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xGunners: Do Arsenal’s strikers have a finishing problem?

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Arsenal’s strikers missed a number of big chances that could have won Arsenal the match. Is this a big issue?

Arsenal FC v Southampton FC - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Against Tottenham, Arsenal’s strikers missed a number of big chances that could have won Arsenal the match.

Alexandre Lacazette had two big chances, the first was more difficult and while it was rated as a 38% chance by my model it was much more difficult than that but none the less, still a chance that a great striker converts at a decent rate. The second was the cut back chance in the 53rd minute. This chance was rated at 49.5% by my xG model and this one is probably the one that he will really wish he could have back.

For Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he had three good to great chances in this match. He had a fast break shot right after he came on (12% chance), he had the penalty (78% chance) and then the rebound from the penalty that was assisted by Alex Iwobi (79% chance).

These misses, plus the memory of misses in the past have brought about a bunch of worry for many fans. So is this an issue that Arsenal should worry about?

Well let’s see how the two stack up among other Premier League forwards.

Aubameyang has had the second most non-penalty big chances this season with 21 while Lacazette is 15th with 12 big chances.

Both are converting these chances at a 33% rate, that is below the average rate of 42.3% for players with at least 10 this season but on par with other strikers that don’t seem to generate the same amount of worry.

Where they have struggled is getting these gilt-edge chances on target. Lacazette is last among players with 10 or more big chances at on target % at 50%, with Aubameyang just above him at 52.4%. The average for getting these on target is 72.9%.

Saving them from embarrassment is that when they do get these chances on target they are finishing them well. Lacazette has an on target conversion rate of 67% which is 8th best and Aubameyang has has an on target conversion rate of 63.6% which is 11th best. The average for players with 10+ big chances is 58% this season.

Given all of this, should Arsenal worry? I don’t think it has reached that point yet.

We are still in a pretty small sample size where a couple misses or a couple goals can really swing how things look.