So Arsenal have now played three League games this month and gained just two points, for the simple reason that we cannot put the ball in the net no matter how many times we shoot at the opposing sides goal.
We had another 22 shots again last night at West Ham, to add to the over 50 we managed against Man Utd and Southampton, but yet again we were lucky to come away with a point. Wenger voiced his own frustration after the game. “There are some draws that are frustrating,” he said.
“This is one of them because we had a lot of the ball and we played against 10 men. It was 10 against 10 in the final third and we couldn’t find an opening, a little bit through the fact that they defended very well. They are in a highly defensive phase, focused on that at the moment and it works for them, but they did that against City, Chelsea and here.
“We lacked maybe a little bit of sharpness in the final third we had many different good opportunities where they blocked our shots. I think that’s where you see maybe if we played on Sunday and they played on Saturday it would have been different on that front because they had more physical resources to defend with a lot of decisiveness.”
He also admitted that we make many chances but we are on a 3-game winless run. “At the moment I don’t deny that, but it is a moment where our performances are not reflected by our results because against Manchester United we had 33 shots on goal but did not win the game and at Southampton we had a lot of possession and it was a similar game to tonight basically. It’s true, it’s a bit frustrating, we had to keep confidence in our game and we go through a patch where there’s a difference between what we create and what we score, but that will not last.”
But has he found out why we are not scoring with all the chances we create? It’s alright saying that it will not last, but have Arsenal’s strikers got a psychological problem about scoring? “I felt that the 33 shots on goal against Manchester United and the chances we missed had a little impact there, but we need to continue focusing on the quality of our game and not to focus too much on the fact that we are not ruthless at the moment. That will come back by not making too big a problem of it. There are periods like that where adjusted finishing is not right.”
Don’t focus on it? Don’t make a problem of it? Of course we need to talk about it. And not just talk about it. All our players need to do hours of extra shooting practise so they can learn to kick the ball away from the keeper and defenders and into the goal. We need to make it a problem because it IS a problem!