Wenger urges goal-shy Arsenal to start firing

Arsene Wenger knows his Arsenal side need to score more goals this season – and he has backed his current crop to answer the call.

The Gunners were the lowest scorers in last season’s top four as they finished a distant second to surprise Premier League champions Leicester.

Their total of 65 goals means it was also their most barren season in front of goal in nine years, with only Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez scoring more than five in the league.

It was widely anticipated that Wenger would sign a proven striker during the summer transfer window but a move for Leicester striker Jamie Vardy fell through.

That means 21-year-old Japan international Takuma Asano is so far the only forward to move to the Emirates Stadium despite links with Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette and Gonzalo Higuain, who has instead joined Juventus from Napoli.

But, although he acknowledges Arsenal need to improve in front of goal, Wenger believes his players already possess the quality to score more, starting in Sunday’s opener at home to Liverpool.

Asked if his side to add more goals to their game, Wenger admitted: “Yes. That’s one of the domains where last year we were not the most efficient.

“We were the highest team in expected chances created. We were the highest team in quality of chances created in the final third.”


He has backed the likes of Giroud, Sanchez and Theo Walcott to produce the goods.

“We have Sanchez, we have Walcott, we’re not at our level in the finishing qualities and I think that where we want to improve,” he replied when asked if he needed another striker to complement Giroud.

“Our finishing last year was of a worse quality than the year before and we had the same players. That means that it’s a bit cyclical.

“I think it’s linked with the fact that we had some players out for a long period last season and hopefully we will have everybody available for much longer this season.”

Wenger also dismissed the suggestion new signings can add vibrancy to a squad and prevent it from going stale after the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool added several new faces to their squads.

“Vibrancy doesn’t make you win games,” he said. “What makes you win game is the quality of the performance and the quality of your football. And you have to focus just on that.

“That is very difficult in the modern game. There is always demand for new but new is just new.

“What is new makes news. But apart from that it makes noise. But the noise is not necessarily always quality.

“(United and City) signed a lot of players the year before as well… if you want to make everybody happy, then just buy 20 new players and everybody is full of hope until the first game starts and then we’re back to reality.”