Gabriel Jesus goal drought should not worry Arsenal fans

In recent weeks, Gabriel Jesus has been labelled a “flop summer signing” and come in for criticism for his “lack of goals”.

Now admittedly, the loudest of this criticism has from Liverpool fans, who have taken to criticising Jesus in an attempt to defend Darwin Nunez.

But anyone thinking Jesus has been a flop clearly has little football knowledge.

Football is becoming more and more about systems rather than individuals, and you fit players to your system.

A world class player will struggle if the system they are being asked to play in does not play to their strengths. Likewise an average player can look fantastic in a system that suits him.

And Gabriel Jesus suits Arsenal’s system.

A mate of mine recently said “we should replace Aaron Ramsdale with Jan Oblak”, a perfect example of someone not understanding how important systems are.

Oblak is what we would call a “goal line keeper” – he likes to stay close to his line, and very rarely ventures towards the edge of his box, let alone outside. Petr Cech is another example.

Now Arsenal play with a very high line – Gabriel (the centre back one) and William Saliba defend the half way line.

To hold that highline, you need a keeper whose naturaly starting position is on the edge of his box, rather than his goal line. The sweeper keeper.

Oblak in the Arsenal line up would be horrificially exposed. Just like Cech was when we played for us with our higher line. And Leno.

These sort of keepers would flourish at someone like Spurs – or any Jose Mourinho team – where sides play defensively and with a “low block”.

Likewise Oblak is poor with the ball at his feet.

Whilst he might be the “better goalkeeper” in comparison to Ramsdale, he would not be the goal keeper we need.

Likewise Coady Gakpo.

Gakpo reminds me a lot of Nicolas Pepe – he needs space to run into and flourishes in a counter attacking side.

Arsenal do not play counter attacking football, Gakpo would struggle in our system in the same way Pepe did; Gakpo’s team mate Xavi Simons is a more suitable target.

So back to Arsenal and Jesus.

Arsenal are not set up to feed the ball to a single striker. We have a front 3 and look for them to press and rotate to score a goal.

Compare us to Manchester City.

Alfe Inge Haaland’s son is your old school centre forward. He has no interest in dropping deep, running the channels or assisting others. He just wants to get in the box and score goals.

So City are now set up to engineer the ball into positions for Haaland to score.

Jesus, meanwhile, is a much more mobile forward. He looks to drop deep, run the channels, and go wide.

This season, Arsenal are sharing the goals out amongst the front 3, rather than having a big, single goal scorers.

At the time of writing, Haaland had scored 46% of of Manchester City’s 37 league goals. Phil Foden has scored 16%.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus had scored 16.6% of Arsenal’s 30 league goals. Gabriel Martinelli the same.

Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard have both scored 13.3% of Arsenal league goals.

Haaland and Foden account for 62% of Manchester City’s goals; Arsenal’s front 4 account for 60%.

Manchester City’s 3rd top scorer is Kevin de Bruyne with 3 league goals. That is the same as Arsenal’s 5th top scorer – Granit Xhaka.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Manchester City have a single focal pointt, Arsenal are spreading the goals throughout the forward line.

What sums it up is we have 4 players in the Premier League top 15 goal scorers this season. Over 25% of the Premier League top scorers play for The Arsenal!

And assists show a similar trend.

Whilst Kevin de Bruyne is the Premier League top creator, Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka are in joint second.

de Bruyne has assisted 25% of all of Manchester City’s goals, whilst Jesus and Saka are both at 16.6% – once again we share the load.

That means Arsenal have more of a goal scoring threat across the pitch – and are more creative.

Now it is all well and good your striker “contributing elsewhere” as long as others are scoring.

One problem we had previously was that Alexandre Lacazette would “put in a shift”, not score and we would draw a blank.

At the moment, whilst Jesus is not scoring, others are.

But likewise, the lone focal point is not perfect.

If Haaland is not scoring, he is doing very little else. City are basically playing with 9 outfield players until he comes alive in and around the box.

Haaland suits City, Jesus suits us.

Only worry about Jesus when Arsenal stop scoring.


3 thoughts on “Gabriel Jesus goal drought should not worry Arsenal fans

  1. Johnno

    Other than the Chelsea game – where he was immense – Jesus has looked a bit jaded in the last few games. That being said, I`m tempted to say that he`s been the signing of the season so far. He`s completely transformed the team, anybody knocking him doesn`t have “little football knowledge” they have NO football knowledge. He`s been outstanding.
    I know we`re only 14 games into the PL season and things can change quickly but Citeh look a worse side with Haaland in it. He`s a ruthless cunt and he`ll probably end up with about 45 – 50 league goals but City aren`t controlling games with the same authority as they have been over the last 4 or 5 years and their intensity levels have dropped in my opinion. I remember when Wrighty joined us, he was unbelievable but we became a poorer side with him in it. Our whole game plan revolved around getting the ball into him as quickly as possible hoping he`d conjure up a bit of magic. We went from a team that had won 2 of the previous 3 league titles to a Cup team overnight. I`m not saying that City are going to fall away like that, finish above them and you`ll win the league but I think Haaland has been brought in to make the difference in the knockout stage in Europe.


  2. Free

    You are dreaming if you are not hugely concerned an in denial completely.

    We have been scraping by in games becuase he is not scoring.

    Yes he contributes , yea.ue has raised our level af yes I like him very much as a player for us, hiweverif he doesn’t start.sciring we are winning fuck all this year.

    We need a second striker, a winger and two midfielders urgently. That is reality


    1. keenosafc Post author

      Only Manchester city have scored more goals than us this season. We are averaging over 2 goals a game in the league. We are certainly not “scrapping by” and goals has not been a problem this season.



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