Arsenal are missing four of their top five scorers from last season, but still top of the league.
However, they are presently without four out of five of their top goal scorers from last season. Theo Walcott scored 21 goals in all competitions last term but is currently out with an abdominal problem which requires surgery, Lukas Podolski scored 16 goals overall last term and was ruled out for three months in September with a hamstring injury, Santi Cazorla scored 12 goals last season and is currently out with an ankle injury, and Gervinho who scored 7 goals signed for Roma in the summer.
At present, only one – Olivier Giroud – of Arsenal’s top scorers last season is available for boss Arsene Wenger to select. Yet, it hasn’t really seemed to have hampered the Gunners so far.
The arrival of Mesut Ozil is the most obvious reason for their progress, which sees them top of the Premier League with a two-goal lead and top of their Champions League group with a three-point lead. The other notable factor is the superb form of Aaron Ramsey in midfield – the Welshman has scored 8 goals in 10 appearances this term for Arsenal. He managed just two goals over the course of the entire season last term.
Giroud, who found the net 17 times in his debut season with the Gunners last term has scored 6 goals in 10 appearances so far – between the Frenchman and Ramsey, one of them has scored for Arsenal every 64 minutes so far this term.
Without the goals of Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski and Gervinho last term, Arsenal’s goals for column in the Premier League would have dropped from 72 to just 30 and in all competitions it would have dropped from 105 to just 49.
By this point last season, Arsenal’s injured trio (and Gervinho) had scored 11 goals in the Premier League and Champions League which equates to 73 per cent of Arsenal’s total 15 goals to that point. So far the remaining three of Arsenal’s top five scorers have chipped in just four out of the 22 goals Arsenal have scored in the Premier League and Champions League (18 per cent).
At present, Arsenal do not look to be struggling whatsoever, despite the fact that – statistically speaking – they are missing 55 per cent of their goal scoring threat. Technically, they are playing with less than half of their capability in front of goal than they would if all were fit (and if Gervinho hadn’t been sold). It’s almost incredible, really, and a little bit mind-boggling to think of what they may be capable of with that extra firepower.
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