After a 33 shot performance against Man U, an 11 shot performance against Soton, and a 22 shot performance against West Ham, Arsenal have now scored just two goals in their last three games and taken a whopping two points for their efforts. All totaled, Arsenal have taken 302 shots in the Premier League this season and have scored just 30 goals – a 10% conversion rate, or what the stats folks call “average”. Meanwhile Man City are pumping in nearly 17% of their chances, Man U 16%, Leicester 14% and Chelsea 12%. I can’t think of a time when Arsenal have been so wasteful, unless I go all the way back to 2015/16.
That was the season Leicester won the League and that was also the season I was certain that Arsenal would overtake them. Arsenal created a league leading 97 big chances that season but only converted 38% of them, below the 45% average we expect to see and well below the 50%+ we see from top teams.
Using expected goals I can also go back and see exactly which games our terrible finishing cost us the title in 2015/16:
West Ham (H): 2.05-0.5 (0-2) – Cech error
WBA (A): 1.46-0.26 (1-2) – Arteta OG, missed pen
Soton (H): 3.44-0.86 (0-0) – 5 Big Chances, 4 saved
Swansea (H): 2.02-0.84 (1-2) – error Cech
Palace (H): 2.22-0.32 (1-1)
Sunderland (A): 1.42-0.54 (0-0)
This season, Arsenal’s poverty finishing is killing them once again. This year I count the shots differently than I did in 2015/16 but the same pattern is already emerging, Arsenal are just wasteful with the chances they create.
Stoke (A): 1.87-0.96 (0-1)
Man U (H): 4.07-1.78 (1-3) – 33 Shots FC
West Ham (A): 1.36-0.46 (0-0)
That’s only 8 points, it wouldn’t make Arsenal title contenders but it would put them comfortably in second place on the table. Meanwhile, the Gunners are in 7th.
For those of you who like this sort of thing, here are the week 17 graphics to argue over. Take note of Arsenal’s saves data: I’m calling it, Cech is done. Anyway, have fun, don’t be jerks to each other and I’ll check back during lunch.
Man U are the luckiest team in the League right now. They have conceded nearly twice as many shots as Man City (211 v. 106) and nearly twice as many big chances (29 to 16), but de Gea has rescued them so far and their defense only allows 5% of their shots past them. Note also Chelsea, who allow a ton of shots as well. And Burnley. These teams should correct at some point!
Here’s the conversion table. Most teams convert about the same rate as Arsenal, so we are average. But Arsenal’s defense is actually also a problem, allowing 13% conversion. Meanwhile, Tottenham also have a conversion problem but their defense is outstanding.
I think it’s down to keeper for Arsenal. I’ve heard there’s this young guy, plays for Juventus, Rumor has it he wanted to come to Arsenal.