Tottenham visit Arsenal in their worst season under Wenger

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur play at the Emirates this Sunday, with the roles of both teams reversed in the league.

This season is on course to be Arsenal’s worst under Arsène Wenger. We also look at at Emmanuel Adebayor’s records at both clubs and compares Scott Parker and Alex Song.

ARSENAL’S WORST SEASON UNDER WENGER

Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that 2011/12 is shaping up to be Arsenal’s worst season under Arsène Wenger.  To date, the Gunners have lost 30% of their games – Wenger’s worst ever ratio and a far cry from the ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003/4, when they lost only 10%.

This season the main problem has been Arsenal’s defence, which has been beset by injuries to all the recognised full backs and Thomas Vermaelen. Consequently, Arsenal have conceded an average of 1.33 goals per game – considerably more than any other season under Wenger.

Wenger at Arsenal 1996-2012

Season P W D L W% D% L% GF Ave. GF GA Ave. GA
2011/2012 40 22 6 12 55% 15% 30% 67 1.68 53 1.33
2010/2011 58 31 13 14 53% 22% 24% 119 2.05 64 1.10
2009/2010 55 33 8 14 60% 15% 25% 116 2.11 63 1.15
2008/2009 61 33 16 12 54% 26% 20% 113 1.85 54 0.89
2007/2008 58 36 15 7 62% 26% 12% 113 1.95 52 0.90
2006/2007 59 30 17 12 51% 29% 20% 98 1.66 53 0.90
2005/2006 59 32 12 15 54% 20% 25% 96 1.63 43 0.73
2004/2005 57 35 15 7 61% 26% 12% 117 2.05 51 0.89
2003/2004 59 37 16 6 63% 27% 10% 114 1.93 48 0.81
2002/2003 59 34 15 10 58% 25% 17% 119 2.02 58 0.98
2001/2002 60 39 11 10 65% 18% 17% 119 1.98 62 1.03
2000/2001 59 32 13 14 54% 22% 24% 99 1.68 62 1.05
1999/2000 59 33 14 12 56% 24% 20% 112 1.90 66 1.12
1998/1999 54 31 15 8 57% 28% 15% 84 1.56 38 0.70
1997/1998 54 31 15 8 57% 28% 15% 89 1.65 46 0.85
1996/1997 36 16 11 9 44% 31% 25% 56 1.56 33 0.92
Total 887 505 212 170 57% 24% 19% 1631 1.84 846 0.95

ADEBAYOR RETURNS TO THE EMIRATES
Emmanuel Adebayor is the most recent player to cross the North London divide, and Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that he will be crucial to Tottenham’s chances of beating Arsenal on Sunday. This season the mercurial striker is close to replicating the form he showed with Arsenal in 2007/8, when he scored 24 goals in 36 League games for the Gunners.
To date, Adebayor has scored 10 league goals for Tottenham, and his shooting accuracy (52.2%) is better than during any Premier League season when at Arsenal.  However, Arsenal’s stuttering defence might be reassured by the fact that Adebayor’s aerial threat has recently shown signs of abating. This season, he has only had one headed shot on target at an accuracy of 11.1%, which compares unfavourably with his accuracy of 34.8% at Arsenal.
Adebayor at Tottenham

Tottenham PL 2011/12
Games Played 22
Minutes Played 1942
Goals 10
Minutes per Goal 194
Assists 10
Shots, Total (inc Blocks) 76
Shots, Total 69
Shots, on Target 36
Shots, off Target 33
Shot Accuracy 52.2%
Headed Shots 9
Headed Shots on Target 1
Heading Accuracy 11.1%
Passes 814
Passes Successful 655
Passing Accuracy 80.5%
Touches 1195
Touches per match 54

Adebayor at Arsenal

Arsenal PL 2008/09 PL 2007/08 PL 2006/07 PL 2005/06 Total
Games Played 26 36 29 13 104
Minutes Played 1879 2932 1987 1005 7803
Goals 10 24 8 4 46
Minutes per Goal 188 122 248 251 170
Assists 4 4 3 4 15
Shots, Total (inc Blocks) 78 123 67 27 295
Shots, Total 55 104 58 23 240
Shots, on Target 25 53 30 11 119
Shots, off Target 30 51 28 12 121
Shot Accuracy 45.5% 51.0% 51.7% 47.8% 49.6%
Headed Shots 19 31 18 7 75
Headed Shots on Target 6 9 9 4 28
Heading Accuracy 31.6% 29.0% 50.0% 57.1% 37.3%
Passes 731 1221 800 436 3188
Passes Successful 612 971 605 325 2513
Passing Accuracy 83.7% 79.5% 75.6% 74.5% 78.8%
Touches 1164 1964 1112 666 4906
Touches per match 45 55 38 51 47

ALEX SONG V SCOTT PARKER: A BATTLE FOR MIDFIELD CONTROL

Alex Song and Scott Parker go head-to-head at the Emirates on Sunday, and Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that the two defensive midfielders are very closely matched. In defence, although Song’s tackle success rate (75.3%) is superior to Parker’s (69%) the difference is tempered by the fact that Parker commits more tackles on average per game. As a result, duel success rates are similar, although Parker (54.7%) narrowly beats Song (49.8%) in this respect.
In attack, Song has ostensibly been more effective than Parker, with six assists compared Parker’s one.  However, this reflects the extent to which Tottenham operate down the flanks, and Parker’s pass success rate (89.6%) is in fact better than his Arsenal counterpart’s (84.6%). Consequently, the similarities between the two players may help to explain why Arsene Wenger turned down the opportunity to sign Parker from West Ham at the start of this season.

2011/12 Season (League and Europe) Alex Song Scott Parker
Games Played 27 21
Minutes Played 2369 1856
Goals 1 0
Assists 6 1
Shots, Total (inc Blocks) 7 16
Shots, on Target 3 3
Shots, off Target 3 8
Passes 1681 1273
Pass Success % 84.6% 89.6%
Passes Opp Half 1036 643
Passes, Successful Opp Half 837 545
% Passes Successful Opp Half 80.8% 84.8%
Interceptions 57 56
Interceptions per Game 2.1 2.7
Duels 321 234
Duels Won 160 128
Duel Success Rate 49.8% 54.7%
Tackles 93 84
Tackles per Game 3.4 4.0
Tackles Won 70 58
Tackle Success % 75.3% 69.0%

One thing is for certain – a defeat here for Arsenal is unthinkable. For Tottenham, it would guarantee Champions League participation for next season.

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