By Adam Clark

Four years ago Fitz Hall was playing for Oldham Athletic in what was then called Division Two.

Twice that season he came up against Wigan Athletic, and like so many others suffered two defeats at the hands of the promotion-chasing Lancastrians.

Four years on and Hall is now an integral part of that Wigan side. In between he's had two seasons of top-flight experience with spells at Southampton and Crystal Palace, while his new club were continuing their notable rise to prominence under manager Paul Jewell and chairman Dave Whelan. 

Both Wigan and Hall, albeit on separate occasions, have twice come up against Arsenal in the Premiership. Both have twice tasted defeat. On Wednesday they will come up against the Gunners once more, and this time one of Hall's defensive counterparts could be the young Swiss international, Johan Djourou

The 19-year-old centre back is enjoying something of a breakthrough season with the Gunners having risen through the ranks, and he will be buoyed by his impressive performance in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

Hall and Djourou may have taken different routes to the Premiership but what do the statistics tell us about what each player has had to offer this term?

One area in which Djourou has excelled is distribution. The youngster played many times as a midfielder in his youth days and the habits he developed in the position appear to have paid dividends. In 902 minutes of play, the centre back has misplaced just 16 of his 64 passes, an accuracy of 75 per cent.

In comparison, Hall has attempted more passes (75) but has only found his intended target with 57 per cent of those efforts.

Another strength of Djourou is his ball control and his ability to run at the opposition. So far this campaign he has forayed forward on seven occasions and only failed to produce an end product twice. Hall on the other hand has failed to deliver with three of his four runs.

The statistics suggest that the Wigan man is more comfortable with the defensive elements of the game. In his 879 minutes of Premiership action he has made 19 challenges and come out the winner on 14 occasions. The Englishman has also managed eight interceptions, 18 clearances and six blocks.

In comparison, Djourou has won 10 of his 13 tackles and produced seven interceptions, 21 clearances and three blocks.

If either player pops up with a goal on Wednesday it will be something of a surprise. Hall is the only one of the pair to have even attempted a shot on goal this season and both efforts missed the target.

Regardless, it is the job of the strikers to provide the goals, and the stats suggest that with these two in defence that won't be an easy task.


Player Profile
View Johan Djourou's player profile


Head to Head Statistics Johan Djourou Fitz Hall Premiership Appearances 12 11 Minutes on pitch 902 879 Attacking Goals 0 0 Shots on target 0 0 Shots off target 0 2 Shots blocked 0 0 Offside 1 1 Supporting Assists 0 0 Passes made 64 75 Passes complete 48 43 Passes incomplete 16 32 Crosses successful 0 0 Crosses unsuccessful 2 0 Total dribbles 7 4 Dribbles successful 5 1 Dribbles unsuccessful 2 3 Defending Tackles made 13 19 Tackles won 10 14 Tackles lost 3 5 Interceptions 7 8 Blocked Shots 3 6 Clearances 21 18 Penalties Conceded 0 0 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 5 13 Yellow Cards 0 1

11/2 - Wigan v Arsenal: Robin van Persie to score the first goal


Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 13 Dec 2006