by Lewis Ambrose
Assists are important, obviously, but pre-assists deserve some love too and InTheMiddleGiroud has revealed just who contributed the most last season.
A pre-assists is the pass before the actual assist and are obviously crucial in a goal but are ignored by the sort of statistics people usually use. They’re even more important when you play tight combination football around the box that we so often indulge in at Arsenal.
So, who created the most assists last season?
10 (1)- Alexis Sanchez
9 – Santi Cazorla
8 (4) – Oliver Giroud
7 – Mesut Özil
6 – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
6 (1) – Aaron Ramsey 4 (1) – Laurent Koscielny
4 – Kieran Gibbs
4 – Jack Wilshere
3 – Per Mertesacker
2 – Lukas Podolski (1), Theo Walcott (1), Tomas Rosicky (1), Yaya Sanogo (1).
1 – Mathieu Debuchy, Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal
Numbers in brackets are where a player pre-assisted a goal that he himself scored.
In keeping with the 2014/15 season, Alexis won. Obviously.
Rather notably Mesut Özil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain register highly despite missing much of the season.
It is no surprise, but does show how important the two players are to our passing game.
Özzil in particular creates space and opening in moves which lead to goals or chances all the time but there are no conventional stats to measure those actions.
Olivier Giroud had a huge half of his pre-assists for his own goals. That can mean the target man is feeding the ball wide before darting into the box like for his goal at Anfield, or he is ultimately benefiting from his delightful one-touch style around the box by playing one-twos and getting on the end of the return.
Jack Wilshere also features highly considering his injury struggles, and Santi Cazorla – just as he did for player of the season – came in just behind Alexis.
Our style is very team-orientated and pre-assists are vital, maybe we should pay more attention to them.