Arsenal dropped points against Wolves on Saturday, and one of the main talking points afterwards was the disparity in chances created by the two sides.
Admittedly, it’s true that Wolves took a lot of shots from distance and tight angles they had little chance of scoring. All the same, the fact they took 25 shots to Arsenal’s 10 is not a good look.
Unai Emery’s side just aren’t creating enough opportunities. Only Mesut Özil, Alexandre Lacazette and Dani Ceballos even created a single chance on the day.
Let’s have a look at Arsenal’s top chance creators this season in all competitions, per 90 minutes of football played:
- Mesut Özil – 3.939
- Reiss Nelson – 2.813
- Bukayo Saka – 2.373
- Nicolas Pepe – 2.146
- Alexandre Lacazette – 1.832
There are a couple of things to note here. Firstly, Özil, Nelson and Lacazette have all played very limited minutes, so their figures should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Secondly, this stat doesn’t evaluate the quality of a chance, so it’s worth looking at big chances created per 90:
- Hector Bellerin – 0.954
- Bukayo Saka – 0.949
- Reiss Nelson – 0.844
- Kieran Tierney – 0.634
- Gabriel Martinelli – 0.621
The frustrating thing about both lists is that Arsenal’s wingers are so prominent at the top, yet Emery decided not to play any against Wolves.
Saka, Nelson and Pepe (who only just finished outside the top-five for big chances per 90 in seventh) have all created plenty of good opportunities compared to the rest of the squad, yet they were all left out.
Dani Ceballos, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira have all played many matches this season, yet they’ve only made two big chances between the three of them. For all their qualities, starting all three at once was unlikely to lead to much offensively.
Onto Vitoria, where we’ll hopefully see the return of the young players providing all the excitement – and most of the chances – for this season on their own.