Arsenal Player Analysis: Round 14 Player Analysis and Round 15 Team Selection

Following each round of the Premier League, each Arsenal player’s season-to-date performance is analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

In assessing the respective players on field production and their comparative internal rankings, each player is allocated into eight positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • goalkeeper
  • right fullback
  • centre back
  • left fullback
  • defensive midfield
  • centre midfield
  • attacking midfield
  • striker

Once categorised, each player’s output in defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for their respective positional category is then considered, using data sourced from Whoscored.com.

Different weightings are then assigned to the KPI data considered for each positional group based on the assumption that the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defensively: press the opponent when they are in their own half, and then when the ball transitions into Arsenal half, establish and maintain compactness by adopting a medium block, position focused pressing game, in which the forwards and midfielders prioritise retention of shape, and only press the ball when it goes out to an opposition fullback or when a centre back pushes forwards.
  • Offensively: transition the ball quickly forward on turnovers to create higher probability goal scoring opportunities, and create overloads on the flanks to generate cut back opportunities.
  • Arsenal’s goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • Arsenal’s centre backs’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), win aerial duels, clear the ball from danger and block shots.
  • Arsenal’s fullbacks’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), cross the ball multiple times during a match (with the intent of providing assists), and contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through multiple forward dribbles per match.
  • Arsenal’s defensive midfielders’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), and contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through accurate passing, and multiple long range passes per match.
  • Arsenal’s central midfielders’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through accurate passing, and multiple forward dribbles per match, and contributing to Arsenal’s offensive play by providing multiple key pass and shots per game.
  • Arsenal’s attacking midfielders’ primary aims are to provide assists, score goals, create goal scoring opportunities through multiple key passes, multiple through passes, and multiple forward dribbles per match.
  • Arsenal’s strikers’ primary aims are to score goals, and record multiple shots and successful aerial duels per match.

The findings of the aforementioned analysis, provide an invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition within their positional category; and
  • which 11 players make up Arsenal’s most productive team.

Internal player rankings

Following Round 14 of the Premier League, the player rankings are as follows:

GoalkeeperRight FullbackCentre BackLeft FullbackDefensive MidfieldCentre MidfieldAttacking MidfieldStriker

Formation and line-up

Based on the above analytical comparison, Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis, and with Ceballos, and Bellerin recovering from an injury, the 11 players which comprise Arsenal’s most productive starting 11, for their round 15 clash versus Brighton, would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Who should replace Emery? Max Allegri?

With Unai Emery relieved of his managerial duties at Arsenal, the question is who Arsenal should replace him with. This mini-series focuses on a select number of prospective managerial candidates and their tactical philosophies. Next up is former Juventus manager Max Allegri.

Content sourced from TIFO Football.

Considering Allegri substantial success at Juventus, and his proven ability to employ a system of play which is both pragmatic and best suits the skills of the players at his disposal, Allegri could be beneficial to the club.

Based on his tactical approach and Arsenal’s current squad, an Arsenal side under Allegri’s guidance might look something like this:

If the Italian was to be appointed, it would certainly be interesting to see how he adapts to the cut and thrust of the Premier League.

Freddie08

 

Who should replace Emery? Jorge Sampaoli?

With Unai Emery relieved of his managerial duties at Arsenal, the question is who Arsenal should replace him with. This mini-series focuses on a select number of prospective managerial candidates and their tactical philosophies. Next up is current Santos manager Jorge Sampaoli.

As a self-declared disciple of Marcelo Bielsa, Sampaoli is a firm believer in a particular attack minded approach, which he has shown to employ, whether home, away, against the worst or best teams in the world. Like his mentor Bielsa, Sampaoli’s sides are typically known for their high and aggressive pressing, movements and positioning, verticality and overlapping fullbacks. 

Sampaoli also likes his sides to play the game in the opposition half as much as possible. The defenders position themselves on the halfway line as the forwards and midfielders make a lot of vertical movement into the opposition area overloading the space between the lines.

In terms of formations, Sampaoli often employs a 3-4-1-2, which depending on the opposition can be moulded into a 4-3-1-2, 3-5-2 or 3-2-3-2. Typically, Sampaoli uses a three-man defence when his sides’ face opponents which deploy two forwards, as he always wants an extra man in defence. Against a lone striker, Sampaoli will normally deploy two center backs in a back four.

Sampaoli is also a big fan of playing out from the back. Specifically, his sides have a tendency to circulate possession in their own half to find gaps before switching to a very quick and vertical approach as they enter the opposition area.

As a result, when Sampaoli uses a back three, the central defender is often a deep lying midfielder. Alternatively, in a 4-3-2-1 shape, a deep lying midfielder will normally drop into the defence as the centre halves spread apart to form a three man backline which prompts the vertical movement of Sampaoli’s very attacking fullbacks.

The threat of Sampaoli’s attacking fullbacks creates space in the channels for his side’s quick wide forwards. The fullback overlapping runs normally occupy opposition fullbacks which gives room to the wide forwards to move into more central zones.

In midfield Sampaoli, like Bielsa, demands a lot of his two box-to-box midfielders, who in addition to ferociously pressing opponents, are also expected to make a lot of forward runs to creates space for the team’s forwards. 

Up front, the 54-year-old stations quick wide forwards in attack with a highly technical player playing in a number 10 role. In this system, the wide forwards attack the channels while the fullbacks provide width, allowing space in the middle for the number 10.

The number 10 plays a key role in Sampaoli’s side. His job is to keep the midfield ticking and to serve as a creative hub linking the midfield and attack. Sampaoli’s attacking ideology is fixated on the creation of wide and central overloading of an area. As such, Sampaoli’s sides tend to keep a close distance between each other in offense, giving more numbers and depth for their attacking philosophy. The number 10 is critical in such situations, as he is able to create angles for teammates.

Without the ball, Sampaoli’s sides are one of the most aggressive, due to their intense pressing to regain possession. Sampaoli instructs his team to press in a high block, blocking passing lanes for opponents.

Their aggressive pressing isn’t just to regain possession for circulation. Rather, Sampaoli’s sides press as a form of attack. Like Bielsa, Sampaoli’s of the view that pressing high up the pitch gives you a better chance of scoring because you’re closer to goal if you win possession, rather than having to construct a move from the back.

Sampaoli’s teams press in a fluid system and have many pressing triggers. For example when the ball is played to a player facing his own goal or when the opposition get the ball near the touchline. In these situations, his sides compress the space using the touchline as an extra defender to further reduce their opponent’s options.

While Sampaoli’s recent experience with the Argentine national team was one to forget, his impressive performances as the manager of Sevilla, Chile and the Universidad de Chile, and his attacking football philosophy, which is very much in the mould of Bielsa, would seem to fit Arsenal, and give the side an identity which it is currently missing.

Based on his tactical approach and Arsenal’s current squad, an Arsenal side under Sampaoli’s guidance might look something like this:

If the Argentine was to be appointed, he would certainly bring back some excitement to the Gunners’ attacking play.

Freddie08

Who should replace Emery? Gareth Southgate?

With Unai Emery relieved of his managerial duties at Arsenal, the question is who Arsenal should replace him with. This mini-series focuses on a select number of prospective managerial candidates and their tactical philosophies. Next up is current England manager Gareth Southgate.

Content sourced from TIFO Football.

Considering Southgate’s success at employing a system which is both pragmatic and defensively sound and which can also allow for dynamic attacking play, and his experience and knowledge of the Premier League itself, Southgate would appear to be a good choice for Arsenal.  Importantly, Southgate’s knowledge of England’s underage playing personnel and his willingness to give youth players an opportunity, could be both advantageous to Arsenal in terms of domestic recruitment and the club’s desire to promote youth.

Based on his tactical approach and Arsenal’s current squad, an Arsenal side under  Southgate’s guidance might look something like this:

If the Englishman was to be appointed, I think he would certainly stabilize the team on the field.

Freddie08

 

Who should replace Emery? Marcelo Bielsa?

With Unai Emery relieved of his managerial duties at Arsenal, the question is who Arsenal should replace him with. This mini-series focuses on a select number of prospective managerial candidates and their tactical philosophies. First up is current Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Content sourced from TIFO Football.

Considering Bielsa’s extensive experience, military approach, and his football philosophy being based on rapid and direct attacks, using width rotation to achieve numerical overloads, and relentless pressing, Bielsa would seem to be a ideal fit for Arsenal.  Importantly, Bielsa could also be the type of personality who could drive the necessary cultural change Arsenal are so desperately need to become a competitive force once again.

Based on his tactical approach and Arsenal’s current squad, an Arsenal side under Bielsa’s guidance might look something like this:

If the Argentine was to be appointed, he would certainly have my tick of approval.

Freddie08

 

Arsenal Player Analysis: Round 13 Player Analysis and Round 14 Team Selection

Following each round of the Premier League, each Arsenal player’s season-to-date performance is analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

In assessing the respective players on field production and their comparative internal rankings, each player is allocated into eight positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • goalkeeper
  • right fullback
  • centre back
  • left fullback
  • defensive midfield
  • centre midfield
  • attacking midfield
  • striker

Once categorised, each player’s output in defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for their respective positional category is then considered, using data sourced from Whoscored.com.

Different weightings are then assigned to the KPI data considered for each positional group based on the assumption that the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defensively: press the opponent when they are in their own half, and then when the ball transitions into Arsenal half, establish and maintain compactness by adopting a medium block, position focused pressing game, in which the forwards and midfielders prioritise retention of shape, and only press the ball when it goes out to an opposition fullback or when a centre back pushes forwards.
  • Offensively: transition the ball quickly forward on turnovers to create higher probability goal scoring opportunities, and create overloads on the flanks to generate cut back opportunities.
  • Arsenal’s goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • Arsenal’s centre backs’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), win aerial duels, clear the ball from danger and block shots.
  • Arsenal’s fullbacks’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), cross the ball multiple times during a match (with the intent of providing assists), and contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through multiple forward dribbles per match.
  • Arsenal’s defensive midfielders’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), and contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through accurate passing, and multiple long range passes per match.
  • Arsenal’s central midfielders’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through accurate passing, and multiple forward dribbles per match, and contributing to Arsenal’s offensive play by providing multiple key pass and shots per game.
  • Arsenal’s attacking midfielders’ primary aims are to provide assists, score goals, create goal scoring opportunities through multiple key passes, multiple through passes, and multiple forward dribbles per match.
  • Arsenal’s strikers’ primary aims are to score goals, and record multiple shots and successful aerial duels per match.

The findings of the aforementioned analysis, provide an invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition within their positional category; and
  • which 11 players make up Arsenal’s most productive team.

Internal player rankings

Following Round 13 of the Premier League, the player rankings are as follows:

GoalkeeperRight FullbackCentre BackLeft FullbackDefensive MidfieldCentre MidfieldAttacking MidfieldStriker

Formation and line-up

Based on the above analytical comparison, Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis, and with Ceballos, Bellerin, Kolasinac, and Luiz recovering from an injury, the 11 players which comprise Arsenal’s most productive starting 11, for their round 14 clash versus Norwich, would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Round 12 Player Analysis and Round 13 Team Selection

Following each round of the Premier League, each Arsenal player’s season-to-date performance is analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

In assessing the respective players on field production and their comparative internal rankings, each player is allocated into seven positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • goalkeeper
  • right fullback
  • centre back
  • left fullback
  • centre midfield
  • attacking midfield
  • striker

Once categorised, each player’s output in defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for their respective positional category is then considered, using data sourced from Whoscored.com.

Different weightings are then assigned to the KPI data considered for each positional group based on the assumption that the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defensively: press the opponent when they are in their own half, and then when the ball transitions into Arsenal half, establish and maintain compactness by adopting a medium block, position focused pressing game, in which the forwards and midfielders prioritise retention of shape, and only press the ball when it goes out to an opposition fullback or when a centre back pushes forwards.
  • Offensively: transition the ball quickly forward on turnovers to create higher probability goal scoring opportunities, and create overloads on the flanks to generate cut back opportunities.
  • Arsenal’s goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • Arsenal’s centre backs’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), win aerial duels, clear the ball from danger and block shots.
  • Arsenal’s fullbacks’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), cross the ball multiple times during a match (with the intent of providing assists), and contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through multiple forward dribbles per match.
  • Arsenal’s central midfielders’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), and contribute to the team’s offensive transitional play through accurate passing, multiple long range passes, and multiple forward dribbles per match.
  • Arsenal’s attacking midfielders’ primary aims are to provide assists, score goals, create goal scoring opportunities through multiple key passes, multiple through passes, and multiple forward dribbles per match.
  • Arsenal’s strikers’ primary aims are to score goals, and record multiple shots and successful aerial duels per match.

The findings of the aforementioned analysis, provide an invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition within their positional category; and
  • which 11 players make up Arsenal’s most productive team.

Internal player rankings

Following Round 12 of the Premier League, the player rankings are as follows:

GoalkeeperRight FullbackCentre BackLeft FullbackCentre MidfieldAttacking MidfieldStriker

Formation and line-up

Based on the above analytical comparison, Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis, and with Ceballos and Kolasinac recovering from an injury, the 11 players which comprise Arsenal’s most productive starting 11, for their round 13 clash versus Southampton, would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08