Mikel Arteta is hoping his strikers can rediscover their scoring touch when Arsenal host Nottingham Forestat the Emirates this afternoon.
Neither Gabriel Jesus nor Eddie Nketiah have found the net since the 3-0 win over Bodo/Glimt on 6 October and concerns are growing that their goal drought is adding pressure to a team that has started looking leggy in the last couple of weeks.
With five matches scheduled before club football pauses for the World Cup, opportunities to put things right on the training ground are few and far between. Instead, the boss is relying on his strike duo to draw on their experience to free themselves of the mental block.
“We need goals and we need them from our front players, that’s for sure, to win the games and give us bigger margins,” he said.
“That run of lack of goals has to end for us to be in the position for us to win more matches.
“Training is very restricted but sometimes it is a lot of mental things that you can work on and discuss.
“With the experience that they have, it is not the first time that they have been five games without scoring a goal in their careers – it’s happened to every striker that I know of. You have to deal with it, it’s part of the job.”
After Manchester City’s win over Leicester, the Gunners need to beat Forest to return to top spot in the Premier League table.
While Steve Cooper’s side are bottom of the table, last weekend’s win over Liverpool is a warning that on their day they are capable of beating anyone.
Arsenal know that first-hand having lost at Forest in January in the FA Cup. It’s a result that continues to play on the mind of captain Martin Odegaard.
In his captain’s notes column for the matchday programme, he said: “We played against Nottingham Forest last season when they knocked us out of the cup, so we know to expect a really big test today.
“I played the whole of that FA Cup game last season away at Forest, and I was very impressed with them that day, so if they have improved even more since then, then for sure they will be a difficult test today.
“They will be highly motivated coming to the Emirates today, with the confidence of their result last weekend as well. It’s up to us to get back to winning ways in the league.”