Repetition is a funny exercise. While Einstein used it to define insanity, our very Arsene Wenger uses it to showcase his knowledge of handling newcomers, like Alexandre Lacazette.
The French forward has had a stop-start beginning to life in the Premier League, scoring 6 goals in 751 minutes of action. And the fact that the stat says ‘minutes’ instead of games is precisely where the problem starts.
In Arsenal’s 16 games across all competitions, Lacazette has played in 11, starting just the 9. More importantly, he did not start two of the three ‘big’ games for the Gunners this season. It’s no surprise, Arsenal lost both those games, and how.
Arsene Wenger’s repeated practice of protecting his new signings has become a stumbling block for the club. Instead of helping the player and the team bond, it hampers the relationship of the people supposed to be supplying to the forward.
Henry’s assessment that Arsenal need to play quicker and adjust to Lacazette’s style is evident every time he has scored. Each of his goals has come from the ball being played to him at pace and letting him do the rest.
If we are to see the best of the smiling forward, Wenger needs to let him loose and handle the cannon. After all, for how long can he justify not playing his most lethal striker in the biggest of matches?
Xhaka may never be what the fans want him to become
Every team Wenger has ever created has been defined by the midfield he possesses. Petit, Viera, Song, Coquelin and now Xhaka-these are the names that you find going back a decade in that midfield. You can probably already see the odd one out there.
In a list of defensive midfielders, Granit Xhaka has to be seen as an anomaly. The Swiss midfielder is more of a general than a destroyer. And sadly, the club has not had a decent destroyer for a long time; while having so many generals.
Much like Lacazette, the argument for his ‘adaptation’ has been going around for some time. However, it may be time to accept that Xhaka may not be who he has been advertised to the fans. It is clear that he cannot be trusted with more than one job at a time. Much like his parents, we need to see him handle just the keys to the house-but maybe not the safe.
The most Arsenal fans can ask from him is probably replacing Santi Cazorla’s role while needing another player next to him to take care of the defense. And let’s be honest, neither Wilshere nor Ramsey can be that player.
This is not to absolve him for all his misdemeanors on the pitch. This is just to inform the fans that ‘XhakaLacaBoom’ is probably more of a possibility than ‘Xhaka makes goal line clearance’. Assuming Wenger eventually starts Lacazette regularly, that is.