Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 1

Following each season of the Premier League, each Arsenal player’s career-to-date performances are analysed and ranked against their internal competition.

Methodology

In assessing the on-field production and the comparative ranking of each player which comprise Arsenal’s senior squad, 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
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Fullback
  • Central Midfielders
  • Attacking Midfielders
  • Centre Forward

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) in Europe’s top 5 leagues or the Championship, was considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, their productivity data was not assessed.

The KPI data considered for each positional group is based on the assumption that Arsenal adopt a 4-3-2-1 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defending in a compact low block of six players (right and left fullbacks, central defenders and central midfielders), with the centre forward and attacking midfielders remaining higher up the pitch to enable counter attacks. This compactness is maintained by a position-focus defensive approach, that sees those six players prioritise retention of shape, and shifting from side to side to deny the opposition space and block passes into the box.
  • Counter attacking, with the right and left fullbacks, central defenders and central midfielders distributing the ball forward to the attacking midfielders and centre forward to enable those those four attacking players to dribble the ball upfield . In the final third:
    • the wider attacking midfielders can similarly dribble the ball to the byline (in the half-space) and cut the ball back, shoot to the back post, make diagonal runs into the box or attempt the pass into the centre forward
    • the central attacking midfielder can either shoot to either corner of the goal from outside the box, or attempt passes into the centre forward of wider attacking midfielders as they make diagonal runs into the box
    • the centre forward takes up a central position in the box to shoot from cut back and passes to and around him.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The fullbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent (2+ per match) and and make interceptions (2+ per match) to recover the ball, and contribute to the team’s transitional play through making multiple long passes forward to the attacking midfielders and centre forward as they counter attack (3+ per match).
  • The central defenders’ primary aims are to shield the goalkeeper by positioning themselves to intercept passes into the box (2+ per game), win aerial duels (3+ per game), and contribute to the team’s transitional play through making multiple long passes forward to the attacking midfielders and centre forward as they counter attack (3+ per game).
  • The central midfielders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent (2+ per match) and make interceptions (2+ per match) to recover the ball , contribute to the team’s transitional play through making multiple long passes forward to the attacking midfielders and centre forward as they counter attack (3+ per match).
  • The attacking midfielders’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s transitional play and offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+ per game) and key passes (2+ per game), and contributing to the team’s goal scoring (10+ goals per season).
  • The centre forwards’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s transitional play and offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+ per match), and significantly contributing to the team’s goal scoring (15+ goals per season).

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

The player rankings by position are as follows:

Goalkeeper

Right Fullback

Central Defenders

Left Fullback

Central Midfielders

Attacking Midfielders

Strikers

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs, and
  • Holding, Gabriel, Partey, Lacazette, Aubameyang, and Nketiah recovering from injury, and Torreira unavaliable,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 1 Premier League clash vs Brentford would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: