Sunday, March 3, 2024

Wenger outlines player goal targets

Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should be targetting at least ten goals each this season as he claimed Arsenal can challenge for the title by sharing goals around the team.

Building on comments made in July – when he stressed his current personnel have the quality to close the gap on Chelsea and Manchester City – the boss spoke in unequivocal terms about which players he’s expecting more from in front of goal.

“When we go forward we look like we can score goals,” Wenger told press ahead of the season opener with West Ham. “We were dominated in the second half against Chelsea [in the Community Shield] but every time we crossed the halfway line it looked like something could happen there.

“We have to develop our collective game. I think we have to depend less on one guy who comes in and then scores all the goals, and continue to develop our players and the collective aspect.

“I don’t see why a guy like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should not aim to score 10 or more goals. Alexis can score goals and Ozil has to fix himself a target of at least 10. Five for a guy who plays behind a striker, you want more goals from him. We can share that a bit.

“Giroud will not be far away from 20. If he played the whole of last season then he would have scored 20 goals. Walcott as well.”

As we touched on last month, aside from Alexis and Olivier only Aaron Ramsey, with 10 goals, made it into double figures last season. Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored just 31 goals between them – a figure which to a certain extent was influenced by their personal injury records.

Wenger’s comments on the importance of the ‘collective’ come as a response to Thierry Henry’s public declaration that the Gunners should be in the market for France international Karim Benzema.

“Yes, Arsenal would win the league,” said Thierry to Sky Sports on the impact of his striker compatriot.

“I think if you get Benzema, not only will you challenge for the league, but you also challenge for the Champions League.

“They need that type of striker who can be different to Olivier Giroud. Him alone as a striker all season, he is very good at what he does but you need to have that type of striker who can stretch a defence, a guy that can go in behind.”

Wenger, well aware that Thierry has to pipe up with opinions given his high-profile TV role, joked that things aren’t quite so cut and dry, “I respect Thierry Henry a lot for his football knowledge but it is not as mathematical as that.”


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Thierry Henry also said we need 4 players to win the title. He also prefers Cesc to Mesut Özil. I know who i’ll listen, the man who gave Thierry a career.

Danger Mouse

Half of these ex players are clueless as commentators. Why should anyone listen to Henry instead of Wenger? Last year I watched a game where Emanuel Petit and Paul Scholes spent their half time analysis belittling Mesut Ozils performance when it was clear to even a dunce like me that everything good Arsenal were doing that night was going through Ozil…I’ve just listened to Danny Murphy rule out Arsenals chances of winning the title as he says we don’t win against the big teams and dont perform in the big games. Somebody should tell him we’ve beaten Chelsea, City, United… Read more »

Stringer Bell

Really well said sir. That silly cunt Howard from the sun (I know I shouldn’t read it but if it’s there you pick it up don’t ya, don’t ya.) saying Arsenal still don’t have a holding midfielder that can win em the league, it’s like they just won’t or can’t accept that coq has been superb since jan. Harry Kane breaks into the spuds team and he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, what’s the difference with our coq! It’s not two games he has looked good, he has looked as good as any dmf in the league if… Read more »


Yes Mun U did look noncohesive yesterday, although Menphis looked a bit handy. Plus De Gea is going going, gone. Boring game.


Oh, and Spuds were SHIT. COYG!!!!!


What’s wrong with prefering Cesc to Ozil?
I know hating Cesc is now a thing on here, but he was huge for us. During the dark years he carried the team to CL quarters and semis (regularly). And he was playing on really weak teams (Denilson et al). We haven’t passed the second round in the CL since he left. And without him, we would most likely have dropped out of the top four as well.

If the two were on the market at the same time, I’d take Cesc.


Ozil is younger and stat wise, is better as he is playing regularly at Real Mad while Cesc warming the bench.

Cesc also divides opinion (some accept him back, some still hurts by him engineering his move away before) while Ozil.. well #YAGUNNERSYA

Bould's Eyeliner

I would definitely take ozil over cesc now, but if any gunner was given the choice between cesc initially leaving and not, back in the day, we’d obviously have wanted him to stay – that’s why him leaving genuinely hurt so much. I’m still mixed about Fabregas as he was once my favorite gunner for many years, but everytime he comes out in that fucking blue shirt, and everytime he desperately pleads on the press about how he could never hate arsenal, yadayada… Fuck that guy. Plus, he’s still good, but he’s not going anywhere forward anymore with his career.… Read more »

Alexis Oxlade-Chambers

so would I


For arsenal fans who cried for so many years about their absence of trophies, i’m surprised a guy who seems SO SO SO SO SO superior brought you NOTHING in so many yars while with this Özil, after two years with him, you won 2 FA Cup and 2 Community shield. You have to know what you wish, guys…

Btw, check the stats for the past 6 years and you’ll thank Mesut to have come to you.


I agree. I hate Cesc for the way he left us but I would still prefer him over Ozil.

Stringer Bell

I don’t know if you are able to get to a game Sam, if you can you my guess is you will see how good Ozil is. Compairing him to Fabregas is so shortsighted. You will be mesmerised if you ever get the chance to watch him play live. Coyg

TR7 > CR7

I don’t hate Cesc, but I would still prefer Ozil.

Just you wait, Mesut is gonna be immense this year.

Just. You. Wait.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

And what exactly did Cesc win for us when he was here? That whole generation of Arsenal players won nothing. And you want to know why they won nothing? They didn’t care about the club. They were always looking for a way out of arsenal. I’m glad they all left – from Adebayor to Cesc.


That is harsh putting Cesc in the same bracket as Adebayor. Although his departure was acrimonious (and I would definitely not have him over Ozil now) you can’t say he didn’t love the club when he was here. It’s just that irritating Barca DNA thing which he must be kicking himself every day for as that effectively put paid to any chance of him developing any further as he got screwed over by Barca…


Mesut is the superior player at this point- he simple plays on a level most will never reach. Fabregas is an accomplished player but appears pedestrian when compared to the inventiveness and vision that Ozil possesses.

Cast aside favoritusm and tribalism, I would pose most manager’s of elite teams would prefer to have Ozil rather than Fabrigas in their team (but would hardly be likely to turn down either).

Alexis Oxlade-Chambers

no. of assists last
season: Özil 5,
Fabregas 19




You obviously don’t understand Ozil’s brilliance, most people don’t, only REAL arsenal supporters can see it.


Özil = 4 months out for injury.

Alexis Oxlade-Chambers

In this category Özil wins. Indeed. Let’s hope this season he wins in the other one too.

TR7 > CR7

I hate stats.

Watch this:

1) *Mertesacker looks to Ozil* as if to say: “Guide me oh chosen one.”
2) Ozil points him to Ramsey.
3) Ramsey gets it, and zips it to Ozil.
4) Perfect touch, one-two Giroud.
5) Perfectly waited pass to Ramsey.
6) Ramsey takes a heavy touch, it comes to Giroud.
7) Giroud brilliant finish.

Giroud goal.
Ramsey assist.
Ozil nicking a living.

JJ's Bender

Sorry mate accidental thumbs down, agree completely with you! As someone wondrously put it on here recently, when you watch the game you don’t see Mesut, when you watch Mesut you see the whole game…

TR7 > CR7

Sorry mate, accidental thumbs up. Sadly that thumbs down you gave me will haunt my every waking hour for the rest of my days.

Stringer Bell

They are different players. In case a few haven’t noticed one is a box to box and the other sits in behind the striker, it like compairing Dennis Bergkamp and Steven Gerard. I have a season ticket and can only tell u that I absolutely love watching Mesut Ozil play football, I remember has a kid being heartbroken when Brady left us, then I loved watching Charlie Nicholas, he was an incredibly gifted footballer who was in an average team at the time. Never wanted to see the day when Bergkamp no longer played for us. Pires, Henry filled me… Read more »


Trust me I love watching him on TV too. But I get your point. I watched him in Singapore against everton. Thats the only time I watched him in a stadium. Like someone said when we signed him, his game is where the camera isn’t.I still remember those words and I was deliberately watching him just to know how it actually is. I remember a specific passage of play. He was crowded with Everton players, he passes the ball to Ramsey I think, then drifts out of the crowd, moves some 15-20 yards..and the important thing is that he drifted… Read more »


I think Giroud could contribute more if we used his aerial strenght more often. To many times we come up against parked busses and try to play our way through them keeping the ball on the ground. When you cant go through them why not try to go over them instead? Especially when we have a 6″4 tall target man specializing in aerial duels inside the box. I would like to know the reasoning behind the constant passes to foot when we have that different option in Giroud who will give anyone in the league a proper fight in the… Read more »

Green arrow> Red arrow

Giroud- 20 Goals, we know its not out of his reach.
Sanchez- 20-25 goals for the main man.
Walcott- 15 Goals, needs to prove himself in his desired position.
Chamberlain- 10-15 goals, has everything to be a real world class talent.
Welbeck- 10 goals, seems reasonable for a second settled season .
Ramsey- 10-15 goals, we know he has it in him.
Cazorla- 5-10 goals, just needs to be the playmaker we know he can be.
Ozil- 20 assists, a few goals here and there would be nice.


Ozil never scored more than 10 goals a season while at Real Madrid (10 goals in his first and third seasons). His goal-per-game ratio at Arsenal is also similar the ratio he had in his three seasons at Real Madrid (around 0.17 goal per game). His contribution to the game is more about assists than goals, and he has one of the best assist-per-game ratio in the EPL history. We are lucky to have him.


Why wouldnt you want him to score goals too? wouldnt that be called improvement?


I sort of agree with both points. At Real, Ozil was the king of assists, of setting up other players. However, the goals were shared sparingly with the focus on Renaldo and Benzema a distant second. He was not looking to score goals. The difference with this Arsenal team is there are multiple (proven) scorers from midfield and attack. It stands to reason each and every attack, particularly those with pace, will feature players pulling the defense out of position and creating chance for one Arsenal player or another. Ozil should be able to take advantage also… It’s not a… Read more »

David C

he’s not a natural sniper/poacher in front of the net and that’s ok. He looks to work in a teammate most occasions. These are the guys you build a team around!


I did not mean I do not want him to score more goals. If he can score more goals, it is great, but if not, I do not think we should be criticizing him or making an issue of it.

Zidane scored 12, 12, 10, 6, and 9 goals while at Real Madrid and 7, 11, 2, 5, and 6 at Juventus. Ozil is not far off.

Alexis Oxlade-Chambers

Sorry. Now I see you weren’t saying anything about Özil being a better assist provider than Fabregas.

Brendan Rodgers' self-portrait

Want to see the Ox fit for a good run in the team…if so he’ll get his 10 goals for certain.


“I respect Thierry Henry a lot for his
football knowledge but it is not as
mathematical as that.” – Arsene Wenger

Getso gunner

Actually that is what our team needs morethan signing a new striker

prince poldis' personal stash of turkish hash--browns

I once loved FranCesc-Oh. Now im just indifferent to him. Simples.
Its kinda like the ex you thought you loved and stupidly gave the C/C to, before they got caught doing the ‘dirrty’!!
– I see him making out with Chelski “ITs CHEATING”, I say.
-“YOU dont love me NO more” he cried…
– ‘Whats love got to do with it?’ by Tina Turner is playing background on the turntable. Classic.

Cliff Bastin

Chuba Akpom already has 1 goal for Hull 😀

not sure

Oh no! We’re already 3 pts. behind with that dreaded game in hand..


Only need a draw to stay level with Chelsea…


Ozil is great but does need to step it up in goals. But crucially, we need a Benzema type to add to his tally of assists. Our current forwards bar Sanchez, aren’t skilled enough to finish off some of the chances he creates. I’ve seen countless ‘almost’ assists that OG or Santi (community shield chance for example) have messed up.


I don’t know why we are being talked up as championship contenders.
The addition of a goalkeeper who is 33 years old and nearing the end of his career is not a move that will win us the premiership or champions league.
And now after Wenger’s statement about not needing a world class striker and his misplaced faith in Walcott and Giroud makes me believe this season will be no different to the last one or the one before that.
I hope I am wrong on this but I don’t see us challenging Chelsea..

Alexis Oxlade-Chambers

I’d also prefer as to actually challenge for the title rather than constantly talk about it. Actions speak louder than words. And of the latter we’ve already had more than enough.


There’s not a single team with a far greater squad than the others among the top 4 teams. It’s okay to wish for Stars but with or without Benzema, we have a great team already.

Aboriginal Arsenal

Ozil will have a great game against the Hammers. He has to. He’s the captain of my fantasy team.


Think we’re fairly solid up front khedira would be an ace signing


You mean the fella who’s out injured for two months before the seasons even kicked off?


Interesting that Welbeck was not in the managers goal calculations.


Arsene is saying all the right things to keep each player focused and aware of their responsibility and also keeping the confidence level high among the group. However, if Benzema did become available I’m positive we would snap him up in a heartbeat,and rightly so.

Ex-Priest Tobin

Giroud doesn’t get the best out of Ozil. We need a new striker. Without one, we aren’t winning the league.


Lighten up, priest.

Nigerian Kanu

Truth is the only way to convince anybody that Ozil is a better player. And players like Ramsey are world class is by winning the EPL. And I really want haters to shut up. So yeah let’s go win it. Something Wenger is focused on.

Nigerian Kanu



I for one am happy with what we have. I can’t think of another team in the league that will get as many goals from midfield as we should (as long as we keep them fit, fingers crossed, rub Bould’s bald head and give it a kiss for good luck). I think that’s where many pundits are blind, it’s a bit unusual for a team to rely so much on it’s midfield for goals as we do. It’s unusual, but it doesn’t mean it’s an inferior way to go about winning stuff. I think that’s Henry’s blind spot. Most of… Read more »


Just saying if he ain’t gone to juve obviously benzema or lewandoski would be Quality

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