With lots of talk about which of these two, or whether both, should be in the first choice side for the big matches, here is a basic stats comparison between the two. Each Arsenal fan has their opinions on who they’d prefer in the side, but hopefully this piece can make up the minds of those fans who may not be sure. The piece will look at different attacking, defensive and passing statistics for both with comparisons being made. With both their defensive and passing stats being most important, that’s where the piece will mainly focus on.
Mikel Arteta has played in 15 league matches in the 2013/14 season, as has Flamini with both having 11 starts and 4 subs appearances. However, Arteta has played 994 minutes to Flamini’s 874 of league football in the 2013/14 season.
With these two players often finding themselves in the deeper midfield role, it isn’t expected that they’ll chip in with many goals. That’s consistent with the reality, as both players have only scored once, with Arteta scoring against Crystal Palace and Flamini scoring against Cardiff City. Both Flamini and Mikel Arteta are yet to complete an assist in the 2013/14 EPL, with both having created 5 chances a piece.
So far in 2013/14, Mikel Arteta has completed 9 dribbles in his 15 league appearances and has been to win 18 fouls in those matches. In comparison, Mathieu Flamini has completed 4 dribbles and won 10 fouls in his 15 appearances.
Due to their positions at the bases of Arsenal’s midfield, the defensive stats will focus mainly on tackles, clearances and interceptions along with their disciplinary record in 2013/14.
So far in 2013/14, Mikel Arteta has won 31 tackles and lost 16 tackles at a win percentage of 66%. Arteta has completed 26 clearances and has ceased opposition attacks on 25 times in the form of interceptions. In terms of fouls won and fouls conceded, Arteta has won 18 fouls and has fouled opposition players on 12 occasions. Arteta has only been yellow carded on 2 occasions in the 2013/14 season, with Arteta also picking up a further red card in the match vs Crystal Palace which he scored in.
Flamini’s 2013/14 season in terms of defensive statistics has seen him win 14 tackles and being outmuscled in 9 tackles for a 60.9% success rate in his tackling. Flamini has achieved 29 clearances, in comparison to Arteta’s 26, with Flamini breaking up opposition attacks with interceptions on 20 occasions. Flamini has won 10 fouls this season but has given away 14 to Arsenal’s opponents. The Frenchman, Flamini, has been yellow carded on 6 occasions in 2013/14 but has yet to see the red card.
The majority of these stats see Arteta come out on top, which will please fans who want to see him start.
This is another aspect of the defensive midfielder position which is very important to Arsenal’s play. In the 2013/14 season, Mikel Arteta has attempted 871 passes at a 92% success rate to Flamini’s 617 attempted passes at 92.4% success rate. In terms of ball recoveries, Arteta has regained possession on 88 occasions to Flamini’s 62.
In terms of their duels, Arteta has won 89 duels and lost 58 duels at a 60.5% success rate. In comparison, Flamini has won 51 duels and lost a further 33 duels at 60.7% success rate. With aerial duels potentially being an important aspect of their roles, the stats show Arteta has won 21 aerial duels and has lost 16, winning 56.8% of his aerial duels. In comparison, Flamini has won 13 aerial duels and has lost 7 at a 65% winning percentage.
Many of these stats are quite similar, which shows that both are good options for Wenger to use in the starting 11. However, Arteta slightly edges more statistics than Flamini which may be for a number of reasons including him adapting more after Flamini’s re-entry to English football after a few years absence. Another reason may be him just playing more minutes so has had more opportunity to get better statistics.
Either way, both are good options. Let’s not abuse Wenger if he chooses one over the other.
All stats are from Arsenal’s Stat Centre