Arsene Wenger says he’s looking for Arsenal to add ten goals to last season’s Premier League tally and asserted his belief that the current squad can do just that.
Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud, with 25 and 19 goals respectively, were some way ahead of their teammates in the scoring chart* last campaign and it’s from wide areas and midfield that the boss expects the shortfall to be made up.
Speaking to press ahead of the Emirates Cup the boss underlined the importance of the Gunners being more efficient in the final third as a means of capitalising on recent defensive improvements.
“We have enough goals in the squad,” the manager said. “What we want is some more goals from some players who are not really strikers and that was our strength traditionally. Our offensive and creative players scored 10 to 12 goals, that’s what you need.
“Don’t forget that we have plenty of strikers but sometimes players go through bad periods. The goalscoring, the finishing, is a bit more psychic than any other activity in the team and when they go through a bad spell they leave their place for somebody else.
“Our target is to improve our number of goals but you as well have examples of teams who have scored 90 or 100 goals and have not won the championship. We want to combine good defensive efficiency with 10 more goals.
“In the second part of last season we only conceded 13 goals in 19 games. So we want to keep that and add a few more goals. I think we can find that from inside, I am convinced of that. If we can find it from outside then we will do it as well.”
Aside from Alexis and Olivier only Aaron Ramsey, with 10 goals, made it into double figures last season. Given Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored just 31 goals between them you can see what what the boss means. There’s far more offensive quality there than the paltry number of goals would suggest.
The gauntlet has been laid down, it’s now up to the players to prove they can cut the mustard in and around the box.
* all competitions