Arsene Wenger is fed up with Arsenal’s shot conversion this season
Wenger’s team go into tonight’s crunch clash with Liverpool at the Emirates lying a disappointing fifth in the table, a place and a point behind their opponents.
Wenger’s team have created a remarkable 230 chances in 18 Premier League games this season, two more than runaway leaders Manchester City and five more than Liverpool. Yet the Gunners have scored only 31 goals to City’s 56 and Liverpool’s 38.
Arsenal crashed 4-0 at Anfield in August in a result that seemed to indicate they had no chance this season, but they have lost only three games since, to Watford and the Manchester clubs.
But key striker Alexis Sanchez has only four goals, new boy Alexandre Lacazette eight, Olivier Giroud four. For Liverpool, the extraordinary Mohamed Salah has already hit the 20-goal mark.
Wenger said: “It’s very simple if you look at the mathematics. Who are the team who have created the most chances in the League? Arsenal. Have we scored the most goals? No.
“That means there is a deficit between the expected goals and the number of goals we have scored. Maybe we have to find solutions to be more efficient in front of goal.
“I don’t know if it is a psychological thing. We are a team who likes to go forward and create chances, and we do create chances.
“I do not want to put too much pressure on our strikers because I feel they have the ability to score. So let’s hope we can do more with set-pieces and be more efficient. There are plenty of aspects we can work on and improve.”
Arsenal’s home form has been good, with eight wins and only one defeat from nine games, but Wenger said: “Against Manchester United when we lost 3-1 here we came away very frustrated because we created so many chances. We want to continue to focus on our performance because that is the most important thing that enables us to win games.
“There is a gap in points between our home and away form, more than in performances. Apart from Liverpool, our performances away have not been disastrous. But we are not efficient enough in scoring goals away from home.”
Wenger is routinely criticised by fans for overstaying his welcome after 21 years in charge of Arsenal.
But Jurgen Klopp, who took over at Liverpool in October 2015, reckons he will know exactly when it is the right time to leave Anfield.
“Stay here 20 years? I don’t know,” said Klopp, who had seven-year stints in charge of both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund. “So far after seven years I’ve felt maybe I should move on.
“A few weeks ago I saw a statistic for the longest-serving coaches in the Bundesliga and I’m the record coach of two clubs.
“It would be quite difficult to become the record coach at Liverpool. As long as there is space for improvement, because even if you win something, which everyone here is desperately waiting for, it could be the moment I say, ‘Okay, but now we have to leave it’.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have played amazing attacking football at times
We have to find solutions to be more efficient in front of goal
“So far I have a very good feeling for these moments. I don’t feel I am close to that moment [to leave] and everything is fine.
“But if anyone thinks they can make a similar career like Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, I’m not sure it would be possible.
“Arsene gets a lot of criticism. I’ve seen it since I’ve been in England and for sure, it’s not right.
“He’s obviously still very ambitious and as long as you feel that, you can stay.
“If you are the only part who likes it, that’s wrong. It needs to be a perfect fit.
“We feel that here at this moment and I’m sure for the next few years, but you cannot force anything to happen. It needs to feel right for everybody.
“It feels really good at the moment and hopefully it can stay like that long term.”
Tonight’s match could have a big say in the race for a top-four spot and Champions League qualification.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have scored 31 goals in the Premier League this season
Liverpool thrashed the Gunners 4-0 at Anfield in August but Klopp is expecting a tough game at the Emirates.
“Arsenal are not parking the bus, they are not a long-ball playing team. They are complex,” he said.
“It’s a real job to do. You close one gap and wow, another one opens. We have to be ready for this.
“It will be exciting and I would buy a ticket if I was not there already.”