Laca’s Legacy? by Dan Smith
Arsenal have confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette will be leaving the club at the end of the month.
That all parties knew for most of the season the striker would be elsewhere this time next year, but was still trusted to be our main outlet tells you everything about his professionalism and popularity within the squad.
Mikel Arteta, said: “Laca has been a fantastic player for us.
“He’s been a real leader on and off the pitch and has been a very important influence to our younger players.
“His commitment with us has been exceptional and we wish him and his family success and happiness.”
Not every player has departed on those kinds of terms with Mikel Arteta.
The 30-year-old had the respect of a young dressing room, why else hand the arm band to a person who knew for a long time wasn’t going to extend his stay.
The gamble didn’t work as from January he was being relied on to score the goals to take us to the top 4.
There are Gooners who won’t have anything negative said about any aspect of our club, but one penalty this year meant the decision to give Aubameyang away without a replacement was a mistake. Someone should get sacked for that incompetence.
Yes, Laca words harder and his hold up and link up play can’t be questioned, yet a team rarely make the Champions League without a forward who can get you 15-20 goals.
That’s why in the run in he was on the bench, now behind Eddie Nketiah in the pecking order.
The Kroenke Family knew this, yet the priority was to slash the wage bill, a decision which should haunt them for years (but won’t)?
The cruel irony was that for 5 years Laca waited to be the main man, yet it came in a period where he was allowed to sign a pre contract with teams abroad.
That’s not to question his commitment because you could never say he didn’t work hard but he is only human. Perhaps it’s natural that if you know you’re not in London come the summer, it’s hard to be that invested in what European competition your ex-employer will be in?
Or did he just not have the confidence to handle all that pressure of being the main source of goals?
He would have known he was being given that responsibility, not because his boss had faith in him, but because his gaffer had a row with his mate and the owners wanted to reduce costs.
He hasn’t been deemed important enough for a pay rise but with months left on his deal was now being asked to help.
That’s like handing in your months’ notice and no one really fight to change your mind, confirming the company never saw you as a priority.
Then their star employee leaves and suddenly they try and make you feel that your valued.
Auba and Laca were almost the face of the post Wenger era.
They had a bromance which was great for YouTube numbers and social media subscribers.
The youngsters found them funny, and they were leaders in that sense.
Approachable, fun, not too serious.
Yet that was a problem as well.
Were either the type who demanded standards and would shout if they were not met.
Proud to wear the shirt? Yes.
Insistent on the values of the badge being followed out? No.
I often questioned did the duo walk around training believing that we would win at Anfield or the Etihad?
What message did they give across to a group with a weak mentality?
Or were they happy to live in London, get a decent salary and play for a famous club?
They love football but was it everything to them?
I think Laca went through the motions.
Case in point, look at his celebrations in earning a 2-2 with Crystal Palace….players jumping in the crowd for a point that took us 11th!
Tony Adams, Vieira, Henry, etc would never have done that.
Let look at what Arsenal looked like when the Frenchman arrived from Lyon and look at it now.
He was greeted by Sanchez, Ozil, and Ramsey and would be joined by Aubameyang.
He departs with zero world class talent left.
He played a style of football viewed as one of the most entertaining to watch. That declined each passing year.
Back in 2018 Mr Wenger was mocked for ‘only finishing 4th’.
Now 4th is seen as a success.
There are fans on this very site who saw 5th under Mr Wenger as failure who now call the same position as ‘progress’.
Unfortunately, he’s part of that decline, our worst team in 25 years.
Auba and Laca were signed in the 2017/18 campaign for over 100 million.
They lifted one FA Cup which means they have a part in our history.
Yet the assumption was, by the time they left, they would have played in UEFA top tier tournament.
That they would both leave for free tells you everything about our club.
So, Laca in a few words to sum up?
Hard working …. yet unfulfilled?
On behalf of Justarsenal – Good luck Laca