Six games into the new season, only four Premier League teams have run less than Arsenal (via the Telegraph).
Running isn’t everything, of course. Running too much will leave players tired and exposed towards the end of games but maybe it says something of Arsenal’s game if players are too static.
One issue Arsenal have is one of spacing – players aren’t spread out enough around the pitch and are struggling to open up the pitch and, in turn, the opposition. Naturally, more running when we are in possession and opposition defences will have more work to do.
Interestingly, Aaron Ramsey has run further than all but three players in the league. The Welshman is covering almost 12km per game, even from a wide role.
Only James Milner, Jack Colback and Andrew Surman are doing more work than Ramsey.
Arsenal have had more possession than any other team this season and tend to defend in a shape that doesn’t ask players to press excessively, which can go some way to explaining the numbers, but maybe the players should look at being a little more creative off the ball when we are in possession.
Hopefully the struggles of teams who run even less than the Gunners isn’t telling. Stoke City, Aston Villa, Norwich City and Everton are the four sides to have covered less ground and three of them (Everton excluded) find themselves in the bottom half of the table, with Stoke and Villa in 18th and 17th respectively.