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How Arsenal fans are being duped over the purchase of a striker.

By Tony Attwood

I am always interested in the way in which a manipulated statement of fact can be used to try and show up Arsenal in a bad light.  Interested because normally the examination of the details tends to show the writer, rather than Arsenal, up in a bad light.

You may recall my regular insistence on pointing out Amy Lawrence’s phrase last summer that Arsenal had only two players who scored in double figures – the use of the word “only” implying that most clubs had three or more such players.  That was completely untrue – only five clubs had two players scoring in double figures, and only one club had three such players: Southampton.

This year you may recall that two clubs had three players in double figures, and the Guardian (as far as I saw) failed to cover the fact, although we did: the two clubs were Tottenham and Arsenal.

Now what with it being a rather pleasant Saturday afternoon, and with me having returned from Northampton with two brand new pairs of dance shoes with which to show off my whatnot, I have been meandering around the backroads of the bloggettas and come up with this jolly offering from JustArsenal.

It is safe to say that since Robin van Persie made the controversial move to Old Trafford in 2012, Arsenal have lacked the quality of a world-class striker. While the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has signed quality players like Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck, these are unfortunately not the kind of players that can lead a team to the title like the Dutchman could.

There is of course some truth in that.  RVP was the last player we had who was the top league scorer, knocking in 30 league goals in 2011/12 although it didn’t help us win the title.  But did that help us in any other way?

To try and look at this I have created a chart showing our top scorer, his position in the top scorers table, how many goals he got and how many goals Arsenal got.

Season Player  League goals Position in scoring chart Top scorer Lge Goals AFC Lge goals
2016/17 Alexis 24 3rd Kane 29 77
2015/16 Giroud 16 6th Kane 25 65
2014/15 Giroud 14 6th Agüero 26 71
2013/14 Giourd 16 7th Suárez 31 68
2012/13 Walcott 14 11tn RVP 26 72
2011/12 RVP 30 1st RVP 30 74

So we have had a top scorer once in this period and he got 30 goals (2011/12).  Now if top scorers really are incredibly important then that should also have been our top scoring season in the league, but it wasn’t.  Our top scoring season in recent years was actually the season just finished – the one that the bloggetta is complaining about.

The season after RVP left our top scorer was Walcott who was the 11th highest in the PL.  Now if having a top scorer was important you would expect our goals scored to have collapsed.   But although the top scorer’s achievement went down from 30 to 14, the total goals scored by Arsenal went down by just two.

In short, there are many more factors concerning goals scoring than just having a top scorer.

Now the bloggetta’s assault on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger goes on with this outburst.

Also, Wenger has made his fair share of excuses as to why he has failed to bring in replacements. After exhausting the excuse about financial constraints at the club, the Frenchman started blaming a lack of world-class quality in the transfer market as the reason why a world-class striker was not brought into the club.

But when you look at the transfer market today, you would have to think that excuse is invalid as well. There are world-class strikers like Kylian Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette, Diego Costa, Andrea Belotti, Alvaro Morata, Mateo Kovacic and Romelu Lukaku all available, although the latter looks to have joined Chelsea. Mind you, these are all players who can lead the line and guarantee at least 25 goals every campaign.

So leaving aside whether having a top scorer in the squad is important (and you will recall our earlier research which showed that most of the time the team with the top scorer in the side doesn’t win the league) I thought I would look at the people mentioned.  Are they proven goalscorers in the PL.  (And throughout I am only counting PL goals.

Player 2016/7 2015/6 2014/5
Romelu Lukaku 10 18 25
Mateo Kovacic 5 1 1
Alvaro Morata 15 7 8
Andrea Belotti 26 12 0
Diego Costa 20 12 20
Alexandre Lacazette 28 21 27
Kylian Mbappe 15 1 0

In fact there is precious little evidence here that the players that this writer selected are actually top goal scorers in their respective leagues – and certainly very little evidence that they are producing the goods year on year.   The one consistent player is Lacazette.  As for the rest… well, the numbers are clear.  Mbappe is hailed as a goalscorer of the future, and that may be right, but so far he is not proven.

The fact is the story of the top club having the top goalscorer is a myth.  I know that everyone has raved about Tottenham’s goalscorer and how they came second this season.  That was a great triumph for them, I agree, because the last time they came second (or come to that first) was 1963, that is 54 years ago.

So yes by their historic standards it was a great season.  But really, if we started celebrating being second can you imagine the fuss there would be from the anti-Wengerians.  “Second is not a trophy” would be the cry.

The fact is the goal scoring story is a myth.  I would refer you, if I may back to my last piece: Revealed: the secret that will allow Arsenal to win the league next season.

Beware, if someone presents you with bold facts and no evidence, pinches of salt are needed.

I know it is boring, but the facts are important.

21 comments to How Arsenal fans are being duped over the purchase of a striker.

  • Marko

    Yeah Kovacic is a midfielder box to box

  • Leon

    Not more Amy bashing. C’mon Tony, this is really played out now, and so trivial.

  • Lanz

    Thanx for yet another beautiful piece based on facts and figures, rather than pretty empirical assertions. My interest is in an aspect of the quote claiming that several players are available. Such statements imply that the players are like apples on display at some grocer’s. Is the other club ready to sell? Is the player interested in our club? Or at all in the EPL? Does the valuation make sense? Do we have off-pitch info that the manager puts into consideration? Several issues that make it necessary to qualify the word, “available”.

    Thanx again.

  • Matt

    About 6 paragraphs about why we don’t need a great player upfront. It seems like a pointless article to me. Surely a great goal scorer can only improve our chances next year. Seems like another article to protect the manager at the detriment of the club.

  • Lies again to Arsenal fans how long more to indure this silly farce.

  • insideright

    The stat that is missing is how many of these proven goalscorers’ goals were penalties. Take away pens from the likes of Kane and he doesn’t get many more goals than Giroud – and at a worse mins/goals ratio.
    Sometimes (and the Cup Final is the classic example) a centre forwards style of play forces a defence to play either unnaturally deep or high to negate his strengths. That can alter the whole teams tactical plan (especially re pressing) and lead to problems. Welbecks speed forced Chelsea deeper than they would have liked. He didn’t score but was highly instrumental in the win.
    Don’t just look at goals scored – look at how a team strategy is delivered and whether the team as a whole functions better.

  • TheSKAGooner

    As always, Tony, a pertinent read. 🙂

  • Lanz

    Well said!.
    The simplistic thought is that football is a one man game as opposed to a team game
    Without apparently a world class striker Arsenal goals scored aint bad

    Insideright points out penalties scored, accounts for so much of the alalysis
    Therefore, much of the analysis is valueless

    But then, who cares about facts, lets just slag off the Arsenal

  • Nitram

    Leon

    Is this Amy women your wife by any chance?

    John Kelly.

    Lies you say?

    Well maybe but I’m not sure where. Perhaps it’s just me? Maybe I’m a bit dim ? In which case could you please point out exactly which bits are ‘Lies’.

    Matt

    “Surely a great goal scorer can only improve our chances next year”.

    Of course this is true, but surely isn’t that true of EVERY team ? But the inference is this only applies to Arsenal, and that’s the point of this article, surely.

  • Stevo

    Leon

    There are new visitors to this site all the time and they would wonder what on earth Tony was highlighting the word ‘only’ for. It is only reasonable to have little understanding so that others may join in this topic.

  • Leon

    Nitram
    Of course, that must be it mustn’t it?
    Try reading her article that so offends Tony. If you want I have a link to it.
    All she was doing was supporting Wenger in his complaint that his forwards were not scoring enough goals. Hence the “only two players who scored in double figures”. There was no requirement to compare with other teams, but he (Tony) sees as an affront, I see it as support. But boy, does he keep on about it.

  • Gord

    Leon

    Over and over I read stuff from you. And the reaction I have inside me, is that you do not participate in Untold Arsenal out of enjoyment. It is a _JOB_ to you.

    And this is one of the JOB requirements. That you must always bitch about this particular use of English by Tony.

    Most people participating in blogs like this one, are not expert at English. People writing for national or international media are expected to be expert at English (if they are writing in English). They should be choosing their words carefully. And if they make a mistake, they should be crucified for it. As that may keep them from making a similar mistake in the future.

  • Nathan

    Interesting facts and stats but stats can always be twisted to suit your point of view. I would like to know the teams that have won the league over last 10 years who didn’t have a 20 goals striker leading the line? Please note Alexis is a winger not a striker. The reason people feel we need a top striker this season and last season is because that’s the only position we are lacking in. Don’t get me wrong our defence is not great but Mustafi has had a season to adjust and I also feel we need another commanding CB, sokratis/miranda/pepe(who is a free transfer this summer), especially if we are playing with a back three next season. Also we concede many goals because of the way we play just refer to Sam alladyce statement regarding arsenal defending at the time of our 3-0 defeat to Crystal palace.

  • colario

    The Guardian claims that it publishes the news without expressing an opinion. Many readers find it is not so and the Guardian does have a bias. Not only when covering football.

    The BBC has a reputation of only broadcasting the truth on any given subject.

    It recent years when reporting on football, the BBC ”goes with the flow”. That is to say it agrees with the angle on the football news that the rest of the media is publishing regardless of the truth.

    The English printed news media, broadcast media or cyber media reports can not be trusted for news or facts.

    There are a few places that attempt to publish the facts without a bias and – news that is ignored by the propaganda driven media.

  • Leon

    Gord
    I’m really encouraged that you take trouble to read my comments as I’d got the impression that you were only interested in your own input.
    FYI, I will continue to “bitch” about this particular issue for as long as I am allowed to remain on this blog because I don’t wish to see an Arsenal friendly journalist regularly misinterpreted in this manner.
    Have.A.Nice.Day

  • Nitram

    Leon

    Anybody who puts the words ‘friendly’ ‘journalist’ and ‘Arsenal’ in the same sentence has not been living on the same planet that I have for the last 50 odd years.

    Never mind, you keep defending the indefensible if it makes you happy.

  • para

    You may be right Tony, a trait of ruthless people is that they will sell you duds packaged in a pretty box and tailor their adverts to you(Arsenal) individually. They all know Arsenal has some money now so the vultures will be circling.

    It looks like Alexandre Lacazette then?
    Proven he is indeed, and most know it.
    He should be well sought after now should’nt he?

  • Leon

    Nitram
    Who knows where you’ve been existing these “last 50 odd years”, but hope you’re able to enjoy the next 50.
    Thanks for the valuable advice, but what keeps me happy is not really up for discussion on a forum such as this, but has nothing to do with AFC, Amy Lawrence or anything football related.

  • Nitram

    Leon

    Well that made as much sense as your usual ramblings.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    One day all the employees reached the office and saw a big advice written on the door.

    “Yesterday the person who has been stopping your growth in this company passed away. You are invited to join the funeral.”

    In the beginning, they got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they got curious to know who was the man who stopped their growth.

    Everyone thought: ‘Well at least the man who stopped my progress died!’

    One by one the thrilled employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside they were speechless. They stood shocked in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. There was a mirror inside the coffin and everyone who looked inside could see him/herself.

    There was a sign next to the mirror that read:
    “There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth…It is you. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, success and realization.”

    Your life does not change when your boss, friend or company changes…..your life changes when you change…you go beyond your limiting beliefs and you realize you are the only one responsible for your life.
    It’s the way you face life that makes the difference!

    If an egg is broken from outside force….life ends but if it is broken from inside force life begins. Great things always begin from our inside.

  • Andy Mack

    Tony, Much as I agree that Amy Lawrence isn’t a great font of either Arsenal Knowledge or Football Knowledge in general, I have to say that you keep digging up that dead horse.
    You’re starting to sound like the lazy hacks that get paid to write about football…

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