Lacazette penalty shows that Arsenal are playing as a team again

Arsenal dropped tamely away from contention in the Premier League during the turbulent first half of the season, when Wenger’s gamble on keeping Alexis Sanchez back-fired and it caused major rifts in the dressing room and on the pitch. The will-he-won’t-he saga with Mesut Ozil didn’t help much either.

But with the departure of Sanchez and the arrival of Aubameyang and Mhkittaryan (and Ozil’s re-signing) the spirit in the team became more unified again and they are now starting to get a run together. This new togetherness was emphasised by the generous gesture of Aubameyang giving away the chance of a hat-trick by letting Lacazette take the penalty against Stoke on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger pointed out the fact that this should be normal when a team plays for each other as unit. “People are surprised when you’re generous. It should be normal. That’s what I find great, that it will only help the team to make us stronger.

“We have a great spirit in the team. If we didn’t have a great spirit and a great strength, we would not have recovered from the League Cup final. Let’s go from there and continue to win.”

The Boss also believes that this solidarity is what galvanized the team to massively improve their performance in the second half against the Potters. He said: “Yes. Personally, I felt it was not so much about football, more mental. We broke up two weeks ago, came back, switched off, we’ve got a big [Europa League] game, not a lot to go for in the Premier League in some people’s minds. Football does not stop and go, it’s about keeping continuity in your performances. The players realise that. I think that this group of players is very healthy, very strong, has got solidarity and responded very well in the second half.”

We certainly have seemed more unified since Alexis left and it is great to see the new players bonding so well, especially as you would expect Lacazette to be a bit peeved that Aubameyang replaced him in the first team. If we can keep this spirit for the rest of the season into the next (and bring in some great defenders) then it will augur well for the next campaign. We may have little to play for this season but we can prepare ourselves to mov forward next year.

Sam P


  1. Kev says:

    Blah blah blah

    1. Xxnofx says:

      I’ll think your find laca picked up the ball and held onto it ,so no auba didn’t hug him and pat him on the back and say you take it son
      Another pointless article written by Sam

  2. John0711 says:

    HAHA Sam P click Bait

  3. AndersS says:

    What a joke!

  4. jon fox says:

    The final ten words only were worth reading.”……… but we can prepare ourselves to move forward next year.” We sure can and so let’s start the preparation today. BY SACKING WENGER TODAY! Rest of the article was a non article. Just verbiage, saying nothing.

  5. jon fox says:

    I would ask the Admin for fewer articles on here, UNLESS they say something new and different or offer an insight not generally previously recognised by all. A few articles instead about historical Arsenal games and events will always interest newbies. Like the Monday night when we won the league at Spurs, in 1971 and the aftermath! Since the thumbs went we have the usual people on here who contribute their thoughts, me included, but there are only so many times we can keep saying the same thing , but using slightly different phrases. This, I suggest , is boring to most of us. By now we all know fully what virtuall everyone else thinks of the way the club is run and who wants Wenger out and also the few who don’t. Yawn! THERE IS NO PROPER REASON I CAN THINK OF WHY WE SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE 4-6 OR MORE ARTICLES A DAY, WHEN NOTHING HAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED AT ARSENAL. And yes, I realise we are not compelled to write on all threads but the junkies, like me, will always do so, whilst boring the pants off most regulars. Not the best way to run a site.

    1. Admin says:

      Not the best reply to interest readers either Jon. What was the subject again?

      1. Ken 1945 says:

        it seems to me that whatever topic we have, the likes of those above always turn it into a Wenger bashing exercise.
        I wonder how many of you were actually at the game?
        If you were, you would have seen the players starting to bond during the second half and the crowd responding to them.
        That’s what this article is about, but you lot cannot possibly discuss someone else’s point of view if it doesn’t agree with yours can you?
        Any positive is rubbished immediately without any thought process whatsoever.
        It’s actually mindnumbing to know that when you see the name of the contributer, you can tell exactly what they are going to say.
        Not one of the first three have even given a considered response, just the same old claptrap that a seven year old could write.
        AndersS, I’m surprised with you. Normally you do give some thought to your posts, even though I disagree with most of them.
        Everyone knows your four views on Arsene Wenger,so tell us something else that might be of interest.
        Here’s a clue as to what I mean:
        I thought the first half on Sunday was awful. If I had a fiver for every backpass, sideways pass plus a tenner for every time we gave the ball away I”d be a rich man.
        So what happened at half time? A magical team talk by the manager or a group of players realising they were letting everyone down and deciding to play like a team?
        I believe it was the latter, so what do you think, after all this is about OUR CLUB not Arsene Wengers.

        1. Abel says:

          Well said Ken 1945, I thought I was the only one that noticed the Wenger out seige that has been laid on any article that is posted on this site. its actually making this site lose its appeal.
          On topic, they did play as a team, however it wasn’t too evident in the first half mostly due to Stoke being on the front foot as they smelt blood and were looking for our predictable soft underbelly, knowing they had beaten us earlier in the season. Ozil was man-marked and so was wilshere, hence we had no outlet to hold the ball and Elneny saw a lot of the ball as a consequence.
          A lot of fans forgot that Lacazette, Xhaka and Miki were rested for the Europa game until they came on and turned the game.
          Ozil had more space to operate and it showed with the number of chances created.

          1. Ken 1945 says:

            That’s what a debate is all about isn’t it?
            Not the same mindless c**p all the time.
            I do think the team were playing so much better before the substitutions, but when you bring on top drawer players it shows how they can change the game.

      2. jon fox says:

        But a site that says nothing new becomes boring and in time people leave. A parallel of Arsenal FC and the regular empty seats. They play boring football too. BOREDOM EQUALS PEOPLE LEAVING. My post was constructively suggesting something different and I gave examples. But you scorned it, probably because you disagree with me on Wenger staying. Why am I not surprised!

  6. playbyte says:

    Nice one jon fox. Never knew you could do better.

  7. Arsene Out says:

    Allegri is leaving Juve next year, if we dont do everything in our power to get this guy then we dont deserve to compete for anything.
    The time is now , act and start the rebuilding with a great young coach. Or wait another year with Wenger and get Brendan Rogers.
    Come on Kroenke family, show some balls.

    1. RSH says:

      Arsenal have passed on plenty of top managers already to stick with Wenger. Nothing stopping them from doing it again. These owners care very little about success on the pitch

    2. Abel says:

      The very same Allegri losing 0-3 at home to Madrid right now?

  8. Yossarian says:

    If there really was “…a great spirit in the team” and if they really had “…a great strength” then wouldn’t they always go out onto the pitch with all guns blazing, right from kick-off until the final whistle?

    With the individual ability and quality we have in our squad, if it was motivated, unified, and properly drilled with regards to tactics, would we be really be so far behind the teams that are supposed to be our direct competitors, instead of hoping that we don’t get overtaken by Burnley?

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      So Yossarian,
      Can you explain why the team played so badly in the first half, then played as a team in the second?
      Yes, we have got an enormous amount of individual ability and quality in our squad,
      Why then do they play such awful football then turn it on?
      Is it a rollocking from the manager at half time, telling them to play the way he has coached them to?
      Or is it that they realised what they, as individuals, were producing, was an insult to the fans and actually then played to their abilities and quality?
      Elneny was pilloried by some after he signed his new contract, but didn’t he prove them wrong with his performance? The fans really got behind him and the team in the second half.
      If you were at the game, you witnessed the above happening. So why not question the positives instead of the negatives?

      1. Yossarian says:

        I posed two questions that occurred to me as a result of Wenger’s statements about “Sprit” and “Strength”…

        Your response above suggests that the improved performance in the 2nd half was due to a “…rollocking from the manager”, which begs the question, why can’t the manager get them to begin games playing well? It’s not like this is a new thing.

        And you say that the “Fans really got behind the team in the second half”, which implies that the fans are at fault for the Arsenal’s habit of starting games slowly and poorly. Perhaps if they started games with passion and vigour, the fans would be on-board from the start? We’re fed-up of starting games slowly, as it often leads to conceding early goals and frequent humiliation against decent teams (Which Stoke certainly are not this season).

        1. Ken 1945 says:

          Sorry mate, but you have misread what I said:
          On the first point, I asked if it was a rollocking from the manager or the players relising they were not playing to their strength and abilities.
          I asked you what you thought as a fan, my opinion is the opposite of what you thought.
          I believe the players, who were booed of the pitch, actually realised they were a disgrace in the first half and thenturned it on.
          Believe me, i am as fed up as you about the way we start games. But why is that? The manager or the players?
          As for blaming the fans, where did you get that idea? I am one of those fans and I slunk down in my seat watching the first half and being baited by those moronic Stoke fans.
          So, it would be interesting to know what you think took place at half time and why the fans reacted so positivally to the second half performance (apart from the fact we won of course).

          1. Ozziegunner says:

            Ken I agree with your assessment that the improvement in the second half was due to the players reacting to being booed from the field at half time. The players lifted their game due to shame and self motivation, as it is well known that Arsene Wenger doesn’t do “rollocking”.

          2. jon fox says:

            Actually the improvement was only after the long overdue subs were finally made. Not the whole second half by a long chalk. MORE THE LAST QUARTER, AT MOST.

          3. Ken 1945 says:

            Jon Fox,
            You weren’t there, you did not feel the atmosphere so how do you know?
            So then, who was to blame for the first half, Wenger or the players?
            it is what I have been saying for ages, the players must take their share of the blame for this disastrous season, along with the owner, board and the manager.

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