Some Friday the 13th stats (2023)

6 – Bukayo Saka is 2nd in the Premier League with 6 assists. He’s just 1 assist away from his career high, last year, of 7

41 – Number of corners taken by Gabriel Martinelli: Martinelli has taken the most corners for Arsenal but his accuracy is fairly poor. He’s only found a teammate 13 times and has 0 key passes from corners. Compare that to Saka who has 39 corners, has found a teammate 15 times, has 8 key passes, and 2 assists. Clearly, something about Martinelli’s corners are just not quite as good as Saka’s

3 – Arsenal have three players in the top five for assists: Saka (6), Ødegaard (5), and Jesus (5)

123 – Gabriel Jesus is 2nd in the League in touches in the opp. penalty box with 123. Wild to think that he has played three matches fewer than 1st place Salah with 125 touches. Haaland is 3rd with 119 and Martinelli is 4th with 109. I expect Jesus to remain top 10 in this category until his return and then possibly reclaim the top spot by the end of the season

30 – Martinelli leads the League with 30 successful dribbles, Jesus is 4th with 27. Martinelli (66), Jesus (66), and Saka (62) are numbers 4, 5, 6 in the League in total overall dribbles attempted. Two seasons ago, Saka led all Arsenal players with 87 dribbles and Pepe was 2nd on the team with 66. That was for the entire season

109 – Benjamin White is 3rd in the League in Final Third passes with 109, behind Rodri and Declan Rice

28 – Benjamin White is 4th in the League in number of times he’s stopped someone dribbling past him with 28. He’s 28/37 (75.7%)

10 – Ødegaard is tied for 3rd in the League with 10 successful throughballs so far this season

I’m really curious to look at Arsenal’s stats at the actual midway point, compared to last season’s midway point (every team played once). I might even do a few years back. Depending on how much I give a flip about this stuff!

Anyway, Spurs on Sunday.



    1. Sorry to hear of his passing. Not familiar with his work but seems great. Different genre, but I was instantly reminded of this:

  1. Soooo, you’re basically saying we’re gonna smash the marsh dwellers on Sunday, right? RIGHT?!?!😎

  2. Interesting stuff. It’s incredible to think how far we’ve come and even more so to think that we have not peaked yet. The Benjamin White stats in particular stand out for me. I’m not surprised, per se, because I know what a good player he is, but I am now even more impressed him.

    The Spurs game. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt we’ve had such an edge over them tactically and quality wise. I spoke about where they are at this moment as a club in the last thread and to be succinct, I believe they’re in the decline phase of this iteration of the team, and staring at a major rebuild. Even in the last knockings of this cycle though, they have the ability to cause problems in forward areas, especially at home, and derbies are always less predictable. We’re going to have to be mentally locked in from start to finish.

    Arteta’s going to use Thomas to shadow Kane, ask one of the CBs to get tight to him and use a midfielder to dispossess him after his first touch while he’s facing his own goal. We will do anything to prevent him from turning on the ball in midfield. This effectively nullifies Spurs’ only real creative outlet. A fully fit Son running the channels is going to be their biggest threat, particularly of he peels off to Zinchenko’s side. The forwards will have to close down quickly to prevent accurate long passes to him while we press, and in the second phase I think we will drop deep to remove that option. I expect Spurs to be more aggressive and cede less territory at home, and Arteta won’t mind letting them have the ball agaist his settled block. If we get them to drop deep and cede territory like they did at Emirates, we will pick them apart again. Their best hope is aggression, pray we screw up, and hope Kane does something spectacular. 2-1 to Arsenal in a nervous one to the end is my guess.

  3. Watched the Newcastle first half again. A few things stood out that I didn’t catch first time.

    First thing. Eddie Nketiah! His hold up play was fantastic. One of his weaknesses used to be running towards his goal to link play. In the past he wouldn’t show or did so at the wrong times or half heartedly. In this game he used his physical and technical toolbox intelligently within the framework of the team’s structure, and he worked really hard. He started breakaways, he carried the ball up the pitch, and he drew tactical fouls too. I love to see a player adding new strings to his bow and Eddie is quickly becoming the player we need him to be.

    Second thing. I got on Xhaka for his lack of dynamism, but there was a bigger problem: Our spacing was wrong. The passing options for our deep ball progressors were all standing in the half spaces between the midfield and back 4, but Newcastle were close enough with both lines that the athletes they have could intercept or quickly tackle any passes into that zone across the whole width of it. It was an illusion of space that they created and we fell for it. I think Joelinton made about 15 tackles as we kept shoehorning the right half space. Instead, their shape needed to be stretched vertically, or pulled apart with much smaller triangles and dynamism from deep areas (Side note: Mudryk provides both of those things). We didn’t have the resources to solve this on the day.

    1. Disagree on not having the resources. I think Xhaka could easily have been replaced by Zinchenko or even Vieira, who are both far more adept at creating triangles, finding those pockets and using both feet. Though I understand why Arteta didn’t change it, they would have had a vast improvement in the final third against NUs low block. I think at around 80 minutes Mikel decided not to lose the game instead of going for the win.

      1. I agree we could have done more to go for it. Getting into that would require a lot more words and I already feel like Im talking too much.

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