/1Arsenal managed to score 65 PL goals last season, six goals less than top scorers Man Citeh, and three less than the League winners, Leicester City. The Northern Oilers have Aguero and the Foxes have Vardy who both scored 24 PL goals, and we have Giroud (16) and Alexis (13)…. and Theo (5)…Danny (4) and Ox (1). We aim to spread the goals rather than focus on the one super central forward, and I feel that if we had had more goals from the right side – so from Theo, Ox and Danny – we may have won the PL title this year. Of course there are more factors to winning the PL, but the lack of goals from the right wing combined with a simultaneous drought by Ollie and Alexis in the late winter months proofed to be very costly.
It also seems that the team ‘outsourced’ the PL assists responsibilities to Mesut Ozil. MO11 produced a whopping 19 assists, followed in the far distance by Ollie (6) and Hector Vector (5). We know that, as to be expected, MO11 was not able to keep up his incredible assists rate and we needed others to step up. It is only then that we felt we were really missing Santi, even though he only managed to produce three assists in 1239 PL minutes before his injury. However, Santi’s added assists’ and ‘key passes’ threat seems to alleviate the pressure on Ozil, which probably helps him to be more productive. Of course, there may be other factors involved here, like Giroud’s and Alexis’ lack of focus and/or confidence during their barren spell.
The main worry I have is the lack of assists by the players who were more often than not stationed on the ‘wings’: Ox, Theo, Sanchez and Danny managed to produce a paltry eight PL assists, just as many as Hector Vector (5) and Nacho (3) combined!
Iwobi and Joel added two each and Rambo has four in total, some of these will have come from the wing I reckon. You could argue what is wrong with that: just like our goals we like to spread our assists and many have contributed to our ‘assists from wing positions’?! And you would have a point.
But can we really be satisfied with only producing eight assists from our main wing players: Theo, Alexis, Ox and Danny? I know that they suffered from injuries and or lack of confidence, but surely we need more assists AND goals from the wings if we want to push on? (Theo, Ox and Danny managed to score just ten goals between them, and that in 2878 minutes of total PL football on the pitch.)
17HT argues that our system has our ‘mid wingers’ play too narrow and we rely too much on the FBs to provide the width AND penetration/key passes. Eight PL assists by our FBs is not bad of course, but is it enough in our system? The mid wingers tend to move central and we often have three or more nr.10s seemingly overcrowding the central area… rather than players stretching opponents on the wing and penetrating into the box from there. Yet only Ozil produces a fantastic assist rate, whereas Theo, Alexis, Ox and Danny can just manage eight between them in 5300 of combined PL minutes. Surely, they need to be, and can be, more effective?! On top of this, Ollie – and also Danny when played as CF – is often alone in the box when the ball gets eventually played in with not enough players positioning themselves in key attacking areas, making it relatively easy for the opposition to defend our hard-worked balls into the box…
So what should we do?
- Get traditional wingers who stick to their task?
- Get a more lethal, traditional CF who bangs in 25 PL goals rather than ‘just 16’, and more assists will come from the wing as a result?
- Change our system of play altogether?
- Demand more positional discipline from our current crop of mid wingers?
- Focus on the FBs becoming more lethal both in terms of assists and goals?
Over to you fine fellow Gooners!