Arsenal don’t miss Santi Cazorla…
Frequent visitors to this site, rare as my articles have been in recent months, or regular listeners to the Goonersphere Podcast, rarer still as our new episodes are, will know I believe Arsenal are not the same team when Santi Cazorla isn’t playing and his absences in the past few season has ultimately cost us the title more than once.
However, new stats from daily fantasy football game Oulala.com paints a different picture. Since joining the club in 2012, Cazorla has played a total of 129 league games and has been absent for 45. The data Oulala have come with suggests his absence is not as negatively influential as his inclusion is positive.
In the 129 games he has featured, Arsenal have won 78, resulting in a win percentage of 60%. Without him they have won 23 of the 45 matches, a win rate of 51%. The Gunners win more games with Cazorla, however other stats show Arsenal fare just as well without him.
Arsenal have picked up 261 points from a possible 387 on offer when the 32-year-old has featured, an average of 2 points per game . This narrowly drops by just 0.1 points per game without him (84 from a possible 135).
Offensively, when Cazorla has been in the team Arsenal have scored 242 goals in 129 matches, an average 1.9 goals per game. Without him they have netted 84 goals in 45 games, also an average of 1.9 per match.
Defensively the Gunners have conceded 123 goals with Cazorla, an average of 1 goal per game, to just 0.1 more per match without him (50 goals in 45 games).
The stats suggest Arsenal are not as dependent on our diminutive maestro as many, including me, like to make out. Alternatively, the argument can be made that stats aren’t everything. I like stats but I also trust my eyes. I cannot profess to be objective enough to trust my eyes alone so I use stats to enforce or temper my views. When I watch Arsenal with Santi Cazorla I see an infinitely more entertaining team and always believed we struggled to create enough chances to win games without him. However, these stats suggest Arsenal are no less effective sans Cazorla; they just don’t look as good and perhaps that is the real takeaway.
The numbers may say we don’t miss Cazorla but I think we do and cannot wait to see him back on the Emirates’ carpet dancing a merry jig.
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