Premier League

The Aubameyang statistics that should have Arsenal worried

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failing to fire, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta needs to find a solution for what is an increasingly worrying trend.

6:00pm on Monday 23rd November 2020
Paul Macdonald

Arsenal are in trouble. They have made unwelcome history this season by netting only nine times in their first nine Premier League matches, which is their worst tally since the 1986/87 season.

In 34 years, they have not made such a slow start to the season in front of goal. Worryingly, they had five goals after their first two games, meaning they have scored only four in their last seven.

The statistics get bleaker. Their last goal from open play was against Sheffield United on 4th October. Since then, all they have managed is a single penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, upon who so much of their hopes lie.

The fact is clear: when Aubameyang doesn't fire, neither do Arsenal.

And that's the problem Mikel Arteta is having to solve at the moment. He is struggling to do so.

Too often in recent weeks, Aubameyang has been completely mute. He failed to hit a single shot away at either Manchester City or Liverpool, or in the recent home encounter against Aston Villa.

There's been calls from many Arsenal fans to play Aubameyang centrally rather than wide, and while there's an obvious case to be made - he has just 2.6 touches inside the box P90 so far this season - this is an overall Arsenal problem, not simply in how Aubameyang has been deployed.

Arteta heeded this advice for the weekend's fixture with Leeds, and though Aubameyang managed three efforts on goal his xG was just 0.38.

Alarmingly, this is his second highest figure in the Premier League this season behind only the trip to Manchester United, where his penalty goal accounted for much of his xG of 0.82 on that occasion.

Arsenal's blunt attack

Put simply, Arteta's side aren't doing enough in the final third. In a raft of important offensive metrics, they find themselves well down the league rankings. In terms of chance conversion, they stand 16th on 19%, they are also 16th for both shots and goals. In terms of shots on target they are only 15th and with regards entrances into the opponents' box they are 14th.

In terms of xG in the Premier League, they are tied in 15th with Newcastle.

What's more, when they do attack, the frequency with which they do so is almost double as much on the left flank as through the middle or the right combined. So Auba's flank (including Kieran Tierney's overlaps) are seeing plenty of ball, they just aren't doing anything productive with it.

Only 8% of their moves are leading to a shot.

Nine goals from nine games, from a team this talented, is a worrying trend. Arteta is still working on the balance of his front three, but the problems extend beyond Auba - the balance needs to be right.

Arsenal: Fixtures, Results, Player Stats and Team Stats

PE Aubameyang: Player Stats, FC Rating

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