Arsenal host Bournemouth for the second time this season after a comfortable spanking at the Emirates earlier in the season. One of the players on the teamsheet that day was our most expensive signing ever… Lacazette.
Extra focus has fallen on his fragile shoulders because, well, you know, he’s not fu*king scoring. He hasn’t found the net in 8 games. The Frenchman came over with a goal a game kinda record – 4 in his first 6 felt like he’d find that kind of form with us – now he’s staring at a very rough 4 in 17. For a player of that price tag, it’s simply not good enough.
Arsene Wenger did his best to ensure he covered a whole plethora of potential reasons his star man hasn’t been performing.
“It’s a difficult period because the family comes over and it’s a bit less football-orientated,”
“I think the fact he lives here with French players and can speak French when needed, and that Lyon is not too far, is OK. But the first six months are always difficult.”
“The physical pressure on strikers in England has become absolutely massive,”
“The physical demands and the intensity in the challenges is much bigger than in France. In England, you play against teams who are organised and can physically cope with 90 minutes’ intensity. The defenders are much quicker than before. They are all athletes now at the back.”
“The body needs to get used to it; the mind, as well,”
Just, you know, being a Lyon player.
“They don’t like to move away, usually. They produce their own players, the players who grew up around Lyon, like Fekir, Lacazette, Gonalons. They usually like to stay there. I did not know whether they wanted to move or not. It is a very specific French player at Lyon.”
“In France, you go down and it’s a free-kick. In England, you go down and it’s no free-kick. That is much more difficult for the striker to get used to. I think he resists better.”
Quite the list. The one about Lyon players not wanting to move is baffling when you consider how exceptional Jean-Michel Aulas has been at selling players consistently for vast sums over the years. Not sure how a self-proclaimed selling club could exist if they weren’t flogging talent.
Anyway, the long and short of it is Wenger signed a player who didn’t look a fit for the Premier League from a physical standpoint, now he’s telling us it’s tough for him.
I hope it comes good for Lacazette, I really like him as a player. He works hard, he’s very good at winning the ball from the front, and on his day he finds the right spaces and he’s very instinctive. I think he’d work well with a partner in crime, someone who could do the dirty work for him when it’s an overly tough game. I can’t imagine there’s any chance of Wenger looking to tweak the way we play to suit the skill set of a player though.
Our options aren’t looking great tomorrow. No Sanchez or Ozil for obvious reasons. Kolasinac, Koscielny and Monreal are doubts in defence. Giroud is out with a hamstring.
Jack Wilshere is fit, which is fantastic news, and I’m assuming Aaron Ramsey makes a return, likely on the bench.
It’s hard to know which Arsenal are going to show up. If it’s the one that played with discipline and purpose at Chelsea, it’s likely we’ll be in pretty good shape. If it’s the team that turned up away at Nottingham Forest, we’re in a world of trouble.
I always think Eddie Howe has half an eye on impressing the board at Arsenal in these games (bit like O’leary), so you’ll know his team are going to be pumped for the occasion. Any sort of switch off will be punished, as we’ve seen before. We really can’t affort to take the foot off the gas because top 4 is getting harder and harder as the weeks go past and our results continue to flatline.
Before I go, the Ozil and Sanchez story is getting more and more depressing. As it stands, it’s the two Manchester clubs brokering some ‘who will blink’ shit on Sanchez. The noise is hotting up that United are going to come through with numbers that Manchester City can’t stomach. Even worse? United are being heavily linked with Mesut Ozil. If anything has been good at Arsenal over the last few years with us, it’s watching those two rip it up together. The thought of them reuniting under Jose is a kicker.
Remember when the sycophants were saying Ozil and Sanchez were waiting on Wenger to see if they’d sign on? As I said at the time, top players like that are waiting to see if he signs on so they can make plans to leave. Great players don’t want to waste their careers under a man who can’t take them to the promised land of Premier League titles and Champions League medals. If you didn’t see that coming, well, read more Le Grove.
Right, that’s me done.
We’re rolling with another Facebook Live podcast that’ll air at 0600pm UK time (0100 EST). Tune in if you can, would be great to get your reactions to the game and bang them in the podcast if they’re exactly the same as what I think.
Enjoy the game. Also, take a read of yesterday’s post on the direction Arsenal seem to be taking the managerial decision.
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