Arsenal

Arsenal News: Arsene Wenger Rues Lack of Creativity vs. Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal goes past James Ward-Prowse of Southampton during the Barclays Premier league match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium on January 1, 2013 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 1, 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has slammed his side for not being good enough with the ball in their recent 1-1 draw against Southampton—saying that they lacked the desire and the creativity to take all three points from their Premier League fixture.

Having beaten the Saints 6-1 when they met earlier in the season, many assumed that it would be another case of an easy victory for the North London club here.

After all, this was a club that netted seven goals last week past Newcastle United—surely, they could find similar success here against a weaker club?

That is most likely where some of Wenger's frustration at his club's ineptitude in front of the goal came from. The veteran manager was not pleased with the draw, saying that they were not very good and need to be better in their matches ahead in 2013.

Per Sky Sports:

We were not very good offensively, we didn't create enough. Defensively, we were not too many times under threat but we didn't create enough chances.

Considering our performance and the result of the game, I don't think we deserved anymore today. It is two points lost if you look at the overall target we had for Christmas. It is frustrating and disappointing as we didn't create a lot today.

Our game lacked purpose, penetration and speed—all qualities we have usually but we didn't see that tonight. Maybe we thought we scored seven against Newcastle, we thought we would score again today.

I felt that we lacked purpose in our game and it was more mental than physical. We did not have enough quality...

The draw now sends the Gunners back to fifth position—four points outside of the top four depending on how Chelsea fare tonight against Queens Park Rangers.

Should they win, which they should, Arsenal would be fifth and five points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur—a less-than-ideal position for the North London club.

They have already ruled out a loan move for Thierry Henry this winter—saying that they will pursue other options in the transfer window—and you get the feeling that the Gunners are in desperate need of some further strike power if they're going to succeed this season.

After all, their 34 points after 20 matches is the club's lowest total in the past seven seasons, hinting that changes must be made in attack for Arsenal.

For a club that boasts a midfield/attacking line of Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, there simply should be no reason to bring in better attacking talent in the transfer window, but there is.

It's not the Gunners aren't talented enough—we know that individually and collectively, they are. It's that they simply aren't creating and taking enough chances to win football games, and here's the key, week in and week out this season.

There is no clinical finishing and no consistency.

Arsene Wenger is right when he says that his side didn't deserve to beat Southampton today; they didn't, and the numbers prove that to be completely true.

They were beaten with five shots in target to one, nine goal attempts to six. Their goal that they scored wasn't even from them—it was an own goal by the Saints.

To finish the match with just one shot on goal shows that there is something wrong at the Gunners. They've had over 30 shots on target in their last four matches, including 13 against Reading and 10 against Newcastle—yet they couldn't find it again this week.

They couldn't find it against a team that has conceded more goals per game than any other club in the league heading into this weekend.

And that should be worrying for Arsenal fans.

Especially when they can't just rely on Henry to save them this year.

 

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