Why table-toppers Arsenal may be in a false position

Buoyed by buying Mesut Ozil (and winning most of their games), Arsenal are chirpily top of the league. But Michael Cox wonders if they might have been a touch fortunate thus far...

After seven games of the Premier League season, Arsenal are sitting pretty at the top of the table. But how good have their performances been – are the Gunners genuine favourites for the title, or have they been slightly fortunate at times?
After all, this has been a highly unpredictable campaign – there are now no unbeaten sides. Arsenal are top, but their points total of 16 is the second-worst for a league leader at this stage. Only the Manchester United side of 2000/01 had fewer points – although they went on to win the league comfortably.

"Arsenal outpassed" shock

So far, perhaps the most interesting thing about Arsenal’s performances is their relatively low possession count – 54%. Yes, that still means they’ve had more of the ball in the majority of games, but it’s merely the eighth-best average of the 20 Premier League sides. 
This is unusual for Arsenal, whom we’ve been accustomed to seeing as the league’s most possession-dominant team. The season is still young, and their average ball time will probably improve following Saturday’s home match against Norwich, but it points to a more pragmatic Arsenal this season.
For example, they were completely outpassed away at Swansea:

That might not be unexpected, but at home to Stoke the possession was almost even, which is remarkable.

Interestingly, Arsenal’s pass completion rate remains very high, the third best in the division. The fact that Arsenal are retaining the ball efficiently, yet not dominating possession to such an extent, points more to a defensive approach without the ball – they’re sitting back more. The emphasis upon a strong defensive shape was also in evidence at the start of last season, however, before Arsenal started pressing more later on.

In the 1-0 win over Tottenham, they recovered the ball in deeper positions than in the same match last year.

Chance creation – and completion

There’s also an interesting pattern in terms of shots. In raw terms, Arsenal have only attempted the fifth-most shots in the division, 101; Tottenham, for example, have attempted 30 more. But Arsenal have recorded the second-most shots on target, 42 – with only Manchester City one ahead.
This means one of two things: either Arsenal’s shooting accuracy is particularly impressive, or they’re creating better, clearer chances. The answer is probably a blend of the two. At Sunderland, for example, Arsenal had fewer shots than the Black Cats, but from much better positions.

The obvious difference is Mesut Ozil – the Premier League’s leading assister despite playing only four games. He’s created four chances per game, an extremely high figure which is unlikely to be maintained over the course of the season – David Silva and Juan Mata have topped this chart at the end of the previous two campaigns, with an average of just over three chances per game created each.

Defence: mid-table at best

At the back, Arsenal’s statistics are again surprising – in that they're neither comically terrible nor frighteningly good. They’ve conceded 12.9 shots per game this season, only the 10th best record in the league – slightly more than West Brom, slightly fewer than Stoke. They're similarly mid-table in terms of goals conceded, but they’ve kept only one clean sheet all season.

Arsenal haven’t faced many strikers in good form: they’ve mostly faced forwards woefully out of form"

Furthermore, Arsenal haven’t faced many strikers in good form. Although they’ve come across last season’s star signings Christian Benteke (of Aston Villa) and Michu (of Swansea), who have continued their good performances into this campaign, they’ve also faced strikers woefully out of form. Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov, Sunderland’s Jozy Altidore, Stoke’s Kenwyne Jones and West Brom’s Nicolas Anelka haven’t scored at all this season, while Tottenham's Roberto Soldado hasn’t scored from open play.

If Arsenal continue to allow the opposition chances, better strikers will punish them. Their previous match, a 1-1 draw against West Brom, exemplified how fortunate they’ve been – Anelka missed a one-on-one, then spurned a simple tap-in when he got the ball stuck under his feet. A clinical finisher would have scored those chances, and Arsenal would have been 3-0 down. Soldado also had a couple of decent opportunities in the North London derby.

So far, the statistics don’t quite support Arsenal’s status as the best team in the division – even if the results do. Perhaps Arsene Wenger’s side have a legitimate excuse for not racking up the numbers: having regularly taken the lead in matches, they have therefore been able to sit back – meaning a relative lack of shots and possession, and more opposition shots than you’d expect.

Arsenal must also be prepared for the form of Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud to waver slightly. That’s not to suggest that any of that trio will start playing badly – merely that their statistical output so far is almost certainly unsustainable over 38 games. 
Ozil’s chance creation stats are off the scale (although there’s a legitimate argument for him being Europe’s best creator), while Ramsey’s goal and assist output is impossible for a central midfielder to produce over a long period. Giroud, for all his quality, relies on service and might not receive it regularly during some matches.

...but here comes the cavalry

However, where Arsenal excelled last season was in spreading the goals around. Giroud, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla all reached double figures in the Premier League, only the fourth time that four players from one club have managed that. 
Similarly, three of the top seven assisters in the Premier League last season were Arsenal players – Podolski, Cazorla and Walcott. All three have yet to play a significant role this season, something overlooked because of Arsenal’s good form.
If Podolski, Cazorla and Walcott can replicate their form from last year, Giroud, Ozil and Ramsey’s inevitable off days won’t matter as much, and Arsenal can mount a serious title challenge.



One would have expected a balanced report but no, its a doom and gloom......When Arsenal was playing "sexy" football, the press was awash with claims that playing sexily doesn't win you matches..You've got to show grit and all.....now the club is playing and winning matches against clubs that they have hitherto struggled against (Swansea, Norwich) yet in all parameters 442 & Mike Cox, don;t see anything right the club has done...Anyway, I am not surprised at Cos...he has never seen anything good about the club..whether temporarily or by pretense, the club is TOP of the table and 2 points clear...let us see what happens...its a marathon and slow and steady, sure wins the race.. If it were Arsenal that has been where ManU are, the Press would have been predicting doom and imaginary crisis in the club.....Whilst not claiming the club will win the league, me thinks, credit should be given to the club for bouncing back from the opening day defeat (where there were screams and yelling, etc)....They are well able to sustain the challenge and if they are able to keep all the boys or majority fit, then EPL is ready for the storm Arsenal will provide. In the meantime, the clubs savors the position....

POKERSTAR88.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya – Gelandang Manchester City, Yaya Toure meyakini bahwa rekan satu timnya, Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero selevel dengan pemenang Ballon d’Or empat kali, Lionel Messi. Di mana ia telah merasakan bermain bersama kedua pemain asal Argentina tersebut.

Selengkapnya bisa dibaca di : Master Agen Judi Bola Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya di Indonesia

Toure sempat bahu membahu dengan Messi di Barcelona dengan mempersembahkan gelar Liga Champions pada 2009 sebelum hijrah ke Etihad Stadium pada 2010. Sekarang dirinya menjadi partner Aguero, yang mana sedang menjadi penyerang tersebut di Premier League dengan 10 golnya. Taruhan bola hanya di Padipoker.com Agent Judi Poker Situs Poker Online Teraman Dan Terpercaya Indonesia

“Saya sudah bermain dengan Messi dan sekarang bersama Aguero. Dia adalah striker yang fantastis, sulit memilih yang terbaik di antara keduanya tetapi Aguero sangat kuat, pintar, dan cepat,” ungkap Toure kepada Nissan, Kamis (bola pelangi agen bola sbobet ibcbet casino 338a tangkas togel online indonesia terpercaya).

Lebih lanjut, gelandang komplit asal Pantai Gading itu menilai bahwa Olb365.com Agen Judi Bola Online, Agen Judi Casino Online Indonesia Terpercaya memiliki filosofi permainan yang berbeda saat ini jika dibandingkan saat masih dilatih oleh Roberto Mancini. Ia juga menyinggung target tim saat ini.

“Dulu bersama Mancini, kami bermain lebih bertahan dan saat ini bersama Pellegrini kami total menyerang. Setiap pemain memiliki pendapatnya masing-masing, tetapi saat ini dengan Pellegrini, setiap pemain di sini sangat menyukainya,” tambahnya.

“Untuk kami, skenario yang sempurna adalah memenangkan keduanya (Liga Champions dan Premier League) tetapi kami tahu target tersebut sangatlah sulit dan kami akan mencobanya,” tuntas adik dari Agen Ibcbet ini.


Ibcbet Seiring berjalannya periode senja karier, David James malah diterpa krisis finansial. Bekas kiper tim nasional Inggris itu mulai mengalami kebangkrutan. Terpaksa, beberapa barang memorabilia nan berharga masuk daftar lelang.

Kiper berusia 44 tahun yang juga pernah membela SBOBET – Liverpool dan Manchester City itu sedianya masih menyambung kariernya, sebagai pemain sekaligus pelatih di sebuah klub ISL (Indian Super League), Agen Bola Terpercaya.

Akan tetapi gajinya di Agen Bola nampaknya belum bisa menutupi krisis keuangan pribadi sang kiper yang punya 53 caps bersama The Three Lions itu.

Sebagaimana dikutip Taruhan Bola Online Agen Bola, Rabu (5/11/2014), James mendaftarkan sekitar 150 barang untuk dilelang yang sebagian besar merupakan memorabilia berharga sepanjang kariernya.

James memasukkan 150 barang tersebut ke HilcoIndustrial, situs lelang onlineyang berbasis di Kota Napoleon, Ohio Taruhan Bola– Amerika Serikat.

Beberapa barang yang coba dilelangnya adalah sejumlah jersey kiper timnas Inggris yang pernah dipakainya, serta beberapa jersey pemain lawan yang pernah bertukar dengannya.

Ada pula sejumlah jersey klub Premier League yang pernah ditandatangani rekan setimnya, ditambah berbagai barang yang tak ada hubunganya dengan olahraga, macam sepeda klasik Raleigh, sampai sebuah mobil Rajamerah.com situs judi Poker online terbaik terpercaya.

Pulaujudi.com Master Agen Judi Bola Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya di Indonesia – Arsène Wenger kini tak perlu lagi dibikin ribet oleh masalah resleting jaketnya. Problem ini sedianya sepele, tapi kadang membuat nakhoda Arsenalitu kesal setiap kali kesulitan mengancingkan resleting jaket lamanya.

Musim sebelumnya, Sbobet sering terlihat kesulitan, baik saat berdiri di pinggir lapangan, maupun sedang terduduk di bench, hanya untuk mengancingkan resleting jaket Nike-nya (Indomasterbola.com Agen Judi Bola, Taruhan Bola Terbaik dan Terpercaya).

Kerap kali, rekaman Wenger itu bahkan dijadikan candaan dan bahkan pem-bully-an di beragam media sosial.

Tapi kini problem itu sudah terpecahkan. Puma sebagai apparel baru Arsenal musim ini, menyediakan jaket dengan resleting yang lebih inovatif. Kini, Wenger tak lagi harus kerepotan mengancingkan resleting jaket panjangnya hingga ke leher demi menahan udara dingin.

Jaket baru dari JagadPoker.com Agen Texas Poker & Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya ini sedikit berbeda dalam hal resletingnya. Tak seperti jaket-jaket pada lazimnya, jaket yang disediakan Puma ini punya kait resleting ganda.

Kait bawah untuk menyatukan dua rel resleting, sementara satu kait di atasnya yang saling tersambung dengan kait bawahnya, berguna untuk memudahkan Wenger menaikkan resletingnya.

“Di BOLAWIN88.COM BANDAR TARUHAN AGEN JUDI BOLA CASINO POKER DOMINO BOLATANGKAS DAN TOGEL ONLINE TERPERCAYA INDONESIA, kami tahu bahwa sepakbola tidak bisa diprediksi. Anda harus siap untuk hal apapun, baik itu lawan yang berat maupun cuaca yang buruk,” papar Puma dalam komersial barunya.

“Ada banyak macam hal yang bisa mengubah pertandingan. Jika Anda seorang pelatih, Anda butuh fokus. Anda tak bisa membiarkan apapun memecah fokus Anda, termasuk masalah resleting,” lanjut pernyataan apparel asal JINPOKER.COM Agen Judi Poker Online dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya itu.