In recent weeks, as Arsenal fans have called for Arsene Wenger to leave, there have been dissenting voices suggesting that it is not the fault of the Gunners boss, more that it is the players who are underperforming at The Emirates.
Arsenal seem very likely to exit the Champions League this evening when they face Barcelona at the Nou Camp chasing a 2-0 defeat from the first leg.
Statistically, a good model for assessing a teams’ ability and future prospects is via “expected goals.”
Expected goals is a method for estimating the quality of chances that a football team creates or concedes in a match.
Essentially, a method has been developed where its possible to say how many goals a player or team should have scored, judging by the type of chances they created.
Using this method, it looks like Arsene Wenger is for sure not the problem at Arsenal but the players in his squad who are spurning chances.
As the graphic below proves, the players underperforming for Arsenal this season are Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
According to the expected goals model, if some of these players were even producing average finishing, Arsenal would be well clear of Leicester.
The real question though this model brings is, “why hasn’t Arsene Wenger bought Arsenal a world class finisher?”
Arsenal fans castigating their "implosion" should be aware their underlying performances are as good as any EPL team pic.twitter.com/SbAZKK9cig
— Colin Trainor (@colinttrainor) March 16, 2016