Do Arsenal need to become more efficient in front of goal?




By Nitram

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.

Would they?


6 Replies to “Do Arsenal need to become more efficient in front of goal?”

  1. Not sure how much more ‘goal efficiency’ can improve when it is almost impossible for Arsenal to get penalty kicks awarded to them…

  2. Whilst you’re probably right, it’s click bait, when you are elite, there’s no harm in looking to improve upon what you are already good at, it’s better than stagnating. Usually you look at the areas you are weak at and improve those first though, however, I’m not seeing much weakness.
    What i suspect though is that teams will now analyse or attacks more, work out how to defend against us, and reduce our efficiency, which is what they try to do against Man City (teams don’t expect to beat them, they look for a defensive draw, whereas up to now, teams have thought they might beat Arsenal).

  3. Chris

    “there’s no harm in looking to improve upon what you are already good at, it’s better than stagnating.”

    I couldn’t agree more, but that surely applies to everyone, and as such this is just another example of ‘Lawrenceing’?

    In other words, yes, fundamentally true, but without context it is implying that Arsenal are somehow unique in this need to address attacking inefficiencies, when that is clearly not true.

  4. IMHO I cannot find any fault at Arsenal hiring a coach who has knowledge and talent. More and more, we see that specialist coaches are becoming a standard fixture in managing teams.

    So what is wrong if they get a good one for the attacking players ? We have a whole bunch of academy players coming through the ranks, they are in need of all coaching, advice, help they can get. So, I just don’t get why Arsenl FC’s decision should be derided or criticised.

    However, the spin put by the deadwood journalsts stating Arsenal are lacking efficiency is definitely crap as Tony has clearly demonstrated.

    So why don’t we welcome the addition to the coaching staff and sti back to enjoy Arsenal scoring many more goals ?

  5. Am I missing a trick here. You do not provide any quotes from either paper claiming inefficiency. A partial quote is provided saying Arteta wants more efficiency. Well, I’m all for that. Good for Arteta doing something about it.

    Now I have absolutely no time for the Mail or the Mirror. I do not take much notice of them. But are you re-acting to something that wasn’t there in the first place?

    I am not going to go looking up articles in either of these rags. So unless you can provide quotes from either source stating in-efficiency on Arsenal’s part, all I can say is calm down.

  6. Gooner from Victoria, I think there is a different perspective that can be taken here. The regular articles about Arsenal that appear in the British media and elsewhere on line put across their inefficiency message, and have done so across the years through endless suggestion. That suggestion is maintained by regularly running the same sort of articles, many of which are not only cited on this site but have links to them.
    The fact that you are not willing to follow up these links by looking up the articles doesn’t change the impact of the articles through their constant drip-drip-drip approach which basically says “Arsenal could do far better”.
    In short, your action, or inaction in the affair, is irrelevant to the point in question. The articles remain what they are, whether you read them or not. What you are exhibiting is known as “solipsism syndrome” – you can of course live with it, but it does provide certain barriers to understanding the real world.

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