Arsenal have not been absent in the European Championship for the last 17 years, which is a great achievement that only Real Madrid have ever made it happen at the same time. In the previous six seasons, Arsenal always sat on the 3rd and 4th position in the league. Now, they are sitting in 4th on the table, 1 points ahead of Manchester United which played 1 less game than Arsenal did. Unlike Manchester United which recently decline, Arsenal have exploded a big burst since mid January,

Jan 11th, Arsenal 3 : 0 Stoke City

Jan 18th, Manchester City 0 : 2 Arsenal

Feb 1st, Arsenal 5 : 0 Aston Villa

Feb 7th, Spur 2 : 1 Arsenal

Feb 10th, Arsenal 2 : 1 Leicester City,

The team suddenly becomes a nightmare for all the opponent teams. They only have three games with 3 or more winning goals margin in the first 20 league games, but they have got 2 games with 3 goals margin already since then. Does this record imply that Arsenal can improve their performance in the middle of the season?

According to the result we get from the Simple K-means Clustering, we found that all the Arsenal games can be divided into 9 clusters. As shown below,





(click to view the full image)




(click to view the full image)

Here is the graph for the cluster assignment of each game,



(click to view the full image)

the X is the number of rounds, the color represents which cluster they belong to.

we can see that, in the last five game, there are 2 games in cluster 7, 1 game in cluster 5, 1 game in cluster 8, 1 game in cluster 0. Based on the result above, there are three games in cluster 7, and 2 games in cluster 8, and the results of these two clusters are the best among the ones of the rest, so the graph shows that at least the team are in good condition right now.

On the other hand, cluster 5 and 0 are the 2nd and 3rd worst of all the clusters, especially the passing accuracy of these two clusters are 70% and 74% which are much below the average. Based on the statistic model we got before, which shows that passing accuracy is the key indicator to the performance of Arsenal, these games in the two clusters should be considered as poor performance. Also, the passing accuracy in cluster 7 is 70%, which means that Arsenal is not playing their typical soccer in 4 games out of 5. Therefore, we should consider that the recent good results are not the typical victory of Arsenal style.

Here is the conclusion we obtain from this analysis. Arsenal changed their play style in their recent games, and play direct and fast counter soccer on the field, which surprised most of their opponents and stole some victories. The opponent, such as Tottenham Spur, found the way to counter this strategy.

Arsenal will not continue this hot streak in the coming games, but they will still play fairly well in those game according to our models, since Arsenal is one of the most consistent teams in the league.



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