How can Alexandre Lacazette fix his Arsenal goal drought?

Alexandre Lacazette has not scored in his last nine appearances, and his teammates hardly create any chances for him. Take a look at why and how Arsenal can fix it.

Lacazette arrived at Arsenal this summer after years of rumours linking him with a move to the Emirates Stadium. Gooners became ecstatic when the club announced the French forward’s arrival: the world-class forward Arsenal have lacked since Robin Van Persie had finally arrived. The club-record £48 million transfer was emblematic of Ivan Gazidis’s “catalyst for change” comment in reaction to the team’s fifth-place finish in the league, but so far this season, Arsenal are not any better off with Lacazette leading the line.

This season, Lacazette has scored just eight goals in the league, sitting behind Mohamed Salah and Alvaro Morata, who also arrived in the Premier League during the 2017 Summer Transfer Window. Arsenal fans’ main complaint about the usage of Lacazette is the fact that Arsene Wenger insists upon not letting him play the full 90 minutes of any given match. In his 23 appearances, he averages just 70 minutes per match. It is simply baffling as to why Wenger would rather introduce Danny Welbeck from the bench than play a man who scored 28 goals in 30 league games for Olympique Lyon last season. It’s equally baffling that Wenger refuses to mold the team’s tactics around the strengths of his most expensive signing.

Lacazette barely got a touch on the ball during Sunday’s match against Bournemouth, which Arsenal lost by a 2-1 score line. Bournemouth were content on sitting back and let Arsenal tire themselves out by watching the Gunners pass around the Cherries’ defence. Arsenal played with such timidity on the attack that one would think that Wenger’s side were playing against the Italian national team with Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta in their prime.

Arsenal’s lone goal came on a defence-slicing pass from Alex Iwobi to Hector Bellerin in a quick move. Had Arsenal played that way throughout the match, they would have probably left the Vitality Stadium with three points, but the generally slow, ball-stopping attack of Arsenal wasted Lacazette’s pace and agility.

Arsenal had the excitement and speed of a snail when they had the ball on Sunday, and they have looked that way since their 3-3 draw with Liverpool on December 22nd. Lacazette stands at just 5-foot-9 and based upon his stature alone, a slow-moving attack that depends on low percentage crosses will not succeed for the Gunners unless Olivier Giroud is present. Any football fan with common sense would know that the chances of Alexandre Lacazette beating 6-foot-1 Steve Cook and 6-foot Simon Francis in the air consistently over the course of 90 minutes are the same as the chances of Per Mertesacker beating Usain Bolt in a footrace.

Lacazette’s lack of initiative

Obviously, it’s not solely on the poor tactics that Wenger employs, Lacazette and his teammates do not do their best to set the ex-Lyon star up for success. When Arsenal have both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in their first XI, things open up for Lacazette because of the vision and passing abilities that the Chilean and the German possess. Well, Lacazette needs to start to make things happen for himself because Sanchez is on the verge of a move away from the club, and Ozil could soon follow him out the door.

As Lacazette becomes more and more frustrated throughout matches where his teammates create nothing for him, he slides deeper and takes up a de facto central midfield role so he can join the action. Rather than participating in the build-up, the 26-year-old needs to make runs in the channels and keep the defence on their toes. With his physique, it’s not possible for him to be an effective back-to-goal striker which he has proven with his poor performances in the past two months. If Arsenal stick to the slow build-up play, he should focus on attacking the posts for low crosses and latching onto through balls played in between defenders.

The France international started the season off well, with all eight of his goals scored before December 2nd. The past month and a half has been catastrophic, and the Gunners’ No. 9 must learn how to create space for himself and navigate Premier League defences that tend to play with a lot more physicality than Ligue 1 defences. He constantly lost the eyes of defences earlier in the season when he scored prolifically and thrived at getting into the perfect amount of space to finish chances that came his way. Against Bournemouth and in basically every game he played in since December 2nd, he has looked demoralized and flat-out bored.

If Arsene Wenger and his assistants decide against adjusting their tactics to get the best out of their marquee summer signing by letting him run with the ball at defences, Lacazette needs to take the initiative by training and watching game film to learn how to thrive in Arsenal’s system and in English football in general. If he does not work hard to turn this poor run of form around, then he will go down in Premier League history as a £48 million flop! It’s quite early to make a bold proclamation like that, but Lacazette has played with such a sloth-like demeanor in recent weeks that one cannot help but wonder if he has the mental fortitude to turn his poor play around.

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  1. He can’t fix it..he has regressed and become a deadwood as is the inevitable fate of every world class player who unfortunately chooses to work under Wenger. Kolasinac is next.

    1. Nothing changed says:

      Kolasinac has already regressed. He started great but then Wenger got his hands on him and started benching him. It is a familiar pattern the likes of Mustafi has also befallen. Xhaka is the exception but only because he didn’t even start well.

  2. Judas Sanchez says:

    He could insist on Arsene being sacked.

    Other than that his only option is to just accept that he will get rich while not winning anything of note and regressing as a player.

  3. McLovin says:

    Imagine coming to Arsenal to link up with Sanchez and Özil. Then after 5 months resort to playing with Welbeck and Iwobi.

    1. The Defiant Man says:

      True. That’s one depressing development for a player.

  4. Roy says:

    All strikers rely on service.Arsenal provide crap service.The insistence on possession in and around the box instead of shooting on sight instilled by the coach is the main problem.Proof of the pudding is hearing the fans shouting shoot every time we approach the box.what do we do? Pass. I. rest my case your honour.

    1. A.Ball08 says:

      I agrer with you
      How frustrating. We have lost tge cutting edge. No penetration as the nun said to the priest
      All side too side football
      Haven’t sent xhaka pass a ball forward yet and when he does it is no wgere near our players
      how many times gas everyone screamed Shoot!
      Unfortunately laca looks disinterested. His body language is man who has no confidence
      His work rate is poor. Before he would chase. Close down be a nuisance but now he strolls around and fakes the chase
      At least Morata still runs the channels and gets in to position for the chances
      Hes still our player fifor r now and been our best player for a long time but Sanchez has been poor for laca
      He eats in to his space. Cuts in from the left all the time and doesn’t give us the width when we need it…another story i think..giod luck to him as he is a top player
      But as you said. Bloody well shoot and work the goalkeeper. Stop trying to walk the ball in

  5. barryglik says:

    In Basket ball teams score
    60 or more times every game.
    In football two goals is usually
    enough to win the game.
    This despite the fact that in any given game each
    football sides will have at least 100 possessions.
    5-6 hundred touches to each side yet some
    teams can’t even score one goal.
    So not scoring is the norm in football.
    Strikers often go ten or more games with out scoring.
    Even mega expensive strikers like Lukaku have long barren spells.
    Even a team of super stars at City with a supposed genius manager armed with
    a multi layered array of weapons and strategems can
    be held by a relegation team like Palace.
    Often when goals do arrive they are not the result of beautifully crafted symphonies
    but a scuffed miss hit or an off target strike which takes a wicked deflection.
    Might as well lump every ball into the box all game.
    Better odds of scoring than the sideways backward torture we endure.
    Basketball is exciting because teams score all the time and
    Football is exciting because teams hardly ever score. 🙂

  6. GB says:

    ?? ha ha ha

  7. GB says:

    Theo passed medical and has agreed terms with Everton – SKY.

  8. Simon says:

    I haven’t seen him miss a bunch of easy chances. Still has a good turn – think he just needs better service-

    Perhaps different / better shape. Well beck was causing defences problems beginning of system – now not making no impact

  9. Sonny boy says:

    Stop making excuses for him no one was defending giroud when he got this crap service as well he just needs to put his head down and work

  10. Jay Dee says:

    Give Lacazette a good midfield and see if he wont score. Guy has to come into his own box to get service. Really? Have you seen Morata in the Chelsea box? We need an agggressive team and tactics that get the ball forward. Think of Liverpool, when Can gets the ball in midfield, you worry, his forward runs, forward passes and so on. Xhaka or Ramsey get the ball they look to pass, sideways and backwards might i add. Wilshere is the only one i see trying to run in. This so called FLOP(Lacazette) has probably set up more forward plays than anyone in that team, go check the footage. He is trying very hard in a team that is not playing for Wenger anymore and low confidence.

    We did this with my friends the other day, get the team sheets(starting line up) of ALL the teams in the Premier league and try and see who can DEFINITELY be replaced by an Arsenal player. You would be surprised to learn that even teams in the relegation battle have way more stronger players than us. Would you take Walcott over Zaha (same salary), would you take welbeck over Arnautovic, would you prefer Xhaka over Henderson, would you take Cech over Heaton (yes i said, he used to be world class, not anymore). So many. If Wenger stays at Arsenal whether as coach or part of the management, we will be in a relegation battle in two years. Mark my words. He needs to just retire. We will struggle a little bit because of his hold of the club but we will start moving in the right direction

  11. Adeyemi Royalman says:

    Stop giving excuse for a non performing player please. OG12 were calling names during his goal drought too

  12. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    I agree with Jay Dee re the reasons Lacazette hasn’t scored more goals in his first season in the EPL. Lacazette is obviously such a flop that Arsenal should immediately sell him to a rival and wait for him to return to the Emirates and bite us on the arse!

  13. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    By the way, once Giroud returns from injury maybe it would be a good idea for Wenger to play Giroud with Lacazette, especially if and when Sanchez leaves.

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