Arsene Wenger has said on Arsecom following our last minute decider at Hull on Saturday
“Manchester United used to score late, yes,” he said. “I believe that this season nobody has scored more than Arsenal in the last 15 minutes. Maybe it is down to a technical superiority and a never-give-up attitude. That is what I like in my team. When I see them on the pitch, I know they will not give up.”
Now excuse me for being a little at odds with that thesis Arsene…
Time was Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and a certain Thierry Henry would rip the guts out of opposing teams in the first fifteen minutes at Highbury. The oppos would stop singing, JOB DONE! Was I wrong?
Well being the blogger that I am, I decided to go back and look at the stats courtesy of ARSEWEB
So for all you “what about a return to George Graham’s one-nil to the Arsenal?”, goal scoring then under Arsene Wenger was the recipe to success. Our attacking pace and flair through Henry meant that The Invincibles squad made history by players scoring two goals each on six occasions, one hatrick and the memorable four bagger by Henry against Liverpool.
That record breaking season we scored 7 from the penalty spot. We scored 69 goals ourselves with our opponents contributing to 4 goals in our end of season total of 73 goal amassed Thierry Henry was top scorer with 30 in the league. In terms of timing of goals
17 goals were scored in the first 20mins and 18 goals were scored within 20 minutes of the restart.
Remember that team went on to become the Invincibles. Unbeaten over 38 games 26 victories and 12 draws. They really did rip the desire out of teams. I agree that it is good to keep on fighting until the end and score that last minute winner. But is it really the hallmark of Arsenal Champions?
Not on the stats Arsene…
The thing to do with ten minutes to go is to shut up shop and NOT concede, rather than go looking for goals. On the amount of possession, this team must learn to finish the job earlier than at present, if only to keep my blood pressure down.