pitch like that (5 if you include Ramsey. And we really should), that’s effectively half of our outfield players purely dedicated to attacking/being near to the opposition’s box.

For a team already terrible at defending, I can’t see how that’s gonna help us.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

PEA Ozil Mikh
Ramsey/Wilshire Xhaka
Kolasinac Kos Mustafi Bellerin

That XI should work in the rest of the games.


Monreal has again been one of our most consistent players this season. Why the hell do do many people rather want Kolasinac in the team? Because he’s stronger? Apart from that Nacho is by far the better left back at this moment in time.
And the line up is mouthwatering from an offensive point of view but the defense has had big problems in the past and without a single defensive midfielder we will surely struggle in certain – if not a lot of – games.


…and their ground be burned down and shattered in the Winds….

Declan M

My first game at Highbury was a turgid 0-0 draw vs Stoke in the late ’70s. I’ve hated them ever since and will be so pleased to see them go down…


So Wilshere had a poor game. Apparently he was sluggish. And yet here the statistics say he was our most succesful midfield (if you dont count Ozil).

Too Drunk To Be Offside

I am the best Arsenal midfielder, if you don’t count everyone else in the world.


Well Ozil technically played wing today, so not counting him as a midfielder, isnt completely wrong.


it doesn,t matter where ozil plays , he is ALWAYS ineffective


You can respond as a smart*ss or you can read him generously and see his point: the stats suggest Jack contributed more than either Elneny or Ramsey, and yet both were rated higher on this very website, with Elneny getting a 6.5 and Ramsey a whopping 7.5 (our best player, apparently) to Jack’s measly 5.

Of course stats never tell the whole tale, but they are valuable at helping correct the (often biased and always incomplete) narrative we shape for ourselves when watching a game.

Faisal Narrage

Don’t be surprised to see this going on till the season’s end now it’s seemingly likely Jack won’t sign. This always happens on the site if a player starts to look likely to leave.

Cliff Bastin

A few times when Stoke attacked, I chose to focus on what Elneny was doing hand infuriatingly he just jogs around at the edge of the box occasionally marking someone but just as often letting them run.

canon fodder

You see to have been watching a different match! Elneny was one of our best players despite what your stats say…

A Different George

Elneny, at least as an impression, has gotten much better in passing forward in the last few games and then moving into an attacking position for a return; Stoke was a reversion to his earlier play, but the whole team played that way in the first 70 minutes. As for defending, he is, by far, our best midfielder at providing cover in spaces that open in the back four and for intercepting and clear a ball in our area. He is not Kante, but he is proving a better player than he showed in the past.


That’s a spot on assessment of Ramsey, the only thing I’d add though is that I’d like to see Jack do a bit more in the 10 position (It looked to me that we were playing a 4231, with Wilshere at 10 and Ramsey alongside Elneny). Jack played pretty conservatively and I’d like to see take more shots and try more dribbles, he’s definitely good enough. Failing that I think Ramsey should be playing there and Wilshere the deeper one. IMO we should also consider just moving Wilshere a bit deeper and making it a proper 433, or dropping one… Read more »




Numbers don’t always tell the truth, just passing percentage or tackles won (there is a diff between a DM and a CM) means very little. When I was watching the game, I really felt that Ramsey had more intent than Wilshere or Ozil in the first 60mins. Initially, I couldn’t believe the no of simple passes Ozil misplaced, which can be attributed to rustiness, but he grew as the game went on and came into his own towards the end. When Wilshere ran with the ball, a lot of times there were like 8 Orcs in position, waiting, so not… Read more »


wilshere is ALWAYS our BEST midfielder , any body who says he was sluggish , must have been watching the wrong man , ozil on the other hand was complete shit as usual , he did NOTHING all game , just don’t know how he gets picked every week


Mate, you are watching the wrong sport. Either that or you are completely clueless. Or biased.


just giving an honest opinion of the true facts of the game


“… they play Tottenham, West Ham, Burnley, Liverpool, Crystal Palace, and Swansea on the last day of the season.”

That’s a bit unfair, isn’t it? Six matches in one day?


Sounds good to me. Why give them a chance.


Agreed. All the matches should kick off at the same time, too.


Damn you stole my joke…but hat’s off for thinking the same kind of nonsense I think lol

Faisal Narrage

“Aaron Ramsey’s only defensive contribution to this game was a blocked pass in the first half. He made zero interceptions and was 0/2 in tackles.” I’m a big Ramsey fan, but the fact above, matched with the Blog’s player ratings, is way many of us always feel there is a bias towards him. This is also reflected on the fact usually it’s only ever his attacking stats that are mentioned as indication he had a good game, whereas there’s little mention of his defensive input. Make no mistake, even against a shitty team as The Orcs, those stats should never… Read more »

A Different George

But how do you really feel about Stoke, 7 amkickoff?


Found myself yelling at Bellerin a lot today. Very slow to make a pass and killed momentum. Then Ozil let him have it late in the game. I think most people saw something to the effect of “F off, you talk too much, we’ll talk later inside.” This was right after he waited too long to pass to Ozil and blamed Ozil for being offside.


I don’t know man there’s just something about Hector, and not in a good way. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is tho…something lacking there for a player who played most his youth for Barcelona. Then again, they did let him go. Yeah yeah they let Cesc go to I know…don’t see m coming back for Hector tho especially with that kid Semedo who already looks the much superior player. Sorry Hector, but you need to step it up. How exactly I don’t know haha anyone?

Red Cannon

I was baffled by the time he had acres of space in front of him & only one man to beat, who he was already half-way past when he received the ball. He started to run with it & then stopped to let the defender catch up to him & then he passed it sideways. If his thinking at that point was, “We already have this game won. I shouldn’t push up & potentially get caught out of position,” then fair enough. It’s not what I wanted him to do, but it’s a reasonable thought. However, his body language suggested… Read more »


The incident you’re referring to didn’t happen after we scored the goals, it happened in the 69th Minute and I was infuriated, he had space and an arsenal player ahead of him to pass to, but wasn’t confident of beating his man, who was slightly behind him! He instead chose to wait and pass sideways, killing the counter.

I love the kid, but something’s happening to him and I hope someone sorts it out. I guess, he’s worried about injuries related to pace and tackles and is holding back, maybe even due to WC or for his career in general.


Exactly that. I don’t need to see stepovers and fancy flicks from him, just a good old ‘il just pass the ball past u and beat on you pace’ to the byline will do followed by a wicked cross or even have a pop at goal depending position obvsly. Auba or Lacca to sort the rebound 😉 that’s all I’m saying. Maybe he’s too comfy but again I can’t pinpoint it.


I’m not hectors biggest fan and never have been. But I do feel for him a bit in that he more often than not has no one to work with or play off down that right hand side.

When a player is struggling, the system the manager employs should be helping him out and he’s getting none of that.

Would like to see hector under a different coach.


The system or the tactics? I’m not the oldest longest Arsenal fan but have we not always played the same system (except for the 3 at the back switcheroo)? His been ripping it up under Wenger before so the ‘under new coach’ argument is not really valid imo. He obvsly knows how to use him. Sometimes a player’s just not as good as we initially thought and hoped, not saying Bellerin is one of them. Also i dont think the system is there to help the player, the players there to help the system and make it work. Build system… Read more »


I think the real good players usually come good and stand out tho no matter the team state. To me there’s lots lacking from attacking momentum point of view from Bellerin, but I don’t know…maybe there’s numbers for that? 😉 Maybe it’s pure mental state I really don’t know, but something’s lacking. Not giving up on him or anything just really would like to see him contribute more in attack.


For me, Bellerin has never “ripped it up for us” before. He had periods of good form but was never really consistent.

Then he got injured and beefed up in the gym. I think he lost a big part of his game by doing that, his mobility took a big hit and he’s become limited and predictable when trying to go past people.

I agree with you that the best players shine in any system though. I don’t think Bellerin is great though. He can be good ~ very good.


Glad your stats backed up my eyes re.: Ozil. Thought the ‘5’ was very harsh in the player ratings.

I haven’t wanted a team relegated this badly since Orangeman and Hull, and even then I’d take them back in an instant if it meant never seeing or travelling to Stoke again.


I am confused. This means Ozil was the best player on pitch. However he was brutalized in rating with 5. In contrast Ramsey had a game to forget according to stats. But still received 7.5 in rating. So what am I missing ?


Ozil gave away the ball carelessly several times in very uncharacteristic manner, especially early on. This is the sort of thing that gets noticed by fans and makes them rush to judgment and think “bad game,” when, in reality, he grew into the game and ended up as one of our best players. No idea why everyone rated Ramsey so highly (well, I know why Blogs did, but not everyone else). Truly baffled by this. He wasn’t awful (or no more awful than others in that first half), but was pretty ineffective overall, and he gave away the ball a… Read more »


Aub Ozil Mikki
Ramsey Xhaka
Mon Mus Kos Bellers



Your stats leave a lot on the table. Eleny covered a fair amount of ground all game and got a shot off (although it was tame and straight at the keeper)


Two amazing passes from Ozil. One to set up Ramsey and the other Aubameyang.

If you look at stats alone, you may have just missed them.

also worth noting mustafi has been consistently coming up with critical blocks and intercepts for 8 games now.

PLUS both Chambers and mustafi led the team in passing accuracy at 91%.

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