Arsenal stats comparison: Mertesacker with Koscielny vs without

N'Zonzi, Mertesacker, Whelan

Has there been a difference in Per Mertesacker's performances for Arsenal without Laurent Koscielny alongside him?

Per Mertesacker cut a frustrated figure after Arsenal's 3-3 draw with Anderlecht, and with good reason.

While he later pointed the finger at a lack of help from the attackers in defending, it was he who was beaten to the ball for Mitrovic's injury-time equaliser.

It wasn't the first time he had been beaten to a headed goal of late, with Hull's Abel Hernandez rising above him at The Emirates in a 2-2 draw a month ago.

The normally reliable German has had a mixed season so far, getting into the team late because of his World Cup exploits, and then having his regular defensive partner Laurent Koscielny go down with injury.

Has Mertesacker actually been effected though by the Frenchman's absence? Arsenal have been, it's unlikely they would have let the three goal lead slip with the Frenchman, but on an individual basis, we pulled out the statistics from Premier League and Champions League games this season to see how the World Cup winner fared.

Per Mertesacker with Koscielny

  Goals Conceded per gameErrors Lead To ShotEffective Clearances per gameEffective Headed Clearance per gameShots Blocked per gameWon Tackles per gameInterceptions per gamePassing AccuracyAppearances
Per Mertesacker 1.38 0 6 3 0.25 0.63 1.88 93% 8

Per Mertesacker without Koscielny

  Goals Conceded per gameError Lead To ShotEffective Clearance per gameEffective Headed Clearance per gameShots Blocked per gameWon Tackles per gameInterceptions per gamePassing AccuracyAppearances
Per Mertesacker 1.2 1 4 1.8 1 1 2.2 91% 5

Intriguingly, despite shipping three goals to Anderlecht, Arsenal have conceded marginally more goals per game prior to Koscielny's injury. This can be put down to arguably easier fixtures, but certainly there has been no immediate team drop-off.

Mertesacker has made his only error of the season leading to a shot, without Koscielny alongside him, while he makes less effective clearances per game without the Frenchman.

This is a little concerning, because you would presume Mertesacker would need to step up in this department without the Koscielny.

On the other hand, Mertesacker has become more active in other areas, blocking more shots per game, and making more interceptions, and more tackles per game.

That tends to balance itself out, providing he keeps the error to a minimum, and while fans will want to see Koscielny return as quickly as possible, the evidence suggests Per Mertesacker's own displays are not an immediate worry

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