Gary Neville believes Arsenal’s striking force has lost their chemistry

Arsenal’s attack has been ineffective this season; they haven’t been firing on all cylinders. Yes, the goals have been coming, but the argument is that because of their dominance, they should be scoring more.

The feeling was that Arsenal weren’t efficient enough in games like the 1-0 loss to Aston Villa and the 2-0 win over Brighton to score the many goals that their dominance in these games deserved.

While some believe that purchasing a clinical striker in the winter is the answer to the Gunners’ inaccuracy in front of goal, Gary Neville believes that it is not the only factor Mikel Arteta should consider.

According to Neville, Arsenal’s attacking struggles are also due to a lack of chemistry among the club’s attackers. He believes Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Martinelli don’t combine so well any more. He believes that if the trio can start collaborating, Arsenal’s attack will be sharper.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said, “I’m just thinking about the great front threes and then about Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Martinelli.

“Not even just in goals, they don’t combine a lot together within the game to play, and I just feel as though that’s going to cost Arsenal at some point.

“I don’t see them three linking together a lot. Even when Saka is there, trying to cross it to the far post, you don’t see Martinelli charging in at the back post.”

Do you agree with Neville’s claims after watching Arsenal over the last few months? Is there something wrong with our front three? Maybe they need a rest of some sort?

Darren N

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  1. Neville is very correct. It’s staring us in the face; since so much has been invested in getting Havertz to perform, so much has been compromised. During the preseason camp in America, the chemistry was still there. Suddenly, they had to carry Havertz, and Partey is not there to spray the balls in between the lines. The extra load is showing and it’s draining our attack. Talk about coaches’ obsessions with certain players. The focus has been on how Havertz performed and not how the team is playing.

    1. Your analysis to what Neville said is very perfect. Our three attacking trio last season are different to this season but all is down to what you said about Mikel Arteta focusing on how to turn Havertz to super player. As Neville said, I have also not seeing that superb connection within them this season. You could even see that when ever Havartz scores, Arteta used to celebrate than when other player scores. Jesus, Matenelli and saka are not connecting together as they were playing last season.

    2. Havertz is not the only player the team has to adapt with. We also have Rice who though good, is not exactly like Partey. The exit of Xhaka and injury to Partey affected our midfield greatly. Also is the injury to Timber who gave the coach the opportunity to tinker with his formations to great effect.

  2. Great analysis. However, I do believe it’s still a toss up as to whether the use of Havertz will end up working out.

  3. Saka n Martinelli r well to do, it’s sometimes just hard luck n they need to rest most especially Saka, Gabriel Jesus is the one that’s really making us shot of goals, I mean he’s not always front out there but defending, I respect that it’s not like we r not defending well but as a striker trust on ur midfielders n defender to get u the ball, stay up there, if the ball comes it’s either you score or you assist n by doing so either Saka or Martinelli get alot of goals

  4. I think it’s normal for these reasons:
    1. The trio have all been injured at various stages of the season hence have not played together for an extended period.
    2. Arsenal and Arteta are using a different system from last season’s. Clearly our forwards are still adapting to it.
    3. Our forward line has had to adapt to a completely new midfield. I say completely because even Odegaard is a playing a different role from last season’s. Odegaard has now taken the role of assisting Rice with build up as Xhaka did with Partey last season.

    For me,the fact that we are top despite the forwards not clicking is a positive. It means that they can peak in the second half of the season unlike last season when they were on fire in the beginning but suffered a slump towards the end. I think it’s a good thing that Arteta prioritised the defence this season. Only from a solid defensive base can you build a title winning team.

  5. It’s the tactical changes made this year and how we play. The emphasis is on possession and patience, playing the game in the opponents half.

    It is designed to spread out the scoring and bring Havertz into the play from the midfield.

    We stay organized to maintain possession and in a position to quickly press and regain possession if we lose it.

    Will this tactical shift lead us to the title as opposed to the more open and direct play of last year? Time will tell. I still believe we need a better striker to get the best out of this tactical change, in my opinion.

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