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|
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
|Minutes per Goal||194|
|Shots, Total (inc Blocks)||76|
|Shots, on Target||36|
|Shots, off Target||33|
|Headed Shots on Target||1|
|Touches per match||54|
Adebayor at Arsenal
|Arsenal||PL 2008/09||PL 2007/08||PL 2006/07||PL 2005/06||Total|
|Minutes per Goal||188||122||248||251||170|
|Shots, Total (inc Blocks)||78||123||67||27||295|
|Shots, on Target||25||53||30||11||119|
|Shots, off Target||30||51||28||12||121|
|Headed Shots on Target||6||9||9||4||28|
|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|
|Shots, Total (inc Blocks)||7||16|
|Shots, on Target||3||3|
|Shots, off Target||3||8|
|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 per Game||2.1||2.7|
|Duel Success Rate||49.8%||54.7%|
|Tackles per Game||3.4||4.0|
|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.