I wonder if Gary Neville still believes that Arsenal don’t have “that killer instinct”?

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???

Darren N


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36 Comments

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  1. While reading this article I asked myself if the likes of city, with Haaland as a recognised top striker, would have scored six or more against WHU yesterday and I don’t believe they would, or could have done.
    Why?
    Because we had a squad of players out there every one of which were capable of scoring while playing the way MA wants them to play.
    WHU had no answer to the different way we attacked them, whereas they would have identifies Haaland as the goal threat and De Bruyne as his main supplier… much easier to defend against in my opinion.

    I’ve been an advocate for buying a top top striker like Haaland, but if we continue to play the way MA wants us to, I’m changing my view.

    This manager of ours is causing me to change my mind more times than I’ve had hot dinners, so I’m going to sit back and watch the game season out in complete ignorance of what I’m about to witness – if it’s like the masterclass we saw yesterday, I’m happy to be a yoyo supporter.

        1. Can you name the six or seven first team players we had out Jen?
          Mind if I give you a hand?
          1. Partey
          2. Gabriel
          3. ESR
          4. Zinchenko (was he on the bench?)
          5. Timber (long term injury)
          6.?
          7.?

          Of course, it’s been said that Partey, ESR and Gabriel should be sold because of their injury record, while Zinchenko is being played in the wrong position anyway and Timber is an unknown PL quantity.

          So I guess the five that I’ve mentioned, wouldn’t have made that nuch difference anyway, when one considers how we dismantled WHU.

          Who are the other two players missing that you believe could have made a difference?

            1. Sorry Jon, what are YOU saying?

              Jen stated “missing” not “injured” and I’m not nitpicking as you state, just trying to clarify what was being claimed.
              He also said 6 or 7 not 1 or 2 – read it again!!

              1. Firstly, I am a she Ken, or can’t you read? Strange, considering you take every word literally (why isn’t Jimmy Carr locked up as a sex offender?) 🤣🤣

                Players missing off the top of my head were Zinny, Jesus, ESR, Partey, Tomi, Timber. So that’s 6, and I said 6/7. I love facts!

                You can apologise now!

                1. Thanks for clarification of the six players you had in mind – let’s hope they will all make our performances better when they come back – judging by our play against WHU, they will all struggle to do that, except ESR and Tomiyasu in my opinion.
                  I only considered those two as detrimental to our selection on Sunday, but that’s my opinion versus yours I guess.

                  As I’ve tried to explain to you before, if you make a statement and claim it’s factual, then one takes that at face value – that’s why I always say “reported” when discussing players contracts… simple really.

                  At least we agree that Sundays performance was superb and have you found that website yet?

                1. Jon, YOU HAVEN’T ANSWERED MY QUESTION AT 5 28 PM – I did not assume he meant definately 7, where did I say that precisely?
                  Jen gave six and SueP added Viera, so that makes seven.. point cleared up… EXCEPT FOR YOU NOT ANSWERING MY 5.28 PM QUESTION!!!!

                  1. Your post timed at 4.54, last line. “Where are the other TWO players missing…. etc”!

                    You list numbers one to seven, you fill in five only.

                    You leave six and seven blank, meaning TWO more than five.
                    Simple really! I reckon you should understand “simple” KEN!

  2. I think Nevile is kind of right. A clinical striker would move us to that next level.

    There are some games we struggle to break teams down in the final 3rd. We are looking for the perfect goal.

    We need someone who can do a messy job or threaten a worldie. The last player we had that done this was alexis sanchez.

    Whilst we have a capability to win the league at the moment. I think a good clinical striker would make games alot easier for us. When teams want to park the bus and hold u to a draw. We need that guy to open up the game.

    What we saw yesterday was as soon as we scored west ham had to open up to try and score. That’s when it went downhill. The fans new it and so did the players on the pitch.

    Give arsenal the space and we score 3 ,4,5 goals. Park the buss and we go sideways again and again

  3. Gary Neville is self confessed communist that even his ex teammates can’t stand him. How he is still relevant in 2024 is beyond me.

  4. I don’t think 1 game is definitive of anything whichever way you are looking at it.

    We’ve had more games lacking the killer instinct than we have had with it. That being said we are certainly looking better.

    Once we start putting 3/4/5 goals past teams that park the bus then that’s a different story

    1. Completely agree, you don’t take one game in isolation, you look at the metrics over a long period of time.

      Let’s say improving year in year, almost winning the title last season with the youngest squad and tons of injuries, and keeping pace with City and Liverpool this season with the third youngest squad and tons of injuries again.

      I know some fans hate facts, but they’ve been a great a measure of how we’re overachieving under MA at the moment.

      And before anyone says injuries don’t matter, then that means Rice missing the remainder of season would have no impact on the team whatsoever.

      1. Its been said before, you dont know the difference between fact and opinion (look it up) you haven’t quoted any facts, just opinion. And injuries are part and parcel of the game, EVERY team has them and the manager is the one who has to work around them. And the best managers get the best results. Your statement about Rice (and he is the heartbeat of this team) is wrong. We had more points at this stage of the season last year, without Rice. You or I can only have and opinion of where we would be without Rice but thats all it would be, not a fact.

        1. Hard work isn’t it Reggie?
          Someone (I apologise but I can’t remember who it was) took the time to detail out the FACTS regarding the injuries and amount of time that liverpool have had over the last two seasons.
          Now if someone was to take the time to detail out the “tons” of injuries we’ve had this season and last season, then THAT would be an interesting comparison.

          But just stating we’ve had “tons” of injuries is equivalent to saying we had 50 odd attacking midfielders when we signed Mesut Ozil – just words without any proof or sense attached to them.
          An opinion, but flawed without the proof needed to back said opinion up.

          City have been without De Bruyne nearly all season and Haaland has been out for a number of games (not sure how many) spuds have been without two of their most influential players for nearly two months and I can’t even begin to mention united’s injury list it’s so long.

          I believe these are FACTS you are mentioning – I intend to do a spreadsheet of our players with their injuries when I get back and then we can have a proper FACTUAL discussion and I’m sure they’ll be “tons” to talk about.
          Meanwhile, let’s bask in the knowledge that we played some great football yesterday and didn’t miss ANY of the “seven or eight” missing players as quoted above.

          1. I’ll give you a big fat fact Ken.

            Our defence was the main reason why we didn’t win the title last season. It collapsed when Tomi, but Esp Saliba were out injured at the business end of the season.

            Although correlation doesn’t always mean causation, it would have to be one hell of a coincidence then, seeing our defence crumble without the league’s best CB unavailable, along an amazing defender like Tomi out as well.

            See that’s not opinion, that’s an actual measurable fact.

            So you’d be fine with Nelson instead of Saka, and Elneny/Jorginho instead of Rice then? Please explain to me how those players are at the same level as Rice and Saka?

            1. Again, it’s your opinion, as you cannot prove we would have won any of the games we lost without Saliba and / or Tomiyasu playing.

              I CAN prove that we lost to WHU twice this season with Saliba playing, so that’s an actual FACT isn’t it?

              The problem is, you cannot see the difference between an opinion and a fact – even if said opinion is a strong one and THAT’S why I question your use of the word fact, when it’s an opinion!!!
              Saliba missed the eleven games at the end of last season and we missed him terribly, but, no matter how much you try, you cannot say that it’s a FACT we would have won the PL if he had played in those eleven games.
              Can you not see the difference? Obviously you can’t, as you describe your opinion as a “big fat fact” whatever that might mean!!

              1. In my opinion Saka and Rice are better than the three you mentioned and Henry was better than Jeffers in my opinion, but what’s your point?

                I believe that Ozil was one of the best attacking midfield players we had and you don’t – so that is also an example of differing opinions.

                What I don’t claim is that we would have finished higher than 8th if Ozil had played in the games that MA left him on the bench, simply because I have no FACTS to support that argument – my OPINION is that we would have, but I don’t have any FACTS to support my views.

                Any chance you can see the difference between OPINION and FACT yet?

                1. Wow, you finally agreed on a FACT! Well done Ken, you realized you couldn’t spin that one for once!

                  The point is, that if Henry is better than Jeffers (a lot better at that), then it’s very unlikely that Arsenal would have done the double in 2002 if we we had injuries up front, including Henry out for the season, with Jeffers covering as our main striker.

                  1. What fact of yours have I agreed to? The only FACT that I have written is that I can’t prove that Ozil would have helped us finish higher than 8th.
                    Apart from that, everything else is my (or your) opinion isn’t it?!

                    You don’t win an argument by claiming that the person you are debating with has just agreed a FACT, when you haven’t actually PRODUCED any FACTS yourself 😂😂

                    I also notice that you cannot argue about the opinion we both hold regarding Mesut Ozil – the reason being, of course, that you can’t…. as it’s an OPINION and not a FACT… as is your “fat fact” regarding Henry and Jeffers.
                    Of course, it’s a FACT that Henry scored more goals, but it’s a FACT that he played more games – our OPINION is that Jeffers would not have scored the same amount of goals, if he had played as many games… but it’s not a FACT is it?
                    Strewth, I had these ridiculous arguments with TMJW and Jumbo and they couldn’t understand the difference between FACT and OPINION either!!
                    Now, try and twist this around as much as you like, but your problem is that FACTS are not the same as OPINIONS and I suggest, finally, that you pick up a dictionary and source the explanation as to why they differ.

                    If you want, I’ll write them out for you, as you seem incapable of doing it yourself – in FACT, I’ll give you the examples when I write about the 50 attacking midfielders you said was FACTUAL in the upcoming days 👍👍

                    1. I can easily debate the Ozil issue, and offer hard facts about how wrong you are about him.

                      Should have been kicked out of Arsenal years before MA did the correct thing, and got proven right. Ozil continued to underperform, fell out with every manager he played for, continuing to be a toxic influence.

                      And no, we’re talking about facts, not opinion. IT IS A FACT THAT SAKA IS BETTER THAN NELSON, AND BY A LOT! The FACT of stats back that up, along with the obvious eye test.

                      It’s like talking to a child it really is. Next you’ll be telling me that men are women!

                    2. Jen as KEN knows only to well, my stance and yours about OZIL are precisely THE SAME.
                      I have writen extensively about that man, calling him the worstand most harmful buy in Arsenal history and by a considerable distance too.

                      I saw immediatedly he arrived that he had no appetite at all for working flat out or even reasonably hard.
                      My view is that the moral contract which ALL players make with our club and any club i nfact , wherever they play, is to give their UTMOST effort ALL the time ,in return for the ludicrous and obscenely damaging to football wages that all earn. Ozil failed to do this for his whole time here. I COULD NOT STAND HIS LAZINESS AND SAID SO LOUD AND OFTEN.
                      I also acknowledge possessed a sublime gift of talent, but that without the will to use it to its utmost, it was virtually useless.
                      And I STAND BY ALL THAT RIGHT NOW AND ALWAYS WILL TOO.
                      But that being said, I am with KEN entirely that facts are facts and opinions are NOT facts and NOT provable.

                    3. So go ahead Jen, give me some “hard facts” about Ozil – don’t just stand on your soapbox and spout your opinion.
                      Let’s use the stats that you say you have, along with the source.
                      Until you do that, it’s your OPINION against my OPINION, so I await your response along with the FACTS and source.
                      By the way, you seem obsessed with men being women and women being men, does it really matter as long as it doesn’t affect you?

  5. Though it obviously matters to us what we think and what our manager thinks, esp our manager, why does ANYONE care even a jot what Neville thinks?
    Are we not naively giving him esteem he craves if we care what he”thinks”?!!

    That applies to Piers Morgan and others too.

    I couldnt care less what anyone whose brain I do not respect thinks and I never will.

  6. We are definitely on a roll now which has to be continued if we have a chance to win the title this year. Unlike last season there are three teams in the mix instead of two and we are still in the UCL. Difficult but not impossible but it is crucial to keep our best players injury free in particular Saliba
    and Rice.

    The point about not having a clinical striker is a moot one, City would have dropped 2 points against Everton if it
    wasn’t for Haaland. As for injuries, every team suffers (some more than others) because it is an extremely physical game. City certainly have an advantage here because of their strength in depth. They lost their best player de Bruynne and Stones for most of this season, Haaland for a couple of months and are if they win there game in hand will head the table. This is the extent of the task ahead of us, the two crucial games being Liverpool vs City and our trip to the Etihad. Going to be a great end to the season though!!

  7. is there somebody on here still missing mr.wenger ?. seems to me somebody has still not got over the fact that mr.wenger has left our club,just saying.

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