With the transfer period open, and half of the season already on the books, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, will try to strengthen their squads to get a team capable of winning the title. But looking back to the Barclay’s Premier League’s (BPL) last decade, should they really do it? Should they look for that missing strong defender, that box to box midfielder, or that pass master in the middle of the pitch, to obtain a better balanced/harmonious/winning team? My answer: No. When buying this winter, or at any time for that matter, English teams must shop for goals, nothing else.
The last ten years the BPL’s title has been decided by goals. Sure we all know goals win games but in England there is a little more to it than simply scoring more than you concede if you want to be a champion. To have a real chance at the BPL’s title a team needs, at least, a goal difference(GD) of more than 47 goals by the end of the season- in the 2008/09 and 2012/13 season, Manchester United (Champion) was close enough, with 44 and 43 GD respectively-. In other words in order to lift the BPL trophy you need to score, and score, and score some more.
Right now, with 20 games played, only Manchester City and Liverpool are on track to score 47+. So, if you think the goals between Ramsey, Giroud and Ozil or Torres, Oscar and Hazard are enough to lift the trophy you are in for a disappointing season. To win the BPL you need the likes of Aguero and Suárez (goal scoring machines), which means that if nothing changes, Man City and Liverpool will be battling it out for the top at the end. Hence, the rest of the league (Arsenal and Chelsea) should not be looking for players to balance their team, as it is completely pointless. Goals mark the difference in the BPL.
For instance, do you remember why Manchester City became champion two seasons ago, yes: Goal Difference (+64), or even in last year’s Manchester United, if you take away Robin Van Persie’s 26 goals United would have finished in fourth place or less.
Furthermore, very often people underestimate GD as an indicator, because it is widely believed that defencewins trophies. However, defence only wins trophies in tournaments with a bracket/direct elimination systems; where luck and random events such a red card or own goals, have a strong weight on the outcome result. Yet, in year long leagues probability and random events are suppressed by consistency and repetition, in other words in a long road eventually everything evens out. Therefore, if you have a goal scoring machine in your team working the whole season there is no stopping you on your way to the top.
Hence, Chelsea and Arsenal fans alike, should be pleading, clamouring, screaming this whole transfer period for a true unstoppable goalscorer, otherwise start thinking about who you are going to root for, Manchester City or Liverpool, to be champions this season.
PS: It is time for Wegner to surprise everyone again, like he did with the Ozil signing, and bring an elite striker to confirm that this season he means business, and for Chelsea to break the bank in order to capture the most coveted finisher, like it did three winters ago with Torres, if it wants to have a real claim at the title.