Is Lacazette just the latest victim of Arsenal’s curse of the Number 9 shirt?


With the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal, and the match against Everton where Lacazette was benched to allow the record signing to have his debutin which he did not disappoint, leaves the question on what happens to Lacazette should Arsene Wenger keep the format of playing with one centre forward. Alexandre Lacazette moved to Arsenal as a very prolific and successful player from Lyon. From the 2013-14 season all the way to 2016-2017 when he moved to Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette has averaged over 20 goals a season. In the 2013-14 season he scored 22 goals from 50 appearances; He was most prolific in the 2014-15 season where from 40 appearances he scored a whopping 37 goals. He found the net 23 times from 44 matches in 2015-16 and was successful 37 times from 45 matches in 2016-17. So the question lingers, what happened when he crossed over to Arsenal?

Some Arsenal fans would give you spooky reasons why Alexandre Lacazette is struggling to get goals. And they say it was predictable the moment he got his shirt number. This is because of the number 9 Jersey that he wears. Perhaps, the latest wearer would have found success but his acquisition of the shirt from the previous wearer was anything but pretty. On being signed end of last season, Lucas Perez was not happy and accused Arsenal of ‘stealing’ his shirt number to give it to Lacazette.

Since 1992, eleven players have worn the shirt, and whereas, Nicolas Anelka’s goals ratio of a goal every 2.8 games can be considered acceptability prolific, he did not exactly set the premier league alight.

Alan Smith, 1992 to 1995 – 75 games, 8 goals (Before the advent of the Premier League, Alan Smith scored 98 times for Arsenal in 234 appearances.) However, in the three years of Premier League he only found the net 8 times in 75 appearances.
Paul Merson, 1992 to 1997 – 160 games, 28 goals (Before the advent of the Premier League, Paul Merson scored 50 times in 130 appearances)
Nicholas Anelka, 1996 to 1999 – 65 games, 23 goals
Davor Suker, 1999 to 2000 – 39 games, 11 goals
Francis Jeffers, 2001 to 2003 – 39 games, 8 goals
Jose Antonio Reyes, 2004 to 2006 – 110 games, 23 goals
Julio Baptista, 2006 to 2007 – 35 games, 10 goals
Eduardo da Silva, 2007 to 2010 – 67 games, 21 goals
Park Chu-young, 2011 to 2012 – 7 games, 1 goal
Lukas Podolski, 2012 to 2015 – 82 games, 31 goals
Lucas Perez, 2016 to 2017 – 21 games, 7 goals
Alexandre Lacazette, 2017 to 2018 – 25 games, 9 goals (On going).

As they try to rehabilitate Lacazette and get him out of his shell, should Arsenal swallow a humble pie and hand Lacazette squad number 12 exited by Giroud just in case…



  1. lacazette wasn’t getting the chances. the players were not playing to his strength. but he will come good. he’s a talented goalscorer

  2. Lacazette is better than Harry Kane
    Lewandowski Suarez

    We have the two best strikers in world football

    We are the best team in the world .

    This post makes me want to have a mouth period

    1. Lets hope you are spitting red next week when we turn over the spuds.
      Now Sanchez has gone…he was good for us up to a point. But did you notice on Saturday that we actually moved the ball around a lot quicker and we stopped looking for him on the left so he can keep cutting inside and estimg up laca space
      I believe laca suffered a bit with him in the team as the sevice was lacking to him and it always went to Sanchez and now he is suffering from a lack of confidence
      He will come good and now we have an awesome front line again. Just need to sort out the defending…again and again

      1. AB8 that is an excellent post.

        The problem with Alexis was is Alexis. He is a street ball player, and cannot play a system. Soon, Maureeeenho is going to get mad.

        Alexis loves the ball, so he slow everything down.

  3. Well he is getting more stick up than Giroud.

    IfGiroud was good enough to be the first choice forward for 4years, then so isthey Laca.

    1. I would say Kane, because he’s producing the goods almost every week, in arguably the toughest league in the world. Hopefully Aubameyang can be the new Henry, which will then make him better than Kane haha!

  4. if given more games and plays in his position, lacazette will be fine irrelevant the no. 9 shirt he is wearing. but as always aw choose players in the wrong position. sometimes i wonder how top players come to the emirates as long as aw reigns. – gooner for ever

    1. I confused. Where do you think Wenger should be playing Lacazette if not up front where he has played every game he’s been in?

      1. Two tops… also important to use Laca in Europa League. Auba in the EPL.

        (Auba cannot play in the Europe League.)

  5. No such thing as cursed. Retiring shirt numbers is a silly affectation serving no useful purpose. A shirt is just a shirt. Its a game of football not some sort of psycho-drama.

    1. Ingleby, May I ask you to read my own reply to the writer of this claptrap type article. To seriously suggest – as he does- a mere shirt number can be cursed is too mediaeval for words. I had hoped for a better quality of debate than this nonsense.

  6. Lacazette will be fine. He’s too good to not have in the team. As long as Iwobi is kept on the bench as a sub where he should be, then Lacazette will start. I’m pretty sure Lacazette can play behind Aubamayeng as he has the skills to turn and shoot from distance or link up moves.

    Off topic, I know it’s premature but I think Ramsey will start to come into some serious form and start banging the goals in now that Sanchez has left. I don’t think they really got on and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Ramsey’s best season was 13-14 and then has been pretty poor since…Sanchez joined in the summer of 14… now he’s gone.

    1. Your’e absolutely spot on but the only problem is, Wenger loves Iwobi who can’t hit a barn door from 4 yards. Maybe the problem (AW) will be solved in the summer by either moving upstairs or out of the club?

  7. Nicholas, Superstition I can accept but to SERIOUSLY believe there can ever be any TRUTH in a mere shirt number being the reason some players succeed and others don’t, belongs with astrology, lucky charms, old wives tales and the like as mediaeval claptrap believed by flat earthers and other dimwitted folk. Please credit us with more intelligence than you seem to possess by penning a supposedly serious article from such tripe. And by the way, join us in the 21st century and then GROW UP!

    1. Mr. Jon, you’re like 70? and this Nicho guy sounds like a 16 years old and yet being welcomed to the 21st century! Just wow!

      1. Just shows us that perceived prejudices concerning age can be very wrong, eh? I call myself a realist rather than being old, which in mere years , then I certainly am. But realists are by definition up to date.

    2. Just read it Jon. Yep – the media inspired fantasists will come out with any nonsense. As is now normal – publicity seeking load of tripe in order to hitch a ride on the best loved game in the world. If they had brains they would be dangerous!

  8. Wenger treated Podolski poorly. Nothing to do with a curse.
    Let’s hope Wenger uses Lacazette more and Xhaka less lol

  9. I take it there is a bit of ‘tongue in cheek’ in your article so I won’t comment on it. Seriously I think Lacazette will come good especially that we now have two quality playmakers in Ozil and Mkhitarian. I always rated Sanchez but he was a bit of a primadonna and a bit selfish and maybe this rubbed off on his teammates, Ozil signing so quickly after he left was probably a clue.

    I have repeatedly called for AW to sign Aubameyang on this website for over a year. He will definitely frighten PL defences with his explosive pace and cool finishing, reminds me of a combination of Henry & Wrighty. My worry has always been the defence including the goalkeeper so lets seriously address that in the summer because with that sorted we will be serious contenders for the title. Anyone agree?

  10. No 1 question is why doesn’t Arsene Wenger allow Steve Bould to coach the defense?
    No 2 question is how does Iwobi start before Lacazette?

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