Arsenal Debate – The reasons why Lacazette is lacking in confidence

Hello gunners far and wide, it is my favourite day of the week and I can’t wait to witness another week of shocking results this matchday, which has already begun yesterday as the Liverpool slayers were given a humble pie in their own backyard to end their 100 percent record, phew!

Aside from the entertaining display of the visitors, I was impressed by the ruthlessness and confidence of Patrick Bamford, what a player! I quickly thought to myself, “no wonder Nketiah was allowed to return to Arsenal, he is nowhere near Bamford’s level” in trying to be fair, I concluded that maybe Nketiah will do better in a team that is encouraged to attack freely.

That said, I have been thinking about Lacazette’s form for some time now, and it seems like this is the perfect time to write about it.

I fear Lacazette will also be remembered as a player that has only one good season for Arsenal because since he was voted Arsenal’s player of the season, he has been average at best. I love his qualities and what he brings to the team, he gives us what nobody can give us in the team, but it frustrates me to see an elite striker miss the chances he misses, it is mind boggling.

In my opinion, Arsenal have not really made Lacazette feel wanted and important right from the days of Wenger. He is always the guy to get dropped for the big games despite always scoring against the top six teams. When he starts, he is also the first to get subbed, which continued under Emery and I fear it is starting to manifest under Arteta which only affects his form further.

Having thought about it, i think his continuous loss of confidence may be as a result of the following:

France snub
He has been completely ignored by the France national team even when he was in his best form, could that be why he lost his motivation? We all know all players want to play for their countries, and constantly being ignored might have hurt him.

Contract Situation:
Lacazette watched as Saka and Aubameyang made the headlines because of their new contracts, and Martinelli also got offered a new contract, but despite also being in the last two years of his contract, nothing is being said or done about Lacazette. On the contrary, he was made available for transfer. Rumours had it that we tried to include him in the Partey deal and so on, This will hurt a player’s confidence in my opinion, he is human after all.

Constant change of Managers
Only Leno, Aubameyang and probably Guendouzi stood out in what has been a very frustrating two years, constant issues on and off the pitch, change of managers and all, this may have contributed to his form.

Team Structure and Tactics
Lacazette plays a similar role to Firmino in our team, some call him (Firmino) a defensive striker. Jurgen Klopp will always start him even if he does not score. He is their Alpha technician, he makes Liverpool tick by playing like a number 10 in their 2-3-2-1-2 movement. He plays so deep to connect the midfield and offense.
Technically, Firmino is far superior to Lacazette but Lacazette is a bit more prolific.

In our team, Lacazette is like a lite version of Firmino who still manages to be in good scoring positions sometimes, but the problem is he misses too many CLEAR CUT chances.

It is not a coincidence that Aubameyang benefits from this structure while Pepe or whoever plays on the right does not, that’s because we overload the left side of attack and almost completely ignore the right. Mane and Salah are two inside forwards which in our case should be Aubameyang and Pepe, but we are so focused on the left thereby putting more pressure on Lacazette who is already working hard.

As we do not have a good number 10, Lacazette is forced into midfield to occupy that position (an instance is our goal against City in the FA cup). Imagine we have a De Bruyne/Cazorla/Payet behind Lacazette. Aubameyang and Pepe in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 set up, interesting right?

As we already know, our midfield lacks creativity and MOVEMENT. We scored our first goal against Sheffield because Elneny moved into space, thereby causing Bellerin to move further up (kindly watch again) unlike the first half where we kept passing the ball in midfield and defense.

Our midfielders are static and they play too safe, it forces the strikers to drop deep to get involved. That is why Aubameyang playing through the middle may never work, he, with Pepe, are not as technically sound and imaginative as Saka and Lacazette. I was so surprised Willian was deemed a better false 9 than Lacazette who is already playing in a very similar role. This will further affect his already fragile confidence in my opinion, he really looks a frustrated figure at the moment.

We need Lacazette to score more, we need to make him feel important and wanted like Aubameyang, we need runners in midfield, more forward and expressive football, we need better chemistry in our front line, Richarlison, DCL,James— Son, Kane, Bale—-Mane, Firmino Salah etc. Close your eyes and imagine the chemistry in these teams and compare them to Auba…Laca…Pepe.

All i am saying is, our structure and game play AT THE MOMENT (I am hoping it changes soon) can make any striker less effective.

What do you think?


Tags lacazette


  1. At 56m, highly overpriced. Terrible first touch, poor passing ability and misses tons of precious goal scoring chances.

    Arteta don’t seem to trust him much. Am not sure his contract will be extended unless we experience a remarkable surge in his performance this season.

    He’s a target to be moved on.

  2. I think what you say boils down to a total lack of forward creativity, pace and movement in our midfieed. I like Ceballos but he is not a world beater Xhaka is far too slow and immobile and I do not recognise this so called “new” Elneny. He always did and still does work hard but he is not at all creative and the forward pass he made for the goal at Rapid was so rare as to be memorable. All in all our midfield lacks pace, movement and creativity.

    I agree that Auba is best on the left where he finds more space. Eddie is promising but no more than that right now,. Laca works really hard but lacks that cutting edge.

    In essence we still lack enough actual quality in many areas. I’d put Partey, Saka , Ceballos, Martinelli, Gabriel, Auba, Tierney, AMN and Leno as the only players I would be anxious to keep. Some younger, still fringe players like Nelson and ESR I would also wish to keep.

    ALL the rest can and, ideally, should be upgraded IF we are to REALLY challenge. As a realist, I know this takes time, esp with Kroenke as our owner, which so few Gooners seem to ever mention, but we are certainly firmly on the right path with MA. Don’t expect expansive and free flowingfotbal,while we still have the many moderate players as regulars in theteam.
    That is plain realism and unlike some , I see the real reason and do not blame MA for putting points gained above less reliable but possibly more attractive to watch style. Any fool manager can play expansive football with a poor defence, mundane midfield and lack of quality and get in relegation trouble as a consequence, Bournemouth being a prime exampleof that.

    1. Totally agree with Joy Fox about the pedestrian nature of our midfield,what with Xhaka and Elani being mainstays Isee no hope this season. Partey will have to be our saviour but that is a lot of pressure on one player especially considering the sort of luck Arsenal has with injuries to key players. If anything the results this weekend have made me more pessimistic about our chances. This championship is there for the taking but the structure at the club is much too negative.. Here’s hoping that my spirits can be lifted with a positive oucomeagainst Leicester.

    2. Felt like I was reading from a “new” Jon Fox

      Beautiful Analysis That Shows Sound Knowledge Of The Game Without Praising Himself Nor Attacking A Fellow Commenter Nor A Player

      This Was Beautiful To Read, I Particularly Like How You Stated That U Haven’t Seen This “New” Elneny

      People See What They Want To See, There’s Nothing New About Elneny, He’s A Good Squad Player

  3. I love this analysis and agree with you. I just hope MA is seeing the same thing, he kept experimenting instead of getting his first 11 to understand themselves.
    He should have a great front three in Willian _Laca_Auba with Pepe-Nketiah – Saka as from three alternatives. Sometimes I do not understand MA honestly but I hope he knows what he’s doing.

  4. I enjoy this sort of analytical writing . Great article.

    You chose the man City goal as a case study of what’s wrong with Laca, I actually think it was one of the plays that fully highlighted his role as a false nine. Personally, I don’t think it’s so much to do with tactics, but rather more to do with his lack of confidence as an individual.
    Laca still has the skill and instinct well painted by his movement to get himself isolated with Alison against Liverpool, and his movement against rapid. No amount of tactical tweaking will help him choose the right shot all the time. This is something not just he, but all our forwards need to work on. All too often we see a nice quick sequence coming out of midfield (take Auba against city), but our strikers and forwards in general just lack the composure to make the best choices. I feel like they are too scared to miss chances that they rush. Ironically, the one person who has shown the highest amount of calmness in the final third has been Hector Bellerin. His assists against Sheffield and Rapid vienna should be examples of how calm I wish our attackers could be. There was a moment in the city game when Xhaka played Saka through. If he’d taken a touch to control that ball, he’d have lost two defenders, but unfortunately he went for a first time cross and all we got was a corner. We just need our attackers to slow down and look up.

  5. I am not afraid to keep saying it. I have always rates Lacazette over Auba when it comes to natural footballing talent. Laca is an all round player compared to Auba but I don’t know why he has struggled at Arsenal to score goals. He was bought to mainly score goals but he just seems to be doing everything else apart from actually scoring.

    He has been given enough chances to improve but he just seems to keep struggling.
    I was against selling him before this season but I think I’m alright for him to be now if we can get good money to strengthen our team. If anyone is even willing to buy him.

  6. For me, with regards to Lacazette, he lacks just one thing,,,

    Whenever he gets the ball he often has a defender close to him.

    In simple terms, he doesn’t space himself well. That’s why he has to work extra hard and gets tired more quickly.

    This is entirely due to poor coaching methods. This is something that can be worked on in training.

    Am compelled to think the coach doesn’t tell players their weaknesses, so that they improve on them…

  7. I may be wrong, but wasn’t he caught having an affair around a year ago? So maybe his home life is a problem as well.

      1. Like Ozil when he got carjacked ,maybe that he effected him ,or is that not aloud because it’s Ozil

  8. Laca is more of a complete all round player than auba in my opinion.As good as auba is laca has more quality than him.
    He is missing chances,thats true but it clearly is a problem with his confidence not quality….
    His link up play,1-2s are superb.
    He can shoot .
    His hold up play is good.
    Off the ball,workrate superb.
    Game reading is very good.

    So he is a quality player and i hope he find his confidence soon.

    Did anyone watch el classico?My 2nd favourite team RM won.and the football they played OMG.Its like wenger-ball,tiki taka👌💯

    1. Yeah they are my second favorite team as well, and the way they pressed Barca was exhilarating to watch! They are gonna be strong contenders this season in the UCL.
      OT- Did anyone see Ajax putting 13 past VVV? I think Overmaars is their Technical director or something, isn’t he?

  9. He has been alright this season so far scored some goals and as in article provides us with that link play like firminio. One thing is for sure he is way better then Nkeitiah and should always start ahead of him. Auba can start in middle but then the team pretty much plays with 10 men as Auba will give you goals for sure but no link up play and hold up play. Neketiah gives us nothing, he is not special at all he can break all those records but he is useless…can’t run with ball, can’t dribble past players, can’t score goals unless they are tap ins and he can not hold the ball up. I just hope when Martenelli is fit he is preferred by MA, although not gonna happen we know between Martenelli and Neketiah who is MA’s favourite. I think it’s about time Arsenal get rid of these less talented and avg youngsters like Nkeitiah, Willock and Nelson. Let’s bring more talented players up from Academy like Saka and give them a chance. If there are none then buy young talents like Martenelli.

    1. Yup Nketiah seems more useless with each passing game. Though I do not agree with your assessment that MA will always prefer Nketiah to Martinelli. There is not enough evidence to suggest that.

      1. Nkettiah has always been preferred over Marti
        It took auba red card for us to see Marti play when we were crying for him yo be given a chance

  10. No doubt Laca would be doing better in a better setup. We need a wide player that is more complete than the players we have for starters. When I watch us now, as soon as the ball goes to Pepe the play is usually dead, and Auba isn’t really there to link up play during the course of the game.

  11. Lacazette is totally drained of confidence. Playing with confidence separates the wheat from the chaff. For years we have had too many players playing with fear. Stats and confidence are seperate things, so some of our players have good stats but in truth are shite. We overrate some of our players who are too nervous. I’d rather see Balogan than Lacazette. I understand why some players have had enough. We are fearful. It is good to see a small nucleus of players like Aubameyang, Gabriel, Thomas, Tierney, and Martinelli, who are genuinely confident. That’s encouraging. Nothing worse than players who look too scared to play. Arteta needs to let them express themselves more because he looks like he is strangling their expressive skills.

  12. A quality article with many good points! Unfortunately for me I gave up on Lacazette whe Wenger started benching him immediately he signed. He flopped from there and that is the same direction the Saliba transfer is going IMO.

  13. Laca has been doing the work he is has been asked.

    Arteta’s system is similar to Klopp’s, from what I see as the author mentioned.

    Laca drops deep to bring Auba and Pepe into play and the wingbacks Saka and Bellerin into play out wider.

    He is still scoring 3 this season 🧐 I think.

    I do feel he doesn’t get the praise he probably deserves for what he does but I agree with some that he misses some chances I think he should put away.

    But then again I missed from 5 yards out as I ran into the box on the half volley last week so who am I to talk.

      1. Can’t help think the article is a little missed timed Sue. Our top scorer not confident?

        I know Sue I was distraught for 5 seconds then realised I had to get back to defend.

  14. Laca and Auba playing together for 2.5 seasons and still have no chemistry. That speaks volume to me.

    The way I would like to see them play us both in cf.

  15. With all this training, they will enter the pitch and start playing back and sideways passes in our own half most of the game. Arteta should focus on our attacking players, let them train to know how to link up with each other and understand each other better. There is too much individualism from the attacking players. An attacking player will have the ball and would want to dribble two or three opposing players at once instead of playing one-twos link up play with his team mates. They want to dribble three players at once and they will end up losing possession in the process and they will not try to get it back. All our forward players are guilty of this individual and selfish football. That’s why our attacking game is suffering. Our forward players cannot put three passes together in the opposition half before being dispossessed. Arteta should change this attitude in training and focus on link-up play and understanding from our attacking players so that our attacking football can be enjoyable to watch. Some of the players first touch and ball control is zero. They should focus their training on that too.That’s my opinion.

    1. Goonerboy, good analysis and I agree with your assessment; however it doesn’t help if a striker is averaging a goal a game and then finds himself benched.

  16. I believe all the technical and tactical observations observed and the suggestions suggested to implement by Arteta and the Gunners must have been tried in training sessions and carried out in games.

    But it shouldn’t be ignored that the opposition teams are there on the field of play to make things difficult for the Gunners to implement correctly as planned by them with the opposition teams defending and breakup play against the Gunners there to contend with by them just as they too will do against the opposition teams to contend with. So, these things are not simple put and wish.

  17. Yeah !
    All The Managers Keep Picking On Him, Even Wenger

    It Would Have Been Frustratng For Him To See Arteta Seemingly Preferring Nketiah To Him

    But Arteta Messed-Up, Lacazette Seemed Determined To Start This Season Differently

    He’d Started Putting In Some Goals, Though Was Still Missing Sitters,

    But As A Manager – U Should Have Sensed The Hunger In The Player To Make Things Change & Just Help Him Till He Gets It Right

    Yet He Started Substituting & Benching Him For Nketiah Again

    Now His Confidence Is Probably Quickly Down In The Pit Again

  18. Lacazette finishing is similar to giroud streaky and inconsistent which is a shame because he works so hard for the team and when it’s the time to collect the reward he fluffs his lines, e.g that chance vs liverpool. He seems to rush his shots while aubameyang takes his time to get the best shot.

  19. Jon
    Articulate response Jon which suits you. No need to fall to the level of the ‘angry’ insulting boys. You are too intelligent for that. In questioning, Xhaka, Elneny, Ceballos you highlight where our team is at it’s worst and will stay that way until we upgrade them….and upgrade the philosophy of which type of player we need there. We also need to create a different midfield ‘zeitgeist’ Thank heavens for Thomas, but on his own he is not the answer

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