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Finton’s Frolic: Goodbye Laca, it’s Been Nice, Hope You Find Your Paradise

By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)

What up, Pimps?

Welcome one and welcome all to the Finton’s Frolic right opinion zone. I’m writing this on the Friday before the Saturday that this piece is being released, and have just seen goodbye messages from Arsenal to Alexandre Lacazette and vise versa. So there you have it. He’s gone. Here’s my immediate, sappy and nostalgic reaction.

Within less than a year, our briefly dangerous, much loved strike partnership of Laca and Auba has been burned to the ground, and rightfully so.

Here in the state of Florida we do these things called “controlled burns,” I’m not sure if they’re done elsewhere. Prepare for yet another crappy analogy. Every year prior to the dry season, fire experts go out and purposely catch fire to tree leaves that fell, and may exacerbate fire spreading. It gives the rest of the woods a chance if flames arise. Laca and Auba are the leaves being burned, forced to leave. Both players saw their qualities fall to the ground. They always had to be burned. And now it’s Laca’s turn.

The pair aged. That happens to humans. They did some really, really good and some really, really bad. The two costed the club more than £100 million in transfer fees, and to be honest, only one was an undeniably a good signing. You know who. He won a golden boot and scored in an FA Cup final.

But we’re here to talk about the debatable, other one. The guy who looked like a goal machine in Ligue 1, before we signed him. The striker we thought would be our long awaited solution to our central forward issue. But the man that donned the number 9 for his entire time at Arsenal never did what the fans and sport, itself ask of a true top man.

Funnily enough though, the reasons that Laca may still be considered a decent enough signing by some, including myself and probably AFCMax9, are the actions on and off the pitch that can’t be quantified. They can certainly be captured, however. Peep the headline photo. That's Laca. We've seen it many times.

But away from his obvious passion, the man who looks set to rejoin Lyon brought discipline, leadership and venom to the side — soft factors his partner Auba, the former club “captain” (we all know that was a bull shit PR move because he was our best player), ironically did not. That's okay, of course, Auba was never going to have that feisty personality, and that's why the two could’ve truly been a Yin and Yang partnership up front. A tall guy, short guy dynamic. Good cop, bad cop. Sherlock and Watson. Flair and industry. But we were about five years too late to that potential party, especially with Laca.

So all in all Lacazette’s time with Arsenal can be classified as just plain weird. Nuanced analysis as per. In one campaign he was our player of the season, and in the previous one, he aged about 700 years and was one of our worst. He made his presence known in seemingly every big game, for better or worse. He scored screamers and missed sitters. He put in brilliant well-rounded performances and had absolute stinkers too. That pretty much sums him, as a signing up.

But I don’t consider his purchase a colossal failure, personally. Even given the hefty fee. He was apparently brilliant with the young players and an absolute pleasure to be around. He wore the captains arm band on a number of occasions and was seen as the real second captain after Granit Xhaka. Maybe even the skipper during "XhakaGate."

Unlike loads of our previous players, he was never involved in bust ups with the manager and was an all around good boy that went about his business like a true professional. And along with that, he had some tremendous times on the pitch too. North London derby goals, a finish through brilliant manipulation of the ball against Liverpool, a thunderbolt of a free kick against Napoli in the Europa League, and more big goals in other big games, and goals in smaller fixtures as well.

I’m sure he’ll bring those intangible attributes to France with him and sincerely hope he can find his form on the pitch to dovetail with them. This farewell to Laca should be a fond one like that shown by most to Auba. He may not have been our best player for large portions of his time in North London, but he was one of our best people. Merci Laca.


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