Is Arsenal a one man team?

By Walter Broeckx

Over the last months we have heard the media coming up with the phrase that Arsenal is a one man team. One could say this is another fine example of the laziness from the journalists.

Now of course I am the last person to take anything away from what Alexis has brought to Arsenal. I must say that he has far exceeded my expectations. I am amazed, thrilled, over the moon about Alexis. He is one of the most remarkable players I have seen.

And let me give you another interesting fact. We all talk about Messi being a midget. But the fact is that Alexis is 1 cm smaller than Messi. And yet he is such a giant on the field.  I must say I was stunned when my boss who is a big Barcelona and Alexis fan told me that fact. And I didn’t believe him at first. But then I tried to look it up and if one can believe Wikipedia (I know…) it really is a fact. I must say I never noticed that on the field. And it sure doesn’t hold him back when he is battling it out against much bigger opponents.

Alexis is hot. Alexis is wonderful. Alexis is probably the best player in the PL this season so far. And that for a small player who is having his first season in the PL! But the question is: is Arsenal a one man team?

And then the only answer that we can give is : no. Because if we look at all competitions so far this season we find that Arsenal is the team that has the most different players scoring goals. Arsenal have 18 different players who have scored a goal so far this season. And no other team in Europe or in the PL has done the same.

I must admit that in Europe we have Barcelona who have 17 different goal scorers. So that is close. If Alexis would have stayed there it might have been the reversed role between our clubs. But then again then we would have bought another striker as Wenger said after last season that we needed to score more goals and so it was obvious that he would try to reinforce that department. And so he did.

In the PL we have 3 teams who have had 16 different goal scorers. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are those teams. If I remember correct Manchester United only have 11 different goal scorers so far this season.

But according to the journalists Arsenal are the one man team. Alexis FC. Yes the contribution of Alexis is big. But so is the contribution of the rest of the team to help him deliver. And remember our team has been cut to pieces by injuries in the first half of the season. Big injuries to key players like Özil, Walcott, Giroud, Koscielny, Debuchy…. the list is long and goes on and on.

Another way of looking in to the numbers is seeing how much the contribution of top scorers is for their team. And if we take the top 4 top scorers only PL matches, we have Costa with 17, Aguero with 14, Austin with 13 goals and then Alexis with 12 goals.

And if we then compare this with how many goals came from their top scorer in relation with the total goals scored we get this:

Austin scored 56% of the QPR goals so far this season.

Costa scored 33% of the Chelsea goals so far this season.

Aguero scored 31% of the Manchester City goals so far this season.

Alexis scored 30% of the Arsenal goals so far this season.

So if we really want to go down the ‘one man team’ talk from the pundits and journalists we can only come to the conclusion that QPR is the real one man team in the PL.

And then we see that both Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are really close. But the numbers say that both Costa and Aguero have scored a higher % of their club goals scored so far.

And I don’t read the media that much but I read about the media and therefore hear what they are inventing and I did hear the Arsenal being a one man team. But I never heard the Chelsea being a one man team. Or Manchester City being a one man team. No for them it is only Arsenal that are a one man team. Lazy journalism as Tony would call it.

Could we do without Alexis? Hell no. Losing him would be an immense loss. It sure would handicap us. But so would Chelsea suffer when Costa would not score his goals. Or so would City suffer if Aguero would not be able to play. That is what having a mega player brings to a team. What would Barcelona be if Messi would be out for months? Or Real Madrid if they would lose Ronaldo?  Or come to that…. how much did Arsenal suffer from losing Özil for so long this and last season? Or come to that…how much did Arsenal suffer from losing Theo Walcott for so long last and this season? Or Ramsey….

That is the risk of having players like Özil, Alexis, Walcott and Ramsey in your team. When they are fit and in form they can perform on a high level and bring you points. When they are out and injured you can suffer from losing them. I still am convinced that without the injuries from Theo, Ramsey and Özil we might have won the league last season. And with having them fit and in form from the start of this season we would be sitting near the top of the table.

Arsenal are more than Alexis FC. But I sure admit that I love seeing him play and I am very happy that Wenger brought him to our club. As he is a joy to watch and I have never seen a star player working so hard.  Number wise we aren’t a one man team. But I do admit that his match mentality is bringing something extra special to our team. In that way you might say that he is a one man team.

11 Replies to “Is Arsenal a one man team?”

  1. Excellent piece, Walter.

    After Van Persie had signed for United, he became their top scorer and the one who bailed them out in a lot of situations (just take a look how many games United won 3:2 thanks to Van Persie’s goal(s) in the last Ferguson’s year at helm). Now, nobody said that United were Van Persie FC even if his percentage of United goals at one point was bigger than the one he had had in his last season in Arsenal.

    Alexis is a world-class player, no doubt about it, but it might be the best for him and all of us not to see him playing against Anthony Villa on Sunday and that might be the reason why Wenger mentioned the whole hamstring story. We had lost Chamberlain last season for six months in that fixture.

  2. So far this season, Man Utd could be described as a one-man team, based on their dependence on De Gea’s performances.

  3. @john – yes, they would have lost both against us and Liverpool hadn’t De Gea given two world-class performances. It’s no wonder they rely so much on De Gea as their defence in total doesn’t have an IQ of, say, Nemanja Vidić.

    Speaking of Alexis… I think that he has benefited a lot from our high pressing game but that hasn’t worked for our defence (especially Mertesacker). When our back-line stands deeper, Alexis is still outstanding but has less goal-scoring opportunities. Which I don’t mind at all. I’ve said it many times and I will repeat it: I consider him as our biggest defensive reinforcement. All those magnificent goals and assists are just a bonus.

  4. With Alexis in the Gunners starts, Arsenal are not far from becoming a one man team. But the statistics has proved that the Gunners aren’t that a one man team goal-scoring wise. But do heavily dependent on Alexis goals and general team game contribution. Since that hamstring issue has flared up on him, I am sure the boss will rest him for the Spurs game. So too I want the boss to still rest Cazorla for the big game at the Lane. I believe the boss can still conjure a start that will collect all the 3 points at stake from the encounter with the Villans. In this wise, I making a start that I believe will rusticate the Villans from the Emirates stadium. My Rusticating Gunners Starts: Szczesny. Bellerin;Rhinosacker;Koscielny;Monreal. Flamini;Coquelin. Walcott;Ozil;Ramsey. Giroud. in a 4-2-3-1 playing formation. My Bench: Ospina;Gibbs;Chambers;Paulista;Rosicky;Akpom;Gnabry.

  5. Then the repo I get why didn’t you win the league. Simple stupid tackles with no ref protection.

  6. I like the way this article uses figures, facts, evidence to disprove yet another anti-Arsenal mantra of the media.

    I had another thought about Alexis. A lot has been written about how he has inspired his Arsenal team mates. Now I see the same thing being written about Costa, how he has inspired Chelsea. The contrast – Alexis is a player who demonstrates brilliant talent and clean play. Costa is a very talented player who plays dirty.

    This contrast seems to highlight the difference between the teams and the managers as well.

  7. Some even say that arsenal will be a mid table team without his goals, forgetting that he’ll be replaced by another player who will make his own contributions to the team. I took away goals by other top players like messi, Ronaldo, and even the stamper Costa,and noticed that there teams won’t fare any better.

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