I’m loving this reborn Lacazette
By Jahid Islam
Hey, readers of We Love You Arsenal! Remember me? I’m Jahid (@JahidFullStop) and after a brief hiatus, I’m back with a new article about a player who’s re-entered the fold at Arsenal.
A man who bagged a late equaliser vs Paddy Vieira’s Crystal Palace, to the unadulterated ecstasy of some fans, and the cynical bafflement of others. A striker who’s passion for the club has once again endeared himself to the fanbase, and has earned him a place as my phone wallpaper. It’s none other than Alexandre Lazacette. Boom-Shaka-Laca himself. Here’s why I think that he has to be in consideration for the games approaching.
In the past, Wenger, Emery, and Arteta himself have tried to shoehorn Auba and Laca into an attacking partnership to the detriment of both players, and to mixed results on the pitch. However, with Martin Odegaard not producing in his last few full appearances, Laca’s been an inspirational player, bridging the gap between our midfield and attack.
Against Palace, the introduction of the former Lyon man in the 67th minute for a relatively-lacklustre Odegaard was a brilliant sub from the get go. His positive energy and desire to get shit done was obvious as soon as he came on, like most Uni students when they start. Effective pressing from the front and 2 key passes out of 11 completed passes in just 23 minutes is mightily impressive.
But unlike every single first year uni student in existence, Laca maintained that drive and bagged himself a dramatic 95th minute equaliser. A passing grade for Alexandre, I must say!
In fact, Laca’s appearance was exactly the opposite of my appearance for the football team at my University. I started the game at CDM, gassed out, got aerially dominated, dropped deeper to CB, got nutmegged several times, and eventually subbed off after an absolute disaster-class. Oof. Bagged a goal in my next training session though lol. Redemption, baby!
Anyway, deploying Laca deeper, with his average position being a quasi number ten/centre-forward in the Palace game, was a master-stroke by ‘Teta, and there hadn’t been many of those recently. His sharpness and willingness to bring others into play was seriously impressive for a player who, for many (including myself), was deemed to be headed for a season of little football before leaving.
This was none-more-so-evident than in the Aston Villa game. A brilliant cameo vs Palace was rewarded with a start against the Villians, and Lacazette was a headache for the Villa defence all night long. For instance, Laca’s lunging across to get in front of the ball before Targett won the team a penalty, which Auba dispatched, though not without worry. I was bricking it when Emi pulled off that save.
Harking back to the Palace game, Laca’s header to the back post, where an unmarked Kieran Tierney was waiting, created an opportunity which crashed against the woodwork and bounced *just* out of reach for the rebound. I honestly thought it went in. I had already taken my top off, thinking KT had bagged a goal. It's just something I do when I’m excited. Like Bert Chrysler. Or Bart Khrysinger. Whatever.
Though the scrappy 95th minute equaliser was definitely worth the exposed belly. Benjamin Blanco’s deflected shot fell directly to Lacazette, who dispatched the opportunity to the emphatic joy of most fans. I for one was screaming as if I’d just found an AirPod that’d been missing for a week (trust me, I’ve done that recently).
And whilst some cynical AF fans thought this was indicative of ‘low standards’, I for one don’t give a fuck. My team’s just scored. We’re still unbeaten. Why not do topless knee-slides on the hard-wood floor? What else do you expect us to do, sit there and shake our heads whilst reminiscing back to ye olde days? Live in the moment!
Speaking of emotion, Laca’s passion, the chemistry he has with Auba, and the respect that he has from the youngsters is evident to see. He lifts the whole team up, injecting energy into the team’s veins like an IV drip overflowing with Vitamin B12. Editor, whack in a few pics of some ‘Laca-lovin’ from the other players!
Regardless of whether you celebrated his equaliser or not- still bloody weird if you didn’t imo- one thing that can’t be emphasised enough is the impact Laca’s had on the team. And yes, I do understand that correlation is not causation. There are clearly the factors of the new look defence, Ramsdale’s lovely balls (lol), Auba looking like his old self, and The Smith and Saka being out-of-this-fucking-world, to consider. But one thing that we mustn’t forget… is that it’s been raining. No, I'm only joking. We mustn’t forget that we’ve got an attacker in Alexandre Lacazette that just loves to play, and is bloody well good at it.
Laca has to be in consideration for more game-time this season. He’s elevated the team dramatically with his link-up play, piercing intelligence, and ‘pashun and desiya.’ Whilst Odegaard seems to be struggling for form recently, Arteta’s in a difficult situation; milk the shit out of Laca’s purple-patch whilst it’s still here, or give Odegaard minutes to rediscover his form. Pick wisely, Mikel.
I’ve been Jahid (@JahidFullStop), and thanks ever-so-much for reading! I bloody love ya for reading, the wonderfully talented writing team here and this club, and I hope to get back into a regular writing routine for this blog whilst at Uni! See you in the next one!