Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 2

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
  • 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) 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:

  • Attacking primarily down the flanks through a wide attacking midfielder, fullback and a central midfielder on that side, combining to enable one of those three players to get to the byline and cut the ball back to the second striker, or centre forward.
  • Defending using a vertically and horizontally compact position-focused high pressing approach, that that sees all 10 outfield players retain their shape when pressing, and shifting from side to side, if and when the opposition switch flanks.
  • 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 attacking play through making multiple key passes (3+ per match).
  • The central defenders’ primary aims are to shield the goalkeeper by positioning themselves to intercept (2+ per game), and tackles (2+ per game) opponents as they transitions, win aerial duels (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 attacking play through accuracy passing (85%+ per match).
  • The attacking midfielders’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+ per game) and key passes (2+ per game).
  • The second striker’s primary aims are to contribute to the team’s 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 aim is to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third in the form of 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

Second Striker

Centre Forward

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs, and
  • Runarsson, Gabriel, Partey, Willian, 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 2 Premier League clash vs Chelsea would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

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

SEASON 2021/2022: WHICH PLAYERS ARSENAL SHOULD RETAIN, SELL AND RECRUIT TO FIT A 4-2-3-1 FORMATION

With Arsenal’s 2020/2021 Premier League campaign over, the team again finishing a disappointing 8th in the Premier League, not qualifying for Europe next season and the transfer window shortly to open, it’s an opportune time to examine the on-field production of each player in Arsenal’s senior squad, and the player market, in order to identify:

  • which players Arsenal should retain
  • which players Arsenal should sell
  • which players Arsenal should recruit.

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 Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • 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 low block, with the centre forward and attacking midfielders also dropping back to ensure the side is vertically compact. This compactness is maintained by a position-focus defensive approach, that sees the team prioritise retention of shape, and shifting from side to side to deny the opposition space and block passes into midfield and the box.
  • Counter attacking, with the central midfielders distributing the ball forward to the wingbacks, attacking midfielders and centre forward to enable those those 6 attacking players to dribble the ball upfield . In the final third:
    • the wingback attempt to get to dribble the ball to the byline and cut the ball back
    • 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 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 aerial duels (3+ per game), and execute multiple long passes (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 , and contribute to the team’s transitional play through making multiple long passes forward to the wingbacks, attacking midfielders and centre forward as they counter attack.
  • 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), making runs into the opposition box, 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), making runs in the opposition’s box , and significantly contributing to the team’s goal scoring (15+ goals per season).

Once the relative on field productivity of Arsenal’s current senior squad was assessed, the comparative KPI data (from Whoscored.com) of the players competing in the following leagues was then reviewed:

  • English Premier League
  • Championship
  • Serie A
  • Ligue 1
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

When considering players competing in the aforementioned leagues, those players in clubs who are competing in the 2021/22 Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League were not considered. This included Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta, Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester City, West Ham, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Union Berlin, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Villarreal, Lille, PSG, Monaco, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes. This was designed to realistically account for Arsenal’s attractiveness as a prospective employer, based on the club’s current standing in European football (as a mid table Premier League club).

Also, only players from the aforementioned leagues who have, during their professional career, started at least 15 league games in at least two seasons (consecutive or non-consecutive) were considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, their productivity data was not assessed. Again, this was designed to provide a realistic picture of each individual player’s on-field production.

The KPI data of the reviewed players was then contrasted against the KPI data of the players who currently comprise Arsenal’s senior squad.

Player rankings

Goalkeepers

Starting with the goalkeeping position, and while it’s unfair to judge Okonkwo or Runarsson’s suitability, as neither player has sufficient professional experience in the reviewed leagues to appropriately assess their performances, it is fair to say that Bernd Leno, has delivered less impressive performances throughout his career to date, in contrast to the likes of Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa.

In light of that, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Leno, and try and recruit Martinez, to serve as one of the club’s two senior goalkeepers.

In terms of the second of those two senior goalkeepers, given the critical nature of the goalkeeper as the last line of defence, there is a strong argument that Arsenal should aim to recruit the most productive goalkeepers available to fill those senior goalkeeping roles. Given that, and both Runarsson and Okonkwo unproven, it would be logical for the club to sell Runarsson and Okonkwo, and recruit Alessio Cragno from Cagliari, as the club’s second senior goalkeeper.

Right Wingback

As for the club’s contracted right wingback options:

  • Maitland-Niles is homegrown, and while not comparatively poor in terms of tackles, dribbles and key passes per match, his numbers are comparatively underwhelming
  • Soares is strong in terms of tackles per game, but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles per game and underwhelming in so far as key passes per game
  • Chambers is also homegrown and is strong in terms of tackles per game, but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles and key passes per game
  • Bellerin is homegrown as well, and is strong in terms of dribbles per match, but is comparatively poor in so far as tackles and key passes per match.

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted right wingback options, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Bellerin and Soares, and recruit Daniel Caliguri of FC Augsburg to serve as one of Arsenal’s two senior right wingbacks.

In terms of the club’s second senior right wingback, while somewhat underwhelming in a number of KPIs to date, none of Maitland Niles’ metrics are particularly poor in contrast to certain KPIs for Soares, Chambers and Bellerin, nor are they substantially inferior to Leonardo Bittencourt of Werder Bremer. Given that, his homegrown status and the Premier League’s homegrown rules, it would be logical for Arsenal to retain Maitland Niles, to serve as the club’s second senior right wingback.

Central Defenders

As for the club’s contracted central defender options, Arsenal unfortunately do not have a player who can legitimately lay claim to having a sufficiently productive performance record to automatically warrant selection as one of the club’s four senior central defenders.

While it’s unfair to judge, Mari, Mavropanos or Saliba, as all three players have insufficient professional experience in any of the considered leagues, to appropriately assess their performances, as for the club’s other contracted central defender options:

  • Holding is strong in terms of interceptions and long pass per match, but is comparatively poor in so far as successful aerial duels per match
  • Chambers and White are both strong in terms of interceptions per game, but are comparatively poor in so far as long passes and successful aerial duels per game
  • Gabriel is comparatively underwhelming in terms of long pass per match and is comparatively poor in so far as interceptions and successful aerial duels per match.

In light of the above and the critical nature of defence, there is a strong argument that Arsenal should aim to recruit the most productive defenders available to fill those senior central defender roles. Accordingly, it would be logical to recruit the following three players to serve, as three of the the club’s four senior central defenders:

  • Liam Cooper of Leeds Utd
  • Marc Oliver Kempf of Stuttgart
  • Shaun Hutchinson of Millwall.

As for the remaining central defender spots, in light of Holding, Chambers and White’s comparative weaknesses, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell all three. In terms of Mari, Saliba, and Mavropanos, given his physical profile of the Greek player in contrast to Mari and Saliba, he would seem more suitable than either of those players to the Premier League. As such, it would be logical to retain the Greek defender as one of the club’s four senior central defenders.

Left Wingback

As for the club’s contracted left wingback options, it’s unfair to judge Tavares’ and Tierney’s suitability, as neither player has yet to accumulate sufficient professional experience in the considered leagues, to appropriately assess his performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other current left wingback options, Kolasinac is comparatively underwhelming in terms of tackles per match, but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles and key passes per match.

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted left wingback options, and the Premier League’s homegrown rule, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Kolasinac, Tierney, and Tavares, and recruit Javier Galan of Huesca, to serve as one of Arsenal’s two senior left wingbacks.

In terms of the club’s second senior left wingback, given the critical nature of defence, there is a strong argument that Arsenal should aim to recruit the most productive left wingback available to fill the senior left wingback roles. Given that, would be logical for Arsenal to recruit Bastian Oczipka of Schalke to serve as the club’s second senior left wingback.

Central Midfielders

In terms of the club’s contracted central midfield options, it’s unfair to judge the suitability of Elneny, Lokonga and Willock, as none of those players have had sufficient professional experience in any of the examined leagues, to appropriately assess their performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other central midfield options:

  • Xhaka is excellent in terms of long passes per game, but is comparatively underwhelming in terms of tackles per game and is comparatively poor in terms of interceptions per game
  • Partey and Torreira are both solid in terms of tackles per match, but are comparatively poor both in terms of interceptions and long passes per match
  • Maitland Niles is comparatively underwhelming in terms of tackles per game and is comparatively poor in terms of interceptions and long passes per game.

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted central midfield options, and Maitland Niles’ allocation as a right wingback option, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Torreira, Xhaka, and Partey and recruit Maxime Gonalons of Granada and Milan Badejl of Genoa to serve as two of Arsenal’s four senior central midfielders.

In terms of the club’s third and fourth central midfielders, there is a strong argument that Arsenal should aim to recruit the most productive central midfielders available to fill those senior central midfield roles. Accordingly, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Elneny and Lokonga and recruit Ellyes Skhiri of FC Kohl and Sam Hutchinson of Sheffield Wednesday to fill Arsenal’s third and fourth senior central midfielder roles.

Attacking Midfielders

In terms of the club’s contracted attacking midfield options, while it’s unfair to judge the suitability of Martinelli, Nelson, Willock or Smith-Rowe as none of those players have had sufficient professional experience in any of the examined leagues, to appropriately assess their performances:

  • Pepe’s goals per season and dribbles per match records are excellent, and his key passes per match record is solid
  • Willian’s dribbles and key passes per game record is excellent , but his goals per season record is comparatively poor
  • Saka is homegrown and his dribbles and key passes per match record is solid, but his goals per season record is comparatively poor.

In light of Willian’s deficiencies from a goal scoring perspective, the lack of alternative attacking midfielder options in the considered leagues with the required KPI levels, and the Premier League’s homegrown rules, and the it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Willian and Willock, retain Pepe, Saka, Martinelli, Smith-Rowe and Nelson, to serve as 5 of Arsenal’s senior attacking midfielders and recruit Iago Aspas of Celta Vigo to fill the remaining senior attacking midfielder position.

Centre Forward

In terms of the club’s contracted forward options, it’s unfair to judge Martinelli or Nketiah, as neither player has sufficient professional experience in any of the considered leagues, to appropriately assess their performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other current forward options:

  • Pepe is comparably solid in terms of goals per season and his dribbles per game record is excellent.
  • Lacazette is comparably solid both in terms of his goals per season and his dribbles per match record.
  • Aubameyang is excellent in term of goals per season but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles per match.

In light of the comparative dribbling deficiencies of Aubameyang, and Pepe’s allocation as an attacking midfield option, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Aubameyang, and retain Lacazette to serve as one of Arsenal’s senior centre forwards.

In terms of the club’s second senior centre forward, given the Premier League’s homegrown rule, and Martinelli allocation as right wing options, would be logical for Arsenal to sell Nketiah and recruit Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa to fill Arsenal’s second senior centre forward role.

Summary of proposed activity

While the above squad changes would be ideal, the club could afford to retain Maitland Niles (right wingback), Holding, Chambers, White, and Mavropanos (central defenders), Xhaka (central midfield), Willian, Pepe, Smith-Rowe, Nelson, Saka (attacking midfield) and Lacazette (centre forward), with the recruitment priorities being:

  • both goalkeeping positions in the squad (Martinez and Cragno)
  • one of the two right wingback positions in the squad (Caliguri)
  • both left wingback positions in the squad (Galan and Oczipka)
  • three of the central midfield roles in the squad (Gonalons, Badejl, Skhiri)
  • one of the attacking midfield positions in the squad (Aspas), and
  • one of the centre forward positions in the squad (Watkins).

Freddie08

Season 2021/2022: Which Players Arsenal Should Retain, Sell and Recruit To Fit A 5-2-3 / 3-4-3 Formation

With Arsenal’s 2020/2021 Premier League campaign over, the team again finishing a disappointing 8th in the Premier League, not qualifying for Europe next season and the transfer window shortly to open, it’s an opportune time to examine the on-field production of each player in Arsenal’s senior squad, and the player market, in order to identify:

  • which players Arsenal should retain
  • which players Arsenal should sell
  • which players Arsenal should recruit.

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 Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Midfielders
  • Right Winger
  • Centre Forward
  • Left Winger

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 5-2-2/3-4-3 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defending in a low block 5-2-3 formation, with the centre forward and wingers also dropping back to ensure the side is vertically compact. This compactness is maintained by a position-focus pressing game, that sees the front three and midfield two 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 an opposition centre back brings the ball forward in possession.
  • Counter attacking in a 3-4-3 formation, with the wingbacks, two central midfielders or wingers dribbling the ball upfield and trying to release the centre forward or wingers in behind the opposition defensive line or to get to the by-line in the opposition’s penalty box and cut the ball back to the centre forward or wingers.
  • 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 aerial duels (3+ per game), and execute multiple long passes (3+) per game.
  • 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 wingers’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+) and key passes (2+) per match, making runs in behind and in between the opposition’s defensive line, and contribute to the team’s goal scoring (10+ goals per season).
  • The centre forwards’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+) per match, making runs in behind and in between the opposition’s defensive line, and significantly contribute to the team’s goal scoring (15+ goals per season).

Once the relative on field productivity of Arsenal’s current senior squad was assessed, the comparative KPI data (from Whoscored.com) of the players competing in the following leagues was then reviewed:

  • English Premier League
  • Championship
  • Serie A
  • Ligue 1
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

When considering players competing in the aforementioned leagues, those players in clubs who are competing in the 2021/22 Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League were not considered. This included Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta, Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester City, West Ham, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Union Berlin, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Villarreal, Lille, PSG, Monaco, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes. This was designed to realistically account for Arsenal’s attractiveness as a prospective employer, based on the club’s current standing in European football (as a mid table Premier League club).

Also, only players from the aforementioned leagues who have, during their professional career, started at least 15 league games in at least two seasons (consecutive or non-consecutive) were considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, their productivity data was not assessed. Again, this was designed to provide a realistic picture of each individual player’s on-field production.

The KPI data of the reviewed players was then contrasted against the KPI data of the players who currently comprise Arsenal’s senior squad.

Player rankings

Goalkeepers

Starting with the goalkeeping position, and while it’s unfair to judge Runarsson’s suitability, as the player has insufficient professional experience in the reviewed leagues to appropriately assess their performances, it is fair to say that Bernd Leno, has delivered less impressive performances throughout his career to date, in contrast to the likes of Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa.

In light of that, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Leno, and try and recruit Martinez, to serve as one of the club’s two senior goalkeepers.

In terms of the second of those two senior goalkeepers, with Runarsson unproven but not ‘homegrown’, and likely to see limited game time, it would be logical for the club to sell Runarsson and promote Okonkwo as the club’s second senior goalkeeper.

Right Wingback

As for the club’s contracted right wingback options:

  • Maitland-Niles is homegrown but comparatively underwhelming in terms of key passes per match, as well as tackles and dribbles per game
  • Bellerin is also homegrown but is comparatively poor in so far as tackles and key passes per game, and is underwhelming in terms of dribbles per match
  • Soares is solid in terms of tackles per match, but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles per game and underwhelming in so far as key passes per game

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted right wingback options, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Bellerin and Soares, and recruit Daniel Caliguri of FC Augsburg to serve as one of Arsenal’s two senior right wingbacks.

In terms of the club’s second senior right wingback, while somewhat underwhelming in a number of KPIs to date, it would be logical for Arsenal to retain Maitland Niles, to serve as the club’s second senior right wingback, given his homegrown status and the Premier League’s homegrown rule.

Central Defenders

As for the club’s contracted central defender options, Arsenal unfortunately do not have a player who can legitimately lay claim to having a sufficiently productive performance record to automatically warrant selection as one of the club’s six senior defenders.

While it’s unfair to judge, Mari, Mavropanos or Saliba, as all three players have insufficient professional experience in any of the considered leagues, to appropriately assess their performances, the propensity of Gabriel, to intercept balls played into the box was comparatively poor.

As for Chambers and Holding, while both players were underwhelming in terms of successful aerial duels, and Chamber’s propensity to execute long passes was also underwhelming, both were solid in so far as interceptions per match. Noting that, and both players’ homegrown status, it would be logical to retain both players as two of Arsenal six central defenders.

As for the remaining 4 central defender spots, in light of the above, and the critical nature of defence meaning that there is a strong argument that Arsenal should aim to recruit the most productive defenders available to fill those senior defender roles, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Mari, Saliba, and recruit the following players to serve, alongside Chambers and Holding, as five of the the club’s six senior defenders:

  • Liam Cooper of Leeds Utd
  • Marc Oliver Kempf of Stuttgart
  • Shaun Hutchinson of Millwall.

As for Mavropanos, given his physical profile in contrast to Mari and Salina, he would seem more suitable than either of those players to the Premier League. As such, it would be logical to retain the Greek defender also.

Left Wingback

As for the club’s contracted left wingback options, it’s unfair to judge Tierney’s suitability, as he has yet to accumulate sufficient professional experience in the considered leagues, to appropriately assess his performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other current left wingback options, Kolasinac is solid in terms of tackles per match, but is comparatively inferior in terms of dribbles and key passes per game.

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted left wingback options, and the Premier League’s homegrown rule, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Kolasinac and Tierney, and recruit Javier Galan of Huesca, to serve as one of Arsenal’s two senior left wingbacks.

In terms of the club’s second senior left wingback, given the Premier League’s homegrown rule, it would be logical for Arsenal to recruit Lewis O’Brien of Huddersfield to serve as the club’s second senior left wingback.

Central Midfielders

In terms of the club’s contracted central midfield options, it’s unfair to judge the suitability of Smith-Rowe, Elneny, Willock, as none of those players have had sufficient professional experience in any of the examined leagues, to appropriately assess their performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other central midfield options:

  • Guendouzi and Maitland Niles are comparatively inferior in all KPIs
  • Xhaka and Torreira are solid in terms of tackles per match, but are comparatively inferior in dribbles and key passes per game
  • Partey is solid both in terms of tackles and dribbles per match, but is comparatively inferior in key passes per game

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted central midfield options, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi and Partey and recruit Teji Savanier of Montpellier, Massimo Luongo of Sheffield Wednesday to serve as two of Arsenal’s four senior central midfielders.

In terms of the club’s third and fourth central midfielders, given the Premier League’s homegrown rule and Maitland Niles having already been allocated as a right wingback option, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Elneny, retain Smith-Rowe and Willock to fill Arsenal’s third and fourth senior central midfielder roles.

Right Winger

In terms of the club’s contracted right wing options, it’s unfair to judge the suitability of Martinelli or Nelson, as neither player has had sufficient professional experience in any of the examined leagues, to appropriately assess their performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other right wing option, Willian’s dribbles and key passes per game are solid, but his goals per season is poor.

In light of Willian’s deficiencies and the lack of alternative right wing options in the considered leagues with the required KPI levels, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Willian and retain Martinelli and Nelson to serve as Arsenal’s two right wingers.

Centre Forward

In terms of the club’s contracted forward options, it’s unfair to judge Martinelli or Nketiah, as neither player has sufficient professional experience in any of the considered leagues, to appropriately assess their performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other current forward options:

  • Pepe and Lacazette are both comparably solid in terms of goals per season and dribbles per game.
  • Aubameyang is excellent in term of goals per season but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles per match.

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Aubameyang, and Pepe’s allocation as a left wing option, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Aubameyang, and retain Lacazette to serve as one of Arsenal’s senior centre forwards.

In terms of the club’s second senior centre forward, given the Premier League’s homegrown rule, and Martinelli and Nelson’s allocation as right wing options, would be logical for Arsenal to retain Nketiah to fill Arsenal’s second senior centre forward role.

Left Winger

In terms of the club’s contracted left wing options, Arsenal fortunately a player in Pepe with a sufficiently productive performance record in his career to date to warrant selection as one of Arsenal’s senior left wing options.

Regarding Arsenal’s other left wing option, Saka’s dribbles and key passes per game are solid, but his goals per season is poor.

That said, in light of Saka’s homegrown status and the lack of alternative left wing options in the considered leagues with the required KPI levels, it would be logical for Arsenal to retain Saka to serve as Arsenal’s second senior left winger.

Summary of proposed activity

Freddie08

Season 2021/2022: Which Players Arsenal Should Retain, Sell and Recruit To Fit A 5-3-2 / 3-5-2 Formation

With Arsenal’s 2020/2021 Premier League campaign over, the team again finishing a disappointing 8th in the Premier League, not qualifying for Europe next season and the transfer window shortly to open, it’s an opportune time to examine the on-field production of each player in Arsenal’s senior squad, and the player market, in order to identify:

  • which players Arsenal should retain
  • which players Arsenal should sell
  • which players Arsenal should recruit.

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 six 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 Midfielders
  • Forwards

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 5-3-2/3-5-2 formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Defending in a low block 5-3-2 formation, 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.
  • Counter attacking in a 3-5-2 formation, with the three central midfielders and wingbacks dribbling the ball upfield and trying to release the forwards in behind the opposition defensive line or to get to the by-line in the opposition’s penalty box and cut the ball back to the forwards
  • 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 aerial duels (3+ per game), and execute multiple long passes (3+) per game.
  • 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 forwards’ primary aims are to contribute to the team’s offensive play in the final third through multiple dribbles (2+) per match, make runs in behind and in between the opposition’s defensive line, and significantly contribute to the team’s goal scoring (15+ goals per season).

Once the relative on field productivity of Arsenal’s current senior squad was assessed, the comparative KPI data (from Whoscored.com) of the players competing in the following leagues was then reviewed:

  • English Premier League
  • Championship
  • Serie A
  • Ligue 1
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga

When considering players competing in the aforementioned leagues, those players in clubs who are competing in the 2021/22 Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League were not considered. This included Inter Milan, AC Milan, Atalanta, Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester City, West Ham, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, Union Berlin, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Villarreal, Lille, PSG, Monaco, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes. This was designed to realistically account for Arsenal’s attractiveness as a prospective employer, based on the club’s current standing in European football (as a mid table Premier League club).

Also, only players from the aforementioned leagues who have, during their professional career, started at least 15 league games in at least two seasons (consecutive or non-consecutive) were considered. Where a player has not met that criteria, their productivity data was not assessed. Again, this was designed to provide a realistic picture of each individual player’s on-field production.

The KPI data of the reviewed players was then contrasted against the KPI data of the players who currently comprise Arsenal’s senior squad.

Player rankings

Goalkeepers

Starting with the goalkeeping position, and while it’s unfair to judge Runarsson’s suitability, as the player has insufficient professional experience in the reviewed leagues to appropriately assess their performances, it is fair to say that Bernd Leno, has delivered less impressive performances throughout his career to date, in contrast to the likes of Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa.

In light of that, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Leno, and try and recruit Martinez, to serve as one of the club’s two senior goalkeepers.

In terms of the second of those two senior goalkeepers, with Runarsson unproven but not ‘homegrown’, and likely to see limited game time, it would be logical for the club to sell Runarsson and promote Okonkwo as the club’s second senior goalkeeper.

Right Wingback

As for the club’s contracted right wingback options:

  • Maitland-Niles is homegrown but comparatively underwhelming in terms of key passes per match, as well as tackles and dribbles per game
  • Bellerin is also homegrown but is comparatively poor in so far as tackles and key passes per game, and is underwhelming in terms of dribbles per match
  • Soares is solid in terms of tackles per match, but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles per game and underwhelming in so far as key passes per game

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted right wingback options, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Bellerin and Soares, and recruit Daniel Caliguri of FC Augsburg to serve as one of Arsenal’s two senior right wingbacks.

In terms of the club’s second senior right wingback, while somewhat underwhelming in a number of KPIs to date, it would be logical for Arsenal to retain Maitland Niles, to serve as the club’s second senior right wingback, given his homegrown status and the Premier League’s homegrown rule.

Central Defenders

As for the club’s contracted central defender options, Arsenal unfortunately do not have a player who can legitimately lay claim to having a sufficiently productive performance record to automatically warrant selection as one of the club’s six senior defenders.

While it’s unfair to judge, Mari, Mavropanos or Saliba, as all three players have insufficient professional experience in any of the considered leagues, to appropriately assess their performances, the propensity of Gabriel, to intercept balls played into the box was comparatively poor.

As for Chambers and Holding, while both players were underwhelming in terms of successful aerial duels, and Chamber’s propensity to execute long passes was also underwhelming, both were solid in so far as interceptions per match. Noting that, and both players’ homegrown status, it would be logical to retain both players as two of Arsenal six central defenders.

As for the remaining 4 central defender spots, in light of the above, and the critical nature of defence meaning that there is a strong argument that Arsenal should aim to recruit the most productive defenders available to fill those senior defender roles, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Mari, Saliba, and recruit the following players to serve, alongside Chambers and Holding, as five of the the club’s six senior defenders:

  • Liam Cooper of Leeds Utd
  • Marc Oliver Kempf of Stuttgart
  • Shaun Hutchinson of Millwall.

As for Mavropanos, given his physical profile in contrast to Mari and Salina, he would seem more suitable than either of those players to the Premier League. As such, it would be logical to retain the Greek defender also.

Left Wingback

As for the club’s contracted left wingback options, it’s unfair to judge Tierney’s suitability, as he has yet to accumulate sufficient professional experience in the considered leagues, to appropriately assess his performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other current left wingback options, Kolasinac is solid in terms of tackles per match, but is comparatively inferior in terms of dribbles and key passes per game.

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted left wingback options, and the Premier League’s homegrown rule, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Kolasinac and Tierney, and recruit Javier Galan of Huesca, to serve as one of Arsenal’s two senior left wingbacks.

In terms of the club’s second senior left wingback, given the Premier League’s homegrown rule, it would be logical for Arsenal to recruit Lewis O’Brien of Huddersfield to serve as the club’s second senior left wingback.

Central Midfielders

In terms of the club’s contracted central midfield options, it’s unfair to judge the suitability of Smith-Rowe, Elneny, Willock, as none of those players have had sufficient professional experience in any of the examined leagues, to appropriately assess their performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other central midfield options:

  • Guendouzi and Maitland Niles are comparatively inferior in all KPIs
  • Xhaka and Torreira are solid in terms of tackles per match, but are comparatively inferior in dribbles and key passes per game
  • Partey is solid both in terms of tackles and dribbles per match, but is comparatively inferior in key passes per game

In light of the comparative deficiencies of Arsenal’s currently contracted central midfield options, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi and Partey and recruit Teji Savanier of Montpellier, Massimo Luongo of Sheffield Wednesday, and Milan Badeji of Genoa to serve as three of Arsenal’s six senior central midfielders.

In terms of the club’s third, fourth and fifth central midfielders, given the Premier League’s homegrown rule and Maitland Niles having already been allocated as a right wingback option, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Elneny, retain Smith-Rowe and Willock to fill Arsenal’s fourth and fifth senior central midfielder roles and recruit Joe Williams of Bristol City to fill Arsenal’s sixth central midfielder role..

Forwards

In terms of the club’s contracted forward options, it’s unfair to judge Nelson, Martinelli or Nketiah, as all three players have insufficient professional experience in any of the considered leagues, to appropriately assess their performances.

Regarding Arsenal’s other current forward options:

  • Pepe and Lacazette are both comparably solid in terms of goals per season and dribbles per game.
  • Aubameyang is excellent in term of goals per season but is comparatively poor in terms of dribbles per match.
  • Willian and Saka are solid in terms of dribbles per game but comparatively poor in terms of goals per season.

In light of the comparative deficiencies of a number of Arsenal’s currently contracted forward options, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Aubameyang, Willian and Saka and retain Lacazette and Pepe, to serve as two of Arsenal’s senior forwards.

In terms of the club’s third and fourth senior forwards, given the Premier League’s homegrown rule, it would be logical for Arsenal to sell Martinelli, and retain Nketiah and Nelson to fill Arsenal’s third and fourth senior forward roles.

Summary of proposed activity

Freddie08

Arsenal PLayer Analysis: Premier League Round 38

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 six positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their statistical versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Midfielders
  • Strikers

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 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 5-3-2/3-5-2formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal’s most productive goalkeeper (i.e. Leno and defending crosses) by defending in a low block 5-3-2 formation, with the Wingbacks dropping back to form a back five and the three Central Midfielders taking up positions in front of the Right Central Defender, Central Defender, and Left Central Defender.
  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal most productive goal scorers (Aubameyang and Lacazette and attacking aerial balls and in a crowded opposition penalty box), by counter attacking in a 3-5-2 formation, with the three Central Midfielders and Wingbacks dribbling the ball upfield and trying to release the Strikers in behind the opposition defensive line or to get to the by-line in the opposition’s penalty box and cut the ball back to the Strikers.
  • 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 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 Strikers’ primary aims are to make runs 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 Midfielders

Strikers

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Luiz Bellerin recovering from injury, and
  • this being the easier of Arsenal’s two fixtures between 19 May and 23 May,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 38 Premier League clash vs Brighton would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 37

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 six positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their statistical versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Midfielders
  • Strikers

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 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 5-3-2/3-5-2formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal’s most productive goalkeeper (i.e. Leno and defending crosses) by defending in a low block 5-3-2 formation, with the Wingbacks dropping back to form a back five and the three Central Midfielders taking up positions in front of the Right Central Defender, Central Defender, and Left Central Defender.
  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal most productive goal scorers (Aubameyang and Lacazette and attacking aerial balls and in a crowded opposition penalty box), by counter attacking in a 3-5-2 formation, with the three Central Midfielders and Wingbacks dribbling the ball upfield and trying to release the Strikers in behind the opposition defensive line or to get to the by-line in the opposition’s penalty box and cut the ball back to the Strikers.
  • 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 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 Strikers’ primary aims are to make runs 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 Midfielders

Strikers

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Luiz, Xhaka and Bellerin recovering from injury, and
  • this being the harder of Arsenal’s two fixtures between 19 May and 23 May,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 37 Premier League clash vs Crystal Palace would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier League Round 36

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 six positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their statistical versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Midfielders
  • Strikers

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 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 5-3-2/3-5-2formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal’s most productive goalkeeper (i.e. Leno and defending crosses) by defending in a low block 5-3-2 formation, with the Wingbacks dropping back to form a back five and the three Central Midfielders taking up positions in front of the Right Central Defender, Central Defender, and Left Central Defender.
  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal most productive goal scorers (Aubameyang and Lacazette and attacking in a crowded opposition penalty box), by counter attacking in a 3-5-2 formation, with the three Central Midfielders and Wingbacks dribbling the ball upfield and trying to release the Strikers in behind the opposition defensive line or to get to the by-line in the opposition’s penalty box and cut the ball back to the Strikers.
  • 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 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 Strikers’ primary aims are to make runs 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 Midfielders

Strikers

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Luiz, Xhaka and Mari recovering from injury, and
  • this being a harder of Arsenal’s three fixture between 6 May and 12 May,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 36 Premier League clash vs Chelsea would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Premier Leauge Round 35

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 six positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their statistical versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Midfielders
  • Strikers

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 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 5-3-2/3-5-2formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal’s most productive goalkeeper (i.e. Leno and defending crosses) by defending in a low block 5-3-2 formation, with the Wingbacks dropping back to form a back five and the three Central Midfielders taking up positions in front of the Right Central Defender, Central Defender, and Left Central Defender.
  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal most productive goal scorers (Aubameyang and Lacazette and attacking in a crowded opposition penalty box), by counter attacking in a 3-5-2 formation, with the three Central Midfielders and Wingbacks dribbling the ball upfield and trying to release the Strikers in behind the opposition defensive line or to get to the by-line in the opposition’s penalty box and cut the ball back to the Strikers.
  • 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 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 Strikers’ primary aims are to make runs 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 Midfielders

Strikers

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Luiz, Xhaka and Mari recovering from injury, and
  • this being an easier fixture of Arsenal’s three fixture between 6 May and 12 May,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Round 35 Premier League clash vs West Brom would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08

Arsenal Player Analysis: Europa League Semi Final

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 six positional categories (with some players allocated to multiple positional categories due to their statistical versatility).

Those positional categories consist of:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Right Wingback
  • Central Defenders
  • Left Wingback
  • Central Midfielders
  • Strikers

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 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 5-3-2/3-5-2formation and the cornerstones of Arsenal’s tactical approach is as follows:

  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal’s most productive goalkeeper (i.e. Leno and defending crosses) by defending in a low block 5-3-2 formation, with the Wingbacks dropping back to form a back five and the three Central Midfielders taking up positions in front of the Right Central Defender, Central Defender, and Left Central Defender.
  • Mitigate the key weakness of Arsenal most productive goal scorers (Aubameyang and Lacazette and attacking in a crowded opposition penalty box), by counter attacking in a 3-5-2 formation, with the three Central Midfielders and Wingbacks dribbling the ball upfield and trying to release the Strikers in behind the opposition defensive line or to get to the by-line in the opposition’s penalty box and cut the ball back to the Strikers.
  • 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 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 Strikers’ primary aims are to make runs 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 Midfielders

Strikers

Formation and line-up

Based on:

  • the above analytical comparison,
  • Arsenal’s aforementioned tactical basis and minimum required KPIs,
  • Ceballos suspended, and Luiz, Tierney and Lacazette recovering from injury, and
  • this being the hardest of Arsenal’s three fixture between 2 May and 9 May,

the 11 players which it is suggested should comprise Arsenal’s starting 11, for their Europa League semi final clash vs Villarreal would appear to be as follows:

Freddie08