On Sunday, Mikel Arteta was back in front of the media once again in preparation for the game against Leicester City. There is no rest for the Arsenal manager who is moving from one game to the next with no time to relax. Just over 24 hours after beating Wolverhampton Wolves, Arteta faced questions covering team confidence, Leicester City and Vardy, Lacazette, Martinelli, and more.
Read the full transcript from Arsenal here.
Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal’s player of the season in 2018/19 turned provider of Arsenal fan’s and coaches’ nightmares in 2019/20. Whether down to a lack of confidence, a new system, changes in coaching, or other factors – Lacazette has struggled to produce at the level that fans have come to expect from him. Couple that with a change in the financial landscape of football in a post-pandemic world, and he has many calling for him to be moved along to help pay for his striking partner Aubameyang and help overhaul the midfield that needs a lot of work.
One of the largest contributing factors to his decline is the dip in form away from The Emirate. Although Lacazette is not the only player in the Arsenal side to have suffer from some astounding dips in quality when on the road, he is certainly a player that has been called out for it. On Saturday, Lacazette managed to turn some of that around after coming on as a substitute and scoring Arsenal’s second goal at a critical moment to settle any fears of another late change to the narrative.
Arteta commented on Lacazette’s energy, effort, and production when he came in adding, “I’m delighted for him because he completely deserved it. It’s been a long time since he scored away from home but he scored a crucial goal for us again. Not only that, but his contribution when he stepped onto the pitch was massive.”
In light of many wondering what the club will do in the near future surrounding the Frenchman’s contract, no one is completely sure. Some may be delighted to hear Arteta’s comments on the matter, while others worried.
“We have to have a chat about the next step with him and get his ideas and his feelings. As I said, I am really happy with him. He’s a player that I’ve always liked, even when I wasn’t here, because of what he brings to the team: his qualities, his ability, his work rate. So let’s see. Now we are in a crucial moment. It’s no time to talk about a lot of contract situations. We still have time and we will do it in the right moment.”
A manager’s support is to be expected and Arsenal will likely need him to contribute in the upcoming matches if they are going to find success, but one eye is always on the looming rebuild that is drastically needed. Where Lacazette fits within it or out of it – only the club knows at this point.
In the meantime, it was a great goal, great composure in front of net, and we hope a few more are on the way soon.