According to Mikel Arteta, Arsenal does not need a clinical striker to win the Premier League; they can still do so with the players they already have.
The Gunners were accused of not being clinical during the first half of the season, as they were creating numerous chances but failing to capitalize on them. This resulted in them dropping points in games (such as the 1-0 loss to Newcastle, 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, and 1-1 draw with Liverpool) that they should have won by a large margin. Arsenal needed to find efficiency in front of goal. Even Gary Neville noted that their not being ruthless in front of goal could cost them the title race.
“I think Arsenal, when I watch them, are a better team than Liverpool, but I think Liverpool are a more ruthless team; they’re more ruthless in the final third,” explained the former Manchester United right-back after we beat the Reds last week. “And I think that could just cost them in the end, and that’s me having said at the start of the season I thought Arsenal would win the league.
“But there’s still so many signs today, so many examples, of Arsenal not having that killer instinct in the final part of the pitch that I think at some point in the last part of this season it’s going to hurt them.”
Them signing a top striker in January was widely anticipated, but it did not materialize. This meant Arteta had to find a method to get the most out of his players in front of the goal. The following scorelines indicate that the Spaniard has found a way to get the best out of his attack, with the four league games after the midseason break ending with these results:
Arsenal 5-0 Crystal Palace
Nottingham 1:2. Arsenal
Arsenal 3:1 Liverpool
West Ham 0:6 Arsenal
Arteta is unconcerned that his club has been accused of lacking a clinical striker because he believes that even without a 25+ striker, his team is still in a strong position to compete for the league title. He told reporters: “Well, that’s a fact that we haven’t had a player that scores 25 or 30 goals in the last however many years.
“But it’s what we have, and within that, we believe that we can still be very close [to winning the title]. We’re going to try for sure.”
Well, if Arteta believes he can win the league without a clinical striker, who are we to doubt him after scoring 15 goals in their last 4 games?
And I wonder if Gary Neville still thinks that Arsenal haven’t got that killer instinct???
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