There was an interesting article this morning on Soccernet about Robin Van Persie being in the “injury red zone”. Hyperbole aside, it raises the point that Arsenal have had the luxury of playing Van Persie in every league match so far (starting 12 of 13) but will have to manage his workload a little more conservatively or risk a decrease in performance or potential injury. Arsenal aren’t the only club facing this problem, with many top clubs still involved in multiple competitions (Newcastle’s and Liverpool’s league form is probably benefiting from their absence from Europe).
Why do I bring it up? After much hype about the goal glut in the Premier League this season, things are starting to quiet down. Goals per match dropped from 3.3 in October to 2.87 in November which is expected based on previous years’ data. If this season continues to be like others, we can expect the dip to continue through February.
Looking at how total goals are progressing, this season isn’t much different from previous seasons.
We have a decent idea of what is going on here (goal scoring pace slows in the middle of the season) but we don’t know why. Is fatigue and squad rotation responsible? It certainly is an interesting theory to investigate.