Tag Archives: Alexandre Lacazette

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Arsenal’s International Break

The Good

Mohamed Elneny

Egypt 2-1 Congo

Mohamed Elneny played the full 90 minutes of Egypt’s World Cup qualifying win over Congo which saw his country to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Egypt to win the World Cup: 150/1

Alex Iwobi

Nigeria 1-0 Zambia

Alex Iwobi came off the bench to score Nigeria’s only goal as the Super Eagles became the first African side to secure qualification for the World Cup. A 1-0 victory.

Nigeria to win the World Cup: 150/1

David Ospina

Colombia 1-2 Paraguay

David Ospina featured as Colombia lost 2-1 to Paraguay, with the visitors scoring twice in the final minutes to snatch the three points.

Peru 1-1 Colombia

David Ospina and Colombia will play at their second successive World Cup after securing a 1-1 draw against Peru.

Columbia to win the World Cup: 33/1

Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud

Bulgaria 0-1 France

Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud both featured in France’s 1-0 win over Bulgaria. Lacazette started in an exciting front three with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, Giroud was an 85th-minute.

France 2-1 Belarus

Olivier Giroud became France’s joint-seventh top goalscorer as he helped France to secure their place at next summer’s World Cup with a win over Belarus in Saint-Denis. Giroud charged through to double Les Bleus’ advantage just after the half-hour mark. Giroud played the entirety of the game, with Alexandre Lacazette an unused sub.

France to win the World Cup: 5/1

Nacho Monreal

Spain 3-0 Albania

Nacho Monreal was an unused substitute as Spain hit three past Albania in World Cup qualifying.

Israel 0-1 Spain

Monreal helped Spain keep a clean sheet as the former world champions saw off Israel 1-0 in Jerusalem, courtesy of a late goal from Asier Illaramendi.

Spain to win the World Cup: 7/1

The Bad

Sead Kolasinac

Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-4 Belgium

Sead Kolasinac played the duration of Bosnia’s World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium, where he was booked.

Estonia 1-2 Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sead Kolasinac played the first half in Tallinn as Bosnia-Herzegovina’s World Cup dreams were dashed despite them finishing Group H with a win in Estonia. Greece’s home win over Gibraltar meant it wasn’t enough to reach the play-off round.

Aaron Ramsey

Georgia 0-1 Wales

Aaron Ramsey won his 50th Wales cap and assisted Tom Lawrence’s winner in his country’s 1-0 win at Georgia.

Wales 0-1 Republic of Ireland

Aaron Ramsey was on the losing side as Wales were beaten 1-0 by the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff, ending their World Cup qualification hopes.

The Ugly

Shkodran Mustafi

Germany 5-1 Azerbaijan

Shkodran Mustafi started Germany’s World Cup qualifying win over Azerbaijan but was substituted after just 36 minutes through injury as Germany maintained their 100 per cent record in World Cup qualifying.

Germany to win the World Cup: 5/1

Alexis Sanchez

Chile 2-1 Ecuador

Alexis scored the winning goal in the 86th minute against Ecuador to seal three points for Chile, who are now on the verge of automatic qualification to the World Cup.

Brazil 3-0 Chile

Copa America winners in 2015 and 2016 – but Alexis and Chile won’t be at next summer’s World Cup. The result that saw Chile fail to finish in the top five qualifying spots in South America as a consequence of other results. Alexis played the full 90 minutes.

The Neutral

Granit Xhaka

Switzerland 5-2 Hungary

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for Switzerland in their World Cup qualifying win over Hungary. The midfielder capitalised on goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi’s slip to slot in from close range are just 18 minutes.

Portugal 2-0 Switzerland

Granit Xhaka’s Switzerland could still make the World Cup in Russia next summer – but his Switzerland team will have to qualify through the European play-off round after losing their decisive qualifier in Portugal.

Switzerland to win the World Cup: 80/1

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Alexandre Lacazette, Mohamed Elneny, Nacho Monreal, Craig David & Tony Pullis

Alexandre Lacazette

Been a few years since we have had a player who is so lively in the box. Such quick feet, alert, always moving forward, always looking to score a goal.

We have had some brilliant striker sin recent years, all with their own unique abilities, Olivier Giroud – strong as an Ox; Robin van Persie – clinical shot; Thierry Henry – all round genius. But we have not had someone like Alexandre Lacazette since the days of Ian Wright.

He is a livewire. Have to wonder why we did not sign him a couple of years ago.

Mohamed Elneny

Have to wonder if he had cost £30m or name was Jack Wilshire, people would be demanding him to be starting week in week out.

He out shone Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey and is a solid, hard working central midfielder, who can play. Last night his performance reminded me of Ray Parlour in the middle of the park. All action. All hair.

In the limited game time he has played this season, he has outperformed Xhaka. The same go’s for last season too.

I know 90 minute metrics often favour players coming on in the closing stages, but with Xhaka in poor form, Elneny surely deserves a start against Brighton?

Nacho Monreal

The first time I saw Nacho Monreal play on the left of a 3, I knew he would excel in that position.

For your wide centre backs, you need players who can both perform at centre back, as well as cover the wider areas. Monreal, naturally a left back, does a solid job of this. And last night, those who moan all the time about players playing out of position would have finally realised that just because a position is where a player has played the majority of his career, it does not mean that is his position for the future.

At 31, and with Saed Kolasinac coming in, Morneal might have feared his career at Arsenal was over. Instead of complaining, pushing for a move to Spain, he knuckled down and has learnt the position.

With his contract set to run out in 2019, Arsenal need to start negotiating now to extend that by a couple of years. He still has a big part to play in Arsenal’s future.

Arsenal pull a Craig David at home

Started the season against Leicester on a Friday,
Then played Bournemouth on a Saturday,
Klon invaded Islington on a Thursday,
Doncaster in the Carabao Cup on a Wednesday,
And we beat West Brom on a Monday,
Host Brighton at noon on a Sunday,
And then play Norwich on a Tuesday.

OK, I should probably stick to my day job as I am clearly not a lyrical genius, but Arsenal’s first 7 home games of the season are all on a different day of the week. I wonder if that has ever happened before. Maybe a question for the Arsenal History Boys.

Tony Pullis

You’re a knob mate. You are a grown man and you wear baseball caps. You are scumbag who got caught out lying when attempting to defraud Crystal Palace. How does it feel to be £3.77m poorer?

Keenos

How bad was the transfer window for Arsenal?

So I decided to let the dust settle for a bit before writing a bit of a summary on the transfer window, in the hope that the anger within subsides and I can perhaps look at it another way. See if there is any silver lining. Try and write it less biased. And it did work a little bit.

2 players signed, 5 senior players sold, 16 players left the club in total. £46.5m spent. At least £63m bought in. A profit of £16.5m.

Pretty ropey figures when you consider we apparently had £100m to spend, and just 2 incoming players to a squad that finished 5th, 18 points behind the leaders. With 5 senior players gone and just two in, the squad is seemingly lighter than last season?

So what actually happened?

Wojciech Szczęsny left for Juventus. He was pretty much surplus to requirements and having spent 2 years on loan to Roma, did not really need replacing. However, I am disappointed we did not also let David Ospina go, and then sign a young goal keeper – such as Jordan Pickford – to compete with Petr Cech this season and replace him next Season. Emiliano Martinez went on loan to Getafe. I doubt it will be a chance to prove himself as Cech’s heir apparent.

Gabriel also went, which will not upset many. Whilst no replacement was signed, his departure has been offset by Calum Chambers returning from his loan deal. Whilst at one point this summer Arsenal were willing to accept bids for him, good performances for England in the U21 Euro’s – as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving has given him a lifeline. Hopefully in the Europa League he proves he can build a solid partnership with Rob Holding

Kieran Gibbs went. Good luck to him. He needs to resurrect his career. He is 27 now and needs to have a good few years. He plays week in week out for WBA, he might even make the England squad. He has certainly been upgraded on with Sead Kolašinac coming in on a free transfer. Once he finally starts playing regularly at left back, you will realise the improvement both going forward and in defence on our left hand side.

Out on loan went Lucas Pérez. Some will say he never got his chance, but he was clearly surplus to requirements. Especially as the incoming Alexandre Lacazette for £46.m from Lyon dramatically improves our forward line. Lacazette coming in as number one striker pushed Perez down to 5th choice striker (Lacazette, Giroud, Welbeck, Sanchez), so he was always going to fall out the other end.

The last senior player to leave us was on transfer deadline day as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool. He was not replaced, but not many were upset to see him go. Ox had always flattered to deceive and the reality is, if we return to 4 at the back, he is 5th choice right back (behind Bellerin, Debuchy, Chambers & Mustafi) and 5th choice winger (Sanchez, Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi). He only starts if we stick to 3 at the back.

Joel Campbell and Carl Jenkinson also went on loan. They will not be missed, nor will they need to be replaced.

The fact that the players who left have been replaced with better options (bar Oxlade-Chamberlain) is a positive. The starting XI and squad is undoubtedly better than last years with just the 2 signings and returning Chambers.

The problem is we did not improve in areas where players did not leave.

Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are still with the club. It would have been preferable if one dropped out, and we captured a first choice central midfielder such Jean-Michael Seri, who would have competed with Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka.

Likewise in defence, we could have improved on Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding, Mertesacker and Chambers. Had we got a senior, first choice centre back, one of the lower ones (or even Mustafi) could have been moved one.

And we failed with an extra attacking option. Thomas Lemar or Julian Draxler coming in would have been ideal, which in turn would have perhaps seen Theo Walcott move on.

I think the most disappointing thing of the window was we got some good business done early, but then everything else has fizzled out.

The club have tried to spin it that at least Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are still here when the reality is that they should be staying and we should have added more to them. Why did it have to be Lemar if Sanchez leaves, why not Lemar with Sanchez and Ozil.

All in all, it is like it is your birthday party. You get some nice presents from your mum and dad, but they never get you the pony.

Keenos
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