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By Walter Broeckx
Behind the numbers another look at the season.
If we look at the goals we scored we have scored 46 goals this season in the EPL. Now if we look at the other teams we see that we are in 3th place of scoring goals. Manchester City has scored 63 after an investment we cannot afford. Manchester Utd have scored 56 goals and pays an amount of wages on their top scorer we cannot afford. In 4th place we have Tottenham with 44 goals and they have had their strikers department in full action all season including one top mercenary from Manchester City. In 23 games they have scored 2 goals less than us. In 5th place we have Chelsea who have paid the highest sum last January for a non scoring striker. An amount we cannot afford and they have scored 41 goals that is 5 goals less than us.
So despite all those teams paying enormous amount of money we sit far away of the 2 top scoring teams. But we are not doing that bad compared to the rest. And if you look at Carroll and Torres it is clear to see that just buying anyone even if well proven in the EPL means nothing at all in terms of return on investment on the field. If we also consider the fact that this has been one of the lowest spending transfer windows of the last decade it is fair to say that not many clubs wanted to sell and not many players wanted to move.
You must have 3 parties in agreement to transfer a player. We can ask for a player but if the selling team doesn’t want to sell, then there is no deal. As usual Arsenal has said nothing at all during the transfer period so we know nothing at all. We can speculate that we have been trying to buy every striker in the world and another one can speculate that we have done nothing at all. Only a few insiders will know the truth and probably nobody of us will ever be informed.
Let us have a look at the goals conceded. We have conceded 34 goals so far this season. And this means that we take place 11 in the ranking of goals conceded in the EPL. This is a bad position at first sight.
But 18 goals of those 34 has been conceded in 4 games. That is more than 50% of the goals conceded in 4 games. Manchester United, Chelsea, Blackburn and Swansea. In the other 20 games we conceded 16 goals.
Now if we remember right the game against United was the day that we only had Koscielny left as a first team defender and every shot United took flew in the top corner of the goal for some reasons. In the Blackburn game we scored 2 stupid own goals and were on the back of an offside goal and this was the first game of Santos at left back and it was clear to see that he still had to adapt to the team and his team mates. So the conditions in those two games were a bit special to say the least.
And we also should keep in our mind that in the other games we have been hit by injuries at full back so we had to play 3rd, 4th, 5th choice players in those positions, drag centre backs to the wings. And even with all this we still only conceded 16 goals in those other 20 games.
We had 8 clean sheets so far in the EPL. Last season we had 12 in total in the EPL. If we keep it up like we do for the moment we should have more clean sheets than last season. And this with all the injuries we had is not a bad thing for the moment. With more defenders coming back we should at least get the same number and if all goes well we should be able to improve on this.
In fact it is yours and mine guess to imagine how we would have done if we would have had Sagna and Santos (and Jenkinson and Gibbs) available in the last months. And the extra rest we would have been able to give to players like Koscielny and Mertesacker who have been massive when almost all our defenders have been injured and they kept on playing.
Of course we could and should have done better when it came to scoring goals this season and certainly in some games we didn’t win but had enough chances to win. The fact that Walcott didn’t score as many goals as hoped for but if he keeps on giving assistt like he did yesterday he will be very valuable. And the fact that Gervinho had to adapt to the EPL will not have helped at all. Also the fact that Arshavin is having a poor season so far and he was good for some 10 goals last season and even more assists was something that nobody could have predicted. And we also have Park who doesn’t seem to get a lot of game time and who should be able to score a few goals. And Chamakh who had such a bright start of his Arsenal career last season has totally disappeared from the score sheets. Last season he scored 7 goals at the start and had some assists and this time it just doesn’t work for him. And then we have The Ox…doesn’t he look like the real thing? With him making progress like he does I do believe we will be more dangerous in the next games.
We have had an unbeaten run this season in the EPL, so we just should try to start one again and who knows where we will finish. We are 5 points behind 4th place with 15 games to go. All the teams drop points when unexpected and so have we so far. Once we get back to a run of games with a few wins we could regain confidence and score more goals. We have done it before when we had less injuries so why not support the boys out there and get them to another run.