Arsenal’s striker problem revealed, but where are the apologies?



By Tony Attwood

Quite a few people left very early last night – although mostly they were to be seen hiding their blue and white attire – undoubtedly influenced by the correspondent here recently who seemed to claim he was forced to leave before the end because of the queues at Arsenal underground station (ignoring our advice to walk to Finsbury Park instead).

Still, I suppose they could be excused since the last goal went in with getting on for 30 minutes to spare (including time added on) – although that last half hour was rather jolly from a singing and jumping up and down point of view.  And the football was quite good too.

And in celebrating I was reminded of Havertz, largely because it was impossible not to think about Havertz last night.   And remember what some people have said about him.  Take Just Arsenal who just a few months ago said, “this is a problem Mikel Arteta has created for himself. It was his choice to waste £65 million on Havertz rather than using that money to get a quality striker.

“We all know Havertz underperformed at Chelsea in his three years there so why did Arteta buy him when he could have got a top Premier League player like James Maddison if he wanted a midfielder? We could have bought him and still had change.”

I haven’t checked but I am sure they have apologised.  I’m less sure about Football.London who wrote “Arsenal ought to have used the money spent on Kai Havertz to solve their striker conundrum this summer.”  

So what do they say about our striker problem now that the total lack of Arsenal goals can be seen by one and all…  (tables derived from 11v11).


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 34 24 5 5 82 26 56 77
2 Liverpool 33 22 8 3 75 32 43 74
3 Manchester City 32 22 7 3 76 32 44 73
4 Aston Villa 34 20 6 8 71 50 21 66
5 Tottenham Hotspur 32 18 6 8 65 49 16 60


… although in that regard Villa might be worried not just about goals but also that they are 11 points behind with no games in hand over Arsenal. 

And wasn’t this supposed to be Tottenham’s season?  I seem to remember some comments along those lines.  They could of course win their two spare games and then they too would only be 11 points behind.  And some goals.

So what if we created a table in the order of goals scored – after all goals scored give us the entertainment as we saw last night.  Well, in fact that table above is pretty much it.

For Arsenal, the club that we have been told over and over and over again desperately need a centre forward, are the top scoring club in the league.   Of course yes we must admit that Manchester City have two in hand and might score seven goals to overtake us, but it is always “might” and “could”.  They also might not.   

Still, there must be some way of knocking Arsenal.  That defence of theirs, for example…

Yet it turns out that Arsenal not only have the most points, and have scored the most goals, they also have let in the fewest goals…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 34 24 5 5 82 26 56 77
2 Liverpool 33 22 8 3 75 32 43 74
3 Manchester City 32 22 7 3 76 32 44 73
7 Manchester United 32 15 5 12 47 48 -1 50


and with this table the fact Arsenal have played two more counts even more in our favour, because all those other teams with decent defences have to play some more games and have the chance of letting in some more goals.

Can you bear one more?  Possibly not, but this is rather amusing me so I am going to publish it anyway…  Goal difference


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 34 24 5 5 82 26 56 77
3 Manchester City 32 22 7 3 76 32 44 73
2 Liverpool 33 22 8 3 75 32 43 74
4 Aston Villa 34 20 6 8 71 50 21 66


Actually, this time Tottenham have dropped off the chart and seemingly fallen over the edge.  They have a goal difference of 40 less than Arsenal.  Still it is better than the wonderful awe-inspiring Manchester United of whom so much was said earlier in the season.  Their goal difference is minus one.

But as I am sure someone is going to say soon, it was all a bit of a fluke last night, and Chelsea were particularly poor.  Except the last six games table shows Arsenal top, and would you care to have a look at the number of goals Arsenal have conceded in the last six, and how Arsenal’s goal difference compares to Mancheseer City’s?   If you would this table will help…


Premier League Form (Away)
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 6 5 1 0 22 0 +22 16
2 Man City 6 5 1 0 15 7 +8 16
3 Liverpool 6 4 1 1 15 7 +8 13
4 Aston Villa 6 4 1 1 14 8 +6 13


And we haven’t even thought about Karl Havertz yet.

5 Replies to “Arsenal’s striker problem revealed, but where are the apologies?”

  1. And to cap it all we could well be celebrating St Totteringhams day this coming Sunday. A draw even would be sufficient if my maths is right. All the Spuds fans could join in the celebrations as well as they haven’t had anything of their own to celebrate for many a year.


    This is a follow up to Tony’s recent article “Arteta doesn’t rotate” to “he rotates too much” in one week, in which he looked at the contradictory nature of the media and fans alike.

    So, what I want to know is, given Arteta made 2 changes last night from the team that won at Wolves, did Arteta ‘tinker’ with the team, or did he simply ‘rotate’?

    I think I can answer my own question because it appears to me that the derogatory expression of ‘tinkering’ is what is used when we lose, as was perfectly illustrated by Al m and others pointed out by Tony, following our defeat to Villa, and ‘rotation’ is the term used when we win.

    The ironic thing is, the apparent ‘tinkering’ that occurred in the Villa game consisted of ONE change from our previous PL match against Brighton, where as last night the team consisted of TWO changes from our previous PL game against Wolves.

    So, back to the original question. Did Arteta ‘tinker’ or did he rotate’ ?

    Well, given the emphatic nature of last nights performance I doubt we’ll hear a peep about ‘tinkering’ from all the ‘Hind Sight’ managers such as The Guardian Al m, who will no doubt claim it was simply ‘rotation’, and of course exactly what they would of done.

  3. Also, bear in mind that nobody in the media has any clue about players who may be carrying slight injuries, so that they are not risked for 90 minutes.

    Jesus and Martinelli might recently have been in that category.

  4. John L

    Exactly. I said something similar the other day.

    Not only who is and isn’t carrying knocks, but who is and isn’t showing up in training. Which players recover well/fast and which don’t.

    That’s without taking into account the intimate knowledge all the coaching staff have at their disposal regarding our opponents and the best way to set up against them.

    All that makes the comments of these hind sight managers all the more ridiculous.

    It’s not that we aren’t all entitled to our own ideas, it’s just this notion that they know better than the hapless Arteta and of course we would of won had they been in charge.

    Another point with regards to our useless strikers, it seems they have now secured what could be the vital goal difference battle.

    We currently sit on +56.

    Lets assume to have any chance of winning the title we are going to have to win each of our remaining matches. If we do lets assume we win them all by the minimum margin of 1. That puts us on 89 points with a +60 GD

    Man City are currently on 73 points with a plus +44 GD, which is 16 worse than us. They have 6 matches remaining but for us to have any chance they have to at least draw 1 match giving them a total of 89 points as well. The draw means they have 5 matches to improve their GD by the minimum of 16.

    That means all 5 of the victories have to be by an average of 3 – 0.

    Of course it is possible, they can be prolific, but it will not be easy. And lets not forget we could improve our GD as well with home fixtures against Bournemouth and Everton.

    But of course this all depends on us getting victories at both White Hart Lane and Old Trafford, neither of which will be easy.

  5. To add to all your good points, Arsenal have the most number of clean sheets, highest by a mile.

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