Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 25

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 nine positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Defensive Midfielder
  • Central Midfielders
  • Centre Forward
  • 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 met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • In attack, Arsenal can generally dynamically, rather through patient build up involving the central defensive midfielder, though the central defensive midfielder’s role in spreading the play or helping the centre backs bring the ball out should not be understated. In Aubameyang (Pepe/Martinelli) and Lacazette (Nketiah), Arsenal have complimentary forwards who thrive on direct balls. Lacazette (Nketiah) can be used to hold up the ball or drop off, with Aubameyang (Pepe/Martinelli) possessing the attacking positional awareness and explosiveness to run in behind or between the opposition’s defence. Arsenal can play very vertically, especially if the centre backs can bring the ball out and play in the centre forward or striker directly. Otherwise, Arsenal can use width to create overloads or one vs one situations for a wingback to attack the opposition’s full back, get to by-line and cut the ball back for the centre forward and/or striker and onrushing central midfielder(s).
  • Arsenal’s 3-5-2 in attack, can turn into a 5-3-2 in defence. Generally, Arsenal can look to press man for man higher up the pitch, and often try to shepherd the opposition into wider areas by allowing the opposition’s fullbacks some space, leaving them as the easiest option for a pass. This allows Arsenal to stuff up the middle of the pitch, making them hard to play through. It also means that when Arsenal do engage the opposition out wide, there is space in behind the opposition’s fullbacks in which they can attack.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The wingbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles and key passes (2+) 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 as aerial duels (3+ per game), and execute multiple long passes (3+) per game.
  • The central defensive midfielder’s primary aims are to shield the central defenders by tackling their opponent and intercepting passes to recover the ball (2+ each) per match, and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central midfielders primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+) per match, and contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+) and key passes (2+) per match.
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to hold up the ball, link with the central midfielders and wingbacks, create opportunities for the striker (multiple (2+) key passes per match) as well as attempt multiple shots per game (3+) and significantly contribute to the team’s goal scoring (15+ goals per season).
  • The striker’s primary aims are to make run in behind and in between the opposition’s defensive line, attempt multiple shots per game (3+) and significantly contribute 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 Wingback

Central Defenders

Left Wingback

Central Defensive Midfielder

Central Midfielders

Centre Forward

Striker

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Partey recovering from injury, and
  • this being one of Arsenal’s harder fixture of the three between 14 February and 21 February,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 25 Premier League clash versus Manchester City would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Europa League Round of 32

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 nine positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Defensive Midfielder
  • Central Midfielders
  • Centre Forward
  • 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 met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • In attack, Arsenal can generally dynamically, rather through patient build up involving the central defensive midfielder, though the central defensive midfielder’s role in spreading the play or helping the centre backs bring the ball out should not be understated. In Aubameyang (Pepe/Martinelli) and Lacazette (Nketiah), Arsenal have complimentary forwards who thrive on direct balls. Lacazette (Nketiah) can be used to hold up the ball or drop off, with Aubameyang (Pepe/Martinelli) possessing the attacking positional awareness and explosiveness to run in behind or between the opposition’s defence. Arsenal can play very vertically, especially if the centre backs can bring the ball out and play in the centre forward or striker directly. Otherwise, Arsenal can use width to create overloads or one vs one situations for a wingback to attack the opposition’s full back, get to by-line and cut the ball back for the centre forward and/or striker and onrushing central midfielder(s).
  • Arsenal’s 3-5-2 in attack, can turn into a 5-3-2 in defence. Generally, Arsenal can look to press man for man higher up the pitch, and often try to shepherd the opposition into wider areas by allowing the opposition’s fullbacks some space, leaving them as the easiest option for a pass. This allows Arsenal to stuff up the middle of the pitch, making them hard to play through. It also means that when Arsenal do engage the opposition out wide, there is space in behind the opposition’s fullbacks in which they can attack.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The wingbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles and key passes (2+) 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 as aerial duels (3+ per game), and execute multiple long passes (3+) per game.
  • The central defensive midfielder’s primary aims are to shield the central defenders by tackling their opponent and intercepting passes to recover the ball (2+ each) per match, and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central midfielders primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+) per match, and contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+) and key passes (2+) per match.
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to hold up the ball, link with the central midfielders and wingbacks, create opportunities for the striker (multiple (2+) key passes per match) as well as attempt multiple shots per game (3+) and significantly contribute to the team’s goal scoring (15+ goals per season).
  • The striker’s primary aims are to make run in behind and in between the opposition’s defensive line, attempt multiple shots per game (3+) and significantly contribute 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 Wingback

Central Defenders

Left Wingback

Central Defensive Midfielder

Central Midfielders

Centre Forward

Striker

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Tierney, Partey and Aubameyang recovering from injuries, and
  • this being one of Arsenal’s harder fixture of the three between 14 February and 21February,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round of 32 Europa League clash versus Benfica would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 24

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 nine positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Defensive Midfielder
  • Central Midfielders
  • Centre Forward
  • 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 met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • In attack, Arsenal can generally dynamically, rather through patient build up involving the central defensive midfielder, though the central defensive midfielder’s role in spreading the play or helping the centre backs bring the ball out should not be understated. In Aubameyang (Pepe/Martinelli) and Lacazette (Nketiah), Arsenal have complimentary forwards who thrive on direct balls. Lacazette (Nketiah) can be used to hold up the ball or drop off, with Aubameyang (Pepe/Martinelli) possessing the attacking positional awareness and explosiveness to run in behind or between the opposition’s defence. Arsenal can play very vertically, especially if the centre backs can bring the ball out and play in the centre forward or striker directly. Otherwise, Arsenal can use width to create overloads or one vs one situations for a wingback to attack the opposition’s full back, get to by-line and cut the ball back for the centre forward and/or striker and onrushing central midfielder(s).
  • Arsenal’s 3-5-2 in attack, can turn into a 5-3-2 in defence. Generally, Arsenal can look to press man for man higher up the pitch, and often try to shepherd the opposition into wider areas by allowing the opposition’s fullbacks some space, leaving them as the easiest option for a pass. This allows Arsenal to stuff up the middle of the pitch, making them hard to play through. It also means that when Arsenal do engage the opposition out wide, there is space in behind the opposition’s fullbacks in which they can attack.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The wingbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles and key passes (2+) 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 as aerial duels (3+ per game), and execute multiple long passes (3+) per game.
  • The central defensive midfielder’s primary aims are to shield the central defenders by tackling their opponent and intercepting passes to recover the ball (2+ each) per match, and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central midfielders primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+) per match, and contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+) and key passes (2+) per match.
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to hold up the ball, link with the central midfielders and wingbacks, create opportunities for the striker (multiple (2+) key passes per match) as well as attempt multiple shots per game (3+) and significantly contribute to the team’s goal scoring (15+ goals per season).
  • The striker’s primary aims are to make run in behind and in between the opposition’s defensive line, attempt multiple shots per game (3+) and significantly contribute 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 Wingback

Central Defenders

Left Wingback

Central Defensive Midfielder

Central Midfielders

Centre Forward

Striker

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Tierney, and Partey recovering from injuries, and
  • this being Arsenal’s easiest fixture of the three between 14 February and 21February,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 24 Premier League clash versus Leeds would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 22

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 nine 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 Defensive Midfielders
  • Right Attacking Midfielder
  • Central Attacking Midfielder
  • Left Attacking Midfielder
  • 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 met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Attack primarily by:
    • the striker and attacking midfielders forcing turning overs in the opposition’s half, and creating goal scoring opportunities by dribbling the ball upfield, and/or executing key passes for their fellow attackers, or
    • the central defensive midfielders and fullbacks recovering the ball deep in their own half and quickly progressing the ball forward to the attacking midfielders and striker to counterattack.
  • Defend by the striker and attacking midfielders pressing the opponent in their own half to force errors, while the central defensive midfielders, fullbacks and centre backs hold deeper positions, should the initial press be bypassed.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The fullbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple long passes to the attacking midfielders and striker (3+) per match.
  • The central defenders’ primary aims are to shield the goalkeeper by positioning themselves to block shots (1+ per game), and intercept passes in the box (2+ per game), as win as aerial duels (3+ per game), and clear the ball (3+ per game).
  • The central defensive midfielder’s primary aims are to shield the central defenders by tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and executive multiple long passes to the attacking midfielders and striker (3+) per match.
  • The striker and attacking midfielders’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match as well as goals (15+ 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 Defensive Midfielders

Right Attacking Midfielder

Central Attacking Midfielder

Left Attacking Midfielder

Striker

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Mari, Tierney, Ceballos, Saka and Aubameyang recovering from injuries or absent for personal reasons, and
  • this being the easier of Arsenal’s three fixtures between 30 January and 6 February,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 22 Premier League clash versus Wolverhampton Wolves would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 21

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 nine 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 Defensive Midfielder
  • Central Midfielders
  • Right Winger
  • Left Winger
  • 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) was considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 4-1-2-3 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Attack by patiently passing the ball amongst their goalkeeper, central defenders, central defensive midfielder and inverted fullbacks to draw the opposition forward, and then quickly transition the ball forward to:
    • the wingers, when in one on one opportunities, to aggressively attack the by-line and to cut the ball back for the centre forward, onrushing central midfielders or opposite winger to shoot; or
    • the central midfielders to play through passes to the centre forward or wingers as they cut inside to shoot.
  • Defend by the centre forward, wingers, and central midfielders pressing the opponent in their own half to force errors, while the central defensive midfielders, fullbacks and centre backs hold deeper positions, should the initial press be bypassed.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The fullbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+), key passes (1+) and long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central defenders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per game), and win aerial duels (3+ per game), and contribute to the team’s offensive play through multiple long passes (3+ per game).
  • The central defensive midfielder’s primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central midfielders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match.
  • The wingers’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match as well as goals (10+ per season).
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple shots (3+) per match as well as goals (15+ 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 Defensive Midfielder

Central Midfielders

Right Winger

Left Winger

Centre Forward

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Mari, Tierney, Partey, Ceballos, Smith-Rowe and Aubameyang recovering from injuries or absent for personal reasons, and
  • this being a more significant fixture of Arsenal’s three fixtures between 23 January and 30 January,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 21 Premier League clash versus Manchester United would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 20

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 nine 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 Defensive Midfielder
  • Central Midfielders
  • Right Winger
  • Left Winger
  • 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) was considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 4-1-2-3 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Attack by patiently passing the ball amongst their goalkeeper, central defenders, central defensive midfielder and inverted fullbacks to draw the opposition forward, and then quickly transition the ball forward to:
    • the wingers, when in one on one opportunities, to aggressively attack the by-line and to cut the ball back for the centre forward, onrushing central midfielders or opposite winger to shoot; or
    • the central midfielders to play through passes to the centre forward or wingers as they cut inside to shoot.
  • Defend by the centre forward, wingers, and central midfielders pressing the opponent in their own half to force errors, while the central defensive midfielders, fullbacks and centre backs hold deeper positions, should the initial press be bypassed.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The fullbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+), key passes (1+) and long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central defenders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per game), and win aerial duels (3+ per game), and contribute to the team’s offensive play through multiple long passes (3+ per game).
  • The central defensive midfielder’s primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central midfielders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match.
  • The wingers’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match as well as goals (10+ per season).
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple shots (3+) per match as well as goals (15+ 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 Defensive Midfielder

Central Midfielders

Right Winger

Left Winger

Centre Forward

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Mari, Tierney, Ceballos and Aubameyang recovering from injuries, and
  • this being a more significant fixture of Arsenal’s three fixtures between 23 January and 30 January,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 20 Premier League clash versus Southampton would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Recruitment: Edu contradicts himself as Sokratis is released and Ryan is signed

Arsenal’s Technical Director Edu, has been caught out contradicting himself regarding Arsenal’s recruitment and retention strategy.

Recently Edu overhauled the club’s scouting network, and stated that Arsenal would be working “a lot more” with StatDNA, Arsenal’s in-house data and analytics company, as part of the club’s revamp of recruitment. However, his comments have not been reflected in Arsenal recent recruitment and retention decisions to release Sokratis and sign Matt Ryan of Brighton.

Based on the on-field production of Arsenal’s currently contracted central defenders (from those seasons throughout the individual player’s professional careers, where the player has started at least 15 league games in Europe’s top 5 leagues in at least two seasons (consecutive or non-consecutive)) Arsenal have two players in Mustafi and Sokratis, who can legitimately lay claim to having a sufficiently productive performance record to warrant selection as two of the club’s senior central defenders.

As for the club’s other options in central defence, while its unfair to judge Mavropanos, Holding, Saliba and Gabriel, as all four players have insufficient professional experience in any of Europe’s top 5 leagues, to appropriately assess their performances, the propensity of Luiz, Chambers, and Mari to win aerial duels are inferior to a number of their colleagues, and Luiz’s and Mari’s tackles per game records are similarly inferior.

In light of the above, and the critical nature of defence meaning that there is a strong argument that Arsenal should be aiming to recruit the most productive central defenders available to fill those senior central defender roles, it would have been logical, and in line with Edu’s recent comments, for Arsenal to retain at least Mustafi and Sokratis, as two of the club’s senior central defenders.

Despite this, the club has made the decisions to first exclude Sokratis from the senior team and now release him, in addition to effectively side-lining Mustafi by failing to select the German international when fit.

Given Sokratis’ statistical superiority in contast to Arsenal’s other options in central defence, the club’s decision to release the player seems to be far from based on the statistical profile of the Greek defender, which was espoused by Edu as a key pillar in Arsenal’s contemporary recruitment approach.

In fact, taking into account the relative on field productivity of Arsenal’s central defensive options, the comparative key performance indicator data (from Whoscored.com) of central defenders competing in Europe’s top 5 leagues, and eliminating those players who are contracted to clubs competing in the 2020/21 Champions League, there is a strong argument that Arsenal should in fact have been aiming during this transfer window to retain Sokratis and Mustafi, sell Mari, Luiz, Chambers, as well as the unproven Holding, Mavropanos and Saliba, and recruit at least Salif Sane of Schalke and Michael Hector of Fulham, to serve as the club 4 senior central defenders.

Similarly, the club’s decision to loan in Matt Ryan from Brighton, could hardly be considered sound, based on Ryan’s statistical performances in the three seasons where he has started at least 15 league games (consecutive or non-consecutive) in Europe’s top 5 leagues.

Using Whoscored.com’s accurate, respected and well-known performance ratings, Ryan has an average rating of 6.61 over the three seasons in question. Comparing that to Arsenal pre-existing goalkeeping options, and while it’s unfair to judge Runarsson’s suitability, as the player has not had sufficient professional experience to appropriately assess his performances, Bernd Leno has a substantially superior average rating of 6.77. Ryan’s inadequacy is even more telling, when you consider the number of superior goalkeepers to Leno, who are currently plying their trade in Europe’s top 5 leagues and who are not in a team which qualified for this season’s Champions League.

In light of that, and the critical nature of defence meaning that there is a strong argument that Arsenal should be aiming to recruit the most productive goalkeepers available to fill those two senior goalkeeping roles, it would have be logical for Arsenal to not recruit Ryan, sell Leno and the unproven Runarsson, and recruit Cragno of Cagliari and ex-Gunner Lukasz Fabianski of West Ham, to serve as the club’s two senior goalkeepers.

As the saying goes, insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. Based on Edu and Arsenal’s most recent recruitment decisions, and their continued lack of focus of the statistical profile of Arsenal squad and the player market, it appears a healthy dose of insanity remains entrenched in key senior decision makers at the club.

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: FA Cup Round 4

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 nine 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 Defensive Midfielder
  • Central Midfielders
  • Right Winger
  • Left Winger
  • 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) was considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 4-1-2-3 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Attack by patiently passing the ball amongst their goalkeeper, central defenders, central defensive midfielder and inverted fullbacks to draw the opposition forward, and then quickly transition the ball forward to:
    • the wingers, when in one on one opportunities, to aggressively attack the by-line and to cut the ball back for the centre forward, onrushing central midfielders or opposite winger to shoot; or
    • the central midfielders to play through passes to the centre forward or wingers as they cut inside to shoot.
  • Defend by the centre forward, wingers, and central midfielders pressing the opponent in their own half to force errors, while the central defensive midfielders, fullbacks and centre backs hold deeper positions, should the initial press be bypassed.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The fullbacks’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+), key passes (1+) and long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central defenders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per game), and win aerial duels (3+ per game), and contribute to the team’s offensive play through multiple long passes (3+ per game).
  • The central defensive midfielder’s primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and long passes (3+) per match.
  • The central midfielders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match.
  • The wingers’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match as well as goals (10+ per season).
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple shots (3+) per match as well as goals (15+ 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 Defensive Midfielder

Central Midfielders

Right Winger

Left Winger

Centre Forward

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Mari and Ceballos recovering from injuries, and
  • this being Arsenal’s less significant fixture of the three between 23 January and 30 January

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 4 FA Cup clash versus Southampton would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 19

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 five positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Defenders
  • Central Midfielders
  • Right Wide Midfielder
  • Left Wide Midfielder
  • Centre Forward
  • 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 met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 3-5-1-1 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defend in a medium block, with the two forwards also dropping back to ensure the side is vertically compact. This compactness is maintained by a position-focus pressing game, that sees the front two and midfield three prioritise retention of shape, and shifting from side to side to deny the opposition space and block passes into midfield, and only pressing the ball when it goes out to an opposition fullback or when a centre back brings the ball forward in possession.
  • Attack through their central and wide midfielders quickly transitioning the ball forward after recovering it, by dribbling it up the field and playing key passes into the centre forward and striker.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The defenders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per game), and win aerial duels (3+ per game), and contribute to the team’s offensive play through multiple long passes (3+ per game).
  • The central and wide midfielders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match.
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple shots (3+) and successful aerial duels (3+) per match as well as goals (15+ per season).
  • The striker’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple shots per game (3+) as well as goals (15+ 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

Defenders

Central Midfielders

Right Wide Midfielder

Left Wide Midfielder

Centre Forward

Striker

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Tierney, Mari, and Martinelli recovering from injuries, and
  • this being Arsenal’s easier fixture of the two between 14 January and 18 January

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 19 Premier League clash versus Newcastle would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 18

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 five positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their perceived versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Defenders
  • Central Midfielders
  • Wide Midfielders
  • Second Striker
  • 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) was considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, 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 Arsenal adopt a 3-5-1-1 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defend in a medium block, with the two forwards also dropping back to ensure the side is vertically compact. This compactness is maintained by a position-focus pressing game, that sees the front two and midfield three prioritise retention of shape, and shifting from side to side to deny the opposition space and block passes into midfield, and only pressing the ball when it goes out to an opposition fullback or when a centre back brings the ball forward in possession.
  • Attack through their central and wide midfielders quickly transitioning the ball forward after recovering it, by dribbling it up the field and playing key passes into the centre forward and striker.
  • The goalkeeper’s primary aims are to stop shots and claim crosses.
  • The defenders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per game), and win aerial duels (3+ per game), and contribute to the team’s offensive play through multiple long passes (3+ per game).
  • The central and wide midfielders’ primary aims are to tackle their opponent to recover the ball (2+ per match), and contribute to the team’s offensive play by producing multiple dribbles (1+) and key passes (1+) per match.
  • The centre forward’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple shots (3+) and successful aerial duels (3+) per match as well as goals (15+ per season).
  • The striker’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple shots per game (3+) as well as goals (15+ 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

Defenders

Central Midfielders

Right Wide Midfielder

Left Wide Midfielder

Centre Forward

Striker

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Partey, Gabriel, and Martinelli recovering from injuries, and
  • this being Arsenal’s harder of the two fixtures between 14 January and 18 January

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 18 Premier League clash versus Crystal Palace would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08