Arsenal's Premier League season is (finally) done and dusted. The 2019/2020 season was the most turbulent and chaotic yet for the Gunners before you even factor in the COVID-19 pandemic which yet again, the club was some how at the forefront of. But across three head coaches, late-night negotiations and finishing the lowest league position in 25 years, what did the numbers say about Arsenal's 2019/2020 season?
Part I: The Bad
Where better to start on why they finished in their worst place in a quarter of a century with all the terrifyingly bad numbers that they posted throughout the year.
Arsenal yet again posted a lower goals scored total and xG for a second consecutive year since Arsene Wenger's departure from the club:
2017/18 Season: 74 (1.95 per game) / xG: 63.3 / xG90 1.66 (Wenger's last season)
2018/19 Season: 73 (1.92 per game) / xG: 56.5 / xG90 1.49 (Emery's first season)
2019/20 Season: 56 (1.47 per game) / xG 49.6 / xG90 1.31 (Emery's departure/Ljungberg/Arteta's first season)
It's unfair to take the 2019/2020 numbers at face value because of the change of manager in November. It's well-documented that Unai Emery's footballing standard's and processes weren't matched with the quality that the club should adhere to. His defensive ways of setting up his team also dogged the team's fitness. This was pretty much confirmed during Mikel Arteta's 2-0 win over Manchester United on New Year's Day.
To look into this further- let's separate Emery's numbers from Mikel Arteta's
Emery 19/20 (13 matches)
Expected Goals: 17.8
Expected Goals per 90: 1.36
Goals scored: 18
Expected Goals Allowed: 21.64
Expected Goals Allowed per 90: 1.61
Goals Allowed: 19
Place: 8th 19pts out of a possible 39
Place based on xG: 11th
This is not far away from the full stats that Emery registered with this Arsenal side the season before, his first full year. The fact that the average did not go up by the conclusion of the Premier League is also worrying stat and points to the drum I won't stop banging, concerning Arsenal's lack of creativity from midfield which has been left destitute wit the departure of Aaron Ramsey and the lack of involvement from Mesut Ozil for whatever reason. Even the more frustrating players who could still play under a flowing and attacking system in e.g. Alexander Iwobi has been missed.
To put how poorly the creative system is working at Arsenal at the moment these are some stats that you should know:
The first Arsenal player that registers on the "Big Chances Created" table is at number 25; Nicolas Pepe created 8 of them. Two Burnley players (Dwight McNeil and Andy Westwood) appear before any Arsenal player, as well as Pascal Groß from Brighton.
With only 56 goals this season (their lowest amount since the 1995/96 season), the Gunners were ten goals behind the lowest Goals Scored amount that qualified for the Champions League. They also found the net 46 fewer times than Man City (102).
14 teams fired in more shots than Arsenal in the Premier League including Norwich, West Ham, Watford and Brighton. (via @Orbinho)
Join me for my next instalment of the review next week when we see if there's any way out of this bad spell for Arsenal on what they've done this season...