Happy North London Derby weekend!
This is going to be a weird spectacle and a derby that fans won't be used to between Tottenham and Arsenal. Behind closed doors, without any atmosphere and an obvious dominant team, it has the feeling that it could be quite a dull one. That's before we even get onto the fact that Jose Mourinho is bludgeoning Spurs' style of play compared to what they were. Jok has already previewed the match here, but I decided to take a little bit of a deep dive into the teams in terms of stats.
Premier League Form
Arsenal since the restart: Seven games played - 4W-1D-2L
Current position: 8th / 50pts
It was a tough restart for the Gunners facing then-defending champions Manchester City, losing their most improved midfielder, Granit Xhaka, seven minutes into the match and once again losing 3-0 to them. That was then followed by another away defeat to Brighton. Quite unlucky to face such a good team after three months off, and then losing the main working cog of your tactics. It was also not helped that of the seven games Arsenal played, the first three were on the road.
But since Xhaka returned from injury and Matteo Guendouzi's behaviour in the loss to Brighton was dealt with what seems to be a "non-negotiable" attitude from Mikel Arteta, the team seems to be clicking more and have gone on a five game unbeaten run, winning four in a row and drawing their last game against Leicester.
Now the game against the Foxes may have felt like a "two points dropped" situation, and it was, but once you look at it statistically, Arsenal are slowly improving:
Arteta (16 matches) v Emery 19/20 (13 matches)
Expected Goals: 22.47 v 17.8
Expected Goals per 90: 1.40 v 1.36
Goals scored: 26 v 18
Expected Goals Allowed: 22.63 v 21.64
Expected Goals Allowed per 90: 1.41 v 1.61
Goals Allowed: 15 v 19
Expected Goals: 7.72
Expected Goals per 90: 1.29
Goals scored: 10
Expected Goals Allowed: 6.29
Expected Goals Allowed per 90: 1.04
Goals Allowed: 6
Since the restart, some of Arsenal's stats have declined, however one of the games were against Manchester City which would have pushed the averages down (or up in terms of goals allowed), so you have to take that into account but even more impressively is that despite injuries and worries about David Luiz's form, Arsenal's Goals Allowed has gone down. Since Arteta has started we've had seven clean sheets, three in the last four games; under Unai Emery we only had two clean sheets.
So Arsenal may not be creating enough chances as they should in terms of xG, but if we go to the other side of North London...
Tottenham since the restart: Five games played - 2W-2D-1L
Current position: 10th / 49pts
Mourinho's reign since Arteta took over at Arsenal
Expected Goals: 21.12
Expected Goals per 90: 1.32
Goals scored: 20
Expected Goals Allowed: 26.70
Expected Goals Allowed per 90: 1.67
Goals Allowed: 18
Expected Goals: 4.78
Expected Goals per 90: 0.96
Goals scored: 5
Expected Goals Allowed: 5.57
Expected Goals Allowed per 90: 1.11
Goals Allowed: 4
If anyone watched Tottenham v Everton the other night, it was like watching Emery's Arsenal; no idea what the tactics were, no idea what they were trying to do, no fluidity in either defence or attack and just snuffed out any entertainment, like a vampire sucking out the fun of things. His underlying process is worse than Arteta's Arsenal. Because of this, I chose to not watch their last game against Bournemouth. I was told by both xG, basic stats and Spurs fans, that it was somehow worse than the Everton match.
Where can we win the game? Well, like all things Arsenal, we are our own biggest opponents. If we don't allow silly mistakes that lead to set-pieces (where we cannot defend from), or allow them to run into space off the 3-2-5 we form when attack, and we should be looking to leave Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a clean sheet and hopefully with all three points.