Of all 54 goals Arsenal have scored in all competitions this season, Auba put away 16 of which 14 were scored in the league (almost 50% of all Arsenal’s 29 PL goals). As you know Gabon’s fastest gazelle is one of the most efficient strikers Arsenal have every had and we have become very dependent on him. Paradoxically PEA’s individual success, however vital it has proved to be until now, may keep us from scoring more goals as a team. We have become far too one-dimensional up-front and that is one of the main reasons we find ourselves mid-table these days.
However, he is suspended for the next three games and, who knows, he may even be sold before the end of the transfer window this month.
Who is going to step into his large boots in the meantime?
The three main options are Laca, Pepe and Martinelli, but Eddie is back now too, so he may take his chance. And then there is Saka who looks the real deal. As a matter of fact I don’t really care who scores the goals as long as we get more than enough of them to win games, but every team has one or two prolific goal scorers and with Auba out somebody will have to fill the void. It is just the way it works.
Our second best striker over all competitions are not the experienced and expensive Laca or Pepe but young Martinelli, who scores a goal every 115 minutes, even better than Auba with an average of 134 minutes. Gabriel has 8 goals, Laca 6 (203 minutes per goal) and Pepe, THE disappointment of the season until now, has 5 goals (267 minutes per goal).
Furthermore, we get very few goals from midfield with no goals from Mesut and Granit, and two from Torreira. Young Joe Willock is by far our most productive central midfielder with four goals to his name this season, but in the PL games he still lacks the confidence and panache to find the net.
It is not a great story is it? Arsenal may have had leaky defenses over the years but goals we have always scored with relative ease. Not so this season, so far.
But sweet are the uses of adversity and now Auba’s attacking competitors will get a chance to show us what they’ve got. I really don’t know who is most likely to fill the void and I welcome your predictions fine fellow BKers!
Laca works hard but doesn’t seem to have the energy to remain calm at the moment he needs to pounce. Hopefully this will improve. Pepe appears to be very one-footed and lacks the confidence/drive to skin a defender or two: he really has to step it up now. Martinelli is awesome for his age but scoring regularly in the PL would be another big step up for him: can he do it? Maybe it is Eddie’s time. Can he do it after a lukewarm half-season at Leeds United? Saka may be needed in defence but he really can make a difference for us up-front; he has such ability to be both energetic and calm at the same time – a sign of a true quality player.
Let’s wait and see. I am hoping that this line-up will make us forget the Gabonese Super-Gunner for a few games and get us more than our 1.3 goal per PL game on average (players on the left are my first choice / players on the right second choice):