By Tony Attwood
According to an article in the Daily Mirror, for Arsenal “there’s a crisis waiting just around the corner.” And that crisis is …
“After allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join Barcelona in February, the Gunners have just two senior strikers on their books – Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah – and both of them are out of contract in June. It’s unclear whether they’ll stay at the club.
“Even if Lacazette and Nketiah decide to extend their respective deals, Arsenal still need to bring in more firepower up front. Mikel Arteta’s side have scored just 44 Premier League goals this season, the lowest amount among the current top seven.”
So let’s see if we can find this so-called crisis.
We know that for the opening three games of the season we really did have a crisis, with most of the team missing through covid and other issues. Had this been Liverpool, then after a sneeze or two the games would have been off, but no, Arsenal were forced to play.
So, because these were the first three of the season, and because Arsenal are behind most other teams in terms of games played it makes sense to see what everyone has been doing over the last 25 games. A current form table, over the last 90% of the season.
And because the Mirror has chosen just to talk about goals scored, and because, judging by this article (not to mention some other prize haddocks in recent months) I am going to keep this simple so that even their journalists might have a chance to understand.
This is the league table over the last 25 games for each club just showing the goals, goal difference and points.
|7||West Ham United||25||38||32||6||40|
Last season with Aubameyang and Lacazette in the Arsenal team, the average was 1.45 goals per game. Two seasons ago, with Aubameyang and Lacazette it was 1.47 goals per game. So we have the picture – over two seasons Arsenal were scoring 1.45 to 1.47 goals per game. That is fairly consistent.
And that was with Lacazette and Aubameyang in the team.
Over the last 25 games, without Aubameyang in the team for much of the season, the goals per game ratio has gone UP to 1.76 goals per game. Aubameyang got seven, Lacazette has got six.
So this season with Aubameyang leaving and Lacazetter having got just half a dozen goals we have been scoring at a much higher ratio.
Now I am not saying that it would not be nice to score more goals. But at the current rate and with Lacazette only knocking in a few and Aubameyang not present we will end up with 60 goals. If we work on the basis of the last 25 games, thus excluding those first three games when we didn’t have most of the team present, we will end up with 67 goals.
Now I am not saying that this is enough. Not at all. But I am critical of the Mirror’s view this is a crisis that means we must buy.
I do of course realise that given the sheer and utter lunacy of most of the Mirror’s ramblings, their writers probably don’t realise that you don’t get points for goals. But on the other hand goal difference can count, so let’s take a look at that.
And because I know the Mirrovians are simple folk, I will make the table as simple as possible. This is the league across the last ten games showing just goals scored, goals against, goal difference and points.
Across the last ten games Arsenal have 17 goals just one fewer than Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. AND THAT IS A CRISIS!!!!
And since there are no points for scoring let’s look at the thing that can affect one’s position in the table: goal difference. We have the fourth-best goal difference in the league across the last ten games.
But yes that is only the last ten games. Let’s do the last 25 – so just leaving out the three games at the end of the season where, had we been Liverpool later in the season, we would have had the games postponed.
And would you believe it – Tottenham who have the greatest goalscorer in the history of the universe (according to the media) – well they must have scored thousands more than poor, pathetic Arsenal because they have THE MAN who has got 22 goals this season. Wow they must be top of the league because a top goalscorer is exactly what Arsenal need. I know this because the Mirror says so.
But no, hang on Tottenham and Arsenal have each scored 44 goals. And the Daily Mirror isn’t saying that Tottenham are in a crisis. (Why is that?)
|7||West Ham United||25||38||32||6||40|
We are still third in the league on points in this table, but hey what’s this, we are the fourth top-scoring team in the league, just seven goals behind Chelsea across 25 games.
As you will know, Arsenal has been progressing through the season, and the club is continuing to progress having brought in a new defence during the course of the summer. Whether you look at the form table for the last six games or the last 25 games Arsenal has been having a good season.
Not perfect of course, but much better than the last two seasons – but (and this is the biggie) look at the points per game. 1.47 in 2019/20. 1.60 in 2020/21. 1.92 across all this season. 2.16 across the last 25 games this season.
So this is progress no matter how one looks at it. Last season with Aubameyang and Lacazette it was 1.45 goals per game. Two seasons ago, with Aubameyang and Lacazette it was 1.47 goals per game. Now we are running at 2.16 goals per game. And the Mirror wants us to go back to the Auba Laca model.
Why does the Mirror want this? Is it
a) because their writers have no idea what they are talking about?
b) because they know that Arsenal are on the right track and having a top scorer in the team like Tottenham have is likely to disrupt Arsenal’s progress – which is what they have been predicting for years.
I leave you to decide.
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