By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger thinks this season's eye-catching scorelines in the Premier League are down to top-class attacking as much as below-par defending.
Manchester United got the ball rolling with an 8-2 win over Arsenal in August before losing 6-1 to Manchester City earlier this month. Wenger's side continued the trend with an incredible 5-3 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.
One school of thought has put the goal glut down to weakened defences - and perhaps a lack of protection in midfield - but Wenger puts much of it down to the quality and quantity of attacking players in the top flight.
"People always complain but let's praise the strikers and the attacking style in the league," he said.
"If you don't score goals, people ask 'why you don't score goals?' If you score goals, they criticise the defenders. At the moment I would say it is more down to the attacking style. Do I prefer it? Yes, of course.
"Maybe defenders are more scared to tackle because teams are more mobile and the offside rule is more difficult to deal with. And compared to previous years there are more penalties for handball. I think we have gone overboard with the handball. You need to make 15 good passes to score but one guy hits the arm of the player who did not move his hand… that is disproportionate.
"But when you see the quality of strikers, it is at the top. At Manchester City, the players who are on the bench, the players who are not playing, that shows you why. We have never had so many good strikers in the league."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 31 Oct 2011