Arsenal may only have finished 5th in the Premier League after an underwhelming first season under new manager Unai Emery, but one surprise stat shows how much they’ve improved in one key area.
Despite taking on average fewer shots per game than at any time since Opta records began in 2003, Arsenal topped the Premier League for shot conversion in the 2018/19 season.
MORE: Koulibaly to Man Utd, Barcelona duo to Arsenal & 25 overseas stars linked with Premier League moves as the transfer window opens this week
Check out these surprise numbers from Orbinho below, which paints an interesting picture of a new-look Gunners side under Emery…
Shot conversion PL 2018-19
1 Arsenal 21.5%
2 Liverpool 20.5%
3 Man City 19.4%
4 Spurs 17.0%
8 Man Utd 16.4%
10 Chelsea 15.4%
PL Average 15.2%
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) May 13, 2019
Arsenal Shots per game
17/18 – 15.6
16/17 – 14.9
15/16 – 15.0
14/15 – 16.1
13/14 – 13.8
12/13 – 15.7
11/12 – 16.8
10/11 – 17.2
09/10 – 17.4
08/09 – 17.4
07/08 – 16.5
06/07 – 16.8
05/06 – 14.6
04/05 – 14.9
03/04 – 14.2 https://t.co/A8vFMdoPb0
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) May 14, 2019
Arsenal’s sharp-shooting – owing much, no doubt, to the excellent form of Alexandre Lacazette and Golden Boot winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – put them top of the pile with a conversion rate of 21.5% – only slightly better than Liverpool, but clearly significantly better than the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal had the reputation for trying to walk the ball into the net, ie to score the perfect goal.
This often saw them miss good chances due to opting for a pass over a shot at a crucial moment.
For many years they also had rather flaky forwards like Emmanuel Adebayor and Olivier Giroud, who did not score as many goals as they should have, while the likes of Tomas Rosicky, Alex Hleb, Samir Nasri and others also didn’t offer enough goals from attacking midfield in comparison to some of their rivals.
Now, however, Aubameyang and Lacazette have made AFC a truly clinical team, so if Emery adds a bit more quality to his defence and midfield in the summer, one imagines they could really do something next season.
Those comparisons between Arsenal and Chelsea also give Emery’s side plenty to hope for as those two London giants now prepare to meet in the Europa League final later this month.