Good morning, just a quick post today as I am in a rush.
First, I added goals scored off crosses to the 7amkickoff Index and published the data to the web. Practically, that means anyone can look at my timeline now and copy out the data. If you’d like to rearrange the structure you can also do that. Again, just take a copy of my data and make your own table. I’m curious to see what others come up with.
Second, I discovered* the “detailed” tab on WhoScored.com and have to say that it feels like there is too much detail! But keeping with the theme of today’s additions to the 7amkickoff Index, I started playing with the crosses numbers for this year and last.
If you look at the Index you can see that Arsenal have only scored nine goals off crosses in all competitions and just six times in the League. That’s according to me, according to Opta (the guys who supply WhoScored with the data) Arsenal have only scored FIVE times off crosses… or more correctly “Arsenal only have 5 assists off crosses in League play”. Opta and I disagree on whether Welbeck’s pass to Alexis against Swansea was a cross. I think it was, they don’t
According to Opta, the five cross-assisters are Chambers, Gibbs, Özil, Monreal and Cazorla and I add in Welbeck.
Even if we use Opta’s data, Arsenal’s numbers don’t look too bad.
The Gunners are attempting more crosses than ever and they have a League leading 5 assists off those crosses (I would say seven, actually. Gibbs’ cross for the own goal and Welbeck’s cross to Alexis).
If anything, Arsenal’s numbers are being dragged down by two players, Alexis and Ox. Both of those guys have only connected on 4 of their 40 attempted crosses (combined 8 for 80), though 3 of their 4 successful crosses have resulted in shots (total they have 6 shots off 8 successful crosses), and neither has managed an assist yet off a cross.
The player Arsenal miss most is Özil. Corners, crosses, regular passes, it doesn’t matter his passing numbers are spectacular. He had 9 accurate crosses off 27 attempts and 7 accurate corners off 13 attempts. He also had 4 key passes off crosses and 2 off corners along with one of Arsenal’s crossed-assists.
One last thing, much is being made of Alexis’ passing percentage and there’s a good deal of truth to the critique that Arsenal need all of our players to be more accurate with the ball. Using just short passes as a measuring stick (with which to beat him, HA HA HA) Alexis has the most “innacurate” passes of the whole team giving up 103 short passes in 10 games. That’s 10 times a game he’s giving away the ball in a short pass situation. Ramsey is second on the team, by the way, giving the ball away 6.7 times a game in short pass situations.
Alexis’ pass percentages are the same as Diego Costa and Neymar which at first glance seems to vindicate the Chilean but when you see that Costa only has 4.8 giveaways per game and that Neymar has 6.8, Alexis’ 10 per game is pretty poor. Alexis is getting the ball a lot and not quite connecting with his teammates.
The Chilean admitted as much in an interview where he said that he is still learning to play with his teammates.
Clearly I need to improve and that is what I say in the dressing room: I could dwell a little less on the ball, use one-touch play to facilitate counterattacks. That is vital. I must learn that because the rapid transitions are key in this league and with this team.
This football [in England] is hard, very hard. It’s a struggle to adapt. Of all the leagues in which I have played, this is the most complicated. I like the challenge, but it’s not easy!
Imagine the day when he’s all settled in at Arsenal and making short little passes that open up the opposition instead of just scoring all of Arsenal’s goals.
That’s all I can do for today. Have a crack at the numbers yourself and see what you come up with.
*I discovered this in the time honored tradition of my ancestors “someone else made it, someone else pointed me to it, and I then blindly stumbled into it, planted a flag, and claimed it for my Queen. Long live the Queen!”