Differential Zone: Arsenal


Blah Blah Blah… RVP is all we need from Arsenal Dudu!

57. The number of goals Arsenal has scored, a whopping 26 of them coming from a certain Robin van Persie.

8. The number of clean sheets Arsenal has managed to keep from 28 games.

It’s no surprise then that many Fantasy Managers believe that Van Persie is the only Arsenal coverage you’ll ever require.

And who can blame them? With a very one dimensional attack source and Arsenal continuing to leak goals its been working out fine!

So… What’s the problem?

The problem is that Van Persie is owned by nearly 40% of the game’s players. So he’s far from a differential!

Have you noticed lately that whenever RVP scores people are less jubilant with their celebrations?

They go wild for roughly 10 seconds and then they realise it’s not just 4 points for them, but 4 points for most people!

Now I’m not saying you should get rid of RVP, far from it infact! But perhaps it’s time we bring in more than one Arsenal player into our team?

Form Guide

WWWWWW

The Gunners are in hot form at the moment with wins against Tottenham, Liverpool, Sunderland and Newcastle in their last 6 matches. Looking at their upcoming fixture list (see below) you’d expect it to continue!

Fixtures

GW 30: Aston Villa (H)
GW 31: QPR (A)
GW 32: Man City (H)
GW 33: Wolves (A)
GW 34: Wigan (H)

Oiiii! Watch it! Oh that’s just plain terrific. You got drool all over my beautiful article! Aaron get some Kleenex down here pronto! Jeez, I worked hard on this you know. People these days… honestly!

Anyway, the bottom line is that Arsenal play Villa, QPR, Wolves and Wigan (4 out the bottom 7 teams) in the next 5 fixtures!

Have I tempted you just a bit? Well here are some Arsenal players other than RVP, that you may want to consider – with some stats to help us out!

Defenders

Despite keeping just 8 clean sheets, Arsenal has conceded on average roughly 11 shots per game which is the lowest in the Premier League!

Yet the annoying thing is that out of the 39 goals that Arsenal has conceded, a massive 16 have come in the last half hour.

Bacary Sagna (£6.1)

Owned by: 3.2%

Far from cheap but he’s been proving his worth lately having scored a goal and two assists in his last 4 games! Very impressive.

Sagna likes to get forward and is always throwing in a cross or two. He has made a total 45 crosses. Assist potential? Definitely.

Now that may not sound like much but it’s easily the highest for any Arsenal defender and in his last two games alone he made 11 crosses. Possibly a sign of things to come from the Frenchman.

Thomas Vermaelen (£6.7)

Owned by: 3.1%

I’m noticing a trend here and it seems that these Arsenal defenders just don’t come cheap! Despite being Arsenal’s top scoring defender, Vermaelen is only owned by a mere 3.1% of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers.

Vermaelen’s goal threat is evident. He has an impressive 25 shots on goal with a shots per game ratio of 1.3!

In other words that is one of the highest for a defender in the league and only second to the likes of Riise and Ryan Taylor.

The man is definitely in form with 2 goals in his last two games.

More good news for future and current Vermaelen owners is the stability he brings to the Arsenal defence.

Without Vermaelen, Arsenal has conceded on average a massive 2.3 goals. With him however the number takes a nose dive to about 0.9!

Vermaelen also loves bombing forward and is a threat from set pieces. When Arsenal needs that extra man forward, Vermaelen is often their man as he showed us a few weeks ago against Newcastle – by scoring the winning goal.

He proved that yet again with a goal against Everton from a corner this Gameweek, also showing his threat from set pieces.

Midfielders

Theo Walcott (£9.0)

Owned by: 6.3%

Is Walcott finally coming good? His recent performances suggest so!

Take last week’s game against Newcastle for example. He was very impressive and a constant threat, earning himself an assist.

He’s often been slated for his crosses but it was infact both his crosses that led to each Arsenal goal!

It’s been a season of two halves for Walcott. Let’s compare Walcott’s 2011 season with his current 2012 one.

In 2011 Walcott scored 73 points from 18 games (2 goals and 6 assists in total). That’s roughly 4 points per game.

In 2012 (so far) Walcott has scored 58 points from only 10 games (3 goals and 4 assists)! That’s roughly an impressive 6 points per game!

In terms of total points, Walcott is now ranked in the top 6 midfielders and with an ownership of just 6.3% – he is the least owned!

Let’s take an even deeper look at how good his 2012 has been in comparison to the other top 5 midfielders.

In 2012 so far (in order):

Nani: 20 points
Silva: 44 points
Sessegnon: 51 points
Bale: 56 points
Walcott: 58 points
Dempsey: 62 points

He also has a shots per game ratio of 2.5 which is the 2nd highest in the Arsenal team. With strong fixtures to come he is definitely worth considering.

Alex Song (£5.9)

Owned by: 3.3%

Finally, a budget option! Most of you probably never even considered Alex Song but with a goal and 8 assists to his name he’s been quietly going about his business.

Song loves probing forward and with Arteta willing to sit deep he has been allowed to do exactly that. One of the things Song is best at is playing through balls, and believe me I’m not kidding!

Total accurate through balls comparison:

Mata: 11
Modric: 11
Silva: 16
Song: 17

His 8 assists then come as no surprise and with his good fixtures to come he may keep it coming.

Comments appreciated!