What to do with Alexandre Lacazette?


Everybody expects Aubameyang to start in the NLD on Saturday. What’s in doubt is wheter Lacazette will be starting too. Many feel that we don’t employ a formation that can accommodate the two. Others, like Thierry Henry, don’t see any reason why the two cannot play together particularly in Wenger’s fluid system.

Below are nine reasons, tactical and otherwise, why I expect that they can and would be used together in the team going forward, but not necessarily as two strikers.

1). From an investment point of view, it is unlikely that a newly acquired £50M prime asset (Laca) would be sat regularly on the bench or relegated to the ‘B’ team. That would be a gross underutilization of one’s prime asset, made worse by the fact that there are other areas of the team crying out in vain for investment. Remember, the shareholders have their eyes always glued on proceedings. They can overlook the gamble on Sanogo or the benching of Kolasinac. But Lacazette? Aubameyang? Questions would be filed.

2). It is reasonable to assume that the very well-paid guys responsible for these decisions on recruitment, did think it through carefully to arrive at the conclusion that Lacazette and Aubameyang together would make a potent pairing that would enhance the club’s offensive philosophy.

3). In agreement with this line of thinking, I see many aspects of the duo’s game that complement each other. Aubameyang is reputed for not making too many touches in matches. Against Everton he made only 25 touches (Walcott numbers). He averages 20.1 passes per game; Lacazette averages 28.9. Aubameyang is more of a technically gifted Walcott with plenty extra footballing guile. That is why he scores tons of goals. Lacazette numbers show more activity, more touches and passes, more dribbles, more tackles. Laca is more of the general practitioner. Auba more of the specialist, goals and goals galore..

4). Aubameyang has speed to burn. So, he loves staying off the shoulders of defenders and wants the ball put in space for him. Lacazette isn’t that fast, so he comes deeper and doesn’t mind the ball to feet.

5). Lacazette can play with his back to goal. He has body strength and good balance, standing 5ft 9ins. Balls can bounce off him into the path of the 6ft 2ins quick paced Aubameyang. Me thinks, Mislintat and co know what they are doing.

6). Lacazette tries to create space usually taking the defenders with him. Aubameyang would rather wait for space. He knows the right moment comes when it will, surely.

7). There is nothing that Laca loves more than a clean strike at the ball just inside the box. A poke at the ball in the 6yds box is it for Auba.

8). Leave any tiny opening where Auba is lurking and go pick the ball from the net. Leave any space for Laca, and the net is ripping. They got certain things in common after all; and those happen to be vital things.

9). Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Wilshere and Ramsey are excellent #10s. We expect a minimum of three of them starting in each match. Three creators to one goal machine looks a poor arrangement. Two goal machines will give a far better balance, no bottle neck.

These two talented players seem to complement each other very well. Together they can give Wenger enough goals to outscore the opposition irrespective of how many they put into our net. That’s Wenger and not that fellow who would allow his big, big asset to idle away.

Were we to reach the Europa League final, there would be 22 matches left this season in all competitions. Aubameyang is ineligible to participate in the Europa competition. That means 9 potential matches are exclusive to Lacazette as the 1st choice striker, fitness permitting. With about 14 weeks to the end of this campaign we should expect Lacazette to also play alongside Aubameyang in about 50% of the remaining 13 matches (League Cup final included). If we drop out of the Europa Cup before the final, I’ll expect Lacazette to start even more games with Auba. I might be miles off the mark: with Wenger one can never tell.

Gooners, let’s share your opinions. This seems to be one of those rare situations where we can afford not to give a damn any which way. After all, we the fans, would never see ourselves at the receiving end of some tough questions.

By Pony Eye.

30 thoughts on “What to do with Alexandre Lacazette?

  • Excellent post, PE.

    You are spot on re dancing the Auba-Laca Tango. I reckon long term Laca is $anchez’s replacement and Auba is our new super CF. But the UEFA Cup is such a good second option to get into the CL that I reckon Wenger will want Laca to focus on that competition this month – same goes for Wilshere and ElSuperNeny. We have to see how the two will work together but there is no doubt in my mind that Wenger wants a second striker on the pitch, but not in the classic 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 way. Laca would be an improvement on Alexis, as he is a total team player.

  • My reaction will be brief: Its too early to write off Lacazette because he has not scored much. How many foreign stars hit the ground running in their first season in England? What happens if Aubameyang breaks his legs???And thirdly, supposedly big clubs have and play together two of their best strikers. End of story.

  • PE,

    I guess the big associated question is what is going to happen to Danny Welbeck. His confidence seems shot and he has to compete with big boys and up and coming Iwobi and one or two other youngsters. It looks like he needs a fabulous few months not to go the same way as he other fellow attackers (OG, AS and TH)…

  • TA,

    Welbz sits between two stools: not really a midfielder, not really a striker. He first of all has to make up his mind and then raise his game otherwise we would close the deal if Newcastle or Stoke hit the £18M mark next TW.

  • A real conundrum to put out a fine article about, PE. Like I stated on another thread, Lacazette may have been brought on against Everton, to experiment with a spot next to Auba, but for the early substitution of Monreal and then injury to Cech (which messed up Wenger’s planned changes). So, I am certain we would get to see this pairing together at some point and in certain games (surely, not tomorrow or we will be unbalanced; maybe, late on when balance is out the window).

    Beyond the sentiments of how Laca will feel playing second fiddle to Auba, we must realize that playing both of our top strikers in one game is, in itself, a risk seeing as an injury to both will leave us with only Welbeck to carry the team; Welbz isn’t fit now, so it makes sense to leave one waiting to come on. Again, to successfully play with two top strikers on, we will need a top defensive midfielder (that role again), to allow all the creative players do their thing without much concern for what happens behind them if possession is lost. City has Fernandinho and United have Matic, to explain the point made about the Aguero-Gabriel Jesus and Rahsford-Lukaku success.

  • Well-stated PE.
    If I wasn’t convinced of the virtue of both strikers on-pitch before– I would be now.


  • Eris,

    Wouldn’t you consider it a blunder of colossal proportion in planning if our most expensive purchase (less Auba) is left on the bench to loose value only after 6 months of the purchase? That money sitting on the bench could have found better use in other weak areas of the team eg the holding role and the defence. Those two investments (Laca/Auba) only make sense if both are kept maximally active which would entail their playing together.

    Would playing them together be dictated by tactical reasons or by ‘political’ consideration? I feel there is sufficient tactical reasons for playing them together. Wenger always wanted Alexis further up the field and closer to the striker (obviously because of his good goal scoring ability). He does not want to be too dependent on one goal scorer. So in terms of roles Laca replaces Sanchez.

    What this would mean is that our left sided wide player i.e. Iwobi is likely to get less games.

  • Nice work PE, funnily enough nobody questioned the ‘Wisdom of Pep’ when despite having a deep and talented pool of attacking options, he still tried twice in the last 6 months, to sign Alexis.

    I think it’s great that we have two top strikers, who can work alone or in tandem, in fact I remember when Arsenal had four top strikers in Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu and Suker, latterly Wilford was added for a club record fee, so where’s the issue fellas?
    I’ve seen games at Highbury when Arsene had all four on the pitch, it was a bit crazy but ever so entertaining. 🙂

    As long as we can keep everyone happy then the more the merrier.

  • Jw,

    Sven Mislintat and co must have been convinced of the virtue of both strikers on-pitch before they put pen to paper. You are in august company.

  • Hi all.. PE what a post.. Absolutely awesome.. Hehehe..

    Yes.. I like to see both of our best CF playing side by side.. But, I think we must realistic.. It’s almost impossible for Wenger to change the formation..
    I said this many times.. If He wanted to.. He can easily did it with Sanchez.. But He did not.
    So.. What kind of magic can suddenly change his mind.. Hehehe..

    So.. I still believe Wenger will continue the 3-1 formation in front.. And yes Lacazette will fill the ex-sanchez..
    We don’t need to worry about injuries problems.. We are the best club with the history of injured.. Hehehe..
    Iwobi, Welbeck, Nelson and Nketiah can filled the hole..

    As I said before.. The main key is to get Ozil in his best.. And I still believe that is as s CAM.. Just like the games we play against Everton..
    Don’t switch him to RW again.. Please.. We have Mhiki there.. And don’t ever put him in the LW position.. We know better man in that rule..
    So.. Put three quick and lethal strikers in front of him.. Then everything will be just Great.. Hehehe..

    If ever Wenger want to change our defense to five man.. Let’s Ozil stay with Ramsey in the middle.. He can play as our CM also.. Believe in him.. With our three CB.. Everything will still under control.. We can secure the backyard.. Hehehe..
    But off course I believe he will stay his last formation.. 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-1-3.. At least until something goes wrong with our defense badly..

    Tomorrow night.. We must put all the best players.. For the NLD is one of the most important game for the fans.. And still we will have a lot of time to rest.. The UEL is still a week to come.. With five to six day rest.. We can still play the same players except Auba..
    Go Gunners..

  • Eris–
    Maybe we loan out Iwobi to Charlton–
    and he magically comes back as the DM we need? 😉


  • one of the latest posts here brought back memories of the 1970 Brazil Dream Team, which our current, brand new packed-up-with-playmakers squad might emulate.
    i liked the post a lot, but i suspect goodol’arsèneknows might have have wished he could, some day, pick up a team which would look a lot like the only dream team we’ve ever had in France, the 1982 Spain World Cup team:


    the following eleven:


    would replicate, man for man, this old “Bleus” one
    to make the whole thing more eery still, remember that the 1982 magicians were even … cheated off the cup by refs!!

    have a nice game tomorrow, you lucky season tickets holders

  • Spurs are feeling a bit full of themselves. Hearing the likes of Kane, then Alderweireld, and today Son popping off in the press. Guess that 2-0 back in November is chafing something. Somebody decide Spurs need to either be riled-up? Or blow smoke to deflect notoriety from the Tottenham Hotsplash Diving Club?


  • The recent news about them diving might give the ref a better opportunity to scrutinise them, and hopefully they get red cards for diving. Brilliant.

  • Not just me PE.. Many of us believed Lacazette can play a great job as a LW position.. Because he played there before in his early start.. Twice if I’m not mistaken.. with Giroud up front.. And he did more than just good.. And we forgot about Sanchez for a while.. Hehehe..

  • jw1 says:
    February 9, 2018 at 13:38
    Maybe we loan out Iwobi to Charlton–
    and he magically comes back as the DM we need? 😉

    Hehehe, jw1. The thing is we will then have to do a “premature”/early recall of Iwobi for the magic portion to be in full effect. 😜

  • Le Gall,

    The Blues of 82, with their short continental passing style, were a joy to watch. Maybe just behind that Olimpian height Brazilian team of Socrates, Zico, Ader and co whose samba was suffocated under the Italian catenaccio. The tournament that changed world football. Even the current possession football is defense first in the guise of attacking football.

    That your MF 4 of Jack, Mesut, Rambo and Miki is a complexity of beautiful triangles and incisive passes with a front two full of goals. It’s looks exciting but no doubt it’s still a work in progress.

  • Eris–
    On the more serious side? He’s developed into a physical specimen.
    If Iwobi found his meaner side, and really wanted to– he has the physical tools.
    Big, strong, fast, good passer. He could carve out a niche, and play there for years.


  • OK 17HT–
    Are you (will you be?) up for the live-blog tomorrow?
    I’ll be there– if you will. 🙂


  • You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth there, jw1. Iwobi looks like he is awaiting some “starter’s gun” to move to another level. Something is missing; can’t put my finger on it but have an idea what that may be. Good thing he’s still young and maybe, after the World Cup, he will come into his own.

  • Eris–
    If Nigeria escapes their Group D (of Death!) Likely be in no small part from Iwobi’s efforts.


    Hope this experience is a catalyst for his career.


  • Giresse, Platini, Tigana, loved that midfield, artistry personified.

    One of my all time favourites alongside Holland 1974.

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