OFFICIAL: Arsenal the best side and Stoke City the worst in Premier League at playing football keeping the ball is the true characteristic of a side which intends to play football the right way – through passes and skillful moves instead of just punting ball – then Arsenal are officially the best at it in their league.

Opta have given us the average possession stats for each of the 20 Premier League sides this year and we can tell you that, on average, Arsenal have more possession than anybody else. The Gunners have had the ball for 59.3% of the time this term.

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The top six sides on the list are made up of the current top five on the points table, as the change in philosophies at Manchester City and Chelsea – following Andre Vilas-Boas’ take over – have helped transform both blues into more attractive sides.

And mingling with the big boys in the top six is Swansea City who dominated Arsenal in a 3-2 victory not too long ago, as the footballing philosophy of manager Brendan Rodgers has seen them enjoy 56.4% of the ball this year. The only other sides to have seized more than 50% of possession are Liverpool and Fulham..

In contrast, Stoke City, notorious for their ‘rugby’ nature to game, only boast an average of just 39.4% possession this term. Indeed their negative approach to football sees them as the only side with less than 40% of average possession.

Now the stats really do not lie do they?

Average possession of Premier League teams this season:

  1. Arsenal (59.3%)
  2. Man City (58.1%)
  3. Chelsea (57.0%)
  4. Man Utd (56.9%)
  5. Swansea (56.4%)
  6. Tottenham (56.1%)
  7. Liverpool (55.5%)
  8. Fulham (50.1%)
  9. Wolves (48.8%)
  10. Wigan (48.6%)
  11. Newcastle (47.8%)
  12. QPR (46.9%)
  13. Everton (46.4%)
  14. Bolton (45.3%)
  15. Aston Villa (45.1%)
  16. West Brom (44.8%)
  17. Sunderland (44.8%)
  18. Norwich (44.5%)
  19. Blackburn (42.2%)
  20. Stoke (39.4%)

(Info Source: Opta Stats, Martin Tyler – Sky Sports)

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6 thoughts on “OFFICIAL: Arsenal the best side and Stoke City the worst in Premier League at playing football

  1. Very interesting. And the stats are probably very similar the last five seasons. So why do we keep finishing 3rd/4th all the time? Because our defense has been crap for years, about as good as a mid-table team, and Wenger has no idea how to fix it.

    1. I think it’s more to do with our not being able to cope with far too many injuries year-after-year. It’s generally been the case that teams who suffer this many injuries can’t win the title. Even in the days when and Utd were the only serious challengers, I often thought the race was decided by who had managed to keep their main players fit for most of the season. In the 07/08 season, we were by far the best team, and were proving it up until the Eduardo injury. He appeared to be ready to give us the extra spark that could have carried us over the line, but in the end Adebayor had to carry the attack alone, and it was too much for him (not that I’m blaming him, he was brilliant that year but needed more help).
      It doesn’t mean we’ve done nothing wrong and are just unlucky, the injuries have been far too constant, and perhaps a more ruthless manager/board would have ensured that we replaced at least some of the serial offenders with new/more mature players who might be less likely to suffer injury.

  2. This is something many have known for long ,however it is still to bring us throphy.s …
    It is now vital the team continue to show why wenger has had faith with them for so long.
    Over the last couple of Months , things have happened… we have lost vital games in manner which was un acceptable…Some will say it is football, i will say we need more consistency. ……………it is our time and we have to embrace it and keep moving forward,
    Believe in one anotheras a team , for it is not a one man show.

  3. Its obviously that Arsenal are the best… but what we need is trophies that’s all, adding a little experience on the defence and a striker to help Van, is this hard?

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