Good luck to Thierry Henry, Gael Clichy and Lacazette who are aiming for French Glory at the Paris Olmpics

Alexandre Lacazette has been given the honour of captaining France at the Paris Olympics, by far the highlight of his international career.

It continues the Arsenal connection towards the French Olympic team with their manager being a certain Thierry Henry and his assistant Gael Clichy. The two Invincibles have spoken about the complications of putting together a squad for their country’s global event with club’s not legally obliged to release any players.

Already coaching their nations Under 21 set up it makes sense for them to take charge of a group where only three picks can be over the age of 23.

For years the host nation made out they would push hard for any talent who wanted to compete to be allowed to be released. Hence why there were talks that the likes of Mbappe and Saliba could become Olympians.

The French Football Association and Olympic Committee have accepted though that it’s unlikely anyone at the Euros would be allowed to skip preseason at another tournament.

With Copa America also taking place, most participating sides have seen their selective pool dwindle.

The criterion in many ways comes down to the human element. It must be hard for an employer to turn down an employee the dream of an Olympics if that’s what they are desperate to do?

Man City for example are not standing in Julian Alvarez’s way even though he’s still in the Semi Final of Copa America, meaning the striker will barely have a rest from the Sport.

In truth a medal at the Olympics in Football has traditionally been taken more seriously outside of Europe unless your are hosting the event.

Hence why 2020 was France’s first appearance in 24 years. Cynically you can say they have already ticked the marketing box by having one of their most famous sportsmen managing the team.

In negotiations Mr Henry has been quite laid back in his approach to choosing players, realising his hands are tied if the answer is no.

He simply asks the question and leaves it to player and club to find a compromise.

That’s why Lacazette was such an obvious candidate to be one of the three over age players.

The 33-year-old scored 19 goals in Ligue one last season, so is in enough form where he’s a high-profile pick.

Having been part of Lyon on and off since the age of 7 it’s hard for the club to morally deny their striker when he’s never experienced a World Cup or the Euros.

A home Olympics is a once in a lifetime experience that Lyon had zero reason to deny to the forward.

The closest he came was being on standby for Russia 2018 and he would have assumed his moment to fly the flag for Les Bleus ended when he left North London as a free agent.

Returning homes he’s had a renaissance with 53 goals in 74 games. If I had known, we would take his salary and give it to Eddie and Reiss Nelson I would have kept him as a substitute option.

Lacazette has the chance to win Gold and become one of the faces of the Paris Olympics.

A moment that will live forever.

On behalf of everyone at JustArsenal good luck to Henry, Clichy and Laca

Once A Gooner Always a Gooner!

Dan Smith


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Tags Gael Clichy and Lacazette Thierry Henry


    1. All the best of luck, could he have been content with a spot on the bench Dan? I doubt he was already uncomfortable being no 2 to Aubameyang!

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