Arsenal MUST sharpen up in front of goal or SUFFER

I keep reading in the football press that Arsenal have the best attacking options in the Premier League, but are often let down by the defence or the midfield going walkabout and trying to join in with the attacking side of things. While that may have been true at times and while our defence has struggled sometimes, I think the top end of our team has a lot to answer for as well.

Wenger defended Olivier Giroud after the Monaco debacle and I don´t blame him, because he needs the big Frenchman to be feeling good about himself. But if Giroud had been on form that night then it would not really have mattered about us letting a couple of goals in. A game or two more like that, however, and the Gunners could be out of the FA cup and the top four.

It has largely been the story of our season. We fail to kill off games despite having a boatload of chances and often end up hanging on for grim death. It happened at QPR this week and the game should have been out of sight and that was not a rare occurence; remember Brighton in the cup, Leicester, Palace, QPR at home and many more. I am not just blaming Giroud either, because Welbeck, Alexis, Ozil and Cazorla have all squandered plenty of good chances.

I do agree that Arsenal have the best attacking options but we are not making the most of them. Chelsea are said to be professional and workmanlike but they have scored more league goals than us, as have Man City who lost Negredo, had Aguero injured and bought Bony to boost their strike force.

Wenger blames the defence for making mistakes but he needs to get the forwards to be more clinical. Then he keeps Theo Walcott on the bench although the England star has three goals from just three starts and seven sub appearances to make him our most prolific player. I understand that he likes the players to contribute in all sorts of ways but is it not a good idea to have someone to put the ball in the back of the net sometimes?

Tags Giroud Walcott welbeck


    1. It differs from game to game. Against Monaco we were extremely poor in front of goal and their first goal was a lucky deflection. I really feel that our final touch is poor and that we try and roll the ball into the net. We need more urgency on the counter to score goals when the opposition is offguard.

      1. Sometimes it really baffles me, the kind of VERY INTELLIGENT fans we have on this site. Once there was an article on how good Morgan Schneiderlin is and how better he is when statistically compared to other defensive midfielders in the EPL. Because of he had very good stats, many fans on this site started calling for him to be signed.

        Today, just because Francis Coquelin wasn’t bought from Barcelona at a stupifying cost, fans on this site are claiming the stats that show that in his current form is better than Matic’s are false and unreliable. In fact, they claim Statistics are not facts and not meant to be relied on. Preposterous!!!

        Giroud is good, but very, very wasteful. The number of chances he misses seemingly outweigh his goals. If you want to compare his conversion rate to those of other strikers, what will you use??? STATISTICS!!! Although common sense should ordinarily tell you his (Giroud’s) is poorer.

        We need a better striker. But good luck to Giroud, at the moment.

        1. @kickassfan: You are right – fans only use stats when it “proves” their subjective preferences. We can see Ozil has decent stats but the debate is his demeanour and body language. Many stats are dubious at best – the FC/NM stats tell me that Coq generally has more defensive work to do than Matic – could it be related to our latest fad in letting the other side dominate possession? OG has a goals/min stat since he came back from injury as good as any striker in Europe but he will forever be the “donkey” or the “lamp post” to some. Perhaps if he keeps it up till the end of the season then some may cut him some slack. When it comes to goal scorers I suggest goals scored is a decent measure and conversion rates are one of the manager’s lesser concerns. Scoring 10 at 20% is always preferable to scoring 8 at 50% is it not? Suarez had one of the worst conversion rates in the PL last year. I have seen the likes of Bendtner and Welbeck near the top of some historic conversion charts. Strikers not having or attempting chances are a bigger concern.

  1. yeah, its all good having an attacking line up – but scoring the goals is wats imp….I wish Giroud was clinical vs Monaco…
    We could easily have gone 3-o up in most of the games that we lead 2-0 but instead ended up lucky with tense 2-1 scorelines…it makes a diff wen its against bigger clubs…cos 2-0 up and can easily be 2-2…
    plus we need to be able to score more goals from long range – like what’s actually carrying Liverfool at the moment.

    1. I keep seeing the Monaco game being blamed on Giroud, we scored 1 goal and ok we could’ve scored 3….but how is conceding 3 not the main gripe in that one? If we had defended well we’d have won the game.

      That aside, we’re struggling in the very centre of midfield right now which is my main concern. Our ability to look after the ball is questionable, Coquelin-Cazorla-Ozil lacks balance ironically.

      1. yes we scored 1, but after conceding 2, we could’ve scored 2 before they even scored their 1st goal – Now tell me if that wouldn’t have changed the game completely…
        we actually conceded the 3rd cos we weree chasing the game..

      2. We had very good first half, bt bec we dont able to score those sitters, our fullbacks and midfield goes too forward to get that deserving goals and we concede

  2. we need at least 2 world class striker to rotate compete and lead our attack…..

    at this stage we got none..

    Utd has Ronney, Falcao and RVP

    City has Dzeko, Bony and Aquero

    Chelsea has Costa, Drogba and Remy

    We have none….Giroud is just not good enough….it tells us why we are not up there with City and Chelsea

    1. those WC strikers are paid fat salaries as well…unless we can do the same, I don’t see us keeping both even if we did buy them…Which WC striker would be happy sitting on the bench and earning a mediocre salary.
      AW doesn’t rotate players properly – Sadly, I see Walcott handing in a transfer request in the summer due to lack of game time..

    2. United and city use 2 strikers so they need more numbers. Chelsea uses only 1. So they have 2 back ups just like us. 1 old man and remy. I prefer our backups in Welbeck and a young and promising Akpom. Also sanchez and somehow walcott could play up top if dire.

  3. world class strikers like Aguero, Costa, Messi are allowed a bad day @ the office and average strikers like Oli are expected to score every single match! That’s how we roll these days Obviously

    1. The problem with Giroud is that he has his off days in the big stage games like against Monaco he was absolutely awful. The big games are what wins you titles and champions league we are flat track bullies who lack intensity when it matters most!!

    2. Goals so far this season:
      Messi – 27
      Costa – 17
      Giroud – 10.

      Giroud should be our 2nd choice striker. For once I agree with Hafiz, we need a top CF up there with the Messis’ Agueros, Rooneys.

      1. Giroud missed 3 months with a broken leg….

        We simply could do with another good option at ST who can offer everything Giroud does. None of Alexis/Theo/Welbz offer ALL Giroud does.

        Aguero/Costa would struggle as the ONLY viable option. In our system we need a presence who can link things well and score goals. Bony would’ve been ideal, but someone else of that ilk is required. But blowing 40 mil on a Cavani is not a priority.

      2. Hafiz is a united fan come here to mock us and you are pathetic enough to agree with him.

  4. So what you’re saying is being 3rd for total goals scored means our attack is the 3rd best and we should be scoring more and being the top attack?

    We’re currently 3rd in the league and have the 3rd most goals scored despite having our main striker injured for two months and suffering from not playing at our potential for most of the season. We need to sharpen up but we’re far from blunt at the top of the pitch.

    Lately our issue is getting the ball from front to back consistently and well – we’re giving up possession needlessly. THAT has to stop, rather then us needing to find the goals. Monaco was a blip in terms of goal scoring.

    1. Giroud does not score in Europe or against big teams. This has been proven.

      He is a good forward but we need and deserve a better centre forward with a higher conversion rate who can score goals against both standard and ‘top’ (or Monaco type) opposition. By this I mean a WC forward/goalscorer with more to his game.

      As for all round attacking threat we have potential but aside from Alexis we are pretty rootless.

      Yes, ox bagged a good goal but does not convert much. Aside from Ozil’s few goals on his return he does not offer much of a goal threat. Walcott has pace but has not been clinical in front of goal when he gets a chance and Wellbeck..well enough said there!

      WC could stand for Well Clinical. A player possessing an almost inate ability to hit the back of the net. Not score every 1 in 4 or 5 chances.

      1. Giroud’s Europe stats ARE less then impressive, as are his goals against big teams. When you consider we’ve been poor in Europe and against top 6 match ups though, this isn’t surprising though.

        I’ll ask, who would you suggest is a WC striker we actually have the potential of signing? My knowledge of non-PL leagues is poor so I cannot comment on who would be good enough, I’m just intrigued so I can look into them.

        Just checked Squawka for interesting PL stat though…

        Giroud – 36 shots/10 goals = 3.6 Shots per goal

        Aguero – 77 shots/17 goals = 4.5 Shots per goal

        Costa – 50 Shots/17 goals = 2.9 Shots per goal

        In terms of “clinical” I’d say that rates Giroud as fairly clinical though. I’d love a WC striker who adds more to the game and offers different dimensions (like goals scored outside the box!). Every striker ever misses chances. I think it depends on the type of miss really though, and often Giroud/Theo/Santi et all miss some sitters other teams would score.

        Not saying you’re incorrect at all. Just saying you may have a slight bias of opinion that Giroud is especially non-clinical when stats suggest otherwise. In general I agree we do need a bigger goal threat, but I think we also have to look at our overall game as we are creating less chances then normal at the moment and that is more worrying then anything else to me.

        1. Benzema is one such WC forward.

          As you concur Giroud does not perform against the big boys, and this for me is a major part of being a top forward.

          Giroud doesn’t get the big important goals. In relation to your stats who are his shots against? I would say not against the big PL boys or in Europe as he doesn’t have the necessary skill, craft and arsenal (sorry) to trouble them.

          Big players raise there game and show up in the critical moments and big games. Great players do it consistently at a high level at all levels because of their drive and armoury IMO.

      2. You didn’t mention Costa by name but the comparison is commonplace on here. Point taken regarding OG but by the same token Costa hasn’t scored in Europe this season nor scored against the big teams and has only scored decisive PL goals in 2 matches. Scored nearly half his goals in one-sided routs against Swansea and Everton.

  5. Whatever happened to Walcott only Wenger knows, We should buy a WC striker, a CDM to rotate with le coq, a WC CB cos Per and Koscielny are aging…
    Come monday night Wenger should Start Walcott, we need his Pace to cause troubles to Ashley Young…. FA cup is our only Cup we are aiming COYG

    1. Cruciate ligament injury, that’s what happen to Walcott. Don’t believe it? Look at Falcao.

  6. Well to me, I think we need a 20+ goals(excluding cup competitions) Striker to compete with giroud. .That should be wenger’s target for next season. Don’t get me wrong, I love Olivier, he has scored some vital goals for us this season but we all know he misses more than he scores. I believe with the right competition for the striking role, he’d work on his finishing. I may be wrong, but it’s just my opinion.

  7. the most obvious thing to look out for is the next up and coming 20+ a season goal scorer, thats where we should and could get ahead of the pack because the likes of city and chelsea have got last years model of strikers.
    which will only last them a few more years at best its the next lot coming through thats where the real fight in transfers will be next couple of windows, everyone will want the next best c/f coming through likes of dybala, lacazette, lakaku, morata, klassan,mitrovic, anyone coming through the barca ranks.
    This is where we need to be ahead if we want to be wining titles as for this summer try and get higuain,lewandoski or somebody of similar stature to compete with giroud we should have got him the first time around he would have given us the cutting edge in the big games we sorely miss, and i am sure the board will back wenger if the right c/f comes along for a decent price. COYG

  8. i have no doubt wenger “personally issued” having grimandi keeping a special close eye on the lyon duo fekir and lacazette but if they win the title then there is no chance of getting them this summer unless stupid united come in and offer £50million for just lacazette just you watch them try something stupid like that and screw the whole summer up the SODS

  9. would you prefer jackson martinez or stevan jovetic or paulo dybala if lacazette is unavailable

    1. Jackson Martinez will be 29 next season , dybala wants barca , city will never sell jovetic to us (juve likely) higuian / Luciano vietto of villareal or cavani ????

  10. I wonder if wenger and co. have even identified and sounded out any players for the summer window yet or will he wait to the 12th hour of the closing day of the transfer window?

  11. Arsenal need to learn to move the ball quicker and be more direct. When we do dominate games we don’t have as many shots on goal as our domination dictates.

    Giroud does contribute to this because his style of play slows down the attack and others look to him to set up an attack.

    Walcott adds a lot to the team. He does add that directness and shots on goal do increase dramatically.

    But of late and I am presuming this is why he has been dropped from the first team he takes over the attacks from giroud.

    Guess Wenger is pushing for all build up attacks go through giroud.

  12. when will the media start talking about 60m flop di maria & falcao who is on 285/w instead of going on & on about ozil idiots

  13. I think the writer is spot on in his assessment of our forwards. I refused to blame Giroud in the Monaco game because he was the only one trying to score even though he didn’t succeed. The question then is: Should we blame the one man who tried and exonerate those who did not make an effort at all? What message shall we be sending? I blame the other players more than Giroud because they never made an effort. When you notice that Giroud is not scoring do you just surrender or you try harder to step in? It is true that our forwards have not been scoring enough goals which makes me worried about our ability to overturn our deficit against Monaco. If our forwards were burying their chances we would not be singling out any one individual for criticism because soccer is a team sport. Let all our forwards show why they are employed by scoring goals which is the major function. Imagine a defender who is always letting the ball pass by how much more would he be blamed? Similarly we should keep a balance sheet of all defenders and start to question those who take long without converting goals. Why should we blame the one man who has scored 8 goals in the last 10 games and say nothing about those who have not scored in the last 10 games. Is that fair? Let all our forwards own up to their responsibilities.

  14. Correction: Fourth line from bottom should read we “should keep a balance sheet of all forwards” not defenders.

  15. Walcot just like any other Arsenal lad has to show why he deserves to start matches.
    You are claiming he is clinical,are u kidding me?
    Have u watched Walcot closely?
    U may love him bse he is at Arsenal but he is far from that word.

    1. Personally I think Theo was awesome two seasons ago and still is, his problem is that he doesnt track back and leaves his man. I think Ox is a better player overall and if he knows how to find the back of the net(end product) he will be one of the best. Theo, I dont like enough. In the modern game everyone has to do his part attacking or defensive wise and all Theo does is try to get in behind every single time.. The guy cant even dribble

  16. Giroud has been awesome this season (- the monaco game) he has scored against the big teams; man city, man u, liverpool etc… but I still believe we need to add a 20+ striker like Dybala or Lacazette. I personally prefer Dybala. He is quick,intelligent,clinical and young. He scores lots of free kicks too which is something we desperately need. I hope Giroud gets 20+ goals this season…. cheers

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