Are Arsenal running out of firepower?
Having scored in every other home Premier League game, Arsenal have now failed to score in their last two. For a team that boasts the widest goal spread in the league with 19 different scorers it’s almost bizarre to see them struggle to hit the net at home in two games across the entire season let alone in a row.
Arsenal has the third best attack in the league, in terms of goals scored, and the third best defence in the league, in terms of goals conceded. They are currently sat in third. Coincidence?
Chelsea have the second best defence and the second best attack, statistically speaking, yet they are the champions. Southampton have the meanest defence in the league but with under 50 goals to their name it is not surprising they are no longer in contention for a top four place. Manchester City has the most liberal attack in the league but their defence is not as frugal as it has been in recent years as they are currently joint fourth in the defence tables.
Why Arsenal can finish ahead of Manchester City
The balance between defence and attack is what propels you up the table and why City are now favourites for second place but Arsenal still have a shot and here’s why.
Arsenal’s lack of goals in their last two home games and the absence of Olivier Giroud from the score sheet since a 90th minute strike against Liverpool which had no bearing on the result suggests Arsenal’s devastating attack is on the wane and there are renewed calls for a striker to come in during the summer window.
Manchester City face a Swansea side who average as many goals scored as they concede and then they face a Southampton side who boast the best defence in the league. Claiming 6 points will be difficult for Pellegrini’s men. The defeat to Swansea could actually help Arsenal in a way and act as a palate cleanser. It is possible they were becoming a little too comfortable in recent matches and this wake-up call could help them finish the season strongly.
Giroud might have been struggling to score in the past few games but the chances haven’t really been there for him and only Diego Costa has a better shot conversion rate than he does. Aaron Ramsey has scored or assisted 7 goals in his last 5 games and Alexis Sanchez has enjoyed a stellar season in his first year in English football. The goals have dried up in the past two home games but I don’t believe that is indicative of Arsenal’s attacking threat being on the wane.
Chelsea and Swansea both turned up to the Emirates to defend with 11 men behind the ball and it got them the result they desired. The remaining fixtures will work in Arsenal’s favour because Manchester United will not be allowed to set up to just defend at Old Trafford and Sunderland and West Brom do not have the tactical discipline of Chelsea and Swansea to implement a “Project Defend” game plan.
Arsenal could easily finish this season with 70+ league goals which would be an incredible return when you consider Alexis is in his first season, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott have not been regulars, Giroud was out for 4 months and Ramsey has had his own injury issues.
Is Arsenal running out of firepower? Far from it. They are just getting started.