Arsenal Analysis: 2019/2020 Squad Profile and Round 1 Team Selection

With Arsenal’s 2019/2020 Premier League campaign about to commence and the transfer window firmly shut until January 2020, it’s a good opportunity to take a closer look at the on field production of each player in Arsenal’s senior squad, using data from Whoscored.com. Doing so not only helps to develop a clearer understanding of the playing tendencies of each player, over their professional career, but the findings provide invaluable insight as to:

  • how each player ranks against their internal competition; and
  • which players, based on their productivity, should Arsenal focus on accommodating when determining their playing formation.

Methodology

In assessing the on-field production and the comparative ranking of each player which comprise Arsenal’s senior squad, each player from that squad has been allocated into one of seven positional categories (with some players considered in multiple positional categories due to their notional versatility).

Those seven 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 has then been considered, using data sourced from Whoscored.com.

To provide a realistic picture of each individual player’s on-field production, only data from those seasons, throughout the player’s professional career, where the player has started at least 15 league games in at least two seasons (consecutive or non-consecutive) was considered. Where a player has not, throughout their professional career, started at least 15 league games in at least two season (consecutive or non-consecutive), their productivity data was not assessed.

Different weightings were 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:

  • To provide a solid defensive platform, and allow for quick forward transitions, and higher probability goal scoring 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 defence, and block shots.
  • Arsenal’s fullbacks’ primary aims are to recover the ball from their opponent (tackles and interceptions), execute multiple key passes during a match, 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, and 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.

Player assessment and rankings

GoalkeeperRight FullbackCentre BackLeft FullbackCentral MidfieldAttacking MidfieldStriker

Formation and line-up

Based on the above analytical comparison, Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis, and with Bellerin, Holding, Mavropanos, Tierney, and Smith Rowe unavailable through injury, the 11 players which comprise Arsenal’s most productive starting 11, for their round 1 clash versus Newcastle, would appear to be as follows:

Line Up

 

Freddie08

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