Classification Of Arsenal Games Based On Passing Statistics

I was looking at some statistics and the passing stats interested me. I think Arsenal games can be classified based on these numbers. It’s more of a post game classification rather than a pre-game one, although it wont be difficult to predict in many cases.

First up are the games we dominate

(c) DesiGunner

Amongst our recent games, the wins over Portsmouth, Hull and Stoke are in this category. We tend to have 550 passes or more with a high success rate that translates into a very healthy possession count. This means we keep the ball for long periods and move it at speed which implies that our pass and move game is working, and normally we get enough chances to win the game.

Only on rare occasions, like the recent home game against Everton (569 passes with 86% success), we fail to create enough opportunities in the final third.

The second type are the games that are really close and tough.

(c) DesiGunner

These are the games where we typically manage between 350 to 400 passes with a relatively lower success rate. Obviously, our possession stats are also affected. In these games the opponents close us down well, denying our players space and time on the ball. The other team tries to give as good as it gets and the results are often decided by individual moments. Needless to say these are the games where we really have to fight for the points.

The third and final category is everything that falls in between these two.

(c) DesiGunner

Sometimes the opponents are happy to let us keep the ball. They try to keep the defense tight and hit us on the break. Occasionally, they enjoy sustained spells of pressure but most of the game is about Arsenal trying to break the opposition down. We have seen mixed results in these cases.

For instance, against Villa the game was tight but an inspired cameo by El Capitan changed that into an impressive scoreline. On the other hand, against Chelsea we had enough control but a five minute spell before the break resulted in a depressing final score.

These games are deceptively tough and the score often does not tell the complete story. Being hard fought, these games too are influenced by individual performances and mistakes.

At times, we see a mixture of the first two types. For instance, the Bolton home game was very tough for us in the first half when we didn’t get our passing game going and we really dominated it in the second half when we played at a higher tempo.

The big question is, which category will the next four games belong to?!

5 Responses to Classification Of Arsenal Games Based On Passing Statistics

  1. prince says:

    beautiful work.

  2. SA Gunner says:

    Good analysis.

    I think you would do well to publish the territorial statistics in each of these games as well. They would paint a clearer picture as to what our opposition teams are actually doing in these matches as well as how effective we actually are with our possession.

    Games like the Everton game would become much clearer then.

  3. Karthik says:

    Nice, very nice.

  4. 0.9 Calibre says:

    Good point SA.. Territorial statistics is the key to analyse the real meaning behind these wonderfully compiled stats.. Like the Boss said sometimes we tend to play the easy game… you know just keep the ball and dont go behind the defenders.. everton and Burnley are clear examples for our lack off creativity in the final third.. Also it would be interesting to see WHEN were the max % of the 550 passes were created.. That way it would give as an insight in to the Substitutions that have been influential and also indicate the typical periods when Arsenal creates the needed pressure.. am sure all of this is on some chalkboard in the academy but thanks a lot for bringing this to the readers..

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