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May 2021
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What has happened to two of last season’s goalscorers?

By Tony Attwood

It was interesting that after we published our little piece at noon yesterday Emery v Arteta; how they compare several drainpipes (sorry, “outlets”) picked up on the fact that ahead of the game Messrs Emery and Arteta, had managed virtually the same number of games at Arsenal

Stranger still these “outlets” even started quoting win ratios, something that we’ve noted off and on for 12 years but again the media hasn’t considered much… until this moment.

Of course they may have done their own research (after all it is not that difficult) but given their normal dislike of actual facts and figures,  I thought it was a funny coincidence. 

But anyway the knives are being sharpened because the fact is that Mr Arteta has not done as well as Mr Emery after 78 games at the club when measuring the win ratio.  But he is of course leading 1-0 on the trophy ranking.

As for the game 2-1 is a much better score than 2-0 because of the away goals thing, and the fact (that the media really won’t ever admit) that we have a decent defence.  The fourth best defence in the league in fact, just two goals more conceded than Manchester United and fewer let in than the eternally praised Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool.

So if they can do their job next week, we just need to sneak that one goal.  But it is in the realms of attack that we are lacking.  

Pos Team Played Goals Scored Goals per game
1 Manchester City 33 69 2.09
2 Manchester United 33 64 1.94
3 Leicester City 33 60 1.82
4 Tottenham Hotspur 33 56 1.70
5 Liverpool 33 55 1.67
6 West Ham United 33 53 1.61
7 Chelsea 33 51 1.55
8 Leeds United 33 50 1.52
9 Aston Villa 32 46 1.44
10 Everton 32 44 1.38
11 Arsenal 33 44 1.33

And yet whichever way I look at it, it shouldn’t be like this.  With both Lacazette and Aubameyang available for much of the season, and with such creative work from Smith Rose and Saka not to mention Odegaard more recently, that ought to work.

But the goals are not coming

Player Games Sub Goals Penalties Goals per start
Alexandre Lacazette 28 11 17 4 0.61
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 28 6 14 2 0.50
Nicolas Pépé 26 16 11 2 0.62
Bukayo Saka 37 4 7 0.19
Eddie Nketiah 14 14 6 0.43

If we compare this with last season we can see that Lacazette has indeed become more productive, as has Pépé.  But the big difference is that Martinelli and Willock have not been there.

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Player Games Sub Goals Penalties Goals per start
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 41 3 29 3 0.71
Alexandre Lacazette 30 9 12 0.40
Gabriel Martinelli 15 11 10 0.66
Nicolas Pépé 29 13 8 2 0.28
Joe Willock 20 24 5 0.25

Martinelli and Willock contributed 15 goals between them last season, Martinelli has got one this season and Willock went to Newcastle.

Now of course I don’t know why these decisions have been made, but with Martinelli it has not been injury.  This season he is recorded as having been injured for nine days and so been unavailable for two games.   This compares with a huge amount of the 2019/20 season when he is listed as being unavailable for 188 days of the season.

Maybe he lost form, or maybe he was another of those players who Mr Arteta dropped for disciplinary reasons – of course I don’t know.  But I have aired my disquiet before about the number of times disciplinary matters arise and it must be considered as a possibility.

Now it may well be that because of his hard line with the likes of Ozil, Guendouzi and Aubameyang (and possibly Martinelli) the manager has now got a squad that is utterly compliant to his wishes.  And certainly we have to admit that Xhaka seems to be playing very well after an earlier disciplinary altercation.  

But I never had the feeling under Mr Wenger that discipline was causing players to lose form or not be played at all.   He clearly had players in his squad who were harder to keep under control, but whatever he did it was only made public when Bendtner was spotted in night clubs.

I might be on the wrong track here, but it does seem to me disappointing to say the least that Martinelli, having contributed 15 goals last season, in a season interrupted by injury, has had so few opportunities this season.

I suspect we could lose him, and I fear he might then become a great talent elsewhere.  That has happened before at Arsenal of course, but that’s not really an excuse for it seemingly happening again.

Football: the great reform bill and the breakaway

4 comments to What has happened to two of last season’s goalscorers?

  • Yep, Gabi, Joe, (HUGE SIGH) …
    and in 2018-2019, Reiss Nelson scored 7 in 587 minutes for Hoffenheim (the youngest player to ever reach that tally in the bundesliga, I think). Nagelsmann – who coached him then, and who has just been appointed at Bayern, who usually know what they’re doing – is rumoured to have said about him: “he has the abilities to reach the levels of elite players in football such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Arjen Robben …”; the way Arteta has treated him so far is truly heartbreaking. Not to mention that all freshness, instinct, “innocence” seem to have gone off Eddie’s game as well …
    There’s also Emi, Ainsley, Hector … I’ll watch the Youth Cup game tonight, and I’m looking forward to it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our lads (and/or or their parents-advisers) were starting to wonder if Arsenal’s really the place where their talent will be rewarded (even though Folarin’s signing was great news, of course).
    I was born in the late 1950’s, and I’m old enough to have been offered one of those “Little Chemist” boxes at Christmas. Yesterday night I had the feeling Arsenal had become the “Little Chemist” box of a spoilt child, with this City’s copycat setup … Of course, with Luiz/Tierney/Aubazette back (at this point, only cool-headed, experienced players can save us), there’s more than an outside chance we might make it to Gdansk, but I do hope our young manager (I don’t want him gone) will admit to his mistakes, and learn from them, as AW did from the blows he took at Nancy-Monaco

  • Menace

    Our defence may be excellent but our concession of gift goals can be crucial. The passing from the back and the intelligence of Leno leaves a lot to be desired. His training should include lots of ball handling and avoidance of foot work. He has a very risky attitude of straying off his goal area, allowing a long ball to score without his intervention.

    Defensive errors are intolerable when our goal scoring is sparse.

    Partey should be coached in the art of kicking. His attempts of long shots work well in Rugby.

  • porter

    Firstly on the subject of discipline ill or otherwise there was Szczesny who incidently I would have back in a heartbeat . Apart from thinking him to be a better keeper than Leno I believe he still would rate as home grown.

    Martinelli is a conundrum . To the naked eye he seems to be the player that we are crying out for. He’s industrious , quick , dangerous and doesn’t stop running. He has a record of goalscoring and actually can head the ball . Whether his chances are limited because of Arteta not wanting to promote him over Willian as has been suggested. We will never know but I hope that he is not on the to be sold to raise cash list.

    Five league matches to go , we can’t go down and are extremely unlikely to make up enough ground to qualify for any competition that we may want to. So lets see Nelson , Martinelli , Balogun , Nketiah , Azeez etc and give them the experience and let us see how they react and whether we can add them to Willock and AMN for next season . Just playing out the season with the same old faces gets us nowhere.

  • Goonergerry

    I thought it was a poor collective and tactical performance despite the best efforts of a few individuals and we were fortunate with the result.
    Let’s hope we can do better in the second leg. As we did against Slavia Prague.

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