Brentford 2-0 Arsenal: By the numbers

92

The start of the season did not go as planned.

The scoreline might be slightly flattering to Brentford, but maybe equally concerning for Arsenal (who to be fair were missing many key players, but also have a squad that large and bloated) was that this match was very even.

Think about that, Arsenal was matched by a team that just earned a promotion to the Premier League. Against a team that had a very modest wage and transfer budget for the Championship and will have easily among the lowest wage budgets in the League.

Things could also get worse from here with matches against Chelsea and Manchester City still to go before the first international break and end of the transfer window.

Brentford 2-0 Arsenal: By the graphics

Brentford 2-0 Arsenal: By the numbers

22 – Shots from Arsenal, this would have been the most shots that Arsenal managed in a match all of last season.

0.05 – The expected goal per shot average for Arsenal in this match.

19.4 – The average distance in yards from the center of goal for Arsenal’s shots

4 – Shots in prime locations (a half-circle 12 yards from goal) for Arsenal, with just one a footed shot (Balogun 31′ minutes where he is probably fouled)

19 – Crosses attempted from open play, 9 completed, 5 turned into shots, 0.3 xG created

71% – Field tilt (percentage of possession in the final third) for Arsenal. Arsenal dominated the opening 20 minutes and then the final 30.

The numbers above suggest that Arsenal did fairly well at getting the ball up the pitch against Brentford. In all 74% of Arsenal’s attacks ended up with the ball in Brentford’s final third, while keeping Brentford to just 35%. When Arsenal got the ball into the final third, it was a repeat of a lot of the problems that Arsenal had last season, where Arsenal seemed like their first choice to try to get the ball into the box was by going wide, and especially wide to Kieran Tierney to put in a cross.

Tierney put up big numbers (more on this below) but it made Arsenal fairly predictable and Arsenal was unable to create any big chances in this match. Maybe with a more senior striker available, Arsenal could have turned some of this service into better chances but that seems like it is a stretch.

There is a lot to fix still with Arsenal’s chance creation.

Kieran Tierney – The attacking outlet

6 – Key passes (led all players)

0.6 – xG assisted (led all players)

11 – Shot creating actions (led all players)

5 – Passes completed into the penalty area (tied for most among all players)

4 – Progressive passes completed

3 – Shots (tied for second among all players)

9 – Touches in the box (tied for most among all players)

51 – Touches in the attacking third (led all players)

11 – Progressive passes received

15 – Final third entry passes received

If Arsenal’s only attacking idea was to get the ball out wide to Tierney, at least he looked up for the challenge of trying to create something. He was by far Arsenal’s most prolific creative threat in this match, both in volume and quality. He was involved in 63% of Arsenal’s attacks that ended in shots, while also contributing 42% of Arsenal’s expected goals through his shots and key passes.

Sambi Lokonga’s Debut

62 – Passes completed (second on Arsenal)

88.6 – Pass completion rate (82.5% expected pass completion rate)

6 – Final third entry passes completed

6 – Progressive passes completed

3 – Passes completed into the penalty area

2 – Key passes

45% – Percentage of passes that went forward, 37% square, and 18% backward

16 – Progressive carries (223 yards of progressive distance carried)

1 – Dribble completed (2 turnovers)

2 – Tackles won (led Arsenal)

5 – Interceptions (led Arsenal)

All three of Arsenal’s signings made their debuts in this match but for me, Sambi Lokonga was the one that was the brightest. I thought that perhaps getting playing time this early in the season would be setting expectations too high, but Sambi was very impressive in the preseason and took advantage of Thomas Partey being out injured to step right into the team. It wasn’t perfect and at times it looked like he wasn’t sure if he should go forward or stay back, but I think that can be down to only having limited time playing with Xhaka.

What was most impressive about him was that his first instinct when he gets on the ball is to move it forward. He looked very positive driving the ball forward with his carries (16 progressive carries in this match!) and matched that with his passing intent. A good start for the new kid.

@oh_that_crab

Sources: Opta via whoscored, StatsBomb via FBRef

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btw

I though Sambi looked good for his first start. We really need a settled team and somebody that plays through the middle attacking third. ESR may be #10, but he does not really play there. That’s not so much a criticism of him as a player, he does really well, but I think we would have been better off playing him on one of the wings. With Pepe, Martinelli and Balogun we lacked interplay in the final third, how many passes between this group of players?

Futsboller

I don’t know — I thought ESR was absolutely electric through the middle yesterday, and he’s got those legs to get out wide as well. He’s quite a player. I do agree that we need more of an accomplished string-puller, too, but I loved watching ESR in the role yesterday, and wow can he receive the ball on the turn. I know what you mean, though, and I think the problem yesterday up front was that Martinelli and Balogun weren’t able to make their youth matter against that experienced and bullish backline, and Pepe was double-teamed every single time he… Read more »

DPK

‘I know White struggled a bit in the physical matchups’

By those standards of yours, Jose Mourinho is just a bit of a cunt.

Bleeding gums murphy

😂😂

Atom

He does well in the big games largely bc he sets up so defensively and we just counter. What he has not figured out how to do is to consistently set up the team tactically to create chances in games we need to attack. It’s been a theme throughout his 18 months in charge & at least yesterday was relatively true to form. We had 22 shots but really only 1 threatened to score

Daveo

Two good chances IMO – the ESR chance (he shoulda buried that, but he was our best player along with Lokonga and Tierney) and the amazing save Raya made to his right at his near post.

Atom

We are just far too slow on the ball – we constantly let teams get back. It’s been a major issue with no signs of letting up. Unless Arteta changes tactically, I’m afraid we’re in for another disappointing season. His stubbornness looks like it’s going to be his downfall.

Daveo

What is the deal with our press too. We suck at it. It just happens in fits and spurts and it’s so ineffective. When you play a guy like Martinelli (and Balogun and even Pepe actually get’s pretty stuck in on the press) why aren’t we putting on more pressure up the pitch?

Atom

It’s all kind of nuts IMO. We don’t look like we actually have a viable coherent system. We want the ball but won’t take risks when we have it which means lots of sterile possession. We don’t consistently press. Our playing out of the back is a disaster. Xhaka got caught yet again in our box yesterday. We have some young exciting players but how long are they going to want to stick around for this?

Futsboller

Yeah, I was a little alarmed at our passiveness off the ball. That can’t be the instruction. I’d also count Martinelli’s header as a quality chance, from this armchair perspective, and Balogun surely earns a penalty in his moment were he playing for United. I know our shots weren’t quality yesterday, but I’ll take a little positive from seeing Xhaka and Sambi and Tierney having a go more than once (and Xhaka and Tierney coming close). In general, Atom, we are too slow, and I’m sure we’re working on ways to improve that (and Odegaard would help compensate with more… Read more »

Daveo

Dude you are so obsessed with Arteta. “That can’t be the instruction.” of course it is. EVERYTHING we do is by instruction. We are the most micro-managed team outside of perhaps Pep’s ManCity (surprise, surprise). Martinelli can’t stop running on a normal day. He’s clearly under strict instructions over his positioning and pressing. We are so ridiculously slow and so much of that still comes from Xhaka. Our game last night could have been any game from the last 1.5 years. Everything forced through the left channel and Xhaka dominating possession and slowing things down. Concerning was how slow White’s… Read more »

Futsboller

I do think Arteta has great potential and I hope he realizes it at Arsenal. Brentford do not play out from the back and were rather Stoke 2.0 lumping it forward every time they had possession, but if MA was instructing his players not to press what little possession they did have until the end of the game (when they did) then he’s a moron. We are slow and ponderous too much of the time, but my eyes saw a number of fast breaks and quicker decision making in the opposition half — better than we’ve been, despite the lack… Read more »

Teta's cult of personality

“Balogun surely earns a penalty in his moment were he playing for United”

🤣🤣🤣. This is so true

A Different George

Actually, I thought we were set up pretty well against Brentford, given the personnel available. I think I would have started Bellerin rather than Chambers to give Pepe someone to interchange with (I assume that I’m in a small minority on that one). But given the absence of Gabriel, Partey, Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Nktieh, and the limited availability of Saka, I’m not sure what else could be done. (Holding in the back? Elneny instead of Sambi or Xhaka?) Maybe start Saka, to try to get a lead, and then bring on Martinelli, rather than the other way round.

Vaibhav

Fair assessment, imo most of our defensive lapses came from Mari’s inability to come or pass out of a tight situation. There were some altercations as well between colleagues which was not good on the eye. I hope we settle with Gabriel and White going forward. Mari and Holding should be backups now.

DPK

‘There were some altercations as well between colleagues which was not good on the eye’

Apologies if I have misunderstood but are you upset because Arsenal players were givjng out to each other ? If so, that is bonkers imo.
There is not even close to enough bickering in this team. WAY too fucking nice to each other.

Teta's cult of personality

I agree. Teammates argue all the time. Bruno Fernandes was throwing temper tantrums all the time last season.

I can imagine the Amazon camera crew were probably licking their lips😁.

Daveo

Yeah, Sambi, ESR and Tierney stood out for me. Lokonga was everywhere. It is an interesting reflection from Scott that is very telling in my books: “at times it looked like he wasn’t sure if he should go forward or stay back, but I think that can be down to only having limited time playing with Xhaka.” I think this sums up the struggles Partey has with Xhaka too. Xhaka’s immobility means either player that partners him have to also be concerned with getting back rapidly to break up counters because if Xhaka is even slightly out of position he… Read more »

IamaGoober

Really struggled watching that entire performance last night. There were pockets of the game when we looked okay, but I felt that was more down to Brentford allowing us to have the ball in areas where they knew we couldn’t hurt them rather than us working possession intelligently into those parts of the pitch. One thing that I am completely sick of watching though is Xhaka in central midfield constantly circumventing easy passes into our dangerous players, when they are on the shoulders of the opposing centre halves, ready to break into the box with a fairly easy incisive pass… Read more »

loose_cannon

One thing that I am completely sick of watching though is Xhaka in central midfield constantly circumventing easy passes into our dangerous players, when they are on the shoulders of the opposing centre halves, ready to break into the box with a fairly easy incisive pass forward — yet he always opts to go backwards or into Tierney who then lashes a ball into nobody. There was a moment in the first half I think where this happened exactly and it drove me up the wall! Martenelli was right in front of him, off the last man and through on… Read more »

IamaGoober

@loose_cannon

I remember the exact moment you are referring to. It was in the second half, and honestly I was so angry I just ended up laughing to myself thinking we have to watch this until 2025.

thw14

It’s not the players, it’s not been the players for a while now. It’s the ‘progressive passing’ philosophy that has taken over the club.

You can see they’re being coached to vacate the space in front of the penalty area and overload the ‘cutback zones’. It’s not a coincidence that, according to some advanced stats, those passes out to the sides of the penalty area are among the safer ‘forward-looking’ passes in the game, if you define ‘forward’ in certain not-exactly-logical ways.

thw14

Sambi’s natural instinct – like Partey, ESR, Saka etc. – is to try and go central as much as possible, even if they lose possession, and back their ability to complete passes in crowded areas. They’re getting it coached out of them, based on a flawed understanding of build-up play.

The exception is Xhaka, who has always liked a pass aimed toward the corner flag – interestingly, he seems to have been instructed to go shorter and narrower. But the flawed philosophy remains.

Gabigol

This is spot on. Playing both martinelli AND Pepe is suicide defensively. Especially without Partey

Paying ESR wife makes sense. We can let him decide to overload centrally or wide and he knows how to work hard on the flanks.

With Odegaard in the 10 and EsR out left and Saka right we didn’t win many games last season but we played better going forward.

Ode with control and Esr making things happen

Gabigol

😂😂😅autocorrect, apologies to ESR’s wife.

I meant Playing ESR wide

Glen Helders Left Foot

Arteta is a poor manager trying to play a style that only works if you have the best players in the world, we don’t. Over coaching,no fluidity, ridiculous insistence on playing out from the back no matter what. He’s also a bad judge of player ( look at his transfers) and clueless when it comes to subs, a year and a half and zero improvement, blogs and co were up in arms against Emery after a Europa final defeat and 5th yet Arteta gets all the good will and excuses in the world when he’s clearly out of his depth

Virginia Gooner

Bad judge of player? So Partey and Gabriel are bad players? It’s too early to pass judgement on White. I don’t think Sambi should be starting but he looks like a future quality player. Artetas issue isn’t he’s signed a lot of bad players, the problem is he’s signed or been allowed to sign too few players. And that’s largely Edus job to bring players in or get rid of players. This team needed a drastic over haul and Edu has only brought in ONE player that starts in the 11 when everyone’s fit. I understand arguments that Arteta is… Read more »

I'mHere

He lost to brentford not psg ! And only leno, chambers and xhaka are the players that played under wenger.

Saps

Leno was signed under Emery.
Xhaka, Auba, Laca, Chambers, Holding, Kola, Bellerin are hold-overs from the Wenger era.

Atom

Given he’s offered new contracts to xhaka, Hector, holding and Auba, it’s fair to say at least some of those are players he wants

Daveo

Couldn’t agree more, he’s making panicked decisions right now. If he wants to shake the team up we would have accepted the Xhaka offered and NEVER offered him a new deal. Arteta would have swallowed his pride on Saliba and he would have been welcomed back and promised a chance this season. So now he’s a panicked, stubborn man. Not a very enticing combination of traits.

Boff

They’ll be a lot of teams that lose to Brentford this year

Glen Helders Left Foot

Partey has played about 3 good games for us, Gabriel very patchy, he’s brought in and persisted with Willian bought Runnarsson,Cedric,Mari,White for 50m he’s chased Ramsdale,Raya is obsessed with odegaard(1 goal 2 assists) his treatment of Saliba,AMN amongst others. Look at our results after going a goal down shows he’s no ability to change a game

Kostas

Maybe it is too harsh to say bad judgement.

I would put it down to specificity. He wants a specific kind of football but he cannot coach his players to do that. He picks players that match his ambitions but players seem overloaded with information and hence safety first.

This is it under Arteta. Don’t expect any improvements.

Btw No numbers for Ben White? I guess we don’t need numbers to say what can be done by a short and weak overpriced defender…

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Frustrating the Kroenke is finally spending money in a crap manager’s signings

Daveo

This is one of the more frustrating things I see right now. Arteta has complete backing – Willian is his guy, White is his guy (and Willock wasn’t his guy). Pepe was never Emery’s guy, he was never backed to the extent Arteta has been. And the comparison in experience is vast to say the least. My fear is Arteta is the decision Arteta is making in regards to players right now are damaging us long-term. I’d be very suprised if he makes it into 2022 in charge, but the ramifications from his decisions in the transfer market are going… Read more »

Teta's cult of personality

Yeah you’ve summarised my worries quite well. The whole point of a football director is to create an organisational strategy that still function regardless of a change in management. As some of the changes we’re making are irreversible, what happens when things require changing? Just because the club didn’t get Emery the vast majority of his preferred targets doesn’t mean the solution is to only pursue the players Arteta wants. Edu should be able to find a balance between getting Mikel his crucial signings and the alternative recruits (academy & external) that are beneficial to the long-term health of the… Read more »

Francesc

We should sign Madison and not Odegard coz more than technical quality we need personality and strong characters in the squad!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Maddison is currently almost double the price and Leicester don’t want to sell. Personally I hope we can get Odegaard over the line this week before the Chelsea game, and then realistically go for Maddison next summer instead when he’ll only have 2 years left on his contract.

Spanish Gooner

Also I’m not sure I want to give Leicester £80m to strengthen their squad with. They don’t have the commercial or match day revenue we do (and they’re yet to qualify for the Champions League) so realistically they need to make a big sale every time they want to rebuild their squad. I don’t want to hand them that money for a player that seems injury prone and expensive.

loose_cannon

Wasn’t going to comment on this because I’ve made these points before, but just can’t help myself! Over the 3 years Maddison has been in the premier league, he’s had a better appearance record than Kane, Grealish and KdB, making an average of 33 appearances a season. None of those other players are ever really referred to as injury prone. Maddison’s injuries have invariably coincided with Leicester’s league collapses over the last 2 seasons, indicating how important he is for them, and how hard he would be to replace. Leicester City have made some good signings in the past, but… Read more »

loose_cannon

I’d prefer Maddison as well but Ødegaard is more realistic, I’d be happy to have him but don’t think he’d be enough. He’s a neat and tidy player, but maybe at the moment lacking the star quality we really need right now. Don’t think he would have been the difference yesterday either, they’re bigger issues at play.

Voldermort

Crowds are back and still this team wasn’t up for the fight.
I feel for Brentford, someone needs to tell them that not all games in the prem will be that easy.
There is a malaise that runs from the top of this club right through to many of the players.
We are in serious trouble, even after one game you could see some of the players just didn’t seem up for it.

Fenko

Many of the players aren’t happy with Arteta style, judgement and overall man management. Nearly 2 years in charge, you could see that the players aren’t improving. Every good players we brough to Arsenal becomes bad in a matter of days. Their values drop. How is it that AV can produce a player worth over £100,000,000 and no clubs on the world wants many of our players that are up for sales? The players don’t trust Arteta. If Messi and Ramos had signed for Arsenal and played yesterday game, we would still have lost that game. Arteta is a very… Read more »

Bleeding gums murphy

Arteta made a player who wanted to leave the club two weeks ago captain, talk about devalue the honour. He also signed a cb who was exceptional playing Webster and Dunk behind him at Brighton in a back 3/5 . We play with a back four. Go figure. Lastly we could be playing Gabriel (when back) alongside Saliba. Two big guys who won’t be beaten 99 out of 100 times in the air.

Another Paul

With the possible exception of Kieran Tierney who else would you have made captain ?

Qwaliteee

Heh. You omit the glaring choice that everyone knows should be Captain in Auba’s absence.

Most, myself included, want Tierney as Captain anyway.

But, hey ho, this club and common sense are as far removed from each other as they’ve ever been in my experience. And I’ve been supporting The Arsenal since 1971.

Bleeding gums murphy

Don’t need to exclude Tierney as he was playing. But to go with your fantasy I would have picked any other player than Xhaka. He wants out and was courting Roma all summer for fecks sake. Don’t miss the point. We are the Arsenal, we don’t make any cxxt captain. It’s an honour to captain this great club.

Daveo

The worst thing about the Xhaka signing now is we are all praying he doesn’t resign on the (absolutely idioticly) offered 4-year deal. But even if that comes to pass, it kinda makes the club look even worse. A guy we can’t sell due to a lack of interest, who is made a stand-in captain at every chance after telling fans to Fuck-Off and throwing the armband at Auba’s feet, then rejects a new long-term contract. The only saving grace for the club would be to withdraw the offer and just flat out deny it ever happened. What a complete… Read more »

Goonerink

Chambers has been here long enough to be a match day captain, our record signing could be match day captain, goalkeepers make good captains, hell I’d even take an Olympic gold medalist as captain over someone out the door.

Fatgooner

Things are about to turn very nasty. Arteta was very lucky that there was no crowd at games last season. Can you imagine what’s going to happen when we stink the place out at home to those rubbish teams? It looks like there’s already a mood of “enough is enough” about the fan base. We can’t take yet another season of rubbish football and failure. I can see certain players and the manager being driven out of the club by noisy fans. Stans’s outrageous plan to serve up mediocre football and then charge us through the nose for it is… Read more »

ObiKing

In my home country, fans would be at Colney tomorrow at 8AM sharp protesting the man leaves. Our English fans need to hound him out of the club if we are to salvage anything from this season. 17 days before the transfer window closes. We can use the next 6 days to find a new manager and the remainder of the window to secure targets.

Tampa jack

Doesn’t matter in the end but I don’t understand how Balogun doesn’t get a penalty. That seemed clear. I know the refs are trying to let them play and I’m fine with that in open outfield play but he got clattered in the motion of taking shot in the box. I typically don’t like constant complaining about decisions but I think we could have made a bit of a stink there to try and at least get VAR to look at it. Maybe they did and maybe this season that’s not a pen but don’t tell me if that’s Kane… Read more »

Goo-nerd

I also think the blocking by the Brentford player on Leno was a clear foul. He had his arms over and hooked into Len’s arms – it wasn’t just a block.
I still think 95% of this loss is on us but I notice that big VAR reviews and ref decisions very rarely go in our favor.

Bleeding gums murphy

Leno needs to do something about it. Push forward and step down the back of Achilles, stamp on foot whilst jumping. Do something fit fecks sake. Don’t just stand there. He is a liability in situations like this, with the ball at his feet and coming for crosses. A good shot stopper though 😂😂🙄

Daveo

Fall to the ground at the players grab. Easy, it’s not cheating because the player was grabbing him (and the ref couldn’t see it), but if he goes down like he’s been pulled 99/100 the GK gets the decision. Doesn’t take away from the fact Leno never would have come for the ball anyway. How many floated balls come in to the edge of the 6-yard box with Leno in goals and he settles on the line. He just doesn’t command his box enough. That is in stark contrast to Raya last night, who was absolutely dominant in every area… Read more »

David C

or go down and exaggerate the interference from the Brentford player. Goalies always get the call in those situations.

Bleeding gums murphy

Seems like basic stuff to me. If he try’s to move goes down it goes to var and they have to give the free kick

A Different George

It seems pretty clear from Saturday’s matches that, at least for the next several weeks, there will be far fewer penalties given than last year and fewer VAR interventions. The much more sparing use of VAR in the Euros made the Prem look ridiculous–as it should. In general, I think this is very positive. However, the one thing VAR should be used for, the use that actually improves the game, is to spot serious infractions that a referee is blocked from seeing (a genuine hand ball with the player’s body blocking the referee’s view; a more-than-momentary shirt grab to stop… Read more »

Teta's cult of personality

“Michael Oliver in charge of #BREARS.We Found That Oliver Has Given Most Yellows Against #AFC and Given On AVG Most Fouls Against #Arsenal.We Also Found That Oliver Has Officiated Most Draws, Least Wins and 2nd Most Losses/Red Cards for #AFC after Atkinson/Moss respectively. #COYG” @exploratedata So I can think of three factors influencing the (non-penalty) decision. (1) Our history with Michael Oliver (2) Our starting line-up being much younger and filled with debutante means the players are less likely to contest fouls (3) The PGMOL trying to force the issue that they’ll be more lenient on fouls, handballs etc I… Read more »

Vonnie

It’s not bad luck it’s by design. The three stooges in charge of that game would never give Arsenal anything.

Teta's cult of personality

What I gather from the xG data you’ve provided is that we’re creating far more low quality chances and way less high quality chances. Which fits in line with the high number of crosses we keep spamming into the box to no-one. Sambi looked nervy last night which is perfectly understandable. Despite the nerves, he maintained some semblance of press-resistance and progressive thinking, which is a positive sign. I hope the coach fits in instructions that play to his strengths because I don’t want the lad to get too accustomed to “safe football”. Surely, Arteta can see all this attacking… Read more »

Daveo

I’m not sure why the non-shot xG is of greatest interest (the graphed data). Is it just to try and make us look good? Who cares about non-shot xG?

Teta's cult of personality

I didn’t even notice the graph title at first. It’s certainly not as useful as the basic xG metric.

Actions that don’t involve setting up or taking a goal-scoring chance shouldn’t count towards xG. I’m sure things like lining up our players for corners (which we’re not good at anyway) probably count towards non-shot xG.

thw14

It is genuinely bizarre that these kinds of stats seem to be directly informing the club’s strategy. Obviously we can’t know for sure, but the whispers that players like Xhaka and Mustafi were brought in on statDNA recommendations, particularly on the basis of stats like ‘packing‘ – wow. These stats are in their infancy – there are so many problems with how they are defined, let alone how they are compiled and interpreted. At most, they’re fun for fans to discuss. Using them to gain an edge in the market is just one part of the ass-backward forward thinking that… Read more »

Mentalista

Teams that don’t shoot?

Daveo

It’s probably statDNA’s number one recruiting data point.

Jahan Sagafi

Watching Arsenal under Emery/Arteta has been excruciating, bc of our plodding attack, passing around gently probing in an arc around the box. Watching other teams is so much more fun – look at the pace of attacks in Man U v Leeds, for example. I wonder — is there a stat that could capture ATTACK VELOCITY? Like how many seconds from defense to shot? I bet that would expose how slow Arsenal’s attack is.

Fabulous

Exactly my thoughts man. Even when the break is on we move the ball so bloody slow, Brentford will eventually get back in shape. Excruciating to watch.

A Different George

You know that Paul Pogba is better than Xhaka? Could that explain anything?

loose_cannon

Would have been interesting to see an analysis of White and Mari’s performances, looked like they really struggled yesterday.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Marry and White usually go together, but yesterday was more like a messy divorce.

Scott Willis

I thought about it but I didn’t really want to be overly negative for my own sanity. Also I’d like to see a few more matches with White.

loose_cannon

Fair enough!

Daveo

A nice way of saying he was shite, and got dominated physically and in the air. And his partner was pretty poor too.

Dave

Taking off Balogun for Martinelli was stupid.

Dave

Instead of*

Dave

Odegaard will make a big difference in getting the ball into more dangerous positions.

SteveC

Having just seen results from Chelsea, United and Liverpool, I can only conclude that we are going to be in a fight to make it into the top eight. Top four is not a realistic possibility. Something is intrinsically wrong at the club and the team is less than the sum of its parts!

Jfmgunner

Too soon to lump Ben White into the “everything that comes from Arteta must be terrible ” narrative. Maybe give him, what, 3 whole games and let him adjust to a new team and atmosphere? I think he plays into Arteta’s build from the back blueprint, but I also fear Arteta wants to play the Guardiola style without the players to execute it effectively. I begin to agree that Arteta may be out of his depth, but how much comes down to the players not executing his vision? How much is that the plan is poor? Everyone has an opinion… Read more »

Kostas

Nice comment which drifts away from the ultra polarised social media era. Ben white has to become elite passer & tackler & game reader to mitigate his physical weaknesses. If he doesn’t he is just overpriced. Not to mention the other young CB on the same position who is driven out of the door for no footballing reason. Arteta is backed in the market. We changed many players since he started and kept some that should have left. If his vision needs a Messi to be executed then the problem is the vision. The whole point of the manager is… Read more »

Man Manny

Arsenal has climbed out of the relegation places: things are looking up.

Goonersince55

Different players have different skills and so the task of the manager is to bring them together in a system where they complement each other, otherwise it can become a disparate mess however good they may be individually. From my long memory I can remember when very different players worked together brilliantly in a team: Peter Storey and Gorge Graham; Geordie Armstrong and John Radford; Nobby Stiles and Martin Peters etc. etc.

Doghouse

Can anybody explain why we spent £50 mil on a £10 mil if that on a CB we don’t obviously need yet have spent nothing on a couple of creative mids we do ?? 1 game in and I’m So fucking fed up already, long are the days we used to get criticised for trying to walk the ball in the net now we have reserted to hit and fucking hope.. there is no idea to what we are doing, no pattern, no press, clueless from the back..let’s be honest 1 game in we are now looking to be relegation… Read more »

Gabigol

Oh this is my favourite type of report, thanks

SarcasmB0t

My favorite stat is that even though we made something like 270 more passes, Brentford had 12 more progressive passes.

Arteta’s football in a nutshell.

Teta's cult of personality

Seriously😲? What a joke.

SarcasmB0t

That’s what it says –
Passes: 314 to 588;
Progressive Passes: 67 to 55.

Doesn’t exactly contradict the eye test, either.

Mark

From my sofa point of view, we miss so many chances to play a defence splitting pass. There are plenty of times we can see a great pass would cause havoc to the opposing defence but no, lets pass backwards or just behind our own player so he slows down to retrieve the ball and lose the advantage. Is it the lack of a creative player? A lack of a player with vision? Or is it the players are too frightened of making a mistake?

PARsenal

So few more sessions of Arteta training and then Sambi will stop those attempts at going forward.

what the stats tell us also is that when Brentford had the ball they took a lot more risk to drive it forward whereas we rather try to keep it rather then be dynamic with it.

PARsenal

And on Ben White, isn’t it the most expensive short defender ever? He is only 6 feet, I assume that no defender that short has ever cost that much!

Jean Ralphio

Would a 3 at the back work better with chambers sacrificed for one more creative player? I’d like to see more creativity on the pitch once we sign an attacking mid without sacrificing Pepe. I know we tried it in the past but I’d be intrigued to at least try it to match opposing teams.