Mikel Arteta described Arsenal’s 3-0 home loss to Aston Villa as the worst of his managerial career. Despite showing promising signs under the Spaniard, the defeat puts the Gunners in the bottom half of the table
While Arteta seems to have shored up his side’s defence, his team are struggling going forwards. Arsenal have scored just nine goals in eight Premier League games this season, their fewest at this stage of a league campaign since 1998/99 (also nine).
Even more worrying has been the form of their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The game against Villa was the first time he has played 90 minutes in a Premier League home game without attempting a single shot. Indeed, he is averaging just over a shot a game this season. Arteta needs to find a way to get the most out of his skipper, and fast.
Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick
Arsenal’s offensive woes were laid bare on Sunday night as Jack Grealish put on a creative clinic. The midfielder slid Ollie Watkins in for his second goal of the game, taking Grealish’s goal involvements this season to nine (four goals and five assists) – only Spurs pair Harry Kane (15) and Son Heung-min (10) have had a hand in more.
NB: The graphic above only shows carries in the attacking half
A key feature in Grealish’s play has been his ability to carry the ball forwards and drive towards the opposition goal. So far this season he has registered the most shot involvements following a carry – defined as a player moving the ball five metres or more – with 18 in total: nine shots, nine chances created. Indeed, one of those chances created was the assist for Ollie Watkins’ second goal last night.
Ziyech The Creator
After missing the first month of the season through injury, Hakim Ziyech showed Chelsea fans what they’d been missing with a sparkling performance against Sheffield United.
In total, he created six goalscoring chances for his teammates. Not only was that the most of any player on the pitch and more than the entire Sheffield United team put together, but it equalled the record set so far this season by Kevin De Bruyne in Manchester City’s first game of the campaign.
Paying the Penalty
There were another five penalties awarded this weekend, taking the current total on the season up to 41. Currently, we are on track for 202 penalties in the Premier League. The record is 112.
Leicester have been the biggest beneficiaries so far. In total, they’ve been awarded eight penalties in their eight Premier League matches this season. The previous earliest a side had won their eighth penalty of the campaign was after 16 matches (Manchester United last season).
But Jamie Vardy, along with Kevin de Bruyne and Ademola Lookman proved that penalties are far from a foregone conclusion. It was the first time that three penalties have been missed on a single matchday since MD4 of 2018/19 and it’s the first time that we’ve seen as many as five penalties taken on a Premier League matchday with more missed than scored (3/5 missed) since MD2 of 2010/11.
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