Mikel Arteta has insisted that Arsenal’s lack of goals this season is down to ‘many factors’, but reckons the goals will start to flow if they continue to create the number of chances they have of late.
The 2020/21 campaign started with plenty of positivity at the Emirates following the club’s initial improvement following Mikel Arteta’s appointment last December, the Spaniard having made the North London side much harder to beat.
However, it’s safe to say that the early stages of the season haven’t gone to plan, with Arsenal currently languishing in 14th place in the Premier League, although they are only five points off the top four.
While the Gunners continue to look improved at the back, possessing the sixth-best defence in the division, their woes have stemmed from a lack of cutting edge at the business end of the pitch, netting just 10 times in their opening 10 league games.
There have been fingers pointed at the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the opening stages of the season, though speaking ahead of the Gunners Europa League tie with Rapid Wein, Arteta said it was ‘unfair’ to laden the full weight of blame at the Gabonese forward’s door, insisting there are ‘many factors’ behind their lack of cutting edge,
“Well, there are many factors, if you compare the Premier League with the Europa League, it’s different,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.
First 30 Premier League games at Arsenal:
Emery = 60 points
Wenger = 51 points
Arteta = 46 points pic.twitter.com/NNozGK3Nhj
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) December 2, 2020
“If you look in the last few years, how the team has shared the goals in the Premier League, it’s been quite limited. That’s not an issue that is happening now, it’s an issue that’s been happening for years.
“That has to be resolved. To put almost 80 per cent of that responsibility on one man is not fair. As a team, we have to resolve that.
“As a team, we get into a lot of situations and sometimes the service is not right, sometimes the timing is not right, sometimes the last execution is not right but as a team there are certain things that we have to do better.
“We’ve been winning matches producing similar numbers but we’ve been very efficient. That sometimes is a state of energy, a state of mind, a state of confidence that you are doing everything right.
“When it gets to the moment you hit [the ball] and it doesn’t hit the post, and if it does hit the post, it goes in. That’s the difference.
“Football, in the end, is about the cohesion and the energy and belief of the team. When you lose games that gets touched and that’s one of the beauties of this sport, how you react against that adversity.”
Arsenal attempted 31 open-play crosses against Wolves, the joint-third-most by any team in a single Premier League game this season.
Only three were successful. 😬 pic.twitter.com/xUDbTbDcLV
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 29, 2020
In their last outing – a 2-1 loss to Wolves – Arsenal peppered the Wolves box with an abundance of crosses – 31 to be precise – though only three actually found a red shirt. However, the Spaniard reckons it’s just ‘pure maths’ that the Gunners goal output will improve if they continue to create such numbers.
“I think it’s first time in the Premier League that we put 33 crosses,” he said.
“I’m telling you that if we do that more consistently we are going to score more goals.
“If we put the bodies we had in certain moments in the box, it’s maths, pure maths & it will happen.”
Next up in the Premier League is a vital clash against North London rivals Spurs, a win for the league leaders would extend the gap between the two sides to 11 points.