Arsenal got their third win in a row, and have taken the maximum nine points on the path to #Project24. It wasn’t a pretty win (I feel like this is the third match in a row that I have written that and that in its self is a concern) but three points away from home in the League is almost never easy.
Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal: By the graphs
Shots on Target xG Plot
Simulated Match Result
Newcastle United 1-2 Arsenal: By The Numbers
4 – Shots allowed by Arsenal, the fewest this season (16 vs Man City, 24 vs Chelsea, 13 vs West Ham, 14 vs Cardiff)
0.5 – xG that Arsenal allowed, the fewest xG allowed this season (1.66 vs City, 2.02 vs Chelsea, 1.39 vs West Ham, 1.32 vs Cardiff)
2 – Shots for Arsenal in the first half, the fewest of any half this season (3 vs Man City in the first half is second fewest)
12 – Shots overall for Arsenal, the second fewest in a match this season (9 vs Man City is the fewest).
0 – Big Chances created, the second time this season Arsenal were blanked on creating a clear cut chance (the other was against Man City)
20 – Times lost possession through dispossession or a bad touch (2nd most the season, 21 against Man City was the highest)
122 – The total turnovers for Arsenal, 2nd fewest this season behind 115 against Chelsea. This includes misplayed passes, dispossession, bad touch, off sides and shots off target.
Overall this was a mixed bag of a match for Arsenal.
The team put together a pretty strong defensive showing, allowing the fewest shots, the lowest xG allowed . This could partly be due to Newcastle not doing much to put Arsenal under too much pressure but it was still an encouraging step in the process to solidifying the back line.
The worrying trend of this is that the last 3 teams that Arsenal have faced have put up more final third touches and touches in the box than their average against Arsenal. West Ham average 20 touches in the box and had 25 against Arsenal, Cardiff averaged 15 and had 21, and Newcastle average 12 and had 18 on Saturday. These are all teams that Arsenal have a talent advantage against but still were given too many opportunities to attack in dangerous spots.
The offense well, that leads into the next point.
Time for Torreira?
*Arsenal also scored an own goal while Lucas Torreira was on the pitch putting the total goals scored at 5.
The stats for Matteo Guendouzi don’t show that he has played poorly, or that he should be replaced. In fact for his age and relative inexperience this is down right impressive.
All of that taken into account the team play, and the overall balance just seems to be better with Lucas Torreira in the team vs Guendouzi. Outside of the Chelsea match where Arsenal looked like they tried to shut up shop and hold on for a draw when Torreira came on Arsenal have attacked and defended better. This is still very much in the small sample area has it is just a few hundred minutes of action but a change might be called for.
With the extra mid-week matches coming up there will be enough game time for both of them to get minutes but I think that it is time for Torreira to get a chance at a full 90 minutes in the Premier League.
1 – Touch in the box against Newcastle, 6 overall for the season, 1.3 per 90 minutes
13 – Final third touches against Newcastle, 47 overall for the season, 10.2 per 90 minutes
2 – Shots against Newcastle, 12 overall for the season, 2.6 per 90 minutes
0 – Danger Zone Shots against Newcastle, 4 overall for the season, 0.9 per 90 minutes
0.04 – xG against Newcastle, 1.3 overall for the season, 0.3 per 90 minutes.
I keep reminding myself that it has been just five matches and that Arsenal are working on getting a new coach and tactical approach integrated but the lack of production from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has gone from; “it will be fine” to “yeesh there might be an issue” over the last couple of weeks.
I am not ready to panic yet, but there are signs that things are not working yet for Aubameyang in the Emery system. Arsenal’s attackers all want to play in similar positions and finding the right way to get the most out of a them will be a big task for Emery and his coaching staff in the coming weeks.
Sources: Whoscored, Opta, my own personal database