So, Arsenal News Review carries on in some form.
Some great correspondence thanking Myles for all the hard work and dedication over the years. More about that later.
There have been one or two people who said they want to contribute pieces – and contributions are welcome. One email requests that ANR continues publishing correspondence.
Meanwhile a review after dealing largely with ANR administration over the last decade.
A couple of notable surveys this week – one, the value of the Arsenal squad according to Transfermarkt.com and the other noting that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the most wasteful striker in the Premier League in terms of chances missed.
On the first, the Arsenal squad is the 12th highest in Europe/ world in terms of value at £569.03m. Spurs are valued at £793.35m (7th). Manchester United at £706.28m (8th), Chelsea (4th) at £861.98m, Liverpool (2nd) at £1.00bn and Man City (1st) at £1.05bn.
Atletico Madrid is a surprise at fifth on £840.6m and along with Liverpool, who were behind Arsenal a few years ago – and now worth nearly double, shows what astute purchases, a few big buys, and clever management and coaching can do.
Obviously Transfermarkt figures have to be taken with a pinch of salt when confronted with reality and exact valuations – but they are indicative. In terms of Arsenal players, Aubameyang and Lacazette are both valued at £62.6m with Alexander up and Pierre down on the previous valuations; Ozil and Mkhitaryan are both at £22.3m.
The good news is that the values of Torreira and Guendouzi have risen significantly by £46.5m on top of the original fees.
But the bad news is that Ramsey and Welbeck, currently valued at £46.5m – more than the reported Arsenal transfer budget, and let go for free, cancels that out.
It highlights what a relative mess the Wenger regime left behind in terms of an unbalanced squad and bloated contracts and reminds of the note left by the Labour chief secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne in 2010 to the Tories: “There is no money”.
Is the downgrading of the value of Pierre in part to do with what Paddy Power Sports highlights – that he is the most wasteful striker in the Premier League (based on statistics)?
The percentage of shots resulting in a big chance miss/woodwork hit – 28.72%
*Number of shots – 94
*Number of big chances missed – 23
*Numbers of times hitting the woodwork – 4
* He missed a combined total of 27 shots by hitting the woodwork or squandering big chances
One in particular comes to mind – the miss against Brighton with a Champions League place a Champions League place two points away.
He is in good company though with Vardy, Mane and Willian in the top ten. And you have to be in the right place at the right time to get in this league.
A notable article on stats this week in the Daily Telegraph, from Daniel Zeqiri. He argues that when picking players for transfers, stats are much more accurate in terms of forwards and midfielders, than defenders.
One obvious reason is that that the poorer teams generally do more defending by default, therefore the individual defenders stats are higher in terms of tackles and interceptions.
He points out that Shkodran Mustafi was reportedly flagged up by Arsenal’s in-house analytics service, though ultimately the decision to pay £35m for him in 2016 was made by others.
“Watching Mustafi play, it is easy to see why he might profile impressively on a spreadsheet because his high-tariff, all-duck-or-no-dinner defending provokes a lot of collisions and incidents that can be noted down. How his lunges and lurches affect the players and space around him only comes to light through qualitative means.”
Another point is that defending is also more of a collective discipline where the sum is greater than its parts and that picking defenders remains an art with some help from the stats.