Arsenal played well as a team Thursday night in Milan, giving themselves a a nice bounce back performance after four straight losses and put themselves in a great spot to advance to the quarter finals of the Europa League.
The one real sore spot from an otherwise solid match was Jack Wilshere’s performance.
Wilshere is a fan favorite for his long Arsenal history, gritty way of playing and technical skills. Against Milan however he really seemed to devolve into his old bad habits of holding on to the ball way too long in possession and it really hurt Arsenal.
He lost the ball to a dispossession or a mis-controlled touch six times in the match, leading Arsenal in this dubious honor.
Two of these turnovers aren’t that hurtful, with the ball ending up out of play for a goal kick; but the other four were in very bad positions on the pitch where Wilshere really should have looked to move the ball faster. Worse still is that turnovers led to dangerous counter attacking situations and only didn’t end up costing Arsenal due to some good defending and ineptitude from Milan.
To illustrate the danger of these I have made a video of each of the six turnovers and the value lost* for Arsenal due to the turnover.
*The value here is a type of non-shot expected goals model that I am working on.