This will be the fourth edition of me looking at how Arsenal are doing compared to the key performance indicators and the third with this format. I am still very happy with how this looks and I don't anticipate making any tweaks.
To revisit what these Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are, these are my goals for the team.
I think that they are pretty good and generally match the consensus expectations for Arsenal at the start of the season. For me, the goal was to get back into European football, with a finish that was 6th or better. I also wanted the performance to match the finishing spot, preferably with signs that the team would be making progress on their way to challenging to top four next season.
To help with this measure I have gone back and looked at how teams have performed over select metrics going back to the 2013-2014 season and used that to help set baselines for the performance levels that I want to see.
Arsenal are on 54 points with 28 matches played, that is 1.93 points per match. Extrapolated for the rest of the season that is 73.3 points which would essentially guarantee a finish of 4th or better.
My projection model has Arsenal on 71 points right now, which would put Arsenal well above the average point total needed for 6th or better (64 points). The simulation model gives Arsenal a 99% chance of finishing 6th or better right now.
Non-Penalty xG is moving in the right direction (and is currently outstanding).
The defense overall still isn't quite as good as you would hope for the full season but it has been outstanding over the last several weeks.
All three of Arsenal's expected goals based statistics are at or above the top 6 level for the season, with even better numbers over the last three months.
xG For: Target 1.54 or better, Season: 1.58, Last 10: 1.61
xG Against: Target 1.25 or better, Season: 1.26, Last 10: 0.8
xG Difference: Target 0.3 or better, Season: 0.3, Last 10: 0.8
Shots For: Target 10.5 or better, Season: 11.0, Last 10: 13.1
Shots Against: Target 8.2 or better, Season: 8.3, Last 10: 6.3
Shot Difference: Target 2.3 or better, Season: 2.7, Last 10: 6.8
Deep Completions For: Target 20.5 or better, Season: 20.7, Last 10: 22.4
Deep Completions Against: Target 17.9 or better, Season: 16.1, Last 10: 11.5
Deep Completion Difference: Target 3.6 or better, Season: 4.6, Last 10: 10.9
This is an area that makes me very happy. Arsenal are looking like a team that is finally applying constant pressure, especially against teams that they are "supposed" to beat, plus showing that they can do this against both other good teams and the tough midtable teams.
Field Tilt: Target 54% or better, Season: 56%, Last 10: 65%
One of the funny things about how Arsenal have played over the last three months is that I think that it has really changed the expectations of what would be considered a "success."
I haven't changed anything here because I really do think that while Arsenal are clicking I think that they are still in the first phase of a multi-year rebuild. It is possible that they might reach one of the goals a year or two early.
Looking at the team's overall stats and the improvement over the season is clear.
The team is playing well and have guaranteed a successful season and have a very good chance of hitting a stretch goal. So even if they don't make it, as long as the performances can continue in the same vein I will be happy and defend the team even if they come up short of the Champions League.