I have been looking through recordings of some of our games this season, hoping to find reasons why were not scoring more goals than we are. We create plenty of chances but when it comes to actual scored goals, we don’t score half as many as we should.
I know that the statisticians’ out there, will throw figures at me to show that we are up there with the top teams, well that’s not my concern. I believe the chances we create should produce many more goals.
Now I don’t claim to be a tactician, I don’t consider myself an expert but having played local football for over thirty years and watching Arsenal for fifty odd, has given me the right to criticise a little.
I love our club and I want us to win everything and I may be a bit touchy after a bad result. At times I want a new Manager and players but most of the time I just want to see more goals, spectacular goals, tap ins, headers, I don’t care how they go in!
Watching us play for ninety minutes then a 0-0 result does my head in, especially when I’ve watched chance after chance result in misses.
No doubt like all fans, I believe we could so easily have a winning team if we lose a few players that have not really made the grade and replace them with players with the skills we need. I am not talking major changes, just in the areas that we all know we are weak in but that’s getting away from my point about goals.
I think you would mostly agree that we move the ball reasonably well from the back through to the attacking midfielders, albeit with less pace than I would prefer. Up to this point our possession stats suggest that we are doing ok but I think it’s at this stage we begin to stutter, through no fault of our midfield.
We all know we have good attacking midfield unit in Cesc, Nasri, Song, Jack, Rambo AA and Theo must come in there as well. That little group of players is quite formidable, so why can’t they move the ball forward to the forwards to allow them to score?
Well for a start, the forward players do not work very hard in finding space for themselves, making it difficult to slip a pass in to them.
More often than not they are not in the positions they should be in to receive the ball and quite often they can be found on the wings or in midfield positions. Hardly the positions to score goals from is it?
Our forwards should be in a position which allows them to clear their defensive marker and be free to collect a pass from our midfield players. When an attack is in motion our forwards do not get in the box quick enough and very seldom do we have more than one player in the box which again limits the option for our midfielders.
If players want to be called forwards then why are they not adopting the correct position?
If we use three forwards, then that three should be ready to go as soon as we break – so often play has to be held back owing to a lack of forward options and this should not be the case.
Whether this is the managers choice or not I am not sure but a goal scorer out of position is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
We are in need of at least two instinctive strikers, strikers that are both footed can shoot on sight and be accurate. Far too many shots end up being closer to the corner flag than on goal. A true goal scorer would rectify our problems and put us in more positive positions.
To hear a commentator say, it fell to his wrong side is not an excuse for a miss, if a striker cannot kick instinctively with either foot then he should not be used. Now this statement may enrage some supporters as their favourite striker is being criticised but look back on some of the games this season and look at the misses we have had, it may make you think differently.
Just a footnote:
Theo Walcott is a striker, a pacey one at that and he can use both feet. My view is we are wasting his talent shoving him out on the wing. I don’t know where his preferred position is, he’s possibly happy playing anywhere but, should he be seeking a striker role in order to fulfill his needs, will we see him playing there for someone else other than Arsenal?
I hope not…..
Written by Steve Palmer.