Rio Ferdinand pinpoints where Arsenal’s main problem lies

Rio Ferdinand has identified Arsenal’s primary challenge as they face difficulties in the title race. While Mikel Arteta’s team has showcased defensive solidity and commendable performances in midfield, their struggle to score enough goals in the attack has become a significant concern.

Arsenal concluded 2023 on a disappointing note, suffering defeats in their final two league matches against West Ham and Fulham. This downturn allowed Liverpool to surpass them at the top of the league table.

The Gunners aim for an improved performance in 2024, and they started positively with a convincing 5-0 victory against Crystal Palace in the Premier League. However, Ferdinand emphasises that addressing the goal-scoring issues in the attack will be crucial for Arsenal’s success in the ongoing title race.

However, Ferdinand believes the problems in their attack need to be solved. He said, as quoted by The Sun:

 “The people who have set the benchmark this season have been Manchester City, their top goalscorer is obviously Erling Haaland with 14 goals, he goes lame and gets injured. The next man, Alvarez comes in and has six goals.

“That’s the same as the top scorer here at Arsenal, it shows you where the problems are. If you look at the front positions, there’s not enough goals coming from that area, that’s a big problem.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

We know our attack is weak, but we made a mistake by not strengthening it in the summer.

Instead of Kai Havertz, we should have signed a new striker who can deliver the goals.

We have to wait until the summer before we can fix that problem, which is far from an ideal situation.

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Tags Rio Ferdinand


  1. So, we should have signed a striker instead of replacing Xhaka who was a midfielder?

    Anyway, a Toney/Vlahovic/Benzema/Firmino type of striker is needed Asap.

  2. To my mind, we only have one true midfielder who’s at all reliable in rice – the others are either injury prone, inconsistent (jorginho), not good enough (elneny – seems to be the verdict from the manager considering how little he plays) or are attackers trying to adapt to/cover deeper roles – with inconsistent results as one might expect.
    Last season we at least had two reliable starters for most of the year. Now, I can’t see us being particularly competitive in EPL games without rice in the team – I think we’re that reliant on him to hold things together, and it sounds like he might be out for our next game at least, or else he’s on the verge of picking up an injury. And as good as rice is, he’s not a great passer – we’ve missed that badly due to partey’s absence and xhaka leaving. Imo a new midfielder is urgently needed, far more so than the striker right now.

  3. Pathetic the Havertz transfer I don’t mind him.but 65 mill is to much Arsenal have 3 positions if you include raya then 4 a striker a defensive midfielder left back and if ramsdale leave a gk that’s another 200+ mill 2 years away from a title if keep same squad and add them posistions

  4. Mikel has stated on numerous occassions that he wants the goalscoring responsibility shared all over the team, which is obviously working. I’d like to see our strikers score more though, as the wingers and attacking midfielders are outscoring them. Seems we can’t have it both ways, hence why we have to have faith in the team including our current strikers.

    1. Vamos
      Very true what you have said, and last year it worked splendidly. I’m not having a go at Arteta, but merely comparing the differences in play from last year to this year.

      This year Arteta has changed our style of play; traded in the quick passing, quick buildup and direct play for the new style this year.

      Slower more deliberate buildup, with a priority on maintaining possession in the effort of creating more chances.

      We create many chances during matches, but we struggle to finish. Saka and Martinelli are double teamed on the wings, the defense had time to set up and organize in front of Odegaard.

      Lastly, neither Jesus nor Nketiah are finishers; never have been and creating more chances won’t alter that.

      Perhaps a clinical finisher would make these tactics shine, or a B2B midfielder making late runs could capitalize.

      I wonder what your thoughts are on this comparison?

      1. Though with minimal end product from open play, i don’t think our build up is any slower this season. It’s just our conversion rate that seemed to have reduced due to oppositions’ low block against a newly recognised “threat” in us. I also don’t think we prioritise possession cos we have to study what our opponents has in stall hence why we don’t completely dominate oppositions even at home. Pep even said it in an interview, how we “let you start a process and then get aggressive”. which shows we possess or disposses with intent, regardless the team we are up against. Lastly i don’t see how a “clinical finisher” will make our tactics shine because it’s not tidy enough to produce clear cut chances for the CFs cos of it’s chaotic nature in oppositions’ box. it mostly favours the AMs and wide men when they get to cut inside or get through on goal via counter. i believe when it get’s to that stage where the strikers won’t need to play with their back to goal, both Gabi and Eddie will get to score a lot more.

        1. Most analyses would suggest that our build-up play is slower. We also do not have the line breaking passing of Partey and Xhaka.
          Having a more clinical finisher will not address these issues but should make us more efficient.

        2. Thank you for the response Vamos, I have taken a bit of time to read and think upon your comments.

          I disagree about our buildup this year; it is indeed much slower, and lacks the directness we saw last year. We seek to control the game through possession and limit the time opponents have the ball.

          Our conversion rate is affected by organized defense we allowed to set up by our slow buildup.

          Lastly I believe we create enough chances, we just lack a consistent finisher to put the ball in the net.

          Thank you for the response, I enjoyed the discussion.

  5. Davi your point is correct we have missed Partey . But we had created 43 chances in our last 3 home games before palace and scored none . What is the real problem then . It’s obviously the front 3 .

  6. Ferdinand should rather try and find Man-U’s problem as they still have a NEGATIVE GOAL-DIFFERENCE midway through the season.

    This constant “fault finding comments” of pundits wrt Arsenal and entertainment of it on this site, is becoming so boring. Everyone knows by now it is just futile attempts to erode opposing fansbase confidence & believe. Eish!! The lengths ppl go to in order to hide & deflect their own shortcomings.

    HYPOCRISY @ its best!!!

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