Gunners not firing: Will Arsenal struggle to score this season?
- Credit: John Walton/PA
Arsenal spent around £175 million on Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, yet on Sunday we saw once again that they cannot play together.
While it was only a friendly, Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in The Mind Series reaffirmed doubts about Arsenal’s big money forwards from last season as they struggled to create and take chances.
Their work rate off the ball helped fashion a couple of half chances but it is clear that they should not start together against Brentford this Friday.
Aubameyang brings pace and movement to offer a threat in behind, but the frequency of his threat is dwindling and his finishing has left a lot to be desired recently.
Lacazette has taken up a role dropping deep to link up play, which helps his teammates but often leaves him outside the box at the crucial moment due to his lack of pace.
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Pepe has a tendency to drift through games and whilst he has the quality to be a difference maker, he often does not get, or create, the opportunity.
What is needed to improve Arsenal’s attack is the dribbling, movement and energy of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to help create balance.
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But even with those two, it often looks like Arsenal lack a definitive attacking plan, relying on moments of magic or a barrage of Kieran Tierney crosses.
Perhaps it is a lack of a plan from Arteta. Perhaps it is the players at his disposal. Either way a change needs to be made.
One change could have been Joe Willock, a goal scoring midfielder who now looks set to join Newcastle for £25 million. Bringing in such a fee for a potentially useful player suggests that Arsenal could be in the market for an attacking midfielder, and the evidence shows they need one.
For all of Saka and Smith Rowe’s talent, Arsenal need something different to avoid slumping back into the slow, lacklustre side from the start of last season.
There is still time in the window, but Arsenal’s technical director Edu needs to get a move on.