Hard work evident as Arsenal cover most distance in the Premier League


Two of the buzzwords surrounding Arsenal this summer have been ‘hard’ and ‘work’, usually with one following the other.

Unai Emery has promised that his team will ‘work hard’ and also that we’ll see a lot of ‘hard work’. It functions on many levels.

And despite the 2-0 defeat to Man City on Sunday, there was some evidence of that throughout the game.

Adrian Clarke’s Breakdown on the official website highlights the pressing game implemented by the new head coach, while Sky Sports have provided an illustration of how much effort the Arsenal players put in.


Of course running around a lot isn’t necessarily a positive thing. It can mean you just ran around a lot, or got the runaround, but in the context of what Emery said before the season began it’s an interesting stat to take note of – and one which we’ll keep an eye on over the coming weeks and months.

Is it enthusiasm and keenness to impress a new manager, or is this the physical effort demanded by Emery that we’ll see week in, week out? Let’s hope it’s the latter.

For more stats on Arsenal 0-2 Man City – check out the By the numbers post from Scott.

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I see Redknapp smiling…


and how did we do last season . what was highest we achieved. would be good to know.


After 22 games last season, we had average of 113km pr game. So 5km longer is very good.


I can’t find the distance for the equivalent fixture last year but overall we were 6th for the season (which further proves the Arsenal are lazy narrative is of course lazy journalism).



So, without Burnley topping the overall chart last season and Arsenal coming 6th where Liverpool came 11th, Arsenal have always been a hard working side; nothing new there. That we covered more distance than City may be the result of being pulled about by their crispier passing and runs; an area we will have to improve upon soon.


…with Burnley, I meant to type***


The distances covered highly depend on the tempo of that particular game. Some games are slow others fast. No question if we topped city would be thereabouts and I see them there.

Don’t know why but if you cover much ground, your opponents do as well. Only that you edge them slightly. It’s mostly the tempo.
I am sure the teams that covered the least distances faced each other. Or played a low tempo game.


My main concern is goals.

We are spending lot of time on pressing and defence but haven’t got many goalscorers especially if Laca and Auba aren’t both playing or if one gets injured or if other teams know those are the two to mark out of the game.

I’d love lots of 1 nils to the Arsenal but not confident we’ll get them.


The goals will come, especially against weaker opposition (everyone else in the league). Defence is still the greater concern ahead of attack for me.

Why not

We can do ok against top 5 and still finish top four if we dont kack our pants against everyone in the league away.


Why would it be after 1 game LOL… We were 3rd in goals scored and we finished 6th!! Its goals conceeded that you should worry about


Having got rid of Giroud and Alexis last season then we have lost a lot of goals without replacement.

Plus Wenger’s attacking mentality is gone.

My concern is that we worry for most of the season about defence and the goals we score go down a lot, as teams try to mark Auba and Laca out of the game knowing there is little threat from Ozil, Mkhit, Iwobi, Welbeck and most others.


We have two potential 20+ goalscorers in Auba and Laca, and there is no doubt in my mind that Ozil and Ramsey and Mkhi will get in on that action when we either dominate possession against some teams or get better at our pressing game against others. I don’t know if we’ll score as much, overall, as we did in the Wengerball years, but I think we’ll be near the top still in goals scored. We now have three long-range passers (Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi) in our deep midfield setup, and as the team begins to gel, we’ll see that advantage… Read more »


Like all things in life, it’s about reaching the right balance between attack and defence, that’s what the best teams do. Focusing on either one can make the team unbalanced. Personally I am a bit worried about our creativity but it’s only one game so we’ll have to see. Bear in mind it’s easier to be destructive in football than constructive.


I hope we don’t run out of steam halfway through the season. It has happened to other teams that like to press high up. The positive is that you need young players to come into the squad in order to play this game properly.

John C

We have a sample size of one but those numbers definitely matched what my eyes saw.

Gus Caesar

I’m guessing that Cech contributed about 50km…


I’m convinced that the way we approached the man city game is the right way. We went toe to toe and we pressed them very well in their half. Barring a few gaps in midfield it was largely a success Imo. We won the ball multiple times but we struggled to keep our composure and finish the attack. We could do with another good midfielder like santi/Torreira or someone in the diaby mould depending on the availability in the market. Xhaka and El Neny are decent against average teams. They are not even top 4 standard. We should sell them… Read more »


Also painful as it is to admit, their last line of defence was really outstanding. The number of times I got up from my seat in anticipation but one of their defenders made a last minute tackle/interception…


Does it not seem like the Breakdown with Adrian Clarke on the Arsenal website offers a bit too much insight, especially for opposition? Or is there an assumption that teams do their analyses of strengths and weaknesses anyway?

A Different George

I haven’t seen the current one, but I found it incredibly insightful in the past–a real contrast to almost all the “analysis” on television or in the papers. He is honest about Arsenal mistakes and weaknesses (without insulting our players) and points out tactics and tendencies of opponents. But, to answer your concern, I am sure that every club has someone similar to him to analyze their opponents. Sometimes (Emery, obviously is one) it is the manager himself.


Fair point, thank you. It is quality analysis


The term “chasing shadows” comes to mind ?


..As does uncharitable ?

In the first game under our new “coach” against last year’s record-breaking champions, our boys did not fold or give up, and looked like they card enough to give it their all. If we can say that for most of this season, that’ll do for me.


Yeah, just bantz mate 🙂


We lost the game, but to me I can see some positives already.
Whether we continue to build on them in the future is for everyone to see, but the signs look positive.
If nothing else, the fact the team was more proactive without the ball, which already more than we did last season.

Fingers crossed.

Evang. Simon

Arsenal will be a terrible force in no time

Nachos in Montreal

Rephrase ? I think you mean terrific force right?


Your post just as confusing as your name. 🙂


It was a very open game at times with both teams getting up and down the field quickly, but we also were out possessed and did a lot of chasing. I did like the work rate of the team (and obviously still a long ways from being in full condition) and liked how we turned them over a few times with our press, but we also let them out too easily and put us in bad positions defensively. Was interesting to see Ozil in that second line of three on the right side when defending. He may not have had… Read more »


we can’t score shit while infront of the goal, how can building from the back would help this situation to score more. explain to me please?


How much of that was retrieving the ball for a free-kick or throw-in after City players kicked it away?

Ordnance Dave

Positive signs. City are the most well oiled machine at getting around the press and we still caused them problems. Bodes well for when we come up against teams who don’t have anywhere near City’s quality.


That’s a job well done considering starting line up had only two new signings (one of them is 17yrs old) and rest were wenger’s boys.

Optimism and patience is name of this season


The thing that stuck out to me is our weakness in transition. You watch City move from defense to attack and the players are so good at spacing and making themselves available in transition. Of course they’re incredibly well drilled and have been together for 3 years. Whereas in transition we’re all over the place. We find a couple of nice passes through midfield and then it breaks down because there’s no options. That’s not as worrying, that will come with experience playing together. But like others have said, City’s wingers are a consistent outlet for them. If not their… Read more »


Yeah the transition was a problem. Ramsey should have been dictating that but he’s perhaps not the player for it. Equally he’s clearly been singled out as the man to lead the press from the number 10 position, doubling with Aubemayang. There’s no obvious solution. Either we move Ramsey out right and Ozil to number 10, losing that doubling up but gaining some composure and vision in the middle, or we leave as is and perhaps get Ozil to drift in more… but then there’s less cover for the right-back (which Ozil did an unusual amount of for him). Going… Read more »


The transition problem is down to wenger’s romantic approach of football. Right now we have four no 10’s in starting line up. We lack direct approach was really hoping for nzoni or kante type midfielder.
Provided Stan don’t left our new head coach in cold he would need at least 4 transfer windows to turn this mess around.


I agree it is too many of similar players. I love Ozil and have always defended him, but if we want 3 central midfielders (say Xhaka, Ramsey, Torreira), Ozil simply has to be left out. He doesn’t even play on the wing when he’s “positioned” there so it doesn’t really matter. He was struggling on the right flank trying to out pace Mendy/Sterling. That was never going to happen. The problem is that any manager would keep playing him so they don’t blow up the dressing room. Because let’s face it if he gets dropped for a few games it… Read more »


It’s tough to squeeze all the players in there, but I think Ozil is wasted on the wing. I think Mikhi can do a job on the right if he’s instructed well. He needs to give us that width if Auba ends up on the left cutting inside. It’s a difficult puzzle to solve. City have had 3 years of Pep building his squad exactly how he wants it. Every player in every position is there for a reason and are carrying out his specific instructions. I hope Emery gets at least 2 more transfer windows to bring in who… Read more »


As mentioned, not sure what media are watching. Sure we lost by 2 goals but it was night and day compared to last season. Pressing as I have been saying is not a new thing. Klopp does it with his supposedly ‘revolutionary’ Gherkinpress and Pep did it way before. Media now have no more Wenger story so they are trying to sow dissent again. I didn’t think City were all that dominating against us as suggested. Rather the reverse I thought despite having less possession and shots on goal to them, we were in the game to the end. Had… Read more »


Michael Owen would be proud

Michael Osborn

Hopefully there is going to be a “did the most running” trophy..feeling excited already!

Bould's face

Maybe some stats on max and average accelerations will be interesting.


I think arsenal is a great team.. well it was the first game against the title defenders. This week we aint going far .. just london so the climate will be okay for both teams..with new managers.. its going to be an interesting match as both teams were eyeing to get a strong midfield and made new signings ..jorginho for chelsea and arsenal bringing two great signings who will really build up the midfield with time.. I just think having torreira and guendouzi as the starting line up will be great . I am not saying xhakas game is bad… Read more »


The running stats are misleading. Despite 60% possession, ManCity ran just 3 km less that us. So, maybe these stats should be divided, distance in possession and distance without, and running towards goalkeeper with no chance of getting the ball.
One denotes movement, the other press, and the final – headless Sanchez (chicken) runs…


I agree with some of your points. Running stats can be misleading or misinterpreted if they are not correctly sub-categorised. Pressing their goal keeper did result in getting some throws higher up the field, so not completely useless. Again less adept goalkeepers and less accomplished teams, we will score goals because we will retrieve the ball much higher. If Lacazette and/or Auba are one v one against a central defender, in most cases it will end up with an attempt on goal. Regarding Sanchez, the things is that despite looking like he was running a lot, he was consistently the… Read more »


When Russia did this it was questioned…


First we’re talking about marginal gains and then we’re running further than any other team – admittedly this is only after one game but it sounds a bit familiar.