So after the more than disappointing North London Derby a lot of the media have been using Lacazette as a scapegoat. Lacazette’s recent performances have doubtlessly been very short of his best but is this criticism fair? After Giroud’s performance for Chelsea on Monday night I’m sure a lot of Arsenal fans will be kicking themselves after his departure and rightly so. However is it just a purple patch for Giroud and is Lacazette stuck in a rut?
Lacazette got off to a really good start which is why many Arsenal fans will be a lot more willing to stick by him through this sticky patch than others. He’s had 26 appearances in the premier league this season and has scored a total of 9 goals with 3 assists. Not the greatest stats, and since the beginning of December he has registered just 2 goals to his name. Lacazette has a lot more to offer and I hope he does come good.
He may have missed a great chance in the NLD but doesn’t every striker miss chances? The criticism he is getting is very unfair and it will only affect his confidence if it carries on. He is a promising young striker and if the club and fans stick by him we can get 3 or 4 seasons out of him in his prime.
Lacazette’s criticism for me should mainly be aimed at Wenger, he’s substituted off almost every game at crucial times for strikers, especially for poachers like him to grab goals. I am convinced if he finished off games he’d have more goals and like Giroud could have saved points or even won games for us.
Giroud was lowered in the pecking order ever since Lacazette’s arrival and was always going to be second best, but why? Giroud got only 12 goals last season in 29 appearances, here’s the good part, in 18 of those appearances he was bought on as a sub. So Giroud’s goal rate is a lot better than Lacazette’s even when Giroud was coming off the bench.
Giroud also got 4 goals in the champions league and FA cup combined, which were all important ones. Giroud got a total of 17 goals from the bench during his spell at Arsenal and without him in the 16/17 season we would have been 12 points worse off. He became a big game player, he helped us win cup finals, save us when it looked like there was no hope. As well as my Wenger criticism for his use of Lacazette, I think Wenger should be criticised for his use of Giroud both this season and last: he was a proven premier league striker that scored important goals, yet he was sat on the bench most games.
Now for Arsenal, Lacazette was put above Giroud in the pecking order, but how about for France. For France it seems to be the opposite, Giroud is the favourite and the first team striker, in 69 appearances for the French he is France’s 7th all time top goal scorer with 29 goals. Now although Lacazette played for Frances youth teams all the way up to first team unlike Giroud, he has only made 16 appearances for them scoring just 3 goals. With Girouds link up play he is the first choice because he is an all round striker, whereas with Lacazette he struggles to get other players involved in the game which is maybe his biggest downfall. Lacazette struggles to fend defenders off like Giroud, he’s not a presence in the air but he brings pace, better finishing and a lot of potential.
For me it is way too early to sell Lacazette, the Frenchman has not had the best time but it takes time to adjust to the Premier League, just like Giroud did. Giroud didn’t hit the ground running and nor has Lacazette, football fans presume he should just because of his price tag but it’s a different football world now compared to when we bought Giroud for just 12 million 5 summers ago.
It was a hard decision to sell Giroud, but with Aubameyang arriving Wenger was stuck, he’s struggling now to pick between Lacazette and Auba, so imagine if he had to pick between Giroud as well. With Giroud wanting to play more football and Lacazette showing promising signs then it’s probably the only choice Wenger had, he wanted Lacazette to stay and reach his potential for only a 26 year old striker. Giroud at 31 years old, to get 18 million for him is a win-win for both Arsenal and Giroud, although there is a big love affair there you can’t always keep your favourite players, especially the ones that want to play first team football!
Giroud will be a massive miss for the club, he was a central character in the dressing room and on the pitch, however Lacazette can be huge for us and as long as he keeps working and fans give him the best support then I don’t doubt he can become a huge player for the club. The question now is, Aubameyang or Lacazette? Hopefully they bring the best out of each other.