Individual achievements and performances in the 2020-2021 season by statistics – Part I.
For the summer break before the Euro21 is started I plan a 5-part series to put our players into PL perspective. For that purpose I use only the publicly available statistics from WhoScored: https://www.whoscored.com/Regions/252/Tournaments/2/Seasons/8228/Stages/18685/PlayerStatistics/England-Premier-League-2020-2021
To avoid unnecessarily long posts Part I-II. will deal with general and defensive statistics in the PL, followed by offensive and passing performances in Part III-IV. and conclude it with all of the above in the Europa League. Don’t expect expert analysis though, I will use the ranking to see if there is an Arsenal player in the Top20. Maybe a sentence to evaluate – to invite discussion among the comments, but I’ll do my best to refrain from criticism. Some of the attributes are cumulative, some are calculated on a 90 minutes ratio, but they can all be compared to other players’ similar statistics.
Appearances & mins:
There are plenty of players with 38*90 minutes under their belts (including Martinez). However we don’t have an Arsenal player in the Top20. In fact, Leno is #50 with 35 games and 3132 minutes. (If you’re interested, Saka comes second with 30+2 and 2562 minutes.)
I don’t think this should be a competition though, and hope for a less imbalanced GK situation next season, with our #2 – whoever he may be – more involved.
As you know, Kane won with 23. Lacazette is #9 with 13 goals. Which is only a bit more than half of Kane’s, but if we take the game time into consideration, Harry scored every 134 minutes, so Lacazette’s 148 is only about 10% worse. And while the trend from winning the Golden Boot 2 seasons ago, running up last year and being ninth now is not reassuring, but looking at the big picture and context, it is not that bad either.
This is something I’m less proud of. While there are 5 players with more than 10 assists (with 2 from Tottenham, including Kane, who came first in this category too), our best is Willian with 5, which places him az #29-48. He needed 1407 minutes to accomplish that, but compared to KdB’s 12 assists in 2001 minutes it’s not particularly efficient.
Again, there is a statistic with an Arsenal player in the Top10. John McGinn won the title with 12 (in 37 games), while Bellerin is at #8 with 8 yellow cards in 25 games. (Xhaka follows with 7 in 31). This shouldn’t be too alarming, as I’m not particularly satisfied with the impartial refereeing; and especially as I expect this figure to go down next season as Arteta must prioritize reducing red cards, which will likely bring down the number of faults and yellow card warnings.
Only Lewis Dunk got 2 red cards in the PL this season, and there are 35 players with a single marching order by his name. Statistically – with 20 teams – one should have 1,75 players, but Arsenal actually had 5 (Luiz, Leno, Xhaka, Pepe, Gabriel). This is way too much, and even though some of it was unjust or even biased, it should really be a priority to bring this down to 1-2 next season, as it obviously contributed to missing out European football. Especially as we don’t play particularly rough or aggressive.
Aerials won (per game):
Don’t ask me what this indicator does in the ’general’ category; my guess is that it doesn’t belong under defensive, offensive or passing either. And this is also a general statistic, as you can find players of all positions at the top. Benteke (ST) leads with 6.8, Soucek (CM) is second with 6.2 and Tarkowski and Magurie come at #6-7 with 4.6 duels won. Our towering trio of Mari (2.6), Gabriel (2.5) and Holding (2.4) are around the 36-44 places.
Man of the Match awards:
With Kane claiming the Golden Boot and the most assists it is not surprising that he won this category too. With 13 awards he is way ahead of KdB (8) and Mané (7). Our best candidate is Pepe with 4, sharing the 9-27 positions. So let’s say he is #9. J By the way, Nicolas Pepe needed only 1614 minutes for the 4 MotM awards, this was only beaten by Bale (923) and Saint.Maximin (1568 minutes, and 5 awards). This is not the same as a fanblog’s such award, as theoretically a blog would give this 38 times for a member of the team (often even shared), but WhoScored grants 1 award each game for the best player on the pitch. So Arsenal got (only) 20 in the whole season. Behind Pepe Lacazette and Willian (!) got 3, Saka and Ceballos 2 each and 6 players (Holding, Bellerin, Elneny, Partey, Auba and Martinelli) 1.
Fun fact: Pepe wins the most EL MotM award category with another 4, but I’ll talk about it later.
Apparently this statistic favors attacking midfielders as 4 players from the 2-6 positions (behind Harry Kane, obviously) are AMs for trade. HK leads this category with 7.79, Mason Mount is #6 with 7.33. Arsenal’s best is literally Ryan with a 7.1 average in 3 games, but we should exclude him due to the small sample. So in reality our best rated player – according to WhoScored – was Lacazette with 6.89 (placed at #81 on the list), followed by Saka, Ceballos, Chambers and Holding. (Our 4 worst players with 1000+ minutes in the PL this season were Willian [6.65], Leno [6.56], Luiz [6.51] and Elneny [6.43].) But let’s not forget that substitute appearances decrease the rating, so players with many 10-15 minute cameos are not assessed properly.)
This was the first batch of statistics.
What are your opinion? Where shall we improve individually next season?
Assuming that WhoScored has no anti-Arsenal bias, where/why do you think it under- or overrates players?
Please let me know if you’re interested in the other indicators, as I know that not many are such number-muncher comparison-freak than yours truly.
By Peter Barany.