Forget a new striker – Arsenal’s defence will win us the title


Hello everyone. It seems like every week, we lose one of our supposed transfer targets. Paolo Dybala chose Juventus and Jackson Martinez is off to Milan. But I don’t know if I am the only one who isn’t really troubled by any of this.

I have a question for you all. What do Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexander Lacazzette, Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane all have in common? They all scored over thirty goals last season. Three out of these four won the golden boot in their respective leagues and yet their teams won absolutely nothing. And there are many precedents like this too going back a few seasons. In Luis Suarez’s last season in Liverpool, he also won the golden boot and was part of an attacking force that scored over a hundred goals, often winning games by putting four to five goals past their opponents and yet they ended the season empty handed. Yes they came really close to winning the league but as they say, nearly does not kill a bird.

The reason I am pointing to all these incidents and stats is because the transfer season is here. Everybody is weighing in on what Arsenal needs to do to win the league next season and there is so much emphasis on the kind of striker that we need to buy. For many of us, even Jackson Martinez and Gonzalo Higuain are not good enough. For me, while strikers are important, it is not that one super striker signing that will win us the league. When I look at our current squad, I will happily settle for the addition of a Benteke or even a Charlie Austin because I know that they will do what is required of them as strikers. With the right supply, any of these guys will get us twenty five goals a season, which is enough to win us the league if you consider that our defense rather than our attack is the most crucial factor in winning us trophies.

Diego Costa scored just a little above twenty goals last season and Chelsea won two titles. Chelsea itself only scored two goals more than us last season and yet they beat us to the title with thirteen points clear. Say what you will but stats show that it is the defense that wins you titles. Two seasons ago, Barcelona had Messi and Neymar on their side and still finished the season empty handed. In his last season at Arsenal, Robin Van Persie scored thirty seven goals in all competitions. We won nothing.

For all the noise being made about strikers, Peter Cech (if he comes) and Francis Coquelin (if he stays fit) could be our most valuable players next season. Already in this past season, David Ospina and Francis Coquelin were the two players that transformed our fortunes. Yes Sánchez grabbed the headlines more than any other player, as expected. But it was not until Wenger dropped Wojciech for Ospina and brought back Coquelin that we started playing like a title winning team. These stats are important. We must factor them in while predicting and recommending the things Arsenal needs to do in order to win the EPL.

Yes a quality striker is very important and I will happily choose the best of them for our team, if it was up to me. But as far as the current squad is concerned, I will get me a solid goal keeper and a defensive midfielder to back up Francis first before even worrying about buying a striker. In our last two games of the just concluded season, we scored eight goals, playing our best football. Theo Walcott led the line in both games. Extending his contract for me, will be our biggest signing as far as offensive players are concerned. He knows the team and we play our best football with him up front. Unlike new players, Theo needs no period of adaptation when the season starts. Even if Higuain comes in, I will start him on the bench for the first few months with Theo as first choice striker. Beginning of the season is usually when we drop the most points mainly because of injuries and new players adapting to the team and league. If we can avoid that by starting a settled team with a solid defensive commitment, we can really shock our rivals next season, no matter who they sign. Think about that folks. Peace.

Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria

Tags Cech Coquelin Costa


  1. I agree except with some comments about charlie austin etc.

    you are right. I read an article on a bergkamp wonderland. they had statistics of teams that had wom he epl and how many goals that teams main striker had scored. what they found was a 30 goal a season striker was not the norm of these teams. also, the stats showed when you have a 30 goal striker, the rest of the team scores less. we score a lot as a team, so 20 goal a season guys like coasta are enough (costa is very good and also not a 30,goal guy ffs). people need to get that idea out of their heads. I think if theo stays fit, he is our most clinical finisher. we havegood enlugh strikers.

    sanchez scored a lot, also OG has a very goood goal tally and also woke up vs. the bigger sides. he was out for a long time so his goal tally is decent for the amount of time he had. what we lacked is goals from the right hand side. I think finding a great winger who can score goals is easier than a cf. I think we need to add goals to the right hand side, moving theo up top. we need a guy who can go past people and change big games, like the ox does, but consistently and with goals to show for it.

    dm is a top priority, gk and winger for me

    1. I agree with what you said except “I think finding a great winger who can score goals is easier than a cf”. Cause I think finding a great winger who is a consistent goal scorer is a lot harder than finding a CF. There are not many wingers that are available or realistic that score consistently which is why we see them being sold for huge fee’s.

      My vote would be to buy reus for £40m instead of wasting it on higuain and moving sanchez over to the right

      1. U call Higuain a waste. Reus????? Diaby needs a new mate with the physio. that sound like a great plan. kidding. But I just lol at how most of u ridicule Gonzalo.

      2. Can’t see Alexis being shifted from the left. If we want him as a good old-fashioned inside left forward with goals his primary task then he needs to be predominantly in the left half of the pitch. He is so one-footed it is ridiculous – gonna get way more goals imo with him cutting in off the left on to his thunderbolt right foot.

    2. We need a top striker, I am a huge giroud fan but I must say giroud alone can’t win us the title. Welbeck needs a couple of more years before turning into the finished product. Theo needs more experience in cf position before turning into a lethal striker. That leaves us with no choice but to sign a world class striker. Wenger signed welbeck last year cuz we needed a second striker, he thought welbeck will become a force but I think welbeck needs at least 2 more years before becoming a top striker. We are in need of a DM and a gk to strengthen our defence. Lecoq alone is not enough, we need someone to rotate them. Hope Wenger knows all these and reacts fast.

  2. Agree with the article only when we have the best defense will we win the league. JM plays for draws and will certainly park the bus when up 1-0.
    If Chelsea had a weak spot in their back many of those 1-0 or 2-0 victories would be draws or losses.
    That being said as an attacking player I would hate to park a bus like Chelsea did when they travelled to the Emirates.

  3. I do certainly believe that a solid back four and keeper stand you in good stead. One of our main problems is that we still (somewhat too often) have “one of those games”, where the opposition gets two good chances, buries them, and we create next to nothing clear-cut despite having much of the ball. Either that or we squander chances…

    But I think it’s fair to offer our defensive capabilities some scrutiny too. Looking at both our defeats against Swansea and the defeat at Spuds, they happened because we didn’t get tight enough to strikers peeling away from our central defenders. Our draw at Liverpool occurred because despite a lacklustre performance, we were 2-1 up as Mert turned away from a Skrtel header in stoppage time.

    Our defeats at Stoke and Southampton and our draw at home to Hull were also laden with individual errors, and at Chelsea we let Hazard run right through the middle of us before getting punished on the break late on. That’s quite a few dropped points (even forgetting about the poor performance at Leicester) due to people switching off or not taking responsibility. Even at home to Man City (2-2) Flamini switched off and allowed a runner through to create an assist with nobody taking responsibility and tracking the runners.

    I would happily see a new striker come in and freshen things up, bolster our options and offer goals when we really need them — because WHEN you score often has a big impact, as opposed to Liverpool’s 101 goals that did not prevent them losing costly matches in 2013-2014. But I also think that AW needs to continue on his trajectory of knitting the defensive unit together, to prevent the risk of isolation and individual errors. That doesn’t mean bad football, it means stopping other teams scoring against us with *average* football: those teams getting their absolute basics right, and us failing to do so.

  4. Sound write up. With sound defense and dependable defensive midfielder we will concede less goals. I can assure you that our wingers: Theo and Sanchez or any other preferred winger can deliver more than 20 League goals. Our attacking midfielders can manage an average of 8-10 league goals or more. With right delivery to the top striker, he can score 20 goals or more.
    I believe that we need to start the winning team, tested team and no experiment once new season starts. We are tired of catching up and pursuing other teams at the top of the table.

  5. Correct talk! However, Benteke is neva a solution especially in a squad wt d likes of Giroud who plays similarly like him. i thnk a winger-like-striker would hav being much more better, since there is no intention of selling either Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, Sanogo or Akpom. (my thought, anyway)

    1. Giroud is not a 20 LEAGUE goals a season striker,we need a striker who will score 20 or more goals in the league in 38 games not in all competitions including champions league,FA cup and carling cup

      1. LOL – if 20 is the magic number then give him the penalties. AFC had 15 PL penalties since he started playing for us – could have had 16, 20 and 20 goals for his first 3 seasons. Giroud and Alexis were the only players in the top 9 PL scorers not to have penalties in their totals. Aguero had 5 – only just scraped in to the 20s without pens.

  6. True indeed goals win you games but a tight defence wins you titles but we still need a 20 league goals a season striker,the stats prove that to win the league you need a striker who will score @least 20 goals in the allotted 38 games in a premier league season!

    1. I know that OG brace against Middlesboro was just not worth winning the FA cup this year. All goals count as long as there is a team you are playing against.
      Only someone that wants to compare stats of one player against another, would think all goals don’t matter.
      I loved that shiny Comunity Shield we received at Wembly at the beginning of the year and the FA cup at the end of the year. Oh btw OG scored in both of those.

    2. Whats the thing with “20” – is it scientifically proven or something? The only players with over 20 league goals in the past 2 seasons won nothing.

  7. A very good article… Its been so long since I read a good one on this site.
    Our goal scoring tally is very good as it is and I have never understood this obsession for a”clinical” striker.

  8. We need a goal poacher nonetheless. Such strikers win you tight games.
    Our defense must however be better than previous seasons to have any hope.

    1. Agree but so hard to find that clinical player who is okay with coming off the bench for the last 20. Of all the strikers we’ve been linked to, Dzeko might be closest to fitting that bill. Seems like he’s scored a fair few late goals for City over the tears.

  9. This sort of arrogant thought is the reason why we will not win a champions league or the EPL anytime soon. most of those teams whose players scored a lot of goals came second, we almost came fourth which will result in play off and fatigue. We need to strengthen every area of weakness. This is preparing to fail when we still need to improve on our defense.

  10. Olivier Giroud subbed after horror performance for France against Albania,and you say we dont need a Striker!!!We need a quality Striker(one with consistency performance),not one game on,next game off….

    1. you re being foolish. the whole team was shiyte, yet you blame og off one game. shame you have a poor understanding of the game. a striker like og is reliant on balls coming to him, which didn t happen, did it

    I Ve said it at times before around here. …if one can checks the stats of our Henry Era there s a lot of games won 1-0
    As Aimee Jacquet once said during his world cup campaign in 98….d abord il faut ne pas en prende. (First we must not conceed)….and this guy had a certain Zidane !!

  12. I long for the days we won the title with the best attack and best defence.
    Back in the days when Arsenal was ruthless.

  13. Jackson Martinez is Colombia’s 4th choice striker. They need a goal yet he is the last sub behind Guteriez. Colombia’s coach has a much lower opinion of him than many readers of this site.

  14. Best article I have read on this site in a loong loong time, give this man his own website, Well Done my brother ! spot on!

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