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October 2016
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Why the notion that Arsenal desperately need to buy a centre forward is nonsense.

By Tony Attwood

I’ve been trying to unravel the issue of why football journalists and pundits constantly publish or say either misleading or on occasion wholly untrue statements about football and in doing this I’ve given a range of examples.

But yesterday I was reminded just how far away I am from explaining to many readers quite what I am talking about.  The occasion of my gloom arose when a correspondent wrote in to Untold pointing out that

“When we used to challenge for the title we had world class strikers. Spot the link?”

That I found slightly worrying, not least because it was sent in from a correspondent using the email address of an academic institution that I know rather well.  I am hoping the writer was not teaching or studying one of the sciences.  Or come to that philosophy.

The fact is of course that cause and effect needs to be shown with some evidence before we can say there is a connection.  I stick my hand in the fire and each time I do so, I get burned, so after coming out of hospital for the eighth time I conclude (with the aid of the doctors) there is a causal link between the fire and pain.

But I see it rain and hear it thunder – sometimes together, sometimes one without the other.  On the basis of those observations, rain might cause thunder, thunder might cause rain – but clearly not always.  More evidence is needed.

I go dancing and coming back from the gig experience a pain in my Achilles which stops me dancing for a month.  Does dancing cause Achilles injuries – there’s no telling on the basis of that one experience although the fact that it had never happened before to me suggests, “normally no”.  My therapists answer of “don’t you think you are getting a bit old for this jiving lark?” didn’t help much either.

I drink a pint of beer of a variety that I’ve never had before and that night am sick.  Do I conclude that this beer makes me sick?  All beer makes me sick?  It was an off pint?  Or I had some other illness that just happened to coincide with that beer drinking?   Cause and effect can be complex even in simple things like having a dance or a pint, and needs to be treated carefully.

But although all that is obvious people make statements like the “spot the link?” one above.  So I’ve also been trying to understand why issues that are really not very complex such as the link between buying goalscorers and winning the league cause such a rumpus.

If we take the issue of the transfer for a high fee of the high scoring centre forward, there are various bits of evidence we can seek

  • a) Do high cost transfers normally deliver in their first season?
  • b) What happens if a high cost transfer doesn’t deliver in his first season?
  • c) What is the relationship between the top scorers in the league and league positions that season?
  • d) What is the relationship between the amount of money spent in the summer, and the position the league club reaches at the end of the season?

Now I have been through these issues so many times before that I don’t want to bore you by stating them all again – you can look up the answers on this site if you wish.   But the simple answers are…

First, high cost transfers only deliver the goods in their first season about 25% of the time.  Although this improves in the next two years the damage done in the first season can be enormous.

What happens if a high cost transfer doesn’t deliver in his first season is that the club tends to keep playing the player because of the commitment the manager has to him and the fear of ridicule from the media if he drops the high cost player a short way into his expensive long contract.

Worse, this move blocks the arrival of other transfers (in the winter window) and the promotion of youngsters.  “He spent £30m on a player and now puts a kid in.”  Also some of the high cost transfer players demand contracts that include a commitment to play them when they are fit and indeed one of the reason why some players are on the radar and then don’t go to certain clubs is because some clubs won’t give that agreement.

As for the relationship between the top scorers in the league and league positions: much of the time the winners of the league don’t have a top scorer, but actually tend to spread the goals around.  Of course sometimes they do but it is not an obvious link even when we look at the top three.

What is the relationship between the amount of money spent in the summer, and the position the league club reaches at the end of the season?  Two of last summer’s top spending clubs got relegated, and two that spent modestly came first and second.  The average position of the top ten spenders in the league was 9th.  But it wasn’t just this last season that happened.  Here’s an article from 2014 running the same theme.

So with evidence like this around why do people continue to believe that the solution is to buy a top goalscorer?  Obviously the people who make this claim watch football, and therefore they must know that a lot of the time top teams have not one goalscorer but two or even three.   Arsenal were trying to do this last season but their three main contributors all had injuries and/or long periods out of sorts.  The fact that the club scored only three fewer than the league winners shows that the number of goals scored was not the key issue – but still the theme is repeated over and over.

And the other great danger of placing a lot of emphasis on one player to get 25 or more goals a season is that if that one player has a down time or an injury the bulk of the scoring goes.

But despite these fairly logical explanations, the papers and their coat tail hangers on, won’t have it. And I wonder why.

Stefan Stieglitz, professor of professional communication in electronic media at the University of Duisburg-Essen hit on the point when he was quoted in the Guardian saying, “If people get new information that is in contrast to what they believe then they tend to neglect this new information for as long as possible.”

In a 2013 report on how emotions work in contemporary media, Steiglitz discovered that simplistic, emotionally charged messages tend to be retweeted more often and more quickly. It is a process called emotional contagion.

It has been around forever: one individual’s emotions trigger similar emotions in others and is the basis of mass hysteria – whether it be hunting witches or propagating false notions about football.

“There is a pressure on people to react instantly as this can enhance a person’s popularity within a group,” was the comment of psychologist Jacqui Taylor at the University of Bournemouth. “This pressure exacerbates groupthink as there is no time to check facts or consider other explanations. If people think others have similar views or emotions then hysteria can result as they confirm the accuracy of each other, and so emotions spiral.”

“This sort of thing has always happened in human history,” said John Suler, author of Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric, “but cyberspace speeds up the process because these like-minded people can easily find each other and easily target someone.”

At the moment we have but one hope.  That Arsene Wenger holds true to his knowledge and doesn’t have a Twatter account.  From what I am told he does and he doesn’t.

We might buy a new player if Mr Wenger is convinced that player can deliver and won’t be the handicap that 75% of high cost strikers are in their first season.  But if we don’t it will be for all the right reasons.

Here’s my hint of the day: ignore the hysteria.  You might get burned.

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81 comments to Why the notion that Arsenal desperately need to buy a centre forward is nonsense.

  • Truth be told

    This comment was cut as the sender supplied a fake email address. Why do people do this? Isn’t a fake name enough?

  • insideright

    The truth is that we don’t need a new striker as much as we need referees to give us at least an ‘average’ number of penalties for that striker to score from. That being the case last season would have left Giroud as virtually the Leagues top goal scorer and all this nonsense would be forgotten.

  • Mick

    You make a lot of sense Tony but I am afraid you are wasting your breath. The people who are gullible and stupid enough to believe all the bullshit they are fed are definitely not capable of understanding a word of what you have written.

  • Matt

    Giroud scored 16 goals in the PL last season. For the amount of chances I’ve seen the team create that’s not enough for a title challenger.

  • Norman14

    Well, last season, we finished 2nd. This was the first time we have finished in the top 2 since 2004-5. It coincided with the lowest amount spent in the summer window, with just Petr Cech arriving and no outfield players.

    We talk about “30 goal a season strikers” but since Ian Wright finished in 1997-8, we’ve had just 3:

    Van Per$ie: 2011-12
    Adebayor: 2007-08
    Henry: 2001/2 – 2005/6

    We won the league in 2001/2 and 2003/4

    So we can see that whilst having a 30 goal a season striker MIGHT win the league, more often than not, it doesn’t.

    Judging by the amount spent so far this summer overall, we’re probably looking at 4th place again if the pattern is followed.

  • Andrew Banks

    Interesting article and interesting stats, but this ignores the undeniable fact that improving your striker will improve your chances.

    Whatever the stats say it is very hard to argue that we would have won more games and lost less had we had Thierry Henry or Anelka instead of Giroud/Walcott/Welbeck.

    Yes a world class striker may mean less goals for other strikers, but a world class striker gives a team a chance to scramble a draw when it is losing or a win where it is drawing.

    I do agree though that a really classy team has goals spread around the team. The last time we won the league we had goals from Bergkamp, Llungberg and Pires – in addition to Henry. Even Viera scored!

    In my opinion, we are a shadow of previous Wenger teams. We dont play on the break any more, we have few really world class players (any? Ozil – just about?) and we dont have many goals from midfield.

    I do agree that it isnt about getting a striker, we need a new strategy and a team built around that strategy. Im afraid that means a new manager.

  • Robert

    I can only assume that you missed the news that Welbeck is out for the best part of the season.

  • Top Guns

    It is getting harder to take this website seriously. What an embarrassing article. If you honestly think Giroud is good enough once again as the leading Arsenal striker then I question whether you even support Arsenal

  • Robert

    “First, high cost transfers only deliver the goods in their first season about 25% of the time. Although this improves in the next two years the damage done in the first season can be enormous.”

    You are so right, Tony! I mean, just look at Özil and Sanchez. What have they done?! And I do hope you’ve written to Arsenal telling them what fools they are for buying Xhaka, too. /sarcasm

  • Akshay

    Its not about signing a player who’ll score 20 or 25+ goals in a season. Its abt getting someone who can back up or replace Giroud. We really could have done with one when Giroud had that run of 10-12 games without a goal. Welbeck was injured then & inspite of Giroud’s lack of form he had to be the one playing because there wasn’t any other option. That probably was the phase where we lost the league last time around!
    I agree that getting a top class, proven goalscorer will definitely not guarantee success but it’ll certainly enhance the clubs chances of getting that top spot. I really like Giroud & don’t think that we should be replacing him. But with Welbeck sidelined we, definitely should be signing a good striker.

  • Akshay

    And all due respect to you Tony (& Arsene Wegner) good players don’t come cheap these days. Players with real quality are far & few, in between. And as much as i hate to admit it, you have to pay what the market demands. If 20 teams can afford to pay 20-30 million+ for a player….there is no way you will find someone (a proven player) on the cheap.

  • WalterBroeckx


    Welbeck missed most of last season also. So that will make not much difference with last season I think

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Arsenal need to buy a striker or a center forward this summer to enhance the Gunners capability at striking in goals more than they’ve done last season.

    However, Arsenal are not so desperate to buy a striker now because they have Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Sanchez and Akpom who can all play as center forwards for Arsenal.

    But there is a BUT in the goals delivery ratio capacity of these 4 forwards, 2 of whom Giroud and Akpom are known specialist center forwards while the rest of Sanchez and Walcott can be converted to play as center forward with the latter not convincing in that role last season despite his agitation to play as CF. While the remaining trio are suspectable of coming short of the total amount of goals that will be needed to be scored to deliver the BPL title to Arsenal in this coming season campaign. Hence the hence has arisen.

    The Boss doesn’t want to buy just to buy or panic buy nor force to buy, but will only buy a CF who will not only quickly adapt to the Arsenal way of playing but to the hard rigour associated with the Premier League as well.

    Therefore, we’ve got to exercise patient for the Boss to find that suitable CF for Arsenal before the end of this transfer window and hopeful he’ll find one soon whose asking price will not be inflated just because Arsenal are looking for a CF to sign.

  • Usama Zaka

    Slightly off-topic

    Serge Gnabry and Takuma Asano scored some lovely goals at Olympics.

  • Josif

    And, here we go again.

    It doesn’t matter that two analysis based on evidence proved Giroud misses too many clear-cut chances, more than other players who scored seven goals or more.

    It doesn’t matter that plain fact we have won zero titles out of four attempts with Giroud as our main striker proves he is not good enough to (goal-)get us to the title.

    It doesn’t matter that – despite having brilliant playmakers including Ozil and Cazorla – Giroud has failed to reach th 20-league-goal mark in each one of his four seasons at Arsenal.

    It doesn’t matter that Mr Wenger himself said we had missed a 20-league-goal striker.

    It doesn’t matter that Mr Wenger himself has already made two attempts to sign a striker this summer but neither Vardy nor Lacazette were signed due to different reasons.

    It doesn’t matter that Leicester scored three goals more than Arsenal with 78 attempts less than Arsenal.

    It doesn’t matter that Danny Welbeck is out until February at least which – given the time he’ll need to regain sharpness- effectively means out for a season.

    Let’s all pretend Arsenal don’t need a new striker to win the league and once someone else win the league due to number of missed chances/dry games by our leading striker, let’s accuse those who pointed out Arsenal need a striker in the summer for a hindsight.

    My point is, expecting Arsenal to win the league with Giroud being a main striker is equal to expect PGMO to be a fair and honest institution that protect and apply Rules of the game. Nothing can be done about the latter but the former can be changed.

  • Nicko

    Dont worry guys no need to panic.We have Yaya Sanogo…Just answer me one question Tony do you think we need another striker for the coming season or do you think what we have is enough to mount a challenge for the league and champions league.No evidence or stats required just an honest answer.

  • Ogban

    Even Wenger himself admitted that it was a mistake not to have brought in a striker last January in the face of Welbeck’s injury. We NEED a striker, simple. To not get one this summer would be absolute madness. Even 4th place would be unattainable given the strengthening other teams are doing

  • yj

    But Giroud is a year older;he’ll be 30 by September. Don’t you think it will be risky to rely on a 30 year old as your main striker for most of the season? Giroud showed signs of depreciation last season when he had his long goal drought. Most players peak in their late 20s, so at 30 and above, Giroud’s performances are only going to deteriorate! This is the time to get in a new young striker approaching his peak, and that’s why I support our pursuit of lacazette, who is only 25 and is approaching his peak.I believe Wenger has sensed this and that’s why he has made getting a striker and a defender his priority. By September, Koscielny and Giroud will be 30, while Mertasacker will be 31,worse still Welbeck and Mertasacker are out injured for months;these facts show that Arsenal need to add players to their attack and defence, it’s not a coincidence that it’s those too positions Wenger is looking to add new players.

  • Rich

    Define desperate.

    Can we win the league without another good striker/attacker? Maybe. I suppose that means, yes.

    Would winning the league be more likely with another good striker/attacker? Surely

    Can I quantify the respective odds and probabilities? Nope

    Would it be very damaging for us not to take the title fight to the wire this year? I believe so. (Ozil, Ramsey, Bellerin, Sanchez, maybe others)

    Will the media and some fans be on our back in a way which is detrimental to our chances if we do not add a striker and perform similarly in front of goal? Undoubtedly

    Is it hard to find a good striker/attacker who you can be almost sure would score even 15-20 goals, in our current team, as an alternative to or playing with Giroud, for less than 25-30 million? Yep.

    With the advent of more and more bus parking I believe it simplifies things somewhat, in that so much of the action is guaranteed to be like so much of the action of recent years. Us, against a bus.

    So, to believe we can achieve the about 5-10% improvement we need to win the league or at least be very close much depends on an improved ability to beat those damn buses. My issue with things as they stand is that I am unconvinced we are primed to achieve that.

    We have a fantastic set of midfield options, and so there’s hope more goals can come from there, either through better passing and assists or directly from non-strikers. We may also become more adept at dealing with breakaways, which can have similar effects, as more goals scored, in improving our chances.

    But…I still feel another attacker/striker is required, pretty desperately. If we are indeed faced with such similar challenges as those we have not quite been good enough at dealing with last year and before, it feels so logical and so right to me that we need something distinctly different in our attacking armoury.

    Among other things I feel it will ease the psychological pressure on nearly all the key players. Even if we don’t make the fastest of starts they will get some reassurance that things can go differently this year. The alternative is horrible: a few setbacks and players quickly thinking, ‘damn, the same thing. The same thing, and we are trying the same thing with the same tools and the same thing is happening.’

    However, if mr mobile new striker is in and, alas, isn’t managing to convert his chances very well, that’ll still mean things have been shaken up. Our opposition will have something different to worry about. That shake up would very likely benefit our existing players (Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil), not least because the scenario of everything feeling the same to them will have been avoided.

    The good news is I don’t think we need an Henry or a prime Van Persie, players it is almost impossible to acquire in this market. With our midfield options being so good, we instead need a player who offers a real contrast to Giroud, and who can also play with him on occasion. Mobility is a must, as is very solid finishing ability.

    The bad news is that even these players are very scarce. Nonetheless, I feel it has to happen.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Well, Stiker. People wanted a striker and sell Giroud was the opinion. After the euros, Someone to backup or replace Giroud is the mantra.

    People have to realize that strikers are in limited numbers. We have one of the top strikers of the European championship in our squad. And who is to say we dont have a Bellerin in our squad? Akpom anyone?

  • Robert

    “What is the relationship between the amount of money spent in the summer, and the position the league club reaches at the end of the season?”

    As usual, Tony, you cherry-pick questions to suit your overarching agenda.

    It’s not “money spent in the summer” – and winter. It’s money invested in players – an investment that is expected to pay back over the life of player contracts, not one year.

    Choosing one season because it suits your agenda is no different to the eejits who claim all is lost because of one bad game.

    And investment in players is not a one-off. It’s something that has to be done every year to replace ageing players at the end of their contracts, to replace non-performing players, and to upgrade.

    Over the long term, clubs that invest the most in players do so with the expectation that they will see the best return on their investment – and that return is primarily measured by premier league titles won over 38 arduous games, not cup wins where chance plays a larger role.

    Care to hazard a guess as to which 3 clubs have invested the most since the PL began? Care to guess how many titles those 3 clubs have won in that time?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Take the main point of the article, however I believe going into the season with just one fit experienced striker would be risky in the extreme if things went wrong – ie OG got injured or hit a barren spell. Agree that goals can come from other sources. Certainly think our younger forwards deserve appearances, but not to the extent unrealistic pressure is put on them. And, yes, there may be other creative options in the team…maybe Sanchez in a striker type role….tho it would seem, no longer Theo
    It is pretty widely reported Wenger has realised the need for a striker and has tried to act accordingly. But as we know, they are not easy to find, they may cost more than a manager with a reputation for seeking value may be willing to pay….Lukaku £70m!!!!!also OG is clearly part of the plan, a potential newcomer might not like that.
    A new striker would strengthen the squad, would add impetus, perhaps provide scope for varied tactics, might lift the creative players…and the fans…indeed there are so many positives to such an action, I can only assume our manager, in his last year is moving hell and high water to bring in an attacking player. Failure to do so , and things going wrong could leave the manager in a vulnerable place with some…and as one who wants Wenger to extend his stay, I would rather he doesnt put himself in such a place lightly.

  • Nicko

    Arsenal 13 .Its funny how strikers and defenders are hard to get now that we need them.They are only hard to get when we dont pay the going rate for them or start to penny pinch.We certainly werent moaning about the cost of players when we were selling our top names to city utd etc.When we sold Adebayor and toure to city for over 40m or Fabregas and nasri for over 50 million.It wasnt hard for utd to get van persie to help them win the league in 2013.All this whilst our billionaire owner watched and allowed it to happen.And some of the untolders on here wonder why more and more of the true Arsenal fans are becoming disillusioned by the club.

  • Andrew Banks – in one sense I loved your opening statement

    Interesting article and interesting stats, but this ignores the undeniable fact that improving your striker will improve your chances.

    But it also filled me with despair. How does one ever put across the notion of research and evidence in the face of such illogic?

  • Matt – put another way Arsenal scored three goals fewer than the team that won the league and six goals fewer than the highest scoring team in the league.

  • Robert

    “Welbeck missed most of last season also. So that will make not much difference with last season I think”

    Walter, we came second last year, 10 points behind the winners. And I don’t think the club realised for some time that Welbeck would be out for so long. Both Gazidis and Wenger have stated the target is to win this year, and Wenger has said more than once that the club is in the market for attackers.

    If we were cash-poor, we’d have to make do with our existing options to provide backup for Giroud of Walcott (who doesn’t want to be a striker any more), Sanchez (who is superlative on the wing) or Akpom (who didn’t score much in the Championship).

    But we’re not poor – we’re cash-rich. In fact, we’ve got more cash in the bank than any club in the world. So we can afford to invest substantially in a new striker to give us a better chance of winning the league. Seems logical to me.

  • Zuruvi

    Top strikers are fairly easy to find.
    Atletico Madrid which is a poorer club than Arsenal always seems to find them … Torres, Aguerro, Diego Costa, and the current French attacker who was the top scorer at the Euros, Griezmann.
    Top strikers are difficult to find on the cheap.

    Atletico Madrid gets them because they are prepared to pay the going price for the striker.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Nicko,what do you mean by “true fan”? All Arsenal fans are “true”(whatever that means?),the whole fan-base is a group of people with differentiating viewpoints,with different levels of commitment,all of which are under constant change game to game,moment to moment.
    I think that those who are disillusioned are already so(no matter what),and have been for a while,and certainly make that polemic.But that doesn’t make anyone truer or falser because of their opinion or commitment financially at that moment(or however youre judging an idea of what a “true fan” is),mostly as what will be, we cant see.
    And yes, I would like to see another striker come in,however Giroud (who I like and think is good) could easily as not hit form,so could Iwobi,so could Theo and Alexis.And who can tell the future of Sanogo?Yesterday is not tomorrow unless we think in that pattern.
    It all depends.On what, is the secret that everybody is searching for…
    I cant see in the future and thats what makes life scary or exciting, depending on your polemical viewpoint, including all matters AFC etc.As Arsenal fans we can look over our shoulders with a green eye at other clubs shopping trips, but whether those players click for those clubs or not is another thing…
    But I also think that “fan” is possibly different from “supporter” and to support constantly is a tough thing to do,due to constant changes.

  • Zuruvi

    I am no coach or football manager.
    I normally don’t like or believe pundits because they’re generally biased and wrong.
    However, I do believe that Arsenal needs a better striker to complement Oliver Girous. Why? My answers are simple:
    (1) Despite finishing 2nd last year, I think we could have scored more goals and possibly won more games if our attackers were more clinical. There were too many good chances that were not scored. There were games where we had 15 or 18 good chances but scored only one goal only to lose or draw the game. Giroud is good but we could do with better.
    (2). Arsene Wenger has been trying to buy a top striker for the past 3 or 4 seasons. He tried to buy Suarez. He tried to buy Vardy. He probably tried to buy other top strikers that we don’t know about.
    So who are we to say that Arsenal doesn’t need another attacker or striker? Le Prof who knows best says we do.

  • Hang on if Wenger has already put a bid in for two strikers he obviously thinks we need one

  • Zuruvi

    Can anyone mention a premiership club that has been crowned champions yet it had as it’s main striker a guy who scores only 14 or 16 league goals per season?

    Oliver Giroud has scored the following league goals per season:

    2012/13 season = 11 league goals only.
    2013/14 season = 16 league goals only.
    2014/15 season = 14 league goals only.
    2015/16 season = 16 league goals only.

    Giroud is a good player but his goal scoring statistics are just not good enough for a striker playing for a club that creates very many goal scoring chances.
    Friends, we need a better striker. Even the useless and forgettable Adebayor could score more than 30 goals (in total) in Arsenal.

    Whilst Tony is entitled to his view that Arsenal doesn’t need another attacker, we believe the above stats show that Giroud is good but not great. And unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be improving on the goalscoring front.

  • ARSENAL 13

    HAHAHA…going price? Somebody define me a striker.

    “Despite finishing 2nd last year, I think we could have scored more goals and possibly won more games if our attackers were more clinical. There were too many good chances that were not scored. There were games where we had 15 or 18 good chances but scored only one goal only to lose or draw the game. Giroud is good but we could do with better.”

    Finally some sense in striker debate. Its not lack of strikers the problem at ARSENAL or lack of goalscorers. Its the percentage of goals scored to chances created. Its the lack of clinicality. We were not clinical enough. That applies to Alexis, Ozil and all players including Rambo. It was a freak season in terms of conversion rate. That rate is an anomaly and it will likely not happen again.

  • Zuruvi

    Despite finishing an honourable 2nd in the league, I am told we achieved the following unimpressive stats:

    (1) our points tally was the lowest we have achieved in the last 4 seasons.

    (2) our goals scored tally was the lowest in the last 9 seasons.

    Friends, I read these stats and I have not double-checked them (due to time constraints).

    If the above stats are indeed correct, I will suggest that this would support my argument our dear club desperately needs a clinical striker to complement and support the effort of Giroud.

    Coming 2nd in the league is good but both Wenger and the club CEO Ivan Gizidas have said this is not satisfactory. Arsenal deserves more.

    In conclusion, I say that we would most likely have won more games had we had a better striker last year.

    We played 38 league games last year but only won 20. Arsenal drew or lost 18 games. That’s not good enough for Arsenal. So despite achieving an honourable 2nd place in the league, our actual performance for the season wasn’t impressive vis-à-vis our class, quality and aspirations.
    We need to score more goals to do justice to our attractive, attacking football style. Scoring more goals normally leads to winning more games.

  • Steve

    Tony – I think you might be losing the argument on this one.

  • alexanderhenry

    What a strange article.
    Giroud isn’t bad at all. In fact for £11 million he’s remarkably good. I think most sane arsenal fans realise this. What they also realise is that he isn’t exceptional, and that’s the point. Yes, it is possible to win the league without a world class striker. but it’s a lot easier to win it with one.

    With almost a quarter of a billion quid in the bank, why wouldn’t arsenal want to acquire a really great striker? If the club had stumped up another 5 or 10 million for suarez a few years ago, we would have won the premiership.

  • Not at all Steve. The position is very clear: there are two ways of viewing issues of this nature. Either you use proper analysis of the data, and logical deduction, or intuition, emotion and feeling. This is a web site that gets over 6 million page views a year, largely because it is one of very few that is dedicated to research and analysis rather than the “everyone is entitled to an opinion that is worth hearing” approach. Around 95% of our readers never post a comment but the number is fairly constant. There is no evidence that these people disagree with the idea of having a website about Arsenal which is based on proper use of scientific analysis – such evidence as we have suggests the opposite. The majority of the country might follow the approach outlined by the psychologists who study the internet for people’s reactions, but that in no way means that they are winning an argument through their emotional responses.

  • AlexanderHenry: “With almost a quarter of a billion quid in the bank, why wouldn’t arsenal want to acquire a really great striker?”

    Well that’s what the article is all about. Buying a player of the type you mention is shown by the statistics to be a very dodgy thing to do. Yes it can work, but most of the time it doesn’t. Worse it can cause a huge level of difficulty for the club. It’s all in the article.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Zuruvi, yes Athleti have had some impressive strikers, but they are also allowed to recruit players owned by third parties….this would include many top South American players. English clubs are not allowed to buy under such conditions…ask West Ham….this helps AM ins SOME cases
    AlexanderHenry, nobody knows if Wenger stumping up more for Suarez would have got him, it is quite possible Liverpool would have just refused to sell to an English rival no matter what we offered, especially given the players long standing and public interest in Barca. If I were a Liverpool exec, I would have done exactly as they did, an extra few million from an Arsenal bid would have made no difference whatsoever. The way forward….get the next Suarez before he is at a major club…hence Ivan’s much misinterpreted words on improving scouting and development…. amongst other things

  • Nicko

    It might not work Tony but there is a chance that a top quality striker will have more of a impact than not buying one..What doesn’t work tony is keeping the money in the bank and hoping that Giroud can go from 15 prem goals a season to 30 when its never happened before.Im coming to the conclusion that you will defend the philosophy of the club no matter even if you can see our failings .I can tell from some of your blogs that you are not stupid,but your defence of Arsenals situation at the moment is quite staggering.

  • nicky

    Your 12.05 makes a lot of sense.
    The problem we have in this and virtually every transfer window, is seeking players whose employers are willing to release them (for a price). Up to date these are not only scarce on the ground but some are being offered lucrative new contracts in order to retain them.

  • Andy Mack

    AlexanderHenry and Mandy Dodds,
    Can we please stop repeating the myth that the failure to buy Suarez was about money. It wasn’t! We met his ‘over £40m release clause’ figure and that’s all any team needs to do. Money-wise Suarez doesn’t give a toss what his price is, only what his salary is. But as he said in his autobiography, he wanted his dream move to Spain because his Spanish wife wanted to move back there. He knew he wouldn’t necessarily hit form in one season at a new club, and that if he did and then got an offer from Spain it could cause problems for him to force a move through. So he stayed where he was for 1 season and got assurance he’d be able to make his ‘dream move’ (his words) if the offer came, meanwhile he got a very significant wage rise.
    Sometimes private life is more important than pure money.

  • Tony your next article ” scoring more goals buy buying a defensive midfielder “. Nice work by Walter but it’s all his own thoughts and not supported with any evidence at all . Unless

  • Emmanuel

    Mr writer, you can actually speak all the grammar you want but the plain truth is that arsenal needs a striker either to support Gerond or replace him. Whichever case we need someone or people who can convert the goals and give us an edge. Other clubs are doing so and even arsene wenger knows that….that is why he wants to buy a striker.

  • Marcus

    The confusion between many commenters on this issue is due to mainly two factors:

    1) each persons definition of “need”

    2) which striker should be bought? Come deadline day should wenger sign me to play up top? Should he sign will griggs for 100m?

    We do not ‘need’ to buy a striker. Arsenal will still most likely be a football club in a years time, and most likely still have made top four. However, any fan can see that to continue moving forward and challenge for the title consistently in the next 5 years we must find a striker who is able to lead our line at least as effectively as giroud and preferably better than him as you always want the best possible players in your team.

    I think wenger has looked to sign a top striker for at least the last two years but he is holding out for one with real talent to match the talents of ozil and sanchez. He was not able to sign one last summer because none moved, in fact none have moved for many years because there are not many and they are all at clubs currently considered bigger than Arsenal.

    This summer I think wenger was in for higuain but rather than the money being the problem the player just wanted to go to juve…fair enough. I would rather wenger signs no striker than signs a striker with an overly inflated ego for an overly inflated price who is not better than giroud. In order to get a truly world class player up front it would seem that we need to somehow develop one. Now before everyone goes crazy I don’t think we should give Theo more time up front, and I don’t think we should pin all our hopes on akpom. What I mean is we should act like atletico and buy a player with potential. At the moment the strikers many fans want wenger to sign are laccazette and icardi, I am not convinced by either of them. Both are fairly short at around 5″7 /5″8 and if you look at the top strikers in the world arm must are taller more complete players like lewandowski higuain cavani Ibrahimovic aubameyang. It must be noted aguero is only 5″8 but the man city team has a lot of height in it not including him and when he came in he was more often seen as 1 of 2 strikers up top.

    Obviously raw talent is more important than physical build (otherwise akinfenwa would play for barca) but I am not convinced either laccazette or icardi is talented enough to come straight into the prem and do better than giroud. I also think at their prices it is worth looking at other targets. I seriously think draxler would be a brilliant option for 40-50m if wenger was able to convert him to a centre forward. He’s fast, tall and powerful at 6″2, technically brilliant, good at shooting and plays for Germany who are in need of a new out and out striker and play a similar game to us. The fact that both he and Sanchez can play lw and st would mean a real fluidity during games and at 22 he is in my opinion a far better option that icardi or laccazette at a similar price.

  • Emmanuel I am most grateful to you for proving the point.

    “There is a pressure on people to react instantly as this can enhance a person’s popularity within a group. This pressure exacerbates groupthink as there is no time to check facts or consider other explanations. If people think others have similar views or emotions then hysteria can result as they confirm the accuracy of each other, and so emotions spiral.”

  • Mandy Dodd

    Andy Mack, actually, I agree with you, Arsenals money may not ever have got Suarez, yet Wenger and co still get blamed on missing out on a guy who may never have realistically have been coming to Arsenal.. maybe I went about saying it in too roundabout a way

  • Zuruvi

    Andy, I think the Suarez issue was about money. Liverpoo realised that their asset was worth much more than the £40m they had put in the contract as a release clause. They were therefore no longer keen to sell at £40 or at the cheeky offer of £40m plus one pound.

    A realistic offer would have got us Suarez.

    If the Poo is made a good offer they always sell. Remember Torres moved to Chelsea? Remember Raheem Sterling moved to City?

  • Zuruvi

    Mandy, please see my response to Andy above.

    We are now hypothesizing but I think a realistic offer would have got us our target.

    Another reason (in addition to the ones given in the earlier response) is that Liverpool is notorious for using the media for its propaganda during transfer negotiations. During the Suarez transfer saga the Liverpool cronies in the media were saying that Liverpook wanted about £55m for Suarez.

    I don’t normally trust the media but when it comes to presenting what Liverpool wants or doesn’t want the media is nearly always accurate. The media and Liverpool have a “special relationship” which is probably similar to the “special relationship” between Bush and Blair or between Britain and America.

  • Zuruvi

    Mandy Dodd, I don’t think you are right by saying Atletico have great strikers only because they acquire players owned by 3rd parties.
    I have mentioned Torres, Diego Costa, Aguero and Griezmann as great strikers who have recently led the line for Atletico. Which of these clinical strikers were owned by 3rd parties?

  • King2

    @Andrew Banks
    It really annoys the hell out of me when people like you denigrate our players to rationalise your obsessive need for the club to spend unrealistic amount of money. Ozil,the only elite player? Sanchez,Carzola,Ramsey not elite enough for you? Absolutely ridiculous! By any footballing criteria,we have a very good squad. A couple more additions will make it a fantastic squad. But the narrative that we are doomed if we don’t make further additions is just plain moronic!

  • Robert

    “Well that’s what the article is all about. Buying a player of the type you mention [a really great striker] is shown by the statistics to be a very dodgy thing to do. Yes it can work, but most of the time it doesn’t. Worse it can cause a huge level of difficulty for the club. It’s all in the article.”

    Tony, you’re referring to the stats produced by a Liverpool fan in 2014, not produced by anyone on Untold. Those stats are a subjective assessment of 53 players and they include only 4 Arsenal buys:
    Reyes – deemed to be an absolute failure
    Özil, Walcott and Hleb – all deemed to be a mixed bag or slow starters

    So, you’ve taken somebody else’s work and added a few opinions (not facts) of your own. Not exactly kosher, is it?

  • Zuruvi

    Mandy, some people criticise Wenger and co for the failure of the Suarez bid because they hate Wenger and they hate Arsenal.

    I love Arsenal and I really admire Le Prof. I think Wenger is the best thing that ever happened to Arsenal. I think Wenger should be given another 3 year contract because I think the jigsaw puzzle is missing only a few pieces. I want Wenger to be the man who finishes the jigsaw puzzle and leads us to glory in the Premiership and in the Champions league. I however think our beloved Prof and Gazidis were totally wrong in offering £40m + £1 for Suarez. It was a silly offer which was a PR disaster for our club. Everyone of the haters and the neutrals were given ammunition to “confirm” that we lack class, we’re rip-off merchants, we’re like Scrooge. I think we would have looked better if we had offered £45m or £42m or even £40.5m. That one pound was ridiculous. We tried to be too smart and it cost us a lot on our reputation.

    Luckily for us, both Prof and Gazidis have said that mistakes were made in the Suarez deal which resulted in negativity towards Arsenal and our brand. Great people learn from their mistakes. Wenger and Gazidis have said they learnt lessons from the Suarez failed deal.

    Obviously we were dealing with a deceptive Liverpool executive team who were making life difficult for us as we tried to sign Suarez. But as I noted before, if Liverpool are offered a good price, they always sell. Liverpool made Chelsea sweat on the Torres deal but when the money increased they sold. Liverpool were difficult to Man City on the Raheem Sterling deal, but when City increased the offer the deal was done.

    The Suarez deal to Arsenal failed because we never offered Liverpool the price they really wanted (regardless of the supposed Release Clause which we believe existed but which Liverpool denied and then admitted to later).

  • Mandy Dodd

    Zuruvi, not saying all the strikers they sign are third party owned, but some clearly have been. Griezmann and Torres were not, but though I cannot be certain, I would seriously wonder about the likes of Costa, Aguero, and for that matter, Falcao . If you are allowed to sign such talents in the first place, then sell them for a fortune, puts a team in a very good position. Of course EPL teams can buy these players at a later stage, but only when they are not owned by 3rd, 4th or 5th parties…..that is assuming said EPL clubs are complying to our regulations, or are not exploiting some loop hole.
    Spanish teams are very relaxed on signing third party owned players, guess its because in general, they are allowed to be. Doesnt make such ownership a good thing though

  • Zuruvi

    Tony, whilst most big purchases don’t work in the first year, they certainly tend to work in Years 2, 3 and 4.

    Pires, Thierry, etc. etc. may not have worked in the first year but boy did they come good in subsequent years.

    My point being, we should buy an excellent player (attacker) now even if he doesn’t come good in his first season. We will still benefit from the players brilliance next season and subsequent seasons.
    If we had bought that good or brilliant player last season we would be having a brilliant player who is on song this year.

    Giroud is now almost 30 and he has been with us for a long time. He is now going into his 4th season as our top striker. It’s sad to note that despite bedding in for so long, Giroud only manages just 16 Premiership goals per season whilst playing for Arsenal with the most creative midfielders in the league.

  • Andy Mack

    Zurivi & anyone else, Just out of interest What would have been a decent offer?

    And as the clause was met, Suarez could have forced the move through. HE DIDN’T!
    Nothing to do with Liverpoo.
    Once the clause was met Liverpoo had zero say in what happens.
    Their BS was just trying to buy them time to discuss options with Suarez but they didn’t need to say it as they’d have had time anyway.
    It was 100% a Suarez decision.
    Liverpoo cannot sell a player that doesn’t want to be sold (see adebarndoor at Spuds 😀 ).

  • Tom

    We can agree to disagree whether Arsenal need an upgrade on Giroud,
    but the debate follows a very familiar pattern doesn’t it.

    A year ago we didn’t need a better keeper – Arsene got Cech.

    Two seasons ago Arteta and Flamini were good enough as a holding mid pair and Arsenal didn’t need an upgrade – enter Coquelin, and all of sudden he’s the benchmark for a holding mid in the league.

    Here’s my question:
    Has Tony ever asked for strengthening of Arsenal. I can’t recall.
    If he hasn’t , then this article is par for the course.

  • Zuruvi

    Andy, I think you have a point.
    Suarez could have pushed through a deal.

    My suspicions are that Liverpoo noticed that Suarez was worth much more than the £40m. The Poo then struck a deal with Suarez which offered Duarez a cit of any future selling price above the £40m release fee. It was a win-win situation for Suarez and for the Poo.
    That’s my interpretation of what transpired.

    I think such an arrangement would not have happened if Arsenal had made a reasonable offer to the Poo.

    Andy, you ask what a reasonable offer would have been. Mate, it is difficult to be honest and reasonable what a reasonable offer would have been back then now that i have the benefit of hindsight. I want to be honest and reasonable to you as a fellow Gunner.
    Anyway, when I heard of the £40m + £1 it left me shocked. I felt it was a cheeky offer which could make either Liverpool look stupid or Arsenal look silly or both. I felt then that a reasonable first offer could have been £40.5m and then go up to £45m and gradually up to the £55m that the media were saying is the price that Liverpool really wanted.

  • Jerry


    Excellent article! I agree that to buy a center forward is not as desperate a need as the media and some fans claim.

    @Zuruvi, you highlighted the total amount of goals scored by Giroud the last few seasons. But let’s focus on last season. Giroud scored 16 goals (15 from normal play).

    All of the players that scored more goals from normal play (except Aguero) played 700 to 1000 more minutes than Giroud (the highest was 20 Aguero and Kane)!

    In fact from normal play, the only striker who played more than 1000 minutes with a better mins per goal ratio than Giroud was Aguero.

    In fact, if Giroud played the same amount of mins as Kane, is mins per goal from normal play (162.1) would have added 5.79 goals (5-6 goals) to be at 20-21 goals from normal play (the highest amount).

    So yes the criticism of Giroud is way overblown. His numbers would look a lot better if Arsenal actual got and Giroud took the penalties.

    2015/16 Penalties scored:
    Kane 5
    Vardy 5
    Aguero 4
    Mahrez 4
    GIROUD 1

  • Jerry

    @Andrew Banks,
    “A few world class players, any?” You are clearly not an Arsenal supporter!

    1) Ozil- PL assist leader, WC champion, voted best German player maybe 3 years or so running

    2) Sanchez- 2x Copa America Champion, 2016 Copa America Golden Ball award (chosen above players like Messi, Higuan, Di Maria)

    3) Cech- has the most PL Golden Glove awards and won it last year as well

    4) Ramsey- also named in the 2016 Euros Team of the Tournament

    Some of the other players that it would be very hard to find better PL players at their positions- Koscielny, Bellerin, Monreal, Cazorla, and even Giroud.

  • Polo

    Who are these ‘world class’ players? Who decides they are ‘world class’? It’s funny how some people make suggestion on players as ‘world class’ that Arsenal should spend but a few seasons ago they probably had never heard of such player Aubameyang, Griezmann , Morata, Icardi etc. These players came through the ranks as youngsters who were given chances to shine at lower clubs before joining up with bigger clubs, so what not to say Akpom, Iwobi, Gnabry won’t have an outbreak season if given more game time?

    I personally believe Arsenal should sign another striker but at a reasonable price and if we can’t find one then so be it, we still have a strong attacking force. Arsenal should not spend ridiculous amount like £50 million+ for club transfer and another £5-10 million on players wages and added bonuses per season, if this becomes a norm sooner or later Arsenal will end up like Leeds United.

    Arsenal is a financial prudent self-sufficient club not a money wasting club who spends on any player and hope it works out.

  • porter

    Do we need a striker to replace Giroud ? NO !. Do we need a striker to complement Giroud YES!
    Do we need an alternate style of play to break down resilient defences ? YES !
    Are we prepared to sacrifice a midfield player to increase our presence up front ?
    In the past solely in desperation with about 10 minutes to go.If you think that Theo can do it, then you don’t buy and what of Akpom ? it’s probably asking too much to see him become the second striker at this stage of his career.
    My belief is that we still need a poacher , someone that turns tight nil -nils into 1 -0 wins. Is that what we should be buying ? That’s the question we should be asking.

  • Andy Mack

    Zuruvi, when a release clause is ‘over 40m’ why would anyone offer 45m?
    AFC didn’t guess that figure, his agent had clearly told them and undoubtedly assured them it would happen, but Suarez had diffenernt ideas when he actually thought about it (and maybe got a nod from Barca that he’d get his dream if he could wait).
    Personally I don’t think Liverpoo would have accepted less than 50m if they’d had any say in the matter (but they didn’t) and I really don’t think Suarez himself had any great interest in a share of his sell on fee (his agents would of course).
    He wanted to go to spain and an agreement that it would happen if an offer came would be much more important. Suarez had know his wife when they were kids in Uruguay but her family had then moved to spain. It was a real long distance relationship.
    If it hadn’t been for that agreement then I think Liverpoo would have wanted more than the rumoured £65m for him.

  • Zuruvi

    Andy, I just don’t think Arsenal will again offer “release fee” plus £1.
    I’m sure you’ll agree that that is trying to be clever and doesn’t get deal done.

    I’m sure we didn’t bid £20m + £1 for Vardy.
    We learned our lesson.

  • Polo

    @ Zuruvi, I’m sure the Suarez event have been debated to death, if you believe in the media reports then you should believe in the Liverpool owner when he said he won’t sell Suarez to any direct rivals in the Premier League because Liverpool have ambition to get back into the Champions League. He mentioned that he understand Suarez wanted to leave and he would have sold Suarez to a non Premier League club but due to time constraints in finding a suitable replacement for Suarez so he won’t sell.

    In regards to £40 million + £1 I don’t think it’s ridiculous to bid £1 if you know that is the release clause amount, why would you want to give more money to somebody if you don’t need to? Surely, when you go shopping and you see a product and you know you can get it for say £10 you’re not likely going to pay an additional £5 for it, wouldn’t that make you look silly?

  • Zuruvi

    Jerry, of the players that you have mentioned I only regard Aguero to be a world-class striker.
    Mahrez is a wonderful player but he is a winger.
    The other strikers you mentioned are good but not brilliant.
    Another dimension that you need to consider is the number of scoring chances that Arsenal creates compared to most other teams. Remember even Adebayor could score more than 30 goals when in the Arsenal team because we create very good chances for a striker. Adebayor failed to score 15 goals at City or Spurs.

    I have given Giroud’s record for 4 full seasons. Here is the record:
    Oliver Giroud has scored the following league goals per season:

    2012/13 season = 11 league goals only.
    2013/14 season = 16 league goals only.
    2014/15 season = 14 league goals only.
    2015/16 season = 16 league goals only.

    We cannot give Giroud too many excuses. He good but Arsenal should have a striker who does better.

  • Chris

    The likes on the various comments on this article prove you are losing the argument, Tony.

    How is that for a stat?

    If Giroud gets injured after the transfer window closes, our options up front will be laughable. Giroud needs competition to keep him at the top of his game and to give him the opportunity for rest and replacement due to patchy form (such as last season when he went 12 or so games without a goal.

    Clearly you are an intelligent man but this is being incredibly over analytic, you say things are never simple but other in reality I don’t think it is rocket science to be able to scout and bring in a component to the squad which will increase chances of success.

  • Andy Mack

    Zuruvi, If the club know that a release clause is ‘Over £X’ then I’m certain they won’t have any issue offering an ‘£X +£1’ again. The point is that it moves out of the selling clubs hand when they receive an offer that meets the requirements of the clause.
    However I do think they’ll get a much stronger commitment from a players agent before making any bit like that again.
    As for Vardy, I’d guess his clause said ‘£20m’ rather than ‘Over £20m’.

    You’re welcome to offer your local market more than the marked price for a pint of milk but sensible people don’t.

  • Zuruvi

    @Polo, if something is asking for offers over £10 it would be silly to start your offer at £15. And I think if the item is in big demand, I wouldn’t take you seriously if you offered £10.01.

    On a more logical front, if a mansion is available for offers over £40m, I don’t think a serious buyer would offer £40m + £1. This is especially so if the property is top class and the demand is very high.

  • Zuruvi

    Andy, our CEO Mr Gazidis was asked about the “£x +£1” offer. His response was that legally it may have been correct but he certainly won’t be doing it again because it causes too much negative attention. I presume he meant negative publicity.

    Gazidis said that Arsenal had made mistakes in the Suarez episode and had learned lessons.

    I always admire Wenger and Gazidis for learning from unfortunate episodes. That makes them great leaders in my book.

  • Jerry


    Fine for the 4 years you mentioned, Giroud’s first 2 years were struggles adapting to the PL. But his last two seasons were not as bad as you make it sound.

    You should probably look at the minutes Giroud played compared to the other players and goals in normal play:

    2013/14: 16 goals in 3083 minutes (15 from normal play)= Aguero, Suarez, Sturridge, Dzeko, Rooney, Remy, RVP all had better rates)
    2014/15: 14 goals in 1867 minutes (all 14 from normal play)= 133.36 mins per goal (Only Costa & Aguero better rate)
    2015/16: 16 goals in 2431 minutes (15 from normal play)= 162 mins per goal (only Aguero was better)

    Over the last two seasons, the only player that had a better rate? – Aguero! So unless Aguero or someone of his caliber is available, it is going to be very difficult to find a better replacement.

  • Zuruvi

    Chuba Akpom is looking really sharp.
    Santi Cazorla was brilliant too.
    Arsenal played really well against a weak Viking team.

    Let’s see how we do against Man City on Sunday afternoon.

    Our squad of players looks really good. Just one or two additions and I think we have a team to go all the way both in the Premiership and the Champions League. Obviously a better striker to rotate with Giroud is needed.

  • The centrepiece of the article was

    “If people get new information that is in contrast to what they believe then they tend to neglect this new information for as long as possible.”

    I think the responses here show there is a lot to be said for that point.

  • Polo

    @Zuruvi, it wasn’t a bidding war with another club so the suppose £40 million was the minimum amount to trigger the release clause. My understanding was at that point in time there wasn’t another club bidding above Arsenal’s, had there were than that £1 would be silly. However, I read that Suarez party and Arsenal believed that the release clause was £40 million and Suarez can freely negotiate however it turned out that the £40 million was not a release clause amount but only to put an obligation on Liverpool to advise Suarez that there’s a club made a bid for him. It was a mess.

    On the mansion, if the selling agent told you the owner is obligated to sell if you bid over £40 million because his bank contract say so and the agent also say you’re the only interested buyer, you’re not going to say oh I’m going to offer an extra £5 million, it’s just not sensible, isn’t it prudent to put in £1 to trigger the obligation to sell?

    Anyway, that’s past, let look at the present and future. Let hope the guys go one better this season.

  • Andy Mack

    buying a house doesn’t have a legal ‘release clause’. It has a price. That’s a big difference.
    And I’m pretty certain that the club just mean that they would just confirm to another club that they’ll comply with the release clause rather than make a specific figure.
    It’s the same deal just without the PR.

  • Andy Mack

    polo, that’s what it initially looked to be but eventually it’s come out that it was a genuine release clause. If Suarez had decide to pursue it then he’d have been our player for a year until his dream move to barca came up and then we’d be in the same situation again.

  • Gord

    OT: Corruption News

    Infantino’s employees, the (no longer independent) ethics committee published a report saying that they would like to keep their jobs, and that their boss was not guilty of unethical conduct.

    Yesterday (?) Pundit Arena had a big surprise. They claimed that the BBC had a _Journalist_. In the sports department no less! Can you imagine such a thing?

    Not to be outdone, GiveMeSport now also claims that the BBC has a _Journalist_ in the sports department.

    I suppose we will soon be seeing an article at Guardian claiming the BBC has a _Journalist_ in the sports department.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Wonder why people make a joke of Wenger bidding 40 million for Suarez
    It was confirmed by Liverpool owner that
    The amount was correct and was deemmed to trigger Suarez release clause.
    I do personally agree that Suarez valued more than that as for me he is a better player than Ronaldo bale and Neymar but if a player has a release clause in his contact and a buyer meets it, it is fair enough and people trying to make a movkery of the offer is simply a hatred towards Arsenal and Wenger.Actually it is very easy to blame when you are not spending your own money.

    Frankly speaking Suarez wanted to go to Barca and he wont have come to Arsenal what so ever.

  • Gord


    I have given Giroud’s record for 4 full seasons. Here is the record:
    Oliver Giroud has scored the following league goals per season:

    2012/13 season = 11 league goals only.
    2013/14 season = 16 league goals only.
    2014/15 season = 14 league goals only.
    2015/16 season = 16 league goals only.

    Actually, you haven’t given his full record. You gave an edited account of his record, constrained to only those games he played in those seasons for Arsenal, in EPL play. Arsenal played other games that he may have been involved in, and he may have played for other teams (national team) during that same time frame.

    Random chance is a huge part of football. And we can only ever see one version of events. But what we want to make decisions, is the expectation. In this instance we want to know how many goals Giroud was “expected” to score, not how many he did score. And this is the mathematical definition of expectation, not the man on the streets.

    The expectation would be the average number of goals Giroud would have scored, if all of those games could be replayed an infinite number of times. In some versions Giroud may have scored more goals in a particular game, in some he may have become injured, and so on. All the different effects of random chance get played out.

    In one of those years, you had Giroud scoring 14 goals in a 38 game EPL season. What if he played 3 games for Arsenal in different competitions in that time, and scored 6 goals. Instead of 14 in 38, we would have 20 in 41. That gives a significantly different picture than 14 in 38. By adding in these “other” games he played in the same timeframe, we get more data. People would like that data to be “all things equal”, but we don’t have all things equal in the 38 games. It isn’t the same starting XI every time, it isn’t the same substitutions, it isn’t the same referees, ….

  • chibyke

    Hahahaha.the ever wise and sublime tony. Guys, Tony is trying to let you know we wont buy a new striker but perk you up for the season with stats that “theoritically” show that we really dont need a top top top striker to compete. So lets leave it @ that. But tune in by may/april 2017 for a special article by Tony titled “why arsenal didnt win the league”. It promises to be interesting.

  • Minstrel

    Think your research here is interesting. If i had more time, i’d peruse it more thoroughly. In the absence of that, might i pose a question:
    So you’re saying that having Louis suarez or aubemeyang as our first-choice striker would not make us more likely to win the league??

    Even if, as you point out, Arsenal only scored 3 (?) fewer Goals than the league winners last year, you’re saying that we wouldnt have been much more likely to have gained more points with a striker scoring 25 league Goals as opposed to girouds 16?

    Without claiming it would automatically win us the league ( duh!), I really cannot see the sense in desisting the claim that an upgrade on our current main striker would increase our chances to win the league .

  • Minstrel:
    So you’re saying that having Louis suarez or aubemeyang as our first-choice striker would not make us more likely to win the league??