So the Gunners have now completed three full games without putting the ball in the back of the net once, but last night against Southampton it certainly wasn’t through lack of chances. The first half was a bit more even and it was Mesut Ozil that came the closest a few times and we had to wait until the 44th minute before we saw Olivier Giroud kneeling down with his head in his hands, which is traditional celebration after a miss….
The second half was all Arsenal and we created chance after chance, but Frazer Foster either got lucky or skillful every single time to deny us the lead. Arsene Wenger bemoaned the Gunners’ finishing, especially considering that we had 70 per cent possession and 22 shots on goal!
He was asked after the game if he found it frustrating: “It is,” he said. “Because we produced quite a good performance, especially in the second half when we created 10 goal chances. At the end of the day we came out with no goals. I believe the performance we wanted to produce was there, but we can not be happy with the way we finished our chances. I think what’s most disappointing is some players missed some chances that usually they would take. Our finishing is very bad at the moment – we have played three (league) games now without scoring a goal. In all those three games we had chances that we didn’t take. At that level it’s important.
“We started slowly but in the first half Ozil had two great chances. It’s true we started slowly, a bit nervous because we lost our last game at home. But in the second half it was one-way traffic. We still couldn’t score. We didn’t make enough of our set pieces, we didn’t take them well, we didn’t finish well. It’s just that our finishing was very poor.”
Wenger was asked if he thought Foster was the main reason Arsenal couldn’t score, and he replied: “He had a good game, a brilliant game, but you expect that. You rate the quality of the chances you create and the quality of the finishing. The quality of the chances we created today, considering it’s a Premier League game, was high. The quality of the finishing was poor. That differential explains the 0-0.
“It’s maximum frustrating, when your team puts the energy in and creates the chances. When you have no chances you come out of the game thinking ‘OK, there was not more in it.’ When you come out and you think there was much more in the game like that (tonight), when you have our ambition of course it’s frustrating.”
With the quality of the players on the pitch it seems amazing that we can’t score. Even with Walcott joining Giroud for the last half hour it simply wouldn’t click, and the longer we go, the harder it is going to get.
Maybe in hindsight we could have actually predicted this result. Arsenal can’t score, and the Saints have now gone four games without conceding. Maybe 0-0 was fair in the end…..