The following team reviews are part of a series that I will continue until all Premier League teams have been covered. The idea is to give a brief statistical team appraisal and test out some different ways of presenting team/player information using some standard stats and also output from my statistical model TPOEM.
Arsenal started and ended the season well but stuttered between games 5 and 15, losing 2 home games against Chelsea and Swansea and 2 away games against Manchester United and Norwich during the period. This is highlighted by the trough shown in the 5-game MA goal difference through this period.
In general, Arsenal’s defensive record was better than the champions but showed worrying dips in form, illustrated by the goals conceded peaks around games 12-15 and 23.
Although Arsenal’s goal difference at home was much better than away from home, their points return was fairly consistent. Arsenal were at times very impressive in attack, scoring more than 3 goals in a total of 7 games (6 at home, 1 away). From a defensive point of view, they only conceded more than 2 goals twice, at home to Fulham (draw 3-3) and Newcastle (win 7-3).
The above graph, illustrating Arsenal’s record against teams of differing strengths, underlines the improvement they need to make against the top 5 in order to bridge the gap to 1st place. Averaging 0.63pts per game is not good enough!
Although Arsenal’s team average height is close to the league average, they are generally outnumbered by the opposition in terms of players in the starting line-up over 182cm.
The above charts split out the players into groups by total playing time. Arsenal’s strength in depth vs the league average is highlighted by the fact that they have a higher proportion of players in the 2000-2400mins group – although the performance score of this group of players (3rd chart) is not markedly different to the league average. This indicates that they lacked depth in terms of the number of players who can consistently stay fit and play to the highest level.
- Arsenal had the highest number of touches on the ball than any team (28862)
- Arsenal attempted and completed the most passes in the attack half, making 78% of 14017 passes
- They were second only to Man City in terms of passing volume in the final third, but still had the best overall accuracy (77%)
- Highest number of red cards in the division (5)
As far as the stats go, there is only one winner for Arsenal’s best player last season: Santi Cazorla. Cazorla also placed 4th in TPOEM’s overall top 5 most influential players list. Wilshere and Rosicky also proved influential when they played, so Wenger will no doubt hope they can stay injury-free next year.