Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Aubameyang reveals some surprising Arsenal sprint test results

The club’s new openness about training methods and all the rest has been an interesting part of life under Unai Emery.

There’s less secrecy, we get behind the scenes stuff, videos of training and more, and it seems the players themselves aren’t as restricted in terms of what they can share.

In his latest Instagram story, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shared some sprint test results – primarily to take the mickey out of Matteo Guendouzi in fairness – but they made for interesting reading all same.

Nobody would be surprised to learn that Auba and Hector Bellerin were the two quickest, but the fact that Sokratis Papastathopoulos came in third might well raise some eyebrows.

Not far behind him in fifth was Shkodran Mustafi, while propping up the table as the three slowest were Mohamed Elneny, Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira.

See the full results in the image below, click to enlarge:

It is interesting to see, although worth pointing out we don’t have much context for the training exercise.

Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny has returned to ramp up his rehab after suffering that horrible Achilles tendon injury last May. It does look as if he’s still got a bit of a limp, but he’s not expected back until November/December anyway, so he has plenty of time to build up his strength again.

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Evang. Simon

The BFG made me to understand that….

It’s not all about speed
It’s about knowing where to stand per time…..

I prefer people using their brain faster than thier legs


Absolutely true, though actual speed allows you to recover from mistakes- it’s what made bellerin so good when he first started playing for us

Sànde Class

This! All season, every season!

Faisal Narrage

You know the two aren’t mutually exclusive, right? You can have a player with speed AND brains.


I’m so eager to have Koscielny back that I replayed the video several times to see if he’s limping or just his cool way of walking.. can’t wait to have him back


Back November, Emery is saying.


Chariots of Fire


Xhaka tackled somebody in the test. That’s why he made it a few spots above the bottom 🙂


I think Xhaka is just a poor reader of the game defensively. He’s definitely not very fast, but he’s decent and if he knew when to press and not seem like he’s a good 3-4 seconds behind the attackers, he’d do much better. I’m really hoping he’d be able to make that improvement over the course of the season, because I find it baffling that he was offered a contract extension before Unai started preseason training and got a chance to assess him. Does anyone know how many years he had on his contract prior to the extension?

No 1 is Perry Groves

Koscielny *always* walks like that!


Sokratis has clocked in fastest speed in the Bundesliga a couple of seasons ago in a league that has Robben et al. but everyone already decided he’s shit and slow having never watched him play

Damo Dinkum

And calling him fat despite his faint (but still visible) six pack. If that bloke his fat, what bloody hope do the rest of us have?


one-pack here


Keg here

Teryima Adi

He’s really a bulky man not fat.


Sokratis may be quick on a straight 32m line, but as a central defender it is more important to have a quick turn around on 15m and to be able to repeat the same effort multiple times. In that I am afraid Sokratis has been found wanting in the Bundesliga. If he was that good, Bayern would have been interested, knowing that there was a chance they could lose Jerome Boatang. Nobody was biting. That should tell you all you need to know about how he is viewed by coaches in Germany. Only on the case of bad defending especially… Read more »

Jimbo Jones

I’m very interested in this as a UK athletics sprint coach. So firstly if it’s a straight up 32m (odd distance by the way, assume Darren Burgess has modelled it on a longest distance a footballer needs to sprint) it would not be a max velocity test at all, it would be an acceleration test. In my experience you will not typically achieve a good max velocity with below a 70m test. I think it says ‘ramp up’ so this may be better, I.e. the athlete accelerates to a top speed (perhaps over 30m) then in this instance they would… Read more »


Very interesting, thanks for sharing!


@jimbo I could be wrong here but I thinks it’s their speed at the 32m point in a sprint in which they try to ramp up to top speed then decelerate. I’ve done a similar test to this before at a slightly shorter distance but that was likely just due to the length of the running hall we were in. If that was the case the % column given is against their PB benchmark.


32m is how long ago Auba posted it (at the time of the screenshot being taken!)

Jimbo Jones

Cheers! I hadn’t realised, my social media diesnt really extend beyond Arseblog

Faisal Narrage

Great stuff. Always fund of people with real insights. Couple of additions.
1. The tests are most likely GPS-based
2. As you’re well aware, max velocity isn’t tested in football, largely because it’s a fruitless endeavour. Rarely do you get a chance to hit max velocity in football, as an incident would happen in seconds (change of direction, distraction of the ball, tackled, etc.). It’s an acceleration test.
3. The next column is a personal benchmark according to GPS data.

Jimbo Jones

Cheers Faisal! I’ve just realised Arsenal have a new 40m track at they’re new facility (info courtesy of Arseblog) so perhaps i should assume they have used it? whether it is GPS based or if timing gates or cameras installed as its indoors I’m sure the measurement is high quality. Agree that it must be against a benchmarked PB as Huren mentions too. If these are the conditions then yes in sprinting terms it would be more like what a sprinter would call an acceleration test (agree with your point about max speed in football – It doesnt happen often)… Read more »


As someone said, 32m refers to 32 mins when Auba posted this up on Instagram.

I think the % max speed is a benchmark against prior test. Both Liechsteiner and Torreira hit 100% which perhaps suggest that they haven’t participated in the test before. Welbeck clocked 92% which probably explains why he isn’t closer to the top (we make fun of his finishing but his pace is not to laugh at). Mustafi is the outlier @100% but perhaps that’s a sign of his determination in bouncing back?

Jimbo Jones

Mert that would make complete sense now that I know what the 32m is!


This suggests Auba is the fastest, then Welbz, then Sokratis, then Bellerin

Michael Bolton Wanderers

I think most clubs in Germany would have sokratis. Bayern is probably the exception, so I really don’t think it says anything about how coaches in Germany views him just because Bayern didn’t snatch him up

Faisal Narrage

“If he was that good, Bayern would have been interested,”

Always hated this reductionist argument.
If Henry was that good, why didn’t Barca want him post Juve?
If Auba was that good, why didn’t Bayern come in for him knowing their main striker wanted to leave?
If x was so good….


32m is 32 minutes not meters…as inhe posted it 32 mins ago!


His reaction speed and acceleration, are where potential problems lie


Holding is impressive.

Ya gooner

Ozil faster than laca is surprising for me. Also our defense is pretty quick!


Not that surprised about Sokratis. He took the ball forward quite a way in the Chelsea game and looked pretty fast.

Ordnance Dave

One of the surprising sprint tests from back in the day. Bergkamp was almost as fast over 40m as Henry.

Cliff Bastin

And then he had to sit down for half an hour

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Makes sense for Torreira, he is short. His step is much shorter. Lucas would have been faster than Giroud if he had stayed with the club.


Giroud is probably faster. Santi was the slowest at the club.

Granit(e) Hard!

Santi need not be fast, he is a magician, rmember…he makes the ball do the running for him


Sokratis top speed reminds me a bit of Donkey Kong and Bowser in Mariokart…

Lord Bendnter

That’s not a limp, that’s swag ?


I think the concerns on Sokratis more around quickness/acceleration than Max speed. Max speed and acceleration are two different attributes IMO. It is possible that Sokratis can run fast but it takes him longer to get to his top speed than others. I’d also argue quickness is a mix of reaction time, acceleration (and max speed depending on the distance the player has to cover in that moment).

Mesut O'Neill

It’s true, they are two different attributes on FIFA ?


Over such a short distance, there is a high correlation between max speed and fastest acceleration.


Interesting stuff, I guess starting position and reading the game are contributing factors too.


I’m the most shocked at Holding actually. Looking at his, Sokratis and Mustafi’s results, Emery may actually have a chance of coaching them to play a high line after all.


Good stuff but as many pointed out max speed is just a part of the equation… I’d rather see the 3 cone drill results:


If you see the next column, that’s the speed they ran compared to their personal best. So guendouzi has ran that test around 9.6 in the past.. Also Laca has ran it faster than Ozil, just not on that occasion..


Yes and considering that you could see the % max as a demonstration of who’s fit and/or pushing themselves that day. Welbeck at 100% is 10.18.

The Far Post

Not clear to me that the next column gives ‰ to personal best. If so, this means PEA could be even faster than anyone else on the team!?

A tantalizing nugget is the title of the page “Max speed ramp up”. Where is that info? How is ramp up defined? Can the next column somehow be related to ramp up?


Whatever the column means, he is still faster than everyone else… His PB will be around 10.3m/s and Bellerin’s around 9.8m/s. They’ll setup a speed trap at 32m. They will accelerate up to the 32m mark (thats the ramp up) then decelerate for the remaining distance.

A Different George

I am reasonably sure, as pointed out by Automatism above, that the “32 m” is completely irrelevant to everything. It refers to when Aubamayeng posted this, and means “32 minutes.”

Anthony Hylton

I would have liked to see how quick mavropanos is on these tests. But I would take all this with a pinch of salt as there is no way on earth Sokratis is quicker than welbeck or mustafi for that matter.

What’s worrying is how slow all of our centre midfielders are. This is why AMN should be played in there.

The ozil one is accurate as he is deceptively quick when he actually wants to run.

Crash Fistfight

Looking at this earlier I wondered why all the slowest players are in central midfield. Thinking about it, though, it’s one thing being fast on a one-off sprint test, but another having to run quick sprints in the middle of running 9-10km in 90minutes. Maybe the midfielders have more stamina, so are able to maintain a top speed for longer? It’s like when people asked Michael Johnson how he was able to run fast in the last 100-150m of a 400m race. He said he didn’t run any faster: he was able to maintain his speed for the rest of… Read more »

American Gooner

While this is just a training snapshot I just love the fact that Auba is ~0.4 units (I will assume its m/s) faster than the closest competition, man is lightning. Just for reference, Usain Bolt max speed was/is ~12.5 (m/s). Good to see Kos back on the training ground, good lord could we use him.

Public Elneny

Anyone know what the % max speed means? Is it a measurement of how close each player got to their fastest recorded top speeds?

It all looks how I would expect – centre backs and forwards need to train mainly for explosive power and speed, the level of aerobic endurance needed not being quite as high for them as it is for midfielders/full backs. Agility and acceleration are far more useful in football anyway, something Sokratis/Holding would score low at, but Torreira would be one of the highest.


I believe that is correct

Public Elneny

Also I wonder why the keepers were omitted, speed is pretty useful for them too. Would be funny to see Cech’s score

Faisal Narrage

It isn’t.
Keeper is based on reaction and agility.

I don’t know any keeper that makes a save via straight ahead gait running.

Group Captain Mandrake

Not normally, but when your coach wants you to function as a sweeper, being faster could be pretty handy.


I’m surprised Bellerin is in the top 2! He looks so slow in matches at the moment.


Max speed- the cousin of max power.


yet again most liked comment on fb about this story is about bellerins hair?! fking retards.

Granit(e) Hard!

That’s not limping….thats the famous ‘bosscielny swag’ man


Isn’t the “32m” referring to when the image was posted in relation to the time of the screenshot?

I hope not because a few of you have spent a lot of time writing about these results under the assumption “32m” means 32 meters.


These sprint test certainly don’t seem to translate to the field. Some people are slacking off during the test it seems.


And where was this speed when Mustafi had to face Morata for the second goal?

Sokratis was practically in line but no where to be found when the goal went in. Just saying.

Faisal Narrage

1. There are other factors considered; such as the conditions of the game, reading or it, reaction, and body positioning, head start, etc. If they are side on and have to change mechanics to start running whilst the striker has a head start and is also in a better position (rolling headstart), chance of catching them are unlikely.

2. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Morata is f*cking fast.

Faisal Narrage

Looks like it’s based on session GPS data (in regards to blog asking what context it was). Whatever the case may be, it would’ve provided context. Nothing about that is outlandish per se (other than Mustafi and Sokratis, which possibly explains why Chambers was loaned as he would be the slowest of the CBs). Interesting that Mavros isn’t there. Quick context. There are numerous metrics that are watched for players, 3 of the key will be; 1. Max Speed/Acceleration 2. Total Distance Covered/High-Intensity Distance Covered 3. RSA: Repeated Sprint Ability. The funny thing is speed/power and endurance are at the… Read more »

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