Östersunds v. Arsenal: stats preview

Some insight from the stats:

Ostersund take about half of their shots from outside the box, almost 7 a game. They scored just two goals off those shots, both goals at home.

They have scored zero goals from headers, 1 penalty, and 3 goals from set plays.

Arsenal were the team with the 2nds fewest attempted tackles in the EL group stages. Ostersund attempted the 7th fewest. However, Arsenal were 2nd in attempted dribbles and Oestersund were 4th. Typically tackles and dribbles go hand in hand; the more dribbles, the more tackles.

This could be one area where the historical stats don’t match up to the game day stats. Arsenal’s leading dribbler in EL is Jack Wilshere with almost 5 successful dribbles per game. Jack is out for this match. Arsenal’s other two leading dribblers are Iwobi and Welbeck with 3 per game. Also, Ozil is an excellent dribbler, though he prefers a pass. We could see a number of Arsenal players trying a large number of dribbles in the Oestersund final third which will probably lead to a lot of attempted tackles.

Their leading dribbler is Ken Sema with 2.8 per game. He plays on the left, so watch Bellerin’s match today.

Ostersund were, however, 6th in the EL in total interceptions. They have three players in the spine of the team who combines to average almost 8 interceptions a game: Petterson, Nouri, and Bachirou. Those are all listed as CB, DM, and DM. Their CB’s and DM’s step to intercept rather than tackle, much like Arsenal are taught to do.

Oestersunds (finally spelled it right?) aren’t much for set play offense. They have just 6 key passes from crosses, 2 from corners, 2 from free kicks, and (weirdly) 2 from throw ins (that’s kind of a lot).  Their CB Papagianapoulis and their RB (RM???) Curtis Edwards (he’s English, from Thornaby) have a goal each.

Arsenal and Oestersunds were 43rd and 42nd in total fouls committed in EL group stage play. It should be a clean game (watch, three red cards or something).

Arsenal’s leading goal scorers in this competition are, Theo Walcott (3), Olivier Giroud (3), Alexis Sanchez (1), Jack Wilshere (1), Debuchy (1), Holding (1), and Kolasinac (1).  Only Elneny (1), and Bellerin (1) will be available for today’s match.


Sources: Opta



  1. Ostersunds set play not efficient.. remember reading something like this for our Nottingham forest game .. and BAM!!! we conceded one of the most ridiculous set piece goal!
    Arsenal sure will have some surprise for us today!!!

  2. A few years ago I would have said I’m 100% confident of Arsenal winning this match. Today, I’m giving this sad excuse of an away team about a 60% chance of beating Ostersunds. I’m fully expecting Arsenal’s players to take the result for granted (i.e., I’m expecting sloppy passing and defenders falling asleep at the back).

    Still, we should beat them at home and win the tie, right? RIGHT?

    1. My favorite comment from Wenger’s presser was when he was asked “did you practice on turf before this match?” and he was all “naw, didn’t want to disrupt our normal routine. We will just have to adjust in the game. We have the technical ability to adjust in the game and that’s what we will have to do.”

      Such hubris. I’d say it’s incredible but I’ve seen this from him so many times before.

  3. Unrelated sort of, but did anyone else read the “I always honor my contract” line from Wenger today? Spare a thought for poor old Jack Action, who is probably lying down in a dark room right now with an ice pack on his head.

    1. He’s leaving this summer. No way Arsenal let him ride out the last season of his contract. No fucking way.

      1. Yeah, I agree, and I mean, what else is Wenger going to say when asked the question? I just thought it was hilarious that he came out with the line just a day or two after Jack Action said he’d be waiting (in dread) for it.

        1. Naw, I’m fine. I knew it was coming because he’d said it a few times already this year.

          I don’t think he wants to go. He’s a very proud and clearly stubborn man.

          I think Old Man Kroenke likes Wenger… a lot. If Wenger gets the sense he’s going to be turfed by Gazidis and Junior Kroenke I think he runs to the old man like he did last year and gets another deal. That’s why I’m not as sure as Tim that he’s done.

          Basically what Gazidis and Josh need to do is a work around and constructive dismissal – making the situation so uncomfortable for Wenger that he leaves of his own volition.

          1. They have to fire him. Come on. If nothing else, being so thoroughly outplayed in the derby had to have been the final nail in the coffin. How much more of this BS mediocrity are we going to take? The fans are sick of it. I’m sure the Kroenkes and Gazidis can sense things are going south. We have commercial deals coming up that needs to be re-negotiated. You think the Kroenkes are going to be happy if Puma passes on us and we are forced to go to a manufacturer who is a level below like Macron? (Okay, highly unlikely but just making a point). I’m sure Gazidis knows how much tougher his job is going to be if we continue on this trajectory and I can’t imagine he has been just sitting on his chair, twiddling his thumbs and not mentioned anything to the owners – and honestly I think he knows he has a more receptive ear in Josh Kroenke and most of us has seen with the Rams how they are not afraid to make wholesale changes once they have made up their minds.

  4. Someone on Twitter commented that Ostersunds have won more trophies in 3 years than S&%RE have in 30 years.

    So I guess we’re done for, then?

  5. Not a particularly convincing performance against a decent enough team who probably had more possession over the game. Three goals make it seem as though we overwhelmed them, but truth be told with a half decent striker they could (should) have scored a couple.

    1. I agree. If you can’t be happy with a 3-nil win, away, it’s time to step away from the television.

      1. I’m happy with the win, but not happy with the way the team played. It’s probably biased by the fact that I only watched the 2nd half, but I’m seeing the same things I’ve seen in all the other away games, except that the opposition wasn’t determined or good enough to take advantage. We won 3-0 mainly because they made two bad errors early on. I’m not trying to be miserable and I think people remember I’m usually championing the bright side but it’s impossible to ignore what I’m seeing in multiple matches. We just aren’t improving and that’s the worst thing about it.

        People are slagging Welbeck and with some merit but it’s way deeper than him. Lacazette was looking just as lost before him, and even Aubameyang couldn’t make much hay against Spurs either. We simply aren’t making enough shots for our forwards. The instruction for them seems to be to stand between the CB’s and occasionally come short to play 1-2’s. Whatever we are supposed to be doing with the CF, it’s not working. Read the above article on how Spurs build their attacks and then compare that to what you saw in this game from us in an attacking sense.

      2. You can simultaneously be happy for the win and also think that the score flattered us.

        Did anyone else notice all the arguing on the field?

        1. Fellas, we’re in sixth place in the Premier league. We just got spanked by Spurs. Every single person who reads this blog knows we are in what Tim Stillman calls a “managed decline”. As a columnist here, I went on record saying things will never improve until Arsene Wenger moves on. Claude’s point, which I echoed, is that we bitch all the time, so after a game like that, maybe just appreciate the good, and save the complaining for the next time we get taken apart?

  6. As a Gooner, I kind of feel I am in Hotel California. I have checked out but I know that even if
    “You can check out anytime you like
    you can never leave”.
    Great that we’re practically through as Ostersunds scoring 4 in London while we score none is a very remote possibility. This football is so insipid and uninspiring and boring.
    C’mon Arsenal bring on the
    “mirrors on the ceiling,
    pink champagne on ice”…

  7. Good win, but the Osters guys should’ve had at least another penalty. Man, if Welbz is our CF for the rest of the competition, we’re done.

  8. After 21 years and all he has done for the club…you don’t fire or force him to leave. That’s not how we do things. I can’t/ won’t be able to agree with your prediction……not on this.

    1. A role player, to be sure, but not being used correctly in my view. Tim Stillman compares him to Emile Heskey and I think that is on the money. Heskey wasn’t the best finisher either but his physicality created opportunities for Owen. That’s the sort of foil Welbeck should be for a diminutive sharpshooter like Lacazette, or, he can play a “defensive forward” role like he did in the FA cup final and for Manchester United where his main job is to close down the best passing CB on the opposition (i.e. Azpilicueta) or shuttle up and down the wing to shut down a particularly dangerous wing back. Those things are useful, but he should never be mistaken for even an average center forward, the type whose job it is to make the most of limited offensive touches in critical areas.

      1. He’s also just in bad form, simple as that (whereas in the cup final he was in good form). He ain’t great, but he’s a much better player than he showed tonight.

      2. Defensive forward is quite important. We were much better defending set pieces with Giroud in the game.

    2. Well, (per PFo) seem like he’s been out of form all his life 🙂

      Welbz lacks the both the composure in front of goal of top strikers (see Auba v. Everton), and the head-up awareness of the runs of others. He got berated for both yesterday. Limited as Theo Walcott was, he was ahead of Welbeck on both those counts.

      Welbz can do the Giroud-style hold-up play (not as well as Olly, though) and neat, combination passing. Unlike Giroud, he’s fast across the ground, can stretch defences with clever and tireless running in behind, and can press and harry from the front. For a big man, he’s not a particularly productive or consistently threatening header of the ball.

      All that said, he has the odd game where he turns it on to good effect. He was terrific in the FA Cup final last year (the whole team was, tbf. Ozil even slide-tackled Hazard!). And if we played Manchester United every week, he’d probably get 20 a season. Or not. His season high is 9 for United in 2013/2014. He has scored 16 goals in 4 years at Arsenal.

      Injuries have been a factor, but 39 premier league goals in 9 seasons tells its own story.

      It can be painful watching his Bambi-like imitation of a striker, but in mitigation, he’s only third choice.

      Lovely bloke, well-liked by the dressing room (except yesterday), but terribly limited.

      1. Addendum, from WhoScored…

        Welbeck has 46 goals in total — EPL, Champions League and Cups, in 12,700 minutes on the pitch.

        Compared to another oft-and long term injured player, Ramsey, who has 43 in 17,410 minutes.

        Giroud’s return for Arsenal is actually rather good… 105 goals in 5 and a half seasons.

        Theo has 76 goals in 15,352 (including his 2 for Arsenal).

        Fun fact. Welbeck, Ramsey and Walcott all made their debuts in 2009/2010.

        Welbeck’s numbers are midfielder’s numbers.

        Under different circumstances, we’d have sold him and kept Giroud.

      2. Those injuries seem to have cost him a yard off of his pace.
        There is another issue with Danny that probably needs to be addressed elsewhere (when he comes o**).

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