Football Features

The six heroes behind Arsenal’s perfect home record in 2019

By James Richards

Published: 16:14, 5 April 2019

Arsenal’s home record in 2019 is flawless. Completely unblemished. 100% awesome. It is the biggest reason behind the Gunners’ rise into the Champions League places.

In fact, if only home matches counted Arsenal would be third in the Premier League. The Emirates has become something of a fortress, a cliché perhaps but true nonetheless.

Since the turn of the year, the Gunners have played seven games at home and they have won each and every one of them.

This level of consistency, if transferred to their away matches, would see Arsenal a lot closer to the title race than they are right now and offers hope that things are heading in the right direction under Unai Emery.

During this seven-game spell, some players have made a telling contribution beyond that of their teammates.

With that in mind, we delved a bit deeper into the seven-game winning streak at the Emirates in 2019 to find which players are the true heroes of this superb run.

Read on to find out more.

Bernd Leno

Goalkeeper: 7/7 games played

The Arsenal shot-stopper has played more minutes during this winning home run than any other player and what an immense presence he has been.

The goalkeeper position was one of the weakest areas Arsenal were struggling with before the German arrived, and he has now made the number one spot his own.

In the seven home games, he has kept four clean-sheets, made 18 saves of which 12 have been from inside the box and just been a calming influence on a back four that have not been all that convincing this season with Petr Cech in between the sticks.

Key stat: Bernd Leno has a higher save percentage (85.71) than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League to play more than 360 home minutes in 2019.

Mesut Ozil

Midfielder: 5/7 games played

The German has often been the subject of some pretty unfair criticism during his time at Arsenal but in the five appearances he has made during this winning streak at the Emirates, Mesut Ozil has been excellent.

His ball retention stands out as exceptional with an astonishing pass accuracy of over 91%, the highest of any Arsenal player. He has taken responsibility as the Gunners’ primary creator, which is something the fans have been crying out for.

If he can maintain this form for the remainder of the season, then a top-four place is all but guaranteed.

Key stat: Mesut Ozil has created 13 chances during Arsenal’s seven game-winning run, more than any other player in the team.

Lucas Torreira

Midfielder: 5/7 games played

When Lucas Torreira arrived this summer from Sampdoria, many football fans in this country will have been unaware of what Arsenal were getting.

His tenacious nature has transformed the dynamic of the midfield, which is exactly what Emery was hoping for. Torreira is the kind of player Arsenal have lacked during the final years of Arsene Wenger’s reign and the Uruguayan has seamlessly made the move from Italy to the Premier League.

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He has been ever-present in the seven-game winning streak in 2019 for the Gunners at the Emirates and, although, his defensive talents are what stand out he has contributed going the other way as well.

The 23-year-old has created three chances and put in five successful crosses in an impressive run of games that has seen a real team effort from the North London club.

Key stat: Lucus Torreira has won at least three more tackles (10) than any other Arsenal player during the last seven home games for the Gunners.

Granit Xhaka

Midfielder: 4/7 games played

The Swiss international has been immense in the centre of the park for the Gunners and fully deserves to be given the ‘hero’ tag.

He has been showing a willingness to work hard in the midfield allowing Ozil more freedom ahead of him. He has also weighed in with two goals, one of which was against Fulham and, more importantly, the other was in the impressive 2-0 win over Manchester United.

Key stat: Granit Xhaka has put in more successful crosses (6) than any other Arsenal player during this winning run.

Alexandre Lacazette

Striker: 7/7 games played

The Frenchman has led the line like a general for the Gunners. He has been so important to the side’s home form and fully deserves the accolades he is getting.

Not only has he worked hard even when out of possession but he has made the all-important contribution of scoring the bulk of the goals.

In the seven home games since the turn of the year, Lacazette has banged home six goals, the most of any Arsenal player.

He is also contributing by creating opportunities for his teammates. The 27-year-old has created six chances and bagged an assist making him one of the players to make the greatest all-round contribution to the attacking phase of Arsenal’s play.

Key stat: Alexandre Lacazette has scored or assisted in every Premier League home game in 2019.

Sead Kolasinac

Left wing-back: 7/7 games played

The Bosnian has been something of a phenomenon this season for Arsenal. In a side with such a talented range of attacking threats, you would expect the left-wing-back to be right down the pecking order for chances created.

But you would be wrong. Kolasinac has created a remarkable 12 chances in the last seven home games for the Gunners, only Mesut Ozil has created more.

He is a brilliant outlet on the left flank and gets forward to support the attacking players in such a way that makes him a key part of the Gunners’ attacking repertoire.

Emery deserves huge credit for the way he is using his wing-backs with Ainsley Maitland-Niles also impressing down the right and Arsenal are reaping the rewards. All that’s needed now is for this talented squad to replicate these performances on the road.

Key stat: No defender in the Premier League has had more touches in the opposition box at home in 2019 than Sead Kolasinac (35).