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No Excuses Left, It’s A Lack Of Fire-Power That Will Cost Arsenal This Season

After a disappointing 0-0 draw with Bolton, I asses the main cause for concern for Arsenal; their lack of cutting edge in front of goal and lack of goalscorers

Walcott & van Persie for Arsenal

Another league game goes by and more dropped points from a game Arsenal should have tied up within 30 minutes. That’s 1 point from 12 this year.

The excuses are running out now. For most of the season fans and particularly Arsene Wenger, have blamed injuries as the key reason for us dropping points. And rightly so in some cases. Not many squads could cope with the number of injuries to key players we’ve had to deal with this season.

However, while we’re still missing the likes of Wilshere, Gibbs and Santos, injuries can’t really be used as a excuse for the 0-0 draw with Bolton yesterday. Last nights team was more than capable of collecting all three points and we created more than enough chances to win the game, and that has been the case all to often this season.

Pundits like to portray Arsenal as a team that plays pretty football but cant defend. But what team can defend this season? All teams are conceding goals, even the likes of City and United. Now i know our defence is far from water-tight, but it’s improving. With Sagna at right back, Vermaelen at left back and Koscielny and Mertesacker in the middle, we had a solid looking defence last night. Certainly the most solid it’s looked in a long time, and i can see us being more sound at the back in the coming months.

So our defence isn’t my worry, it’s our inability to convert our chances that’s the real issue. On several occasions this season Arsenal have scrapped a win or only managed a draw, after spurning several chances throughout the game. Newcastle, Swansea, QPR, Wolves, Everton, City and Fulham are just a few matches that spring to mind.

But the last few months have been particularly worrying. We’ve now scored just 9 goals in the last 9 league games. If anything is going to cost us fourth place or a trophy this season, i think it will be our lack of cutting edge in front of goal.

Yes, you can say ‘at least we’re creating chances’. But there’s no point creating chances if you don’t take them! Walcott, Ramsey, Chamberlain and Van Persie should have scored inside the opening 30 minutes against Bolton. But they didn’t, and that’s been our problem of late. Walcott’s miss when he was through on goal typifies our lack of cutting edge recently.

We all know van Persie has been carrying the goal-scoring burden so far this campaign, he’s scored 19 of our 39 league goals after all. But the Dutchman has received absolutely no support from from his wide-men or midfield in the goal stakes. Our finishing in general has been woeful this season, with the exception of RVP of course.

Ramsey has been playing in the advanced ‘play-maker’ midfield role, but has so far only scored 1 goal. Walcott just 3 goals, and Gervinho a slightly more respectable 4 goals in his 15 games. Just 8 goals have come from the three players nearest to Van Persie in the attacking third this season.

It’s been glaringly obvious Arsenal needed a reliable back-up/partner for van Persie, but the boss has decided to risk it and refused to sign another striker in January. That’s despite our current second-choice striker, Chamakh, only contributing 1 solitary goal in the league so far. Wenger clearly doesn’t trust Park yet, so what are we left with? Relying on Robin.

Titles and trophies are often won by the strength of a teams bench. A manager knowing that if he needs to, he has the players to call upon to change a game or nick a goal. We don’t have that. We have players low on confidence and low on quality. Predictable players who don’t change the course of a game.

Chamberlain has been a shining light in recent games, and he looks like he could chip in with a few goals, but it’s unfair to put too much expectation on his shoulders. Now the transfer window has closed, Ramsey, Walcott, Arshavin, Gervinho and Chamakh (when they return), all need to step up and start putting the chances away when they come.

Forget our ‘dodgy’ defence, forget injuries, if Arsenal miss out on Champions League football or a trophy this season, it will be because of our lack of fire-power.

Rant over.



  1. Terry Poulter

    February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Unfortunately this fire power issue will continue whilst Mr Wenger insists in playing Theo Wallcot.We have never played well with Theo playing and his finishing is criminal,I would love to see his stats over a year of how many chances he puts away to how many chances he has. And now we are just waiting for the enevitable to happen as well , RVP getting injured .

    • RVP10

      February 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Theo is a strange case for me. He can be a lethal finisher, like the Chelsea or Swansea goals. But most of the time he rushes his shot or snatches at them. He just doesn’t have that consistency. And the funny thing is, Theo is constantly calling for Wenger to play him through the middle!

    • alwaysagooner

      February 3, 2012 at 3:11 am

      totally agree, our finishing lets us down time to move theo on,he is actually going backwoods.

  2. Mike Gunner

    February 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    When he signed Gervino,surelyWenger knew the guy would not be avavilable from Jan onwards.Kamaora/Keane and one other were available. Any of these guyscouldsurely have helped Arsenal score goals.
    I am afraid Wenger has failed and it’s time he goes.Unless he can secure the the fourth spot otherwise I predict wholesale changes .

  3. bradster

    February 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I still think it’s time to give Song or Ramsey a rest. Play without a holding mid (not that Song is always there) and have Arteta and Ramsey in the middle with Arshavin as that number 10 role. He’ll suit it and has the full range of passing. Or try Rosicky there.

  4. kay

    February 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I still want to believe that Theo will be a good finisher cos we have all seen flashes of this trait. What he needs to do is to believe in himself and show composure in front of goal. He also tends to rush his shots. All he needs is calmness and composure and the goals will start rolling. Guns Out. BOOM!

  5. Ayobami Omolara

    February 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    i dnt really have any faith in Wenger again, it’s better 4 us 2 sell him now or he sell Arsenal 2 RELEGATION

  6. nicholas

    February 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Wenger and the board jussss FCUKKKKKKK awffffffffffff…….. U disgusting motherfcukkers…. U don’t want to buy cheap players like dempsey, dembele, keane, zamora, kalou. Theses players will and can score just to help the side…. Walcott is hopless, ramsey jusss doesn’t kno wat to do with the ball, gervinho will not score…. Wenger and board mussssttttt leave!!!!!!!!!

    • John

      February 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      Why is it that many of the Wenger out brigade have to be so disrespectful?

  7. Rob

    February 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Ramsey is crap overrated he should not play at all when we had fabregas and nasri all we needed was 2 more players 1 defender and 1 striker because we were good but we sold them now we need 5 new players we need 2 playmakers 1 striker and a back up striker and a good winger our team should be Szczesny, Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen, Santos Song Gotze gervinho willshere van persie podolski Subs wallcott chamberlin martin mertesacker gibbs fabianski and we need to sell bendtner arshavin chamach diaby almunia and bring back vela and send ramsey out on loan

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