Arsenal strike force deserve better.

 

Just imagine what could be have achieved with the frontline of Lacazette and Aubameyang, had Arsenal rid itself of its awful defence and at the same time, drafted in a consistent creative midfielder.

For years, Arsenal had been crying out for a penetrative  strike force after the departures of the likes of Robin Van Persie and goal machine, Thierry Henry.

They now have that area covered but the seasonal failure of its dodgy defence and inability to fashion creative opportunities are killing the pairs potential.

Only Mesut Ozil, truly has that creative flair in the middle but he is inconsistent and has had an indifferent season that has seen him benched for the less physical encounters.

With both Bellerin and Monreal injured, Arsenal have had to look to the surging forays of Kolasinac and the last minute sprints of Aaron Ramsey to provide back up for the pair.

Aubameyang and Lacazette have different talents in front of goal. Anything that is lose in the box and Aubameyang will punish slack defending, by finding a half yard to slot home.

Good inside and just outside the box, with a sharp, instinctive nose for goal.

By comparison, if that’s possible, Lacazette is a key player in building an attack, sometimes taking the ball just over the halfway line and making himself available as the attack moves towards the box.

I admire his work rate and desire and that’s not to say Aubameyang doesn’t put in a shift because he does.

Against Chelsea he unveiled a combative desire for the ball and to protect Arsenal’s lead, by executing tackles that are normally strangers to a forward.

He timed a tackle on Willian to perfection, which was applauded by the Arsenal fans , with some musing on social media “ We’ve found our new centre back !”

Against Cardiff, Lacazette showed why he is so highly regarded.

Out on the right and over the halfway line, the ball arrived to his feet and there was a look on his face that suggested that he was going to wrap up the game.

He powered forward, into the box and thumped a low, powerful shot into the corner of the Cardiff net that even the outstretched leg of the goalkeeper couldn’t divert.

It was all reminiscent of Henry’s aggressive sprint upfield against Spurs in 2002 and although Lacazette didn’t slice through the defence, ignoring the attention of a heap of players, the burning desire for goal was exactly the same.

People talk about Harry Kane being a top striker and although one can’t dispute he is enormously talented, I don’t consider him to be better than either Aubameyang or Lacazette.

Kane is more of a conventional centre forward, a target man and a very good one.

Although he has a nose for goal, you wouldn’t say he was blessed with pace, whereas the Arsenal frontmen can certainly fizz into the box from either side of the pitch.

With more quality in the side, both would be fighting it out for the golden boot and one suspects that was one of the reasons Emery was so desperate for Suarez, Perišić and Nkunku.

Fans were obviously frustrated  with the lack of activity for a defender but that particular piece of major surgery will be performed in the summer months.

January is a transfer window where top defenders are not going to be available at any price, as teams look to consolidate their position in their respective leagues.

Whilst on the subject of providing a  better balance for attack, the use of Torriera in a different role, is beginning to irk.

With limited options and with different formations, I guess it’s unavoidable but he is so reliable and strong, breaking up attacks and pressing in the other direction, that Arsenal are losing out.

As a result of that move, he is less effective in my opinion and Xhaka, despite my best efforts to see the good in him and regardless of his stats, is at times a massive liability. 

Stats are all very well but all too often he misjudges a pass which allows Arsenal to be threatened or punished.

His positional play at times is awful and is awareness of danger is almost non existence.

Again, Xhaka is performing in a position that doesn’t suit him and in a desperate attempt to find something he is good at, I’d push him in to the middle to see how he fairs.

Other than that, I’m afraid, for me at least, Xhaka is on borrowed time in an Arsenal shirt.

He is another player that struggles to make an impact at this level and although I don’t condone the personal abuse, I understand the frustration.

All these factors have a barring on the front pair, because they now have to pick up the slack and instead of focusing solely on their attacking game, they are having to compensate for some of the sides defensive inadequacies.

I don’t want this pair to suffer another season like this, Emery and the Arsenal board need to give this strike force quality service, so that they can excel.

They have the potential to be the best pairing Arsenal have ever had.

They actually seem to enjoy each others success and thrive on the other finding the net.

If Wenger gave Arsenal anything in an otherwise grim last season, it was putting this pair in the same side and it’s hard not to speculate how they would have flourished in the Frenchman’s vintage sides.

Imagine what they could have done with a Bergkamp, Pires or Overmars, ridiculous I know but it emphasises that with quality of that ilk, Aubameyang or Lacazette would be in competition against each other for the golden boot.

I suspect that neither would care if the other won the award, such is their relationship and camaraderie.

This summer, Arsenal need to to provide them with the best, to get the best and release them from the distractions of filling in for the lame, the clueless, the inept and the bewildered. 

 

3 Comments


  1. Very good analysis, but I highly doubt that Stan Kroenke will understand a word of it or cares to.

    1. Author

      He’s just not interested in Arsenal, he talks about it as a brand.
      He’s never there, doesn’t sound like he’s passionate and there’s nothing that leads me to believe he wants what the fans want.

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