This is a serious question, and it is not just the fact that Arsenal could only manage a 0-0 draw against Hull yesterday at the Emirates, it has been going on for some time. How many goals has Giroud scored since Christmas? How many Walcott? You could say that yesterday we played our reserves, but we had 20 shots on goal and 70% possession. And this is certainly not the first time that has happened since Christmas either, we had similar stats against Leicester. How come not one ever goes in the net?
Yesterday we started with Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi and Campbell in the team, all players that profess to be goalscorers. For the last half hour we had Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez and Oxlade-Chamberlain trying to hit the target. Is it just an incredible run of bad luck? Or have our players lost their confidence? Should I even mention that we were playing a RESERVE team from the Championship?
Here is what Per Mertesacker had to say after the game. “We had a couple of good chances and we couldn’t keep the pressure as high as we wanted, especially in the second half,” he told Arsenal.com.
“We had enough chances to win, but we were unlucky at times. Overall it was disappointing, especially our finishing.
“We allowed [Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic] to make some decent saves because we were not that decisive.
“It is down to us, we produced a good defensive performance but overall in the final third, that little final pass at the end, we always rushed ourselves at times to finish so we need to learn from that.
“Overall, we missed a bit of something today and we have to come back quickly in three days time. We have a very important game, the first leg against Barcelona, and we will see the fans again, it will be another buzzing night but it is up to us how we perform.”
It certainly is, but as we can see it doesn’t matter if you play a brilliant game, because at the end of the day football games are won by scoring goals. This is what Wenger had to say about it after yesterday’s game: “Because Hull defended well, because their ‘keeper played well, because our final ball was maybe not good enough and because when we could give the ball in the final third, we decided [to go for] an individual solution.
“The goalkeeper did well of course, but we had maybe 70 per cent possession and more than 20 shots on goal, and we didn’t score. We have to look at ourselves as well, even if you can give credit to their ‘keeper.”
Arsenal always seem to make our opposing goalkeepers look like world-beaters, but how many of our shots are very easy to save, because they are not making the keepers work as hard as they should. I don’t know how we can change this. Has anyone got any ideas?