Monday, 10 November 2014

Swans 2 - Arsenal 1 Stats and Chalkboards

With this win Swansea have now registered parity in Premier League games against Arsenal (3 Wins, 1 Draw, 3 Defeats), while most of the mainstream media will be focusing on Arsenal's demise, this was an excellent Swansea performance with Arsenal creating relatively little.

It was a sign of respect that Arsenal's approach seemed to have been to keep it tight and hope to nick a winner on the counter (this plan worked well in part thanks in part due to a terrible piece of control from Bony to start the counter attack).

Looking at the shot charts by time, Arsenal offered little until a flurry towards the end of the half (and again little after their goal until a few nervy moments at the end of the game).
Shots by Minute Chart - The level of response by Swansea following Arsenal's goal was impressive
Montero's monstering of Chambers was something that caught the eye right from the beginning, the seeming lack of willingness to change things from Arsenal was almost an act of cruelty.  Montero has now made 29 successful dribbles in the Premier League compared with 9 for Dyer and 11 for Routledge (if this was done on a per minute basis, the difference would be even bigger still given Jeff''s lower playing time).

It doesn't always work but gives the option of a more direct approach, Montero received 27 passes but passed only 16 times where the more usual approach would see Routledge/Dyer interact more with Sigurdsson.

As good as Montero's play was, I was particularly impressed by the support play of Neil Taylor who linked up really well with him (I'll gloss over his reckless yellow given the final score).

The other player who stood out for me was Ki, it's great to have Leon back but Ki's been doing a pretty decent job in his absence. I'm in the middle of reading 'The Nowhere Men' by Michael Calvin which talks about scouting and someone mentions dismissively Britton often getting 100% pass rate in that it's meaningless without context (which is true in part but for me misses the point).

As with Ki's pass map below, the point is not the difficulty of any pass, it's the ability to be in the right place to receive the ball in the first place and also the willingness to accept the ball in pressured positions.
Ki's Pass map, lot's of lateral passes, but quietly keeps things ticking over
You may not always want to repeatedly recycle the ball but having the ability to so so when it suits you is hugely advantageous.

7 points in 3 games has turned what was starting to look like a mini-wobble into a distant memory and gives everyone two weeks to enjoy the result and to face the Man City game with an air of anticipation rather than nervousness.

Twitter: @we_r_pl
Match Stats: Created using Statszone , Whoscored  and Squawka