Sunday, April 21, 2024

Arsenal Women By The Numbers- The Half-Term Review

With thanks to @statsbomb for the key WSL stats for each player.

1.Manuela ZINSBERGER– The Austrian joined from Bayern Munich during the summer and she has established herself as clear first choice ahead of Pauline Peyraud-Magnin in goal. “Pauline’s long distribution is very, very good, whereas Manu excels in smaller spaces with shorter passing. We’ve done that by design so that we have both options,” Joe Montemurro told me in November.

Zinsberger is under-rated because her propensity to take risks with the ball causes anxiety with supporters, but she is a valuable part of Arsenal’s build-up and her speed off her line is crucial to supplement the high defensive line. She was nominated for the WSL’s November Player of the Month award as recognition for her increasing stature.

Appearances: 11
Minutes played: 990
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Clean sheets: 7

Key stats (WSL only)
0.52 goals per game conceded from 0.73 XG faced.
80% save rate from 75% expected save rate
81% pass completion

2.Katrine VEJE– Katrine has had a stop-start season due to injury, with only three starts so far this season due to issues with both feet. She has yet to appear in the WSL, but she had an outstanding game in the 8-0 win over Slavia Praha in the Champions League, overlapping at will from left-back. When she returns from injury in the New Year, she will replenish the Gunners’ options from the left.

Appearances: 3
Minutes played: 260
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

3.Emma MITCHELL– ‘Mitch’ has found her minutes limited this year as she continues to make her way back from anxiety issues which caused her to miss several months last season. Emma gave an interview to BBC Sport on World Mental Health Day to open up on her experiences. She does have one WSL goal this season in the 11-1 thrashing of Bristol City in November and also scored in the 5-0 win over London City Lionesses.

Appearances: 3 + 5
Minutes played: 362
Goals: 2
Assists: 1

5.Jennifer BEATTIE– ‘Beats’ joined the club in the summer and has formed a formidable centre-half partnership with Leah Williamson. The Scottish international made her 100th appearance for the club recently, this being her second spell in North London. Only Beth Mead has played more minutes than Beattie for Arsenal this season, emphasising her importance.

Jen is virtually unbeatable in aerial duels and a strong one-on-one defender, which is crucial in Arsenal’s expansive attacking system. She has 3.87 pressures per 90 on average, compared to Leah’s 5.11, which tells you that Beats is the sweeper to Williamson’s more front-footed style. With a 91% pass completion rate over the season, she fits with Montemurro’s insistence on playing out from the back.

Appearances: 16 + 1
Minutes played: 1,390
Goals: 2
Assists: 0

Key stats (WSL only)
Clearances: 3.23 PG (highest in the squad)
Aerial wins: 2.47PG (highest in the squad by 1.0 to Leah Williamson in 2nd)

6.Leah WILLIAMSON– Leah has continued to solidify her status as England’s finest centre-half and has forced her way into the Lionesses starting line-up this season. Leah spent the first part of the season in defensive midfield while Lia Wälti recovered from a knee injury. Williamson is a crucial part of Arsenal’s build-up play.

In the 1-0 win over Manchester City in October Nick Cushing elected to man-mark Leah to try to disrupt Arsenal’s build-up- which is the ultimate recognition for her abilities as a footballer. She has averaged 89% pass completion and she completes more aggressive actions than her defensive partner Beattie. Leah is a front-footed defender, comfortable playing line breaking passes under pressure.

Appearances: 15 + 1
Minutes played: 1,316
Goals: 1
Assists: 0

Key stats (WSL only)
Interceptions: 1.28PG (highest in the squad)
Long balls: 9.54 (highest in the squad)
Average carry length: 4.96 (highest in the squad) with 99% completion rate

7.Danielle VAN DE DONK– DvD has largely played in one of the wide positions in the front three so far this season with Arsenal well-stocked for attacking midfielders. The Dutch attacker has been prolific ghosting in from wide areas and sneaking into the box undetected. She carries the ball in-field from wider positions and creates chances for others too, only Vivianne Miedema has more goals and assists than Daan this season.

Her direct goal contributions stands at 0.60PG from 0.53 XG and XG assisted. Her off-ball role also makes her very valuable higher up the pitch, she presses opponents ravenously, DvD pressures opponents 21.78 times per game, more than any other player in the squad. She makes 1.20 interceptions per game, only defenders Leah Williamson and Leonie Maier better that.

Appearances: 16 + 2
Minutes played: 1,383
Goals: 8
Assists: 8

Key stats (WSL only)
Aggressive actions: 235- the highest in the squad
44% of shots are on target- only Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little (Arsenal’s penalty taker) are higher.
9.03 touches in the box per game, second only to Vivianne Miedema.

8.Jordan NOBBS– Jordan came back from a cruciate ligament injury in August and has slowly worked her way back into the team. Manager Joe Montemurro always advised that it would be the New Year before we saw the true Jordan, but even at 80-90%, she remains a valuable part of the team and a first choice pick, even if her minutes have been managed in the first half of this season.

Appearances: 12 + 4
Minutes played: 1,141
Goals: 3
Assists: 4

Key stats (WSL only)
2.54 shots and key passes PG- second only to Vivianne Miedema
73% long pass success rate- second only to Jen Beattie
1.04 XG build-up- the highest in the squad

10.Kim LITTLE– The Gunners captain has enjoyed some of the best form of her career so far this season- which is an exceptionally high bar indeed. Her ability to dribble in tight spaces has helped Arsenal to unlock heavily staffed opposing defences and her partnership with Vivianne Miedema is one of the team’s most fruitful routes to goal.

Kim veers effortlessly between being a number 10 and a deep lying playmaker, she averages 7.03 deep progressions per game, the highest in the squad. 0.31 non penalty goals per game puts her behind only Vivianne Miedema in the squad. With 10 goals and 4 assists so far this campaign, the Scot continues to quietly go about her job at an extremely high level.

Appearances: 15 + 1
Minutes played: 1,328
Goals: 10
Assists: 4

Key stats (WSL only)
Successful dribbles: 20- the highest in the squad (with an 83% success rate)
0.41 goal contributions per game- behind only Miedema and van de Donk.
30% non-penalty shot conversion- second only to Vivianne Miedema
Has converted all of her penalties

11.Vivianne MIEDEMA– Where to start? How about with this?

Earlier this month she scored 6 and assisted 4 in a single game. She has 26 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. Miedema is far more than a mere number 9, her creative game has always been exemplary and people are starting to notice. She is streets ahead of every other player in the WSL. On this occasion, I am going to be economical with the words and let the numbers speak for themselves.

Appearances: 16 + 1
Minutes played: 1,307
Goals: 26
Assists: 10

Key stats (WSL only)
1.52 goals per game from an XG of 0.77- second most in the squad is Kim Little with 0.41
2.27 goal contributions per game- the second highest in the squad is Danielle van de Donk at 0.60
4.33 shots per game- second most in the squad is Jill Roord with 2.6
35% shot conversion. Kim Little is second with 30% (non-penalty shots).
0.76 assists PG from an XGA of 0.51- the highest in the squad
2.38 key passes per game- the highest in the squad
0.65 through balls per game- the highest in the squad
All of these are league highs

13.Lia WALTI– Lia was voted into the WSL Team of the Season last year despite her season ending with a knee injury in January. The Swiss midfielder finally made her return in September and, like Jordan, she hasn’t quite rediscovered last season’s form yet. Opponents have also appreciated her importance to Arsenal’s build-up and have started to press her far more intently.

Yet her 1.07 XG build-up number is bettered only by Viki Schnaderbeck, which demonstrates her continued importance to the way Arsenal build attacks. She is also a crucial element to the way Arsenal win the ball back- 4.45 pressure regains per 90 and 4.29 tackles per 90 are both by far the highest number in the Arsenal squad.

Appearances: 10 + 4
Minutes played: 885
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

Key stats (WSL only)
1.11 interceptions PG
19.37 aggressive actions PG
84% pass completion

14.Jill ROORD– It took Jill a few weeks to settle, her induction was complicated by her participation in the World Cup up until the final stage and the fact that she was often played out of position, in front of the defence. However, in recent weeks, Roord has proved herself to be a silky, technically audacious player.

Roord leads in several technical metrics and her imposing physique means that adapting to the more physical side of the game in the WSL has not been an issue. She needs to find her range a little and be more clinical in front of goal, but the Dutch midfielder neatly fits this Arsenal squad and Joe Montemurro’s style.

Appearances: 14 + 6
Minutes played: 1,259
Goals: 4
Assists: 6

Key stats (WSL only)
91% pass completion- second only to Viki Schnaderbeck
6.92 counterpressures per game- the highest in the squad
1.30 fouls per game- the highest in the squad

15.Katie McCABE– McCabe played more minutes than any other player last season, adopting a variety of roles. With a cleaner bill of health this season, McCabe has been largely utilised at left-back. The Ireland captain provides the team with technical balance given her precision on the ball and the fact that she is one of the few left-footers in the squad.

McCabe has developed her defensive acumen this season. She has the athletic profile to play in a team that relies on its full-back to support the attack and is physically equipped to deal with being isolated in defence. With 2.98 tackles per game- bettered only by Lia Wälti- she aids Arsenal’s attacking transition game.

Appearances: 14 + 6
Minutes played: 1,259
Goals: 3
Assists: 1

Key stats (WSL only)
3.97 tackles and interceptions per game- second only to Lia Wälti
2.36 passes into the box per game- behind only Miedema and Mead
19.99 open play final third passes per game

16.Louise QUINN– A mainstay of last season’s title winning team, but has this year lost her place to Jen Beattie in the heart of the defence. Viki Schnaderbeck has also sometimes been preferred at centre-back due to her comfort in possession. It’s brutal on Quinn, who was one of last season’s most consistent performers.

Appearances: 5 + 5
Minutes played: 515
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

17.Lisa EVANS– Lisa continues to be one of the WSL’s most underrated players. Whether played at right-back or on the right-hand side of the attack, the Scot zips up and down the flank tirelessly. Yet her game is not based purely on athleticism. She has the intelligence to know when to stay wide and when to move inside and attack the half-spaces.

One of Arsenal’s most popular routes to goal is to get Evans in behind a full-back and for Evans to put a low centre across the box to one of the Gunners’ legion of attackers. Lisa registers 0.29 assists per game, only the front 3 of Mead, van de Donk and Miedema better that. 4 goals and 8 assists is an outstanding return from someone that plays the majority of their football at full-back.

Appearances: 15 + 3
Minutes played: 1,373
Goals: 5
Assists: 8

Key stats (WSL only)
21.8 Open play final third passes PG- highest in the squad
2.22 open play passes into the box PG- second only to Vivianne Miedema
2.12 completed open play passes in the box PG- the highest in the squad

18.Pauline PEYRAUD-MAGNIN– The French ‘keeper rotates with Zinsberger in the Arsenal goal, but the Austrian has become the clear favourite, playing 990 minutes compared to Pauline’s 720. Zinsberger has started all but one game in the WSL. That said, a 95% pass completion rate and a clean sheet in PPM’s solitary WSL appearance this season shows why Montemurro values her.

Appearances: 8
Minutes: 720
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Clean sheets: 6

20.Leonie MAIER– The German right-back has not been able to dislodge Lisa Evans at right-back and took time to adjust to the physical side of the WSL. However, her front-footed defensive style has come to the fore in recent weeks, winning the ball high up the pitch and forming an important part of Arsenal’s attacking transitions. Her ball retention numbers, down in the high 50s in the autumn, have also improved in recent weeks.

Appearances: 9 + 6
Minutes: 928
Goals: 0
Assists: 2

Key stats (WSL only)
5.32 counterpressures PG- behind only van de Donk and Roord
1.64 interceptions PG- the highest in the squad

22.Viki SCHNADERBECK– The Austrian missed the majority of last season with a knee injury and became a high-level squad player this season. Joe had a look at her in the defensive midfield role during pre-season, but wasn’t taken with the experiment and has played her almost exclusively in defence ever since.

She has now played 90 minutes in each of the last four games and when one glances at her passing metrics it is easy to see why Joe has become more reliant on Schnaderbeck. He even played her at left-back during the 3-0 victory over Reading. She has the highest pass completion rate in the squad, which might also explain why she was preferred to Louise Quinn for the match at Everton on Sunday when Jen Beattie was injured.

Appearances: 9 + 2
Minutes: 817
Goals: 0
Assists: 0

Key stats (WSL only)
92% pass completion- highest in the squad for anyone with more than 90 minutes played
85% long pass completion- second only to Jill Roord
1.13 XG build-up- highest in the squad.

23.Beth MEAD– Mead has played more minutes than any other Arsenal player this season. One of the great WSL curiosities of recent years has been Mead’s transformation to goal thirsty number 9 to creative wide-forward. Her 5% shot conversion shows that she takes on a lot of long-range efforts nowadays. However, her creative stats are off the charts.

With 13 assists so far this season, Beth is Arsenal’s principal creative force. She has 8 key passes from set-pieces this season, her delivery has become a key part of hers and Arsenal’s offensive game. Mead has also become an important part of the Gunners’ transition game with 5.02 pressure regains per game- the highest in the squad.

Appearances: 16 + 3
Minutes: 1,453
Goals: 6
Assists: 13

Key stats (WSL only)
20 key passes this season- bettered only by Miedema (22)
2.51 fouls won PG- the highest in the squad
3.28 passes into the box PG (includes setpieces)

Overall (all competitions)
Games: 19
Wins: 17
Draws: 1
Defeats: 1
Goals scored: 73
Goals conceded: 7


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Thanks so much for the review can’t wait for the incoming arsecast

Peter Story Teller

I am always suspicious of statistics because they can be manipulated to confirm whatever you want them to but in this instance I believe they demonstrate just how good a team Joe has assembled and motivated. They have recently demolished several other teams, not just domestic, but European teams also.

2020 is just around the corner and the Gunners head into it still in contention to win four trophies so let’s support them to keep up the good work and it will be an interesting comparison to see what the statistics say at the end of the season.

Fun Gunner

We are spoilt, basically!

Christopher Humphrey

Really in depth stuff Tim. Thanks.
The statistics confirm what we feel at the games. We are blessed to be able to support such an amazing bunch of talented humans. Statistics do only tell a part of the story. To witness the humility & gratitude Joe & the girls so often display is heartwarming. The spirit of the Invincibles has a new home. Happy Christmas Ladies.Thank you.

Lady Gooner

Good stuff all around. So good to get this indepth coverage. Joe has really transformed this team, it’s all over the pitch for anyone to see. Hell I have that darn FA player downloaded cause the football is absolutely worth a watch. Thanks Tim

Christopher Humphrey

Yes the Wizard of Oz has certainly worked his magic in the 2 years since his arrival. Some residual credit is due to Pedro for his influence. Not least the signing of Viv, DvdD, Dom, Sari, Katie, Louise,Lisa, Beth and the return of Kim.


Excellent work, very informative–many thanks. Miedema’s numbers are practically off the charts, but this is a talented attacking group and I’m interested to see how they far against PSG, which will be a formidable opponent and one that might be more physical than most of Arsenal’s opponents this year.


PSG lost key player Sara Däbritz till the end of the season because of knee injury. It seems that in the middle Arsenal will be dominating the game. Chances are very good!

Christopher Humphrey

I doubt whether our women would shy away from a bit of “physicality”. In fact I can think of a few in the squad who would thrive on it!! Aggy Daan, Jen, Mitch, Lou, Katie, Leah, Jordan, Kim, Jill, Lisa, Viv, Beth, Lia, Viki, Kat, Leoni, Hulk, Manu…..all capable of handling a bit of “physicality” methinks.


Thank you so much for your very in-depth coverage of our ladies, Tim. They certainly deserve this level of attention and even more, because what they deliver are actually performances on a top European level. Again, your effort and detailed coverage are very much appreciated.

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