Stats: Is this where Arsene Wenger's passing tactic completely fails?

Arsenal Emirates

Arsenal are renowned for their attempted evolution of tiki-taki tactics, Wengerball, but these statistics reinforce the need for more penetrative movement.

Out of all Premier League participants it is Arsenal who receive the most amount of touches on the football on a per game basis.

On average, the Gunners tally up 846 touches per match, which is superior to Manchester City's haul (823), Manchester United's (760), Everton (755) and Chelsea (723).

When it comes to total passes per game, Arsenal (621) are second only to Manchester City (630), with both clubs sharing top spot when it comes to precision in the pass (87%).

Extraordinary numbers indeed, but when it comes to the usefulness of that pass - or the intent - Arsenal suffer.

When it comes to passing in the forward direction - towards goal - the Gunners are actually inferior to the majority of the Premier League, as their 34% forward pass total is akin to the figures returned by Hull City and is even behind Stoke City.

Arsenal are also performing below the division average when it comes to penetrative passing, or passes that enter a: the final third (attacking zone) of the pitch and b: the opponent's penalty area.

While Arsene Wenger's team create more goal-scoring opportunities each game (key pass) than the division average, the Gunners are significantly out-performed in this department by Chelsea (12.71) and City (13.43) who, significantly, are also scoring more each game with three goals and two goals struck per match on average, respectively.

 2014-15 Premier League Touch / gamePass / gamePass acc% of fwd passFinal third entriesPen area entriesKey pass / gameGoals / gameGames
Arsenal 846.57 621 87% 34% 13% 4% 11 1.57 7
Division average 661.32 458.75 82% 36% 14% 4% 9.59 1.4 7

In Alexis Sanchez, Wenger bought a direct attacking outlet and, when Theo Walcott returns from injury, the club will have another player who is not perturbed at the idea of gunning straight for goal.

But would it be wise for Wenger to shift ideology and, instead of overseeing intricate passing moves in the middle of the pitch, to instead request his team unit attempt more balls to enter the final third and penalty area?

If so, Arsenal may find themselves creating more key passes on a per game basis and, subsequently, more goals.

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