Left foot, right foot, headers… how Arteta’s new Arsenal are varying their goal threat

I love Arsenal and one of the things I like to do is put data together to see what’s going on, and one of those things that I’ve noticed this season is the variation in the types of goals we’re scoring this season.

I noticed early on in the season that we’ve been scoring an unusual amount of left footed goals, although that’s in part to having a few left-footed players in the team – Bukayo Saka, Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko just to name a few.

But interesting it seems like Gabriel Martinelli, who is right-footed – has scored a few goals with his left foot even though he plays on the left – so he has a threat coming inside but isn’t afraid to go on the outside either.

And we all remember Saliba’s screamer against Bournemouth (the first game) when he whipped it into the top corner with his left foot.

Take a look below at our goals summary for this season (Premier League goals only):

You will see that Martinelli, Jesus, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saliba, Saka and Trossard all have scored more than 20% of their goals with their weaker foot, and in some cases much higher than that.

Arsenal have scored 62 goals in the Premier League this season – and 3 of those were own goals – which interestingly 2 resulted from right-footed crosses from Saka (Crystal Palace and Tottenham) and the other the very satisfying “header” from ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez from Jorginho’s 20 yard strike.

The variation in the goals Arsenal score is one of the reasons many teams in the Premier League have struggled to stop us scoring. Martinelli and Saka are aggressive on the flanks, and can do damage on the inside or outside, Trossard is essentially two-footed and there is the belief Arteta has instilled into the players that they can play with a freedom and confidence where the players can try things on the pitch.

Given that Arsenal have had 14 goals scorers this season, and 8 of them have scored goals with their weaker foot, that bodes well into the remaining 13 games of the season.

And Reiss Nelson’s winner against Bournemouth? Scored with his weaker foot!

But what do you think? Does this make a difference to our attacking play? Will it help us get over the line? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below!