Tag Archives: Alexandre Lacazette

Bromance of Arsenal strikers

When he joined in January, there was plenty of talk that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang  was a disruptive influence.

There was talk that his arrival would cause friction with between the Gabonese striker and the man bought in the summer, Alexandre Lacazette. That two players competing for one position, and one with the ego of Aubameyang, would result in the French striker being unhappy and leaving.

Calling Aubameyang a disruptive influence with an ego was basically lazy journalism.

They saw a young black man with spiky hair and tattoos who liked sports cars and jackets and assumed he had a massive ego, without really knowing the player. It was labelling, the same we see with Raheem Sterling.

Every multi millionaire footballer has a top of the range car, usually more than one, but it seems only certain players are criticised for it. Usually young black players.

They also claimed he was a disruptive influence. But there had no evidence of it. Just hearsay. Even though those that knew him, or were close to the Dortmund set up debunked the rumours. They said he had a couple of issues over the years arriving late for training after visiting Milan or Paris, but that was all.

He was a team mate. A jolly character who bought people together.

The press ignored the facts and wrote their stories for hits, clicks and advertising revenue.

Instead of competing against each other, seeing each other as rivals creating friction, Aubameyang and Lacazette have actually struck up a bromance, and it should not be a surprise to anyone.

Aubameyang and Lacazette were born just two years apart, they are both in their late 20s adjusting to life in a new country.

Lacazette was born in Lyon, France, spending his entire life in the French city prior to moving to Arsenal. Aubameyang meanwhile is much more travelled in his career.

Aubameyang’s career has taken him from Italy, to France, then Germany and now England. What is often forgotten about is that whilst he plays for Gabon he was actually born in Laval, France.

He lived in France for 17 years before moving to Italy to join AC Milan’s youth set up. They then loaned him back to French clubs before selling him to Saint-Étienne in 2011.

He is the son of former Gabonese captain Pierre Aubameyang, but is as much French as he is Gabonese.

Like Aubameyang, Lacazette is also from a French immigrant family. His family originate from Guadeloupe.

Lacazette is the youngest of 4 brothers, Aubameyang the youngest of 3.

So here you have two men of similar age, both bought up in France to immigrant families, both the youngest children, both living in London for the first time. Is it really a surprise that they are drawn to each other, seeing themselves as friends rather than rivals?

They clearly socialise together, and their off the pitch connection came through during the game against Cardiff on Sunday where they linked up well.

Playing the pair up front together, at the sacrifice of either Mesut Ozil or Henrikh Mkhitaryan is an exciting option.

Keenos

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Mesut Ozil, Aubameyang v Lacazette & Jose Mourinho

Mesut Ozil

Sick again, it is hard to support him at times, he does not help himself.

A bit like in the office having a really good employee who you are also mates with, going out a couple of days a week after work for a pint, yet is off sick twice a month.

You want to support and back them but eventually the camels back is broken.

I am getting to this point with Ozil.

Some have said he has a low immune system, others that he has a dicky back. it is then crazy that we gave him such a huge contract if we knew that he had health or injury problems.

I do not believe the rumours of a training ground bust-up. The media are just trying to use The Arsenal name to create hits.

With it being the last week of the transfer window, it did get me thinking.

Should Arsenal cash in on Mesut Ozil if a bid comes in?

Aubameyang v Lacazette

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has started the season slowly. He is however still a class act.

Meanwhile Alexandre Lacazette has looked electric every time he has come on, making things happen. Both players seem to also play well together.

So who should start against Cardiff?

Jose Mourinho

Watching the Jose Mourinho press conference yesterday was a thing of beauty.

Mourinho demanding respect from the media as he has won 3 Premier League titles, whilst all other 19 managers in the division have only won 2 between them.

It got me thinking about Mourinho’s comments about Arsene Wenger back in October 2005.

“I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur,” he said. “He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks and speaks and speaks about Chelsea.” 

At this point, Mourinho had won just 1 Premier League title against Wenger’s 3.

He showed no respect to Wenger, despite Wenger, at the time, having won more than him in England. In fact, throughout his career in England, he has shown a lot of disrespect to others on the touchline.

Most notably the amount of times he has shaken the hand of an opposing manager and walked off in a strop.

Mourinho needs to take a long hard look at himself. If he wants respect from the media and other managers, perhaps he should start by giving them the respect first?

Respect is for those who deserve it, not those who demand it.

Keenos

Arsenal’s New Signings: Hit, miss or Jury’s Out?

Sead Kolasinac

Named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season last season, the left back looked at bargain when he arrived on a free transfer, Kolasinac scored on his debut against Chelsea in the 2017 FA Community Shield. He made his Premier League debut on the opening day, providing an assist in a 4–3 win over Leicester City.

With Arsenal playing 3 at the back, he made the left wing back position his own, with Nacho Monreal flourishing on the left hand side of back 3. In the early months, he gave the team the aggression it had missed for some time, living up to his “tank” nickname.

He was named Arsenal Player of the Month in both August and October, with Nacho Monreal winning the prize in September.

Towards the end of 2017, both a formation change and injury saw him fall out of the side, firstly with Aisnley-Maitland Niles playing on the left, then Nacho Monreal returning to left back when we returned to a back 4.

Questions were raised over his defensive awareness as the reasoning behind him finding himself on the bench, but it was as much to do with Nacho Monreal’s great form – the 32 year old Spaniard showing that there is life in the old dog yet.

Kolasinac returned to the first team in the later part of the season, as Wenger begun to rest players in the league for the Europa League.

Going forward he has shown his class with 5 goals and 4 assists. To bring this into perspective, this is as many goals as Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has scored for Liverpool.

Just 24, he has shown enough this season to be Monreal’s long term replacement at left back. He is certainly not as bad defensively as some critics perhaps say.

Alexandre Lacazette

Scoring after 94 seconds on his debut against Leicester City, the Frenchman’s season certainly began with a bang. He went on to score in both Arsenal’s next two home games, becoming the first Arsenal player to score in his first three home league appearances for the club since Brian Marwood in September 1988.

By the time December hit, it was 8 goals from his first 16 games. A fabulous start. And then it went down hill.

1 goal in his next 13 games had fans starting to question the record signing. What followed was 8 weeks on the sidelines following Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham.

He returned in April against Stoke City, scoring the third goal of the game following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s decision to allow his fellow striker to take a penalty.

With that his confidence returned and he scored 8 goals in 9 games.

The clubs top scorer this season, it does feel one of 3 thirds. Brilliant in the first 3rd. Poor in the second 3rd. Brilliant in the final third. But if 17 goals is considered a poor return in his first season, it only bodes well for the future.

Konstantinos Mavropanos

The 20 year old Greek defender was signed in January with a view to spend the second half of the season on loan in Germany. A decision to put him on the bench in the League Cup game against Chelsea meant this was not longer possible.

This left Mavropanos playing in the U23s for the majority of the season.

He made his Premier League debut in a 2–1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Despite the defeat, his performance was praised by fans and pundits.

Mavropanos made his home debut in the club’s next home match – the 5-0 victory over Burnley.

His red card against Leicester City shows how quickly football can change.

It is important not to go OTT with Mavropanos; and we must remember that he has only played a handful of senior games in England, but physically, he looks brilliant.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Part of the deal that took Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United, he made his first start for Arsenal in a 5–1 home win over Everton, claiming three assists. That match was probably the highlight of his Arsenal career thus far.

A knee injury in April caused him to miss almost the entire month. That break seemed to have broken his rhythm and affected him settling at the club, leaving him with just 7 Premier League starts.

3 goals and 5 assists in his first 14 games is a decent return, but Jose Mourinho’s question marks over his fragility hang over his head.

If he stays fit, he will be a good foil for Mesut Ozil.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Whilst Mkhitaryan was the man who replaced Sanchez on the pitch, Aubameyang has replaced the Chilean as the figure head of the team.

He has continued his performances that he put in for Borussia Dortmund, scoring on his debut against Everton.

Aubameyang’s appearances were restricted due to be cup tied in the Europa League. You do have to wonder if he was not cup tied – due to UEFA’s odd rules – we probably would have gone on to beat Atletico Madrid in the semi-final. Him and Lacazette would have been too much to handle for 10 man Madrid.

It is not just the 8 goals in 12 games that has been impressive, but the way he lifted the entire club.

Alexis Sanchez was moody and selfish. Aubameyang plays with a smile on his face, and reminds me of Thierry Henry in that he is as delighted to see a team mate score as scoring himself.

Giving the ball to Lacazette against Stoke City showed he was a team player. Understanding a fellow striker struggling, his act led to Lacazette re-finding his form. You can not imagine Sanchez doing similar.

With new World Cup Aubameyang (and Mkhitaryan) will get a proper rest and full pre-season. He could be devastating next year.

Keenos