Things are looking grim for Arteta and the Gunners. After a promising start to the Premier League season winning three of four matches, they have only gone on to win one in the next five matches.
However, match results aside, what is more concerning is the lack of opportunities that are being created. Over the last 5 games, Arsenal have had the least potent offence in the entire Premier League.
Arsenal’s offensive performances put them in company with teams such as West Brom and Burnley. Not to take anything away from these clubs, but when you compare the value of Arsenal to them, Arsenal should not be in this conversation. According to transfermarkt.com, the value of Arsenal players is approximately worth £563 M whereas West Brom and Burnley are valued at £135.5 M and £94.9 M respectively. At 4-5x times the value, you expect much more from Arsenal.
In their last match, Arsenal only managed to register 2 shots on target against a Leeds side that has statistically the joint-worst defence in the league.
It has now been 486 minutes since Arsenal have scored a goal from open play in the Premier League.
Where have all the goals gone?
For the last few years, Arsenal have relied on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to supply the goals. In the last two seasons, Aubameyang has scored 44 goals - the most out of any player in the Premier League. So, how is he doing this year? Short answer. Not well.
Arteta has been experimenting with Aubameyang even playing him out of the traditional number nine role. On the weekend against Leeds, Aubameyang started in the middle, but looked completely lost. The change of role is clear when you compare where Aubameyang is getting his touches from this season to last season. Aubameyang’s touches inside the box have decreased 23% (4.4 touches per 90 minutes to 3.3 touches per 90 minutes) and his touches up the pitch, near the half-way line, have increased by 41%. He has also been getting much more of the ball on the left wing where his touches have increased by nearly 15%. Aubameyang is Arsenal’s best player, but he needs to be playing in and around the box to maximise his strengths. By this time last season, Aubameyang had already netted seven goals, compared to his measly two this campaign.
The core of the problem for Arsenal is that they are are lacking creative midfielders who able to service the strikers such as Aubameyang. Actually, they do have one...
Yes, that’s right - Mesut Ozil has created the second most chances for Arsenal since last season despite only playing 18 games. In those games, Ozil was creating twice as many chances as the next best Arsenal creator.
With Ozil definitely not coming back, a red to Pepe in the last match and a potential injury to young-gun Saka, Arteta is going to have to find something novel to turn things around for Arsenal this weekend. And things won’t get that much easier either, as Arsenal are hosting Wolves who hold the joint-best defensive record in the league, only conceding 10 goals this season so far.
Do you think Arsenal will be able to turn around its poor form and get a win this weekend?
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