For all the valid talk about Arsenal’s failure to create chances in the Premier League, they’re also underperforming in their finishing right now.
Since Arsenal’s win over Sheffield United in early October, they’ve played seven games and scored two goals. There’s no denying they aren’t creating enough, but they’re also severely underperforming against their expected goals tally.
During those seven matches, Arsenal created 7.03 xG, broken down as follows (figures via The xG Philosophy):
- vs Manchester City – 0.92
- vs Leicester City – 1.27
- vs Manchester United – 1.09
- vs Aston Villa – 1.57
- vs Leeds United – 0.74
- vs Wolves – 0.83
- vs Tottenham Hotspur – 0.61
It’s clear to see these figures aren’t good enough. When you only hit one expected goal in three games from your last seven, you’re undeniably having creative issues. But at the same time, if you’re scoring two goals from 7.03 xG, the finishing is to blame as well.
Twitter user @_MattAFC pointed out that only Leeds United, Burnley, and Sheffield United are underperforming their xG by more than Arsenal in the Premier League this season.
The one thing I will say in the Arsenal forwards’ defence is that you’re more likely to snatch at an opportunity if it’s the only one you get all game. Creating an average of one xG per game puts extra pressure on the few good chances you get.
But then you look at Spurs, who haven’t even hit one xG in any of their last three games and have still scored four goals. Kane and Son are taking all the opportunities they get, whilst the likes of Aubameyang, Willian, and Lacazette aren’t.
So yes, Mikel Arteta needs to find a way to get this Arsenal team creating. But the players getting on the end of moves for the last seven matches and failing to put them away need to take their share of the blame too.