West Ham United 0 Arsenal 6: what does this tell us about where Arsenal is going?


By Tony Attwood

Here’s the league table after the Arsenal game today…



Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 24 16 6 2 55 23 32 54
2 Manchester City 23 16 4 3 56 25 31 52
3 Arsenal 24 16 4 4 53 22 31 52
4 Tottenham Hotspur 24 14 5 5 51 36 15 47


It gives a different perspective from that which we have felt of late, with the notion of two other teams creeping further and further away from Arsenal.    And I am not writing this with a thesis that Arsenal are, because of today’s fine win, going on to win the league.   

Rather my interest and of course my concern is whether Arsenal are consistently building on the achievements of last season or whether the club is stagnating, or even getting worse as some bloggers have suggested (seeing that Arsenal are not at this moment building on last season’s advances).

As things stand, on goals scored, we are just two goals behind Liverpool after having to listen to regular demands for Arsenal to bring in a striker which  I have not thought we urgently needed.   

And I have this view because of the point that the superb progress last season was in part achieved by spreading the goals around between different players.

Yes having a centre forward such as Manchester City has can bring success – of course that is true.  But it also brings a danger – when the player gets injured.  And it is a fact that the number of such players available is small.  Many a player has looked to be the salvation in waiting when it comes to delivering record numbers but upon moving to a new club, turns out not to be able to deliver.

And there is a second point that is not a new one but needs repeating. Arsenal have the best defence in the league and we should notice that at the moment I write this, after the Arsenal game, the top three teams now have very similar goal differences.   These are all very encouraging signs.

But the issue of spreading the goals around, which we noticed so much last season, is one that deserves far more attention than it gets.   Journalists focus on individual players because it is easier for them to do so.  But Arsenal uses which is the opposite of Manchster City’s.   Arsenal spreads the goals around.   We did it last season, and we are doing it again.

2023/4: Arsenal top goal scorers (league games only)


Sqd Player Goals 2023/24 Goals 2022/23
7 Bukayo Saka 8 14
11 Gabriel Martinelli 5 15
14 Eddie Nketiah 5 4
19 Leandro Trossard 5 1
9 Gabriel Jesus 4 11
29 Kai Havertz 4
8 Martin Odegaard 4 15


If we take where Arsenal have got to so far this season as a team, we can see that taking today’s situation and extending it to the end of the season, Arsenal will be projected to end up with 84 goals – just four fewer than last campaign.

Better still this season we are on track to concede only 35 goals.  Last season it was 43.  So using the projections based on the season so far our goal difference will be +49.  Last season it was +45.

Now of course projections like this never turn out to be exactly right, but what figures such as these show is that progress is being made and they also show that the approach of spreading the goals out between the players is once more working – just as it did last season.

While seemingly every other club goes down the usual route of looking for a single goalscorer who will aim for 20 goals a season, it is possible and indeed even desirable to go down the multiple goalscorers route.

Desirable because if you have five players in the team who are knocking in the goals, it makes it harder to defend against, and the club has cover in case one or even two of the top scorers get injured.

Now this is not an approach that is often used, and I am not sure that anyone has taken it as far as Arsenal have, but it is certainly an interesting approach, and appears to be delivering the results.


5 Replies to “West Ham United 0 Arsenal 6: what does this tell us about where Arsenal is going?”

  1. If I read this table correctly, there are thus 18 more goals scored by around 15 players of Arsenal, none having scored more then 3.
    That is what I call spreading the goals, is it not ?

    Just a small comment on the post match comments on Sky. I don’t know if anyone took notice, but the only team Arsenal were compared with statistically were City which I found weird as, looking at the table, Pool! and Sp*rs are still in the running, insisting on goal difference. Yet both were just ignored. They just push their agenda regardless of the realities of the competition.

  2. Tony, I count:
    10 for Bukayo
    Home (5): Forest, Fulham, Spuds, Wolves, Liverpool
    Away (5): Bournemouth, Fulham, Forest, WHam 2
    6 for Trossard
    Home (3): Burnley, Palace, Liverpool
    Away (3): Everton, Chelsea, Wham
    … and you left BigGab out!! – he has 4 too
    Home (2): Palace 2
    Away (2): Liverpool, WHam
    … you’re not implying he will stop there, are you??
    What-A-Game, and how mature they were, these boys – for this is still a young team as I, for one, tend to forget, sometimes …

  3. Yet another awesome win. The only disappointment being it could have been 10, 12, 14….or more!

    What annoyed me but was completely unsurprising in that at, 3-0 up, I still had to listen to Sky telling me about what West Ham were doing so well, how they had been unfortunate, and Arsenal were “not bad” (yet they were still so optimistic about how West Ham could still win……despite having not had a shot on target!). FFS!

    Of course, an hour later, they realised that following that agenda would, to the neutral viewer, show them to be complete and utter biased bigots that they are, so they changed their tune (through gritted teeth) and actually suggested that we weren’t too bad! I often watch streams of away games in a language I don’t understand……………so much better. Having said that, I have several foreign mates who watch in English are as appalled as I am about the bias.


  4. @Mkey,

    Reading online, all I read is basically that WHAM were bad, worse, worse then bad which makes the Arsenal victory look like it was just easy.

    No one admits that Arsenal just went into the game with a ‘no prisonners’ attitude and obliterated them, gicing them no chance. If they were so bad, it was because Arsenal made them so. Not because they had a bad breakfast, were missing Taylor Swift (because she was on a plane going to Vegas…) or whatever excuse.

  5. I was thinking that at 4-0 at the break , that we were about to break the record for most goals scored , which for us was 10-0 against Longsborough Town , but it was at home ! And more than a centuary ago . But still it was impressive seeing that it was away from home.
    Well done lads , do chip away at the other teams , while hoping that someone else will do as a favour !
    Up the Gunners !

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