71 passes, 0 chances created: Arsenal midfielder influential or ineffective?

Mikel Arteta was once again the busiest man on the pitch for Arsenal last night in their match with Swansea City, however, with no chances created, did he providing a service?

Arsenal lost further ground in the title race against Swansea, with a draw which could be critical in terms of their season.

A possession-dominant display from the Gunners proved not enough, as Swansea snatched a point at the Emirates, courtesy of an own-goal from Mathieu Flamini.

It was a typical Arsenal performance, in the fact the statistics, particularly the possession stat, was heavily in their favour. Arsenal recorded 61% possession over Swansea, who like Arsenal are much more comfortable with the ball, than they are without it.

Despite their hard work trying to keep the ball and play tidy football, in the end, it proved to be their downfall as a last-minute goal saw them rue their wasted possession after the match.

One man in particular to blame was ex-Everton star Mikel Arteta, who was the busiest man on the pitch, without actually doing anything of note.

PlayerTeamPosTotal PassAccurate PassAtt Assist OpenplayTotal CrossAccurate CrossMins
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 71 66 0 2 1 90

As you can see by the statistics, he may have recorded over 70 passes, with a 92% accuracy, but he created no goalscoring opportunities for his side at all. Which for a central-midfielder with so much time on the ball is disappointing.

And despite playing more forward passes, than backward passes. He made more passes in the defensive area than he did in the attacking area of the pitch. Along with just four of his 71 passes being 'final-third entries'

PlayerTeamPosTotal PassAccurate PassFwd PassBackward PassTotal Back Zone PassTotal Fwd Zone PassFinal Third EntriesMins
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 71 66 21 13 39 34 4 90

Which once again doesn't paint the Spaniard in a particularly good light. Nevertheless, the question remains, is Arteta an influential puller of strings deep in midfield, or simply a player that is doing nothing more than keeping the team ticking over?

Usually, the statistics don't amount to being this poor for the Spaniard, who is averaging nine final-third entries a game, with an average of 67 passes a match. 

However, when he isn't on his game he cuts a replaceable figure in the Arsenal side - and on this evidence a change for the Gunners may not be a bad thing.

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