A headline in the Mirror announces that “Arsenal sign Lionel Messi double nicknamed ‘Tekkers Guru’ to boost Gunners attack.”
And it is not just there for the story has turned up in the Mail as well with the headline Arsenal ‘hire ex-Hashtag United star. The player, they say, is known as the Tekkers Guru, and he is an attacking who will be joining from next season “to provide specialist and technical assistance to Premier League leaders’ forwards’ as Mikel Arteta seeks more efficiency in the final third,”
This is the headline in The Mail, so the story is probably untrue. And if indeed Arsenal have done this I just don’t get it. I’m all for innovation and exploring the possibility of improving the team with any means at our disposal, but honestly where has this notion that we are ‘inefficient’ in attack come from?
As far as I can tell from ‘what I see with my own eyes,’ we are already pretty efficient in attack. We are the 2nd top goal scorers, plus we also have the second best goal difference, and have failed to score just once all season. Seems pretty efficient to me.
So me being me, I thought I’d check the stats. I wasn’t going to compare us with every team but I hope you’ll agree making a comparison with Manchester City is pretty fair.
So ‘efficiency’? What exactly do they mean by efficiency? Well, as far as I’m concerned it has to mean:
- How efficient are we at creating chances, or shots at goal?
- How efficient are we at getting those shots at goal on target?
- How efficient are we at turning those shots on target into goals?
This is how we compare to the team most people still seem to think will win the league.
The comparison is made easier than might otherwise be the case as both teams have played 17 matches.
- Shots = 269
- On Target = 97
- Goals = 40
- 1 in 2.70 shots at goal are on target
- 1 in 2.40 shots O/T turn in to goals
- Shots = 301
- On Target = 103
- Goals = 45
- 1 in 2.90 shots at goal are on target
- 1 in 2.28 shots O/T turn in to goals
So in both parameters, we are more ‘efficient’ than Manchester City
And if you look at the second half of the season so far, which means looking at the last nine games, the figures look like this:
- ARSENAL shots to shots on target = 1 in 2.80
- MANCHESTER CITY shots to shots on target = 1 in 3.30
- ARSENAL shots on target to goals = 1 in 2.3
- MANCHESTER CITY shots on target to goals = 1 in 3.0
As far as I can see, if anyone has a problem with ‘efficiency’ in attack it’s Man City, as not only is their efficiency worse than us, it is getting less and less efficient as the season goes on.
Is that because team defences, are gradually getting a handle on their goal machine Harlaand? I don’t know. I have heard mumblings that Man City are actually a better ‘TEAM’ without him, although that does seem rather strange.
Manchester City’s two games against Chelsea may or may not be evidence of that. I’m not really sure, but there is certainly something causing their ‘efficiency’ in front of goal to waiver, whereas ours has stayed pretty much at the same level all season, a level that is consistently in excess Manchester City.
So I ask again, where is this ‘inefficiency in attack’ problem we are supposed to have, which makes us need to go out and hire an obscure because I can’t see it. Or could it be that having run out of the normal put-down stories someone, somewhere has invented something utterly bizarre just to fill up space and make Arsenal look foolish?
But no, surely no journalist would ever do something as stupid as that.
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