McCarthy: Arsenal takes their chances better than we do. Paddy: Wrong!

Mick McCarthy has talked to the press about the upcoming match against Arsenal at The Emirates. Let us analyse parts of the text from the Official Site.

I don’t know if us playing them in between two Champions League games makes any difference but they’ve got a squad to cope with it.”

I’m not so sure about that! With Fabregas, Gallas and Arshavin out of the team and the rest having played against Barcelona only three days before and going to play them again three days after the match against Wolves, we do have an advantage and it does make a difference. Fabregas, Gallas and Arshavin can not be replaced by players equally skilled.

And they’ve got the size of the pitch and the surface going for them as well.

That is correct. A bigger size of the pitch gives a team that is good at passes and to hold the ball in the team a clear advantage.

We played well against them for 30-odd minutes at our place and we’re a better outfit than we were then. We’re not perfect but we’re certainly better than we were.

Yes! We played very well those 30 minutes and they were lucky to get their first goal and we were unlucky not to get one.
And Yes! We are better now as a team. Both Wolves attack and defence are better and we have taken more points.

If it’s end-to-end and they have a chance and we have a chance we’ll get beaten because they’ll take their chances better than we do.”

I’m sorry, Mick. But you are wrong! Statistics show that Wolves are better at both defending and attacking. The difference is that Arsenal usually launch more attacks than Wolves and the result is that they get more goals. But taken chance by chance Wolves are actually the team with the better precision. I have just proved this without a doubt in a stats analysis HERE.

I am actually a bit perplexed that with the costly statistical hardware and software available to Wolves they don’t seem to have their facts right about this. Tell Mick the truth, statisticans of Wolves. Or look at Paddytheflie’s simple stats.

We’ve done alright in March but we’re not the finished product by any stretch of the imagination. So we’re going to have to defend and be solid, but within that you have to be sensible with the ball, you’ve got to keep it and you’ve got to manage the game, if you can. But there are always certain things that are unmanageable that can happen – moments of brilliance when sometimes you look back and think: ‘We could have stopped that’ – well actually you couldn’t because it was just magnificent. That’s why people watch football because they want to see those things. They scored some goals like that at our place. We know they can play fabulous football and we have to try to contain that.”

Wolves are far from the finished product, of course. I’m glad that McCarthy mentions that we have to keep the ball. When doing that we are preventing Arsenal from possession and they can not launch double the amount of attacks on us than we on them. that is the usual outcome of a match against the top three. And that is why they often win against us.

Not because they have more precision in their attacks. And not because they are better at defending. I’ve proved that it is the other way around (HERE). Wolves are better than Arsenal in attacking and defending.



~ by paddytheflea on April 1, 2010.

25 Responses to “McCarthy: Arsenal takes their chances better than we do. Paddy: Wrong!”

  1. So why are we in our 13th consecutive Champoins league campaign and your hanging on to the prem by the skin of yuor teeth?

    • I’ve tried to explain that in the article, brdgunner. You have the players to hold the ball in your team. They are experts – the best in the world – to pass the ball among themselves without letting the opposition have possession.

      That makes your team having the possibility to launch double the amount of attacks at goal to struggling teams like Wolves and Hull. The ability to hold the ball in the team and to go forward. that is your special quality – not the precision in goalscoring or the skill in defending. Many teams are better than Arsenal at that. A team has not to be the best in everything to be at the top, you know. Those of you who gets that have learnt something and I’m sure that manager Wenger knows it. He is a very clever man.

  2. Ha Ha have a laugh.

  3. Hahahahahahahah – what a moronic analysis!

    Wolves have done very well this season and I hope they stay up….but to say they are better at Attacking and Defending than Arsenal is just plain ridiculous…I don’t care what the stats say…

    If that was the case you would be top of the league.

    • No. If you attack twice as many times than Wolves than you will get more goals and win – and that is exactly what you use to do. But chance by chance Wolves are the team with the better precision. That is what the stats say and I have a very hard time to try to explain to you.

  4. Well should be 0-3 then on Saturday.
    Maybe McCarthy will do us a favor and play his reserve team a la Man U away.might as well let the stats play and then you will win easily.Your stats do not mention the fact that most teams when defending against arsenal do it with 11 men behind the ball hence making it harder to score .The only stat that is important is points won where Wolves are definately not better than Arsenal or ever will be.Let’s see at 5 0’clock on Saturday if you still think Wolves are better than Arsenal shall we

    • I’ve not said that we are better, …gunner. But – chance by chance we have more precision while attacking. But you are the better team by far. I’m willing to admit that.

  5. You seem to be saying that in attack the two sides are similar but we happen to have more of the ball than you do. Fair enough, I’d take Kevin Doyle and Ryan Jarvis any day over Van Persie and Arshavin…..fair enough for trying to use statistics to help your cause but sadly you don’t have the ability to see our quality up front. If you get to watch premiership football for another few years maybe you’ll get it…

    • Well, thank you. I think. 😆 I’ve seen PL football for some years now. Arsenal has immense qualities in holding the ball in the team and at going forward but at finishing they are not clinical enough. Wolves have a problem with passing the ball around and to hold it in the team, but are very good and clinical at scoring on their very few chances. Do you get it?

  6. ffs i dont think you are gettin it right here paddy. Your stats don’t tell the whole story. Those stats do not sum up entirely all the factors required to determine the attack and defense of the team. Most teams attack wolves cos they know they are better and wolves defend to nullify a lot of their attack. Therefore it becomes more difficult for the opposition to score vs wolves thus making the statistic look against their favor. Similarly when wolves go on the break there few defenders back to stop them making wolves attempt more likely to work.
    But having more attempts than your opponent is definitely a factor in determining whether a team has a better attack and for that arsenal win.

    End of the day , high precision=/= only factor of better attack
    attempts= a factor of attack

    • I have no problem at all with what you are saying, The Fan. If I understand you right you are saying exactly what I am saying in my stats article, but in other words.

      But most fans really doesn’t get that Wolves in fact has a higher precision in attack than Arsenal – nevermind why. And are better at defending attacks statistically – never mind why.

      They truly believe that the team that is higher up in the tables must be best in everything. Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world. Why? Not because they have the best precision in attack. Because they have the play that allows them to launch many attacks on the opposing team. A factor of attack? Well. Maybe. But the key is that Arsenal doesn’t have a better precision in attack than Wolves, something that was new to me before I wrote the articles and I beleieve it is news to most people.

  7. Ryan Jarvis? Have we signed a new player 🙂

  8. arsenal create more chances so are obviously going to miss more chances, we dont leave 9 or 10 players at the back to try to nullify other bettter teams like wolves do so again are more likely to leave gaps for teams to create more chances, i think you just wanted to put ARSENAL into your blog so people would be interested due to the fact that any story just involving wolves would be just too boring for anyone to read, and are you going to bring your 2nd string team like u did against man utd?? i doubt it cos Mr Mcarthy aint licking arsenes arse like he does mr ferguson, yr just a crap club who are clinging on to the premiership you wont be around for long so enjoy while it lasts you mug, u should meet me at the emirates on sat and tell me to my face that wolves are a better attacking team than arsenal then i can laugh at you in person and not via the internet

    • The thing is that Arsenal not only miss more chances in numbers, the do it in percentages as well. Read my reply to shooy to get what I mean better.

      And about McCarthy resting players against United. We had many games those weeks and the players needed a rest. But now we only have one match a week so we can play with fresh and injury free players. Can you?

  9. I am a Gooner and while I find your writing difficult to follow, much of your analysis is not surprising and simply confirms waht is obvious. Your main contention, that Wolves are better than Arsenal at attacking and defending, is utter nonsense. If that were true Wolves would be ahead of Arsenal in the league. What you mean, I think, is that Wolves are more efficient in those aspects but that their much poorer standard of play means that they do far too much of one (defending) and not nearly enough of the other (attacking). Arsenal retain posession better than almost any other EPL side. They do most of their defending by retaining posession and their posession allows them more attacking opportunities. When they are directly attacked they are quite worryingly vulnerable. That’s all obvious from watching them play and without any statistical analysis. If Arsenal had a more reasonable strike rate, as at the beginning of the season with van Persie, they would be closing in on 100 EPL goals by now. The other factor of course is that by retaining posession and being superbly fit they tend to finish more strongly than most teams. This is why they score so many of their goals in the last 10 minutes.

    • Very correct, shooy! That’s exactly what I mean. English is not my first lanuguage so I make it harder than it should be for you to get what I mean sometimes.

      Wolves are more efficiant – that is what the stats say. But many supporters of Arsenal believe that the team in their hearts are the best at everything. Of course much of the stats are obvious to an analytical mind like yours, but i hope that it can be revealing to those that have not reflected on these matters before – or have the wrong idea about it all together.

      They say that it is much harder to run without the ball than with it. And of course that is true. And I do believe that the opponents of Arsenal has to run longer distances than them. The aArsenal team are letting the ball do the job. That is why they are fresher in the last ten in my opinion. Not because they are some kind of supermen in fitness and strength.

  10. i actually take my crap comment back i was just a bit angry at the comments made and just wrote off the cuff, the thing is ive seen you play some good football so i wonder why you sent a 2nd string team to old trafford, it really does baffle me that you done that and also that teams just turn up to defend id find that so boring if i was following a team that played in such a un positive fasion, you come to the prem to play in the best league in the world but for most games you just sit back and hope for the best, we got beat at home to hull last seaon and they played good football, dont you want to see your manager being positive and going to try and beat the best teams around, teams that play that way get relegated anyway so why not just try play football the way it was intended, again im sorry about the crap club comment it was wrong i just dont like yr manager and his methods

    • Firstly I like to say that I did not approve of McCarthy resting players. I even wrote an article here against it. I believe he was wrong in doing it because we had a good chance of taking points from United. They had many players injured. And it was wrong to our fans who went to Manchester paying much money to watch it. But generally speaking McCarthy is a very nice and straight forward man. And a good manager.

  11. fair comment, you like your manager and stick by him like any good fan should do, and its good to hear you was against what he did at old trafford i also think atleast a point could have been earned. You seem like a fair person maybe instead of laughing at you on sat id buy you a beer instead, i would say good luck for sat but we need the points and goals so i hope we smash you but id also take a 1-0 win, good luck for after the arsenal game

    • To be honest It would be almost sensational if we take anything home from The Emirates, mr_rossi. That match is as hard for us to take points from as for you to win against Barcelona away.

      But good luck for you as well for the rest of the season. I believe you play the most attractive football in Britain and I would like you to win the PL because of that.

  12. Your analysis of the statistics is flawed.

    You claim Wolves’ defence is better because a smaller percentage of shots end up on target, and a smaller percentage of those end up as goals. However, that only takes into account a small detail of defensive ability. Whether a shot is on target or not has a lot to do with the striker’s ability, not the defence. True, a good defence will put a striker under pressure, but a better defence will not let him get a shot in at all.

    Similarly, the shots on target to goals ratio has more to do with goalkeeping ability, and the striker’s placement than it does with how good the defence is.

    The fact that Arsenal, according to your statistics, allowed only 91 shots on target to Wolves’ 160 suggests Arsenal’s defence is better. I take your point about possession playing a part, but a more meaningful statistic would be how many shots a team allows the opposition per minute they had the ball. (e.g. if Arsenal had an average 60% possession in their games, they would have allowed 91 per shots in 360 minutes of football the opposition had the ball, or one shot every 3.95 minutes of opposition possession. Conversely, if Wolves had 40% in their 10 games they would have allowed a shot every 3.38 minutes of opposition possession – bear in mind those possession statistics are made up, I’ll leave you to research them yourself if you wish).

    This still wouldn’t tell the whole story, as a better defence is also going to win the ball back faster, and a poor defence will win the ball, and hoof it up the pitch for the opposition to have again. So possession is also good determination of a teams defence qualities, although it also has to do with a teams ability to keep the ball, and so their attacking qualities.

    Probably the best statistic to determine the better defence is how many goals they have conceded.

    The analysis for the attack is more valid, however adding percentages together is meaningless – as an example one player taking 10 shots straight at the the keeper would have a score of 100 – 100% accuracy + 0% scoring, another player with 10 shots could miss 5 of them, but score 2 of the shots on target, scoring 50% accuracy + 40% scoring, meaning a score of 90.

    Also, I’d like to point out Sky’s statistics for the season, including the scoring statistics, which I think show over the season, Arsenal’s attack is more ‘efficient’.,19528,11096_2705370,00.html

    • * …has a lot to do with the strikers ability. Sure. But we have met the same teams so that’s irreleveant and not a variable.

      * …has more to do with the goalkeeping ability. How do you know that? And I anyway count the keeper as part of the defence.

      * … shots per minute is better. Well. Maybe, but I believe the final analysis will be the same. I’ve already said that more possession for Arsenal means more shots at goal. But that does not make Arsenal more efficient at goalscoring.
      *…adding percentages together is meaningless. I give you right about that. It could be deceitful and point in the wrong direction to add them. But I have taken them one by one at first and discussed them at length in my stats articles.

      * sky statistics. I believe they are misleading in this case and that they have put together shots on goal with blocked shots. The stats are from Opta and many papers using them put that together, so I don’t use them. They are misleading. But It would be very interesting to get the Opta stats in the raw so to speak and calculate them myself. But that costs a lot of money that a little flea without ads cannot afford. Thanks for your opinions, bendychip. It was constructive.

  13. this is getting too nicey nicey lol, yeh we will have trouble beating barca at the nou camp but anything in football is possible and you never know wot will happen on sat we have injuries and we will be tired so who knows, but thanks for yr fair comments it is nice too see that there are still some fair fans out there now a days

  14. Are you Truls in disguise…..?

    • Nope! 😆
      The person you’re referring to is much better at stats than me. And funnier. 😆

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