Arsenal Finally Have Their Monster of a CF

With five PL goals in his last six games and 13 in total now, Alexander Lacazette is on fire! Laca is at the moment third best in terms of minutes between goals in the league (just behind Kane and Salah), and if he continues like this he may well be the most productive finisher at the end of the season. What is obvious is that Laca likes to both battle physically with his opponents and tire them out with his runs and movement. He is much more the wolf type than Auba who is more of a pouncing puma type (and there is nothing wrong with that either). Alex loves playing with his young fellow wolves, Saka, ESR, Ode, Martinelli, etc, and scare the living daylights out of their opponents. Laca, the steppenwolf, is reborn!

He must be a menace to play against and of all our attackers it is Laca who seems to have the best papers to still be in the team next season. Laca gets fouled only less than Saka of all Arsenal players and he is also very efficient with just 1.6 shots per game on average, which makes him joined third with Pepe (Auba has 2.0 and Saka has 2.2). Alex picks his moments more carefully, it seems, but when he is ready to pull the trigger there is a good chance he will score. This is the most remarkable thing of all, as Laca works his socks off constantly and should often be too tired to pull the trigger properly; yet when he does he is incredibly successful, especially in recent weeks.

Of course scoring goals is not the only thing to look at, even though we are desperate for them at the moment. Laca’s assist count is surprisingly low with just two in the PL, but this goes for all our attackers. The only exception is the much maligned Willian who has produced five assists (Auba and Pepe have one each, Ceballos has three and ESR has four). It remains a mystery why there has been so little cohesion between our main attackers, with no clear, outstanding assist-maker in the whole team.

Our attack has been weak with just 43 PL goals in 31 games (1.4 goals per game): eight teams have scored more than us and seven teams have already scored 50 or more goals. However, from Christmas till now Arsenal have scored 31 goals in 17 games which is a much more palatable average of 1.8 PL goals per game (multiply that by 31 and we would also be well above 50 PL goals now: 55 – the very poor start of the season is still costing us now).

So there is real progress and that is just what we should be focusing on: Arteta’s revolution is taking shape right under our eyes. There is so much more potential in our attack, though. It is just inconceivable that we had so few goals from the likes of Auba (9), Willian(0) and Pepe(5) this season; surely at some point they too will start adding goals left, right and centre?! If they do so we really will end very strongly this season and I have a feeling this is about to happen.

Arsenal’s attack is a monster that is desperately struggling to find it’s perfect shape and modus operandi. It looks like Laca has decided to force himself to the fore of this team and as such has become the monster-attacker we all knew he had in him (and sorry for ever doubting you Master Alex)!

By TotalArsenal.

37 thoughts on “Arsenal Finally Have Their Monster of a CF

  • I wouldn’t call Laca a monster of a CF just yet but, for me, he has always been one of our better forwards even when he isn’t scoring. There are a number of reasons for saying this. Firstly, he works his socks off and rarely shirks his defensive duties. Sometimes that is to our detriment as he is the best of our forwards when it comes to holding the ball up. Although the stats show a low number of assists, he is often involved in key passes in our better passages of play. He also works really well with the younger players like Saka, ESR and Martinelli.

    I cannot understand those who are still calling for him to be sold. Yes, they can point to misses like the one last week against Prague but, that was an opportunity that he manufactured all on his own and, when he did get sight of goal, I suspect that tiredness might have been a factor.

  • Cheers OX10, I guess it depends on what we believe a monster would be. He is not one in the classical sense, but recently I have seen a modern sort of monster in him, as per your description. Those recent PL goals were all awesome.

  • I disagree, Forever, Laca is quite efficient with the shots that he takes. According to infogol.com, this season Harry Kane has had 43 shots on target from a total of 88 shots and has scored 19 goals (16.84 xG). Mo Salah has had 42 shots on target from a total of 72 shots and has scored 19 goals (16.84 xG). Laca has had 28 shots on target from a total of 38 shots and has scored 13 goals (11.21 xG). Laca has played less minutes than the others and, I would contend gets worse service and therefore fewer opportunities to shoot. If we can improve his service Laca could score a heck of a lot of goals and be the monster CF that we crave.

  • Agreed. Laca is an animal. Even when he is supposedly ‘off form’, I still want him picked, just because I know that he will fight for everything, and set the right tone for the others to follow if they waver. Some of his link up play, and his ability to retain possession under heavy pressure….he’s a total joy to watch. His goals are almost just an added bonus

  • That’s good Total – I like monster stories. Laca’s recent stats are impressive, lets hope he continues at this rate. We should not get too excited about beating a very poor team – but it does help to boost the teams confidence going into the Sparta game. An early goal against them will be vital and it will shake them up, we need our snipers to be at their top level.

  • Gooeris and Total you both need to make a different prediction for the Chelsea v Man C game as you cannot have a draw in the FA Cup semi Final.

  • Here are my predictions.

    Chelsea v Manchester City – H
    Leicester v Southampton – H
    Newcastle v West Ham – A
    Arsenal v Fulham – H
    Manchester United v Burnley – H
    Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich – A

  • Total – Laca does, all of a sudden, look hungry and is playing at a higher level and very aggressively.

  • I also predicted draw for the first game. So I bet against TA and go for a Man City (away) win.

    I share the optimism on Lacazette. Albeit I think he will be sold in the summer…

  • Thank you Total & PB I’ve updated your predictions.

    Gooneris – I’m yet to receive your predictions.

  • The fly in the ointment is Aubameyang and his mega contract, can we really risk giving Lacazette a bumper new deal as he hits 30..?

    If it was possible I’d say give Willian a free transfer, as long as we don’t have to pay up his contract, but that’s never happening, Arsenal have tethered themselves to Aubameyang and Willian so that’s about £500.000 per week in wages for the next two seasons and so far it’s looking like Ozil/Mkhitarayan MkII…

    Because of that we just can’t take a risk on Lacazette in case his form falls off of a cliff as well.
    Yes, he’s playing great and last season Aubameyang was playing great and Willian was playing great for Chelsea and now look at them.

    I’m pleased that Lacazette is playing well, it increases his value which according to Transfermarket.com is £31m. We can do a lot of business with £31m…

  • I can see your point, Kev. It is not an easy decision to make for the club. In favour of Laca is his work rate And how much he fits into Art-ball. Auba to me will be more and more a supersub player or can be sold to an Italian team or so.

  • Moving on either Auba or Willian would be hugely problematic Total due to their ages and salary even if that was acceptable to Arteta?

    I like Laca and would be happy to see him stay if we didn’t have the other two draining the clubs coffers and also something has to give so that Martinelli and Balogun can get opportunities to develop.

  • Yes it is challenging, Kev, but both players may still be wanted in Italy or Spain, especially on loan. Let’s see what the summer will bring.

  • Laca, for me, is a technician in front of goal. When he misses a pot on goal, it is usually because he has tried too hard for perfection, trying to hit a precise area and over-doing it. Just check out his goals that aren’t tap-ins (not that he scores too many tap-ins).

    His second against Sheffield is an example of this. He gave the keeper the eye, shaped to shoot to his right and buries the ball to his left (keeper’s right) with the keeper moving in the opposite direction. In trying to be precise, that may hit the post and we would rue a missed chance. Most strikers would just go for power in a chosen direction. I also recall the goal against Liverpool last season. He saw the keeper rushing out and didn’t take a chance on goal. He, rather, cooly retained possession, feigned to shoot, made some space and hits a precise ball to the exact area the keeper wasn’t going to reach.

    It is a tough decision for the club to make, but I’d imagine we would be looking to move him on at his age and because we can get a younger, hungry striker with similar attributes and more.

  • And then, there were 3! PB, you had me in stitches there. Of course, I am yet to make my predictions, GN5. Here goes:

    Chelsea vs Man City – A
    Leicester vs Southampton – H
    Newcastle vs West Ham – D
    Arsenal vs Fulham – H
    Man United vs Burnley – H
    Wolfsburg vs Bayern – A

  • I bet club won’t announce Balogun until after we play on Thursday, just in case, but that’s great news for everyone except possibly Eddie…

    Being as I am now one of the Eris triplets I will immediately go down to my local sports store and get myself a Super Eagles shirt with Kanu on the back. 😉

  • If true, another great achievement by the club. Many clubs are losing these big talents and there is nothing they can do about it.

  • I really thought that we was going to lose him Total so yeah it’s great work by Edu and the team, not that Edu and the team will get much credit in many quarters as the negativity just spreads like a virus among the Arsenal fan base, it’s quite depressing to see.

  • Looks as if Smith Rowe and Saka will start tomorrow and maybe Odegaard if he passes a late fitness test.

    Auba on the bench I reckon.

  • Yes it is depressing, Kev. Many fans have become angry consumers and are no longer part of the journey that is supporting your team. It puts me off blogs etc enormously.

  • I choose to ignore all other blogs and place my energies into BK where we have great leadership and intelligent well rounded bloggers – thank you all for that.

  • Kev, it’s amazing that some sports stores still sell shirts of Kanu and Okocha (which, of course, means fans still purchase them), years after their retirement from international football. If they have the shirts in the new Super Eagles’ shirt design, I’d suggest you go for that. You can’t go wrong in a fashion sense. 😀

  • Cheers Eris, I guess that those guys were the golden generation of Nigerian football, they and the Cameroon really put African football on the world map. Having said that didn’t Algeria really do well in a World Cup, beating Germany back in the day.

    Whilst on an African theme, I hope that the ‘powers that be’ at the Emerites are thinking ahead to the African Cup of Nations at the turn of the year and how it’ll impact Arsenal and if Edu does succeed in bringing in Bissoma then that’s potentially 5 players we could lose mid season. Hopefully contingency plans are in the pipeline?

  • It’s a bit off-topic, but Kev’s and Eris’ (my bothers) memories of Kanu brought back my own memories on the middle and late 90’s and the Ajax squad that taught the world of entertaining, attacking football. Besides Kanu I always liked Finidi George, his Nigerian compatriot (he was the star of my first pin football set). Just thinking back to the 3-4-3 formation with the Rijkaard-Seedorf-Davids-Litmanen diamond and the Overmars-Kluivert-Kanu attacking trident (often featuring R. de Boer & Finidi) makes me smile. I was so happy when we signed Overmars and Kanu, but I always though of Edwin van der Saar as ‘the one, that got away’, as I felt he should have been the natural successor of Lehmann.
    Don’t tell anybody, but when Hungarian champion Ferencvárosi TC reached the CL group stage representing Hungary for the first time – and was drawn with Grasshoppers, Ajax and Real Madrid in the group – I wasn’t displeased when the Dutch champion scored 9 goals against FTC in the 2 games.

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