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Mailbag: Turnovers, With/Without Alexis and Bellerin
I’ve been busy in the middle of moving houses and I haven’t had my normal time to dig deep into the pressing Arsenal questions. To help get back on track on what was on the minds of Arsenal fans I took to twitter to solicit some questions that people had and I could do some research to try to help answer those questions.
My followers did quite well giving me some good things to look up, I might even look at making this a kind of regular thing.
Arsenal Turnovers with Alexis and without
A few things jump out looking at these stats, the first and goes with the question is that Arsenal have turned the ball over quite a bit less now that Alexis Sanchez plays for Manchester United.
The second thing is that Arsenal’s shots per game is way down (a big portion of that is the Tottenham match pulling down the average) but the xG per game is exactly the same.
Overall the passing percentage has gone up slightly but the passing value added has gone down. The sample is really small but I think a lot of this really helps to illustrate the point that I tried to stress when everyone was so mad about Alexis’ turnovers; he will be wasteful but the things he tries are very valuable and he completes enough to make it worth while.
There was a lot wrong with the performance against Östersunds but keeping the ball was not the worst issue. Comparing this match to the others that Arsenal have played this season (league only) it would rank as the 9th worst performance for turnover per touch.
Turnover Per Touch by Match
Considering the level of competition this should probably be graded even worse than some of the Premier League matches.
To a certain extent I can see where people get some frustration with Hector Bellerin, he does seem to do a very good job getting himself into dangerous positions for either a shot or a cross, and on his skill set these things both are things that he could use improvement on.
What always seems to get people is the end product and getting your name on the scoresheet. This season he has 2 league goals on 2.6 xg and 1 assist on 2.1 xA. Those numbers won’t get people excited.
Where Bellerin’s production really shines for Arsenal seems to be in a more subtle way. He is pivotal earlier in the buildup to moves and he passing is outstanding and not just for a defensive player. In xG Buildup he ranks 8th overall and 3rd among defenders, in Passing Value Added he ranks 8th and 2nd among defenders. On a Passing Value Added per 50 passes (to correct for total passes attempted) he ranks 50th but is 10th among defenders.
One of the stats that really illustrates Bellerin’s importance is how much of Arsenal’s total xG he is involved in the buildup to (does not include the assisted shot or the shot).
Bellerin is third on Arsenal, involved in the buildup to 23.3% of Arsenal’s xG this season.
More on Bellerin:
Hector Bellerin, how good (or bad) has he been? Compared to some other RBs maybe? I feel like both sides of the argument are way too invested in being right, so was curious how the numbers say he has done— Pranav (@Prany94) February 23, 2018
Right Back Stats
Bellerin has been good, maybe not quite at the level that he showed last season but still quite good. He has been one of the best right backs in the league, he has also been asked to play a ton of minutes because Arsenal really don’t have a back up player.
Looking at the squad, Bellerin is one of the few young players in the squad that has already proven himself as a top player and is just entering his prime years. A good way to look at things is what players other teams fans would create crazy transfer scenarios to aquire, I think Bellerin is on that short list of Arsenal players that is coveted by other teams.
Now that stats have been made obsolete due to Carvalhal's comments, what are you going to do with your life now?— Clayton Maddox (@Clayton_1886) February 23, 2018
Here is the context if you missed this tweet from new Swansea Manager Carlos Carvalhal:
I think I might work on improving my woodworking skills. Being able to work with my hands might be nice seeing as using my analytic skills have just been debunked.
This post originally ran on The Short Fuse