Pep Guardiola had a real go at stats when speaking about Jack Grealish recently and his comments hold good for four Arsenal players as well.
The reliance on statistics in today’s game is more than it has ever been in the history of world football. Every single parameter can be spun in a way to describe a player, and more often than not, it doesn’t tell the complete story.
Grealish’s stats this season make it seem like he has been a flop, but Guardiola knows how much he has helped his Manchester City side. The same can be said about a number of Arsenal players as well this term.
What Pep Guardiola said about Jack Grealish
Addressing all the talk about Grealish being a flop this season, Guardiola said: “Always we talk about the statistics – the players today play for the statistics but this is the biggest mistake they can do.
“We’re involved in that. Statistics are just a bit of information that we have but there are players that make the team play good and they are not into statistics.
“But the players say how many goals I score or how many assists or…
“With these kinds of situation, they forget everything. Statistics never existed before. It’s how you play today if you perform to your maximum, to your best, help your teammates to make the process defensively and offensively better – it’s enough. Thanks to that we are going to win.”
Pep’s comments hold good for four Arsenal players
When you talk about Arsenal these days, the first two names that come to your mind are Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. Both youngsters have been brilliant this season and their direct goal contributions back that. However, there are plenty of others who have helped us become one of the best sides in the country recently.
We showed you how Martin Odegaard’s stats looked awful against Brentford recently, even when he was the best player on the pitch in that game. The Norwegian doesn’t have the goals and assists that Saka or Smith Rowe have, but he is almost always our most impressive player.
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are two other players who fall into the same category. The Ghanaian’s long-shots have become a bit of a joke, while the ex-Monchengladbach man’s disciplinary record clouds people’s judgement at times.
However, without the two experienced campaigners in the middle of our park, we’d be much lower in the league table than we currently are.
Another player and arguably the most underrated of them all is Alexandre Lacazette. Yes, he’s a striker and yes, we want our number nine to score 20 goals a season. But, the Frenchman’s link-up play and how hard he works for the team makes many of his stats irrelevant.