Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Arteta calls on beleaguered attack to “take more risks”

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal need to take more risks in front of goal if we’re to turn around the depressing attacking stats registered so far this season.

According to @Orbinho, only three teams (Burnley, Aston Villa and Norwich) have created fewer clear cut chances than the Gunners’ total of 28 this campaign while only two (Wolves and Norwich) have recorded lower conversion rates than our 27%.

Unfortunately, when your side isn’t creating and taking chances, you’re always at risk of dropping points, as happened at Everton and Manchester United.

Asked how his players will rectify the situation, Arteta said: “We have to encourage the players to take more risks and put the ball in the box more when we have the opportunity to do so.

“We also have to have more players arriving in the box and to take and score the big chances when they come.

“When it comes to creating chances it’s always a combination of the individual, the collective and the team.

“We have to look at everything – we also need to increase the level of performances and close the game out when we have level of performance in matches. We need more consistency.”

Having started the season in reasonable form, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s performances have tailed off dramatically. Dropped to the bench at Goodison Park, the boss maintains there’s no rift with the striker, but he did admit his main man is struggling for confidence.

“Obviously, when a player is not scoring it’s affecting his confidence, it’s affecting the mood and probably the belief, but you have to rebel against this situation, don’t accept it and feel sorry for yourself.

He added: “It’s all about patches, every player has patches and moments, and it’s about trying to make the big moments and the good moments and the form when a player is scoring goals to try and maintain it, and try to reduce to the time when they don’t.”

While morale in the camp might be low right now, we can at least take heart from the fact we’ve never lost at home to Southampton in 22 Premier League showdowns – the most one side has faced another on the road without ever winning in the competition’s history. (Stat via PremierLeague.com)

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The stays are v bad. Hopefully we revert to the team that was doing well for us and stay consistently with that.



Santi's Little Helper

The big chance creation stats are shocking. Lots of chatter about how Auba is to score (or a new CF) when we don’t create chances but the fact is he’s part of the reason. Offers no creativity, hold up play, and isn’t a threat to get on the end of a cross. He’s killer if you can build the right team to create with only 10 men which we just aren’t. Not sure how much of that is Arteta and how much is just the team. Lots of solid decent ballplayers but few with much guile for finding a difficult… Read more »


By putting on Nketiah as a winger?


He created chances, should have scored. Absolutely crazy decision …


I love the split personality take here.

Arsene’s Zipper

He was fine and unlucky not to score. Dare I say I’d give him another shot there.


So glad your not the manager, Eddie is rubbish.

Nketiah was superb when he came on, created two glorious chances on a plate for Odegaard and Aubameyang.

He was actually running at defenders when he came on at Goodison and beating them – something Aubameyang doesn’t/can’t do very well anymore – so I can fully understand why Arteta brought on Nketiah for Martinelli.

And from what I remember, Nketiah also played as a winger in pre-season and did really well.

Bleeding gums murphy

He wasn’t superb ffs. He lost the ball a number of times, gave away a couple of stupid fouls and played two decent passes. Oh yeah and he missed a header fro m 2 yards.


I guess it’s relative. Superb ain’t what it used to be at Arsenal…

Public Elneny

If he wants players taking more attacking risks on the ball, he should select Pepe

The real problem is the spacing and movement of our attack, they’re too far apart and stick too rigidly to their zone of the pitch. Results in our players being outnumbered and very predictable horseshoe football


Seriously. It’s time he had a chance up top. Better at hold up play, more technically gifted than Auba, better in the air, still direct. He may be frustratingly inconsistent, but all our other forwards are frustratingly consistent…consistently bad right now.

Public Elneny

I’m not sure about CF. His worst aspect is his first touch, and he’s a bit physically flimsy in the same ectomorphic, high centre of gravity way Auba is, so it’s better he receives the ball in a bit of space on the wing. If Auba starts actually converting the sitters he sniffs out he’ll be important again. I know he’s not what you really want from a modern CF but still a better bet than the alternatives for now I think Pepe doesn’t need to start most games, but Saka could clearly use more rest, ESR shouldn’t play every… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

Pepe’s a winger who has been very ordinary playing on the wing. In what world is he suddenly going to be a good center forward? Think about it, it’s probably a worse take than the lad who thinks we should play partey as a no.10.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Has Pepe actually ever played up top in his career? I don’t believe so, even at Lille.

Maybe try it against Sunderland as that’s a free hit, or pre-season next summer, but wouldn’t like to see that risk in a Premier League game.


Can it be worse that what we’re seeing right now? No. Maybe it’s not better, but anything is worth a shot. He’s a forward and he’s easy to control on the left or right and most dangerous through the middle when he gets into those spaces. When we feed him in hold up play through the wing he generally does pretty well. I’d like to see it. The alternative is essentially the end of his Arsenal career and another massive transfer failure that we’ll be scrapping to get anything for. He’s behind a guy that won’t sign a deal and… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

It couldn’t be worse mate, watch his performance against palace.


“When it comes to creating chances it’s always a combination of the individual, the collective and the team.” Not tactics? Everytime we’ve looked good we’ve played at pace. Most of our losses we been totally outclassed (Puddles, City, Chel$ea) or played ponderously slow (Brentford, Everton, Manure – chuck in Palace too). Maybe we could execute a tactical and concerted press supported by the whole front line and mids from time to time, instead of Auba running around after the ball as it’s comedically passed around him. Perhaps we could play Konga-Partey together again? The only midfield duo that has the… Read more »


While I’m not about to suggest Orbinho no doubt has a valid point about our potency, his stats don’t actually make sense. ,

Liverpool have had 93 ‘big chances’ and converted 55% apparently, which would equate to 51 goals, but they have ‘only’ scored 44 goals. Whereas we have 28 ‘big chances’ at a conversion rate of 27%, which would be 7.5 goals, against the 18 we’ve actually scored.


“Big chances” created is a VERY “grey” stat. It varies massively by source.


Via the EPL’s site: Liverpool 49 big chances created compared to 93 on Orbinho.


Not every goal comes from a big chance, so you can have our situation where we convert terribly on big chances, but then score some from small chances/lucky deflections etc — not sure how to work out the Liverpool one tho 🙂

A Different George

You can score a goal that is not a “big chance.” When Salah, with no support, dribbles through three opponents in the penalty area and then, from an impossible angle, curls a shot off the far post, I don’t think that is a “big chance.” But it is most certainly a goal.

Luzhny-jerk reaction

That’s what I was curious about. Was doing the maths in my head while listening to Andrew read the stats on the podcast, and realized 27% couldn’t possibly have been correct, since we couldn’t conceivably score anything but whole numbers of goals. 7.5 just doesn’t track…

Heavenly Chapecoense

We should get Martial and send Auba the other way if all parties agree with it,


What could go wrong with a swap deal with Manure?

Heavenly Chapecoense

Martial can play CF or as a winger where he is better than Pepe and scores more than Saka.


Ever heard the name Mkhitaryan?

Besides, Martial is no better than what we currently have.


Right, good idea. But why on earth would manyoo make that swap? This is Football Manager video game….

It’s bizarre, a dry spell in front of goal and everyone wants to get rid of Auba. When he scores 2 or 3 tomorrow then all will be forgotten and forgiven around here. I can see the case for Martial – he’s just turned 26 this week so unlike Willian, Luiz, Cedric, Mkhitaryan, his best days aren’t behind him and more importantly, unlike the others, could still have some prime days ahead of him. I would still keep Auba next season though – when we’re back in Europe then we’ll need a bigger squad – that’s on top of Laca… Read more »

Naked Cygan

Wow!! We are better than Burnley. Trust the process, Arteta sat next to Pep.

Spanish Gooner

Off-topic but I’m going to tomorrow’s game for the first time since I was about 15, and the club has told me I need to at least arrive 90 minutes before kick off. Would anybody be able to tell me if this is true? It might make it tight getting from the airport in time 😬

Bleeding gums murphy

No. They just encourage people to get there early. Go in any time you like. Hope you enjoy the game.

Viju Jacob

Arteta sure does talk up a good presscon, and he talks as though someone else had to get the team to perform and not his call. Just can’t understand this bloke anymore, but one thing is sure – he is put of his depth.

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