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August 2021

Alexandre Lacazette. Why him? Did Arsenal really need a clinical striker?  


An article by Zuruvi

I am really happy that Arsenal has listened to some of us who have been publishing articles and comments here on Untold Arsenal requesting that Le Prof Arsene Wenger acquires a top clinical central striker to complement the efforts of Giroud. Giroud is a good player but we wanted an even better striker.

Did Arsene Wenger listen to Zuruvi?

Of cause he always does.

Most probably not. It was very clear that we needed a clinical striker. I suspect some of our fellow Arsenal fans here on Untold felt that our constant push/cry for Arsenal to buy a clinical central striker was an attack on Wenger or the club. These fellow Gunners always tended to talk down on our argument saying things like our strikers are ok, or we scored only a few goals less than Chelsea or City or Spurs.

But my friends, the fact that we scored fewer goals than Spurs or Chelsea is most probably why we are finished 5th and in the Europa Cup places instead of finishing above Spurs of City or Chelsea or even LIVERPOOL (of all teams).

Why it was clear to some of us that Arsenal really needed a clinical striker?

In many post-match reviews, Wenger himself would say after a defeat that we had many chances to score but we didn’t. With Arsenal’s beautiful passing and attacking game, any decent central striker should score a minimum of 25 goals per season (and possibly 35 goals!!!).

Adebayor of all players used to score more than 30 goals whilst at Arsenal. Giroud is a good striker but he isn’t a 30 goal a season striker. Sanchez is a winger and not a striker. A club of the size of Arsenal (which is the 6th or 7th richest in the world!!!) deserves to have one of the Top 10 best goalscorers in Europe. (Incidentally, we should also have one of the Top 10 best midfielders and also a Top 10 defender too). When Wenger had quality players, we never used to get beat 10-2 by Bayern or Barca or Madrid).

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As a proud Gooner I welcome Mr Lacazette to Arsenal. I wish him success. I hope he lives up to what we previously were used to in central strikers. Here are but a few examples of the players we were proud to call our own:

  • We had Ian Wright (the brilliant footballer and not the idiotic pundit). Wrighty scored many goals. He was quick. Very quick. He was vibrant. He is now singing for his supper at BT Sports TV or anyone who will pay. He will normally say anything that makes the paymaster happy. We remember Wrighty the footballer with warm hearts. We really hate to see or listen to the pundit version.
  • We had the mercurial footballer named Thierry Henry. Yes Thierry the footballer and not the spineless pundit. Thierry was mercurial and scored goals when we the fans didn’t even think we had a goal-scoring opportunity. With Thierry leading our attack a half-chance was in reality a very good scoring opportunity. With Thierry when we won a free-kick near the box, we started celebrating in anticipation just as if we had been awarded a penalty. Thierry was class. He loved Arsenal. Arsenal loved him. Sadly, today our Thierry loves Sky Sports and their dollars and pounds more than he loves Arsenal and Arsenal fans. Indeed, Thierry appears to love Arsenal less than Jamie Carragher loves Liverpoo or Jamie Redknapp loves Spurs. We still love our memories of Thierry the footballer. Thierry the pundit is a fake. He is a fake version of Thierry the footballer.
  • We had Anelka. Nicholas Anelka was a brilliant and clinical striker. What a pity he left Arsenal when we loved him so much. What a pity he left Arsenal when his goal-scoring capabilities were so much. Anelka was just a natural goalscorer. He was quick and hardly ever smiled. We fondly remember this bald-headed assassin.

So what is my opinion on Lacazette?

Is Lacazette the solution to Arsenal’s goal-scoring deficiencies?

The honest truth is I do not have an answer to both questions. I do not yet have an opinion on Lacazette. I have only watched him play one game in a friendly, (it was a Pre-season Emirates Cup game against Arsenal). In that game Lacazette was bang-average. He did not impress me at all. But in all fairness, IT WAS A PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY GAME. You cannot judge a striker in just one game. Strikers are judged over a period of time. I notice that Lacazette has been scoring more than 25 goals per season over the last three or four seasons. This is an impressive tally.

The very good strikers have a habit of rarely missing the good or easy chances. The very good strikers frequently score goals when you think the opportunity to score isn’t really good. The very good strikers are strong and quick. The very good strikers are often able to score with the left foot, the right foot and indeed with the head.

I hope Wenger will coach and guide Lacazette so he can improve as a footballer and as a goalscorer.

I am happy that Arsenal have not again decided to go for the cheapie option. These days (unlike the 1980s or 1990s) it is really difficult to find the really top talents on the cheap. Leicester’s acquisition of Mahrez and Ngolo Kante are but a few exceptions.

Most of Wenger’s transfer failures have been the cheapies or the free-transfers (Yaya Sanogo, Almunia, Jenkinson, Lucas Perez, etc.). And nearly all of Wenger’s high fee transfers (e.g. Thierry, Sanchez, and Ozil) have been successful. As Arsenal fans, we obviously know that Wenger did acquire some really good gems on the cheap but this was in the early or mid-1990s (such as Patrick Vieira, Sagna, etc.). We also remember that Arsenal lost out on a few really top players because we couldn’t or didn’t want to pay a few more millions (Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hazard, etc.).

Wenger and Arsenal are said to have studied Lacazette for more than 5 seasons. Wenger doesn’t normally get it wrong when he spends big money. I really hope the Lacazette acquisition at more than £46m is another fine example of Wenger’s brilliance.

What next for the upcoming season?

I think Arsenal has a very big squad of players but I think too many of these players should never be at a club as big and high-profile as Arsenal. We have too many “average” grade players on our books. We need to sell about 11 of these players (e.g. Debuchy, Jenkinson, Chambers, etc.). After selling these eleven average players we should buy about 3 or 4 really top players including a top, top defender and a top, top midfielder who dominates games.

I look forward to the day we can play against Man City, Spurs or Chelsea and leave the stadium disappointed because we had a draw instead of a victory. In the 1990s we were always greatly disappointed when we drew with the Spuds. These days we are very happy when we draw with the Spuds because we will have avoided a defeat. What this means is that the Spuds have improved and we have regressed.

In conclusion I once again say “Welcome Mr. Lacazette. We wish you success. We wish you score many goals. We wish you become our hero. And we hope you score more goals than Lukaku is said to be costing Manure more than £75m as the purchase price from Everton.”

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15 comments to Alexandre Lacazette. Why him? Did Arsenal really need a clinical striker?  

  • John L

    Pundits talk freely about “top top strikers”, who are supposedly better than “top” strikers. Should we not, then, aspire to sign a “top top top” striker?

  • Lanz

    “Adebayo used to score more than 30 goals”, as in habitually did! Can someone please refresh my memory. Thank you.

  • Dr Duh

    I’m confused. Is this satire?

  • Nitram

    Dr Duh

    No it isn’t satire. Satire involves humour.

    This is what you call ‘garbage’.

    2 completely different things. Humour is funny and makes you laugh. Where as garbage stinks of rotten fish and makes you feel sick.

  • Sean Williams

    You should have more respect for Henry and Wrighty. They are both better at being human beings than most and not the terrible pundits you say they are. Why should they not earn a living from being pundits?

  • Leon

    Two of the greatest strikers to ever grace our club are far better positioned to judge football & footballers than anyone who writes articles or comments on a blog. I may not always agree with what they say, but I’d enjoy a pint with them any day of the week.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Zuruvi, while I share you optimism on the prospect of Lacazette doing well for Arsenal nest season in terms of high goals scoring for us, I must remind you that not all cheapie signings by Le Prof ends up in failure. Some are and some aren’t. Take for instance the cheapie signing of Rob Holding, a bargain Le Prof cheap signing that has ended in success for Arsenal. And I must also inform you that Lacazette alone cannot carry the burden of scoring all the goals that will win us our dearly sort after Premier League title next season. Sanchez a proven top PL goals scorer for Arsenal should be kept by Arsenal and renew his current deal with us to make him happy and to co-share the burden of scoring all the Arsenal goals that will see us win the PL title next season. But if he leaves us. A similar to his quality or above his should be procure by Arsenal so as not to have our PL title win next season derailed. And I disagree with your submission that Chambers who is still in his developmental stage at Arsenal should be sold this summer. If at all anything the contrary, Arsenal should retain him and keep him in their 25 man registered squad for next season’s campaign. And mark you, Chambers and Perez weren’t bought by Le Prof on the cheap as Arsenal paid handsomely for the duo transfers. And take note, where a man treasure is, his heart will definitely be. Therefore, it is not surprising to see the 2 past successful Arsenal strikers of Thierry O’Herry and Ian Wright showing loyalty to their Sky and BT Sports employers. For, that’s where they’re getting their present daily bread from.

  • Ajay

    Why call Lucas Perez a failure when he wasn’t given any opportunities to play regularly? At his old club Deportiva he played regularly and even won them games. To disagree with the pundits is fine but to call them sell outs is not cool. And even they voiced what many would agree was the need to sign a top class striker. And their predictions came true that we would not finish in the top four.

  • Xi_gunner

    Lucas Perez cost 17m I think..

  • Chris

    I can’t agree with you on the general opinion : cheap = crap.

    We’ve got enough examples in the recent years where this did not apply : Santi, Montreal, Holding, Cech, Per, just come to mind.

    As for Perez, how can he be a failure when he did not get his chances due in large part to injury ? Yet when he did play, he scored.
    If his not playing = failure, then Per is a total failure, he played what, 1 and a half games ?

    It’s nice to have opinionated contributions, but please use more facts and less : I know what I see….

    Keep at it then

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    It’s beginning to look like both Man U and Chelsea striker plans signing this summer has run into problem as none of the duo clubs have been able to sign their targeted striker so far in this summer window.

    Chelsea plan to sign Everton’s Romelu Lukaku has appeared to have been hijacked by Man United whose earlier bidding to sign Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid has been scuppered by imposition of insane transfer fee of £90m by RM for Morata before Man U can sign him. Now, Chelsea are reported to be weighing up their options of either to bid for Morata @ £90m transfer fee or attempt to re-hijack the yet to be transferred Lukaku to Man U as Everton are looking to have suddenly hike the cost of transfer for Lukaku from the £75m originally agreed with Man U to £90m according to reports. With this sudden increase of Lukaku’s transfer fee by an increase of £15m, Man U are appearing to be put off from continuing with Everton for the transfer. And Chelsea too seems to be in a state of limbo as Abram Abramovich looks unwilling to sanction any of the transfer of Lukaku and Morata to Chelsea due to the sudden hike in the duo’s transfer fees by their respective clubs.

    We at Arsenal have reasons to thank God for His helping us in concluding our own striker transfer target on schedule this summer.

    Notwithstanding, Real Madrid have been reported in the media to be boosting that they will soon launch a world record transfer bid to have Arsenal target, Kylian Mbappe transferred to them. Well, I said to myself let them make the bid. But I also realise that their bidding for Mbappe is being delayed as their sale of Morata from whose sales they’ll have more money to equip them to launch a bid for Mbappe has been frustrated due to lack of buyers to meet their asking transfer fee of £90m for Morata.

    In the interim during which Real Madrid are delayed by their not getting a buyer to buy Morata, can Arsenal seize this chance to highjack the transfer of Mbappe to the Emirates Stadium by bidding for him if they have the cash on ground? Arsenal can recoup some of the money they’ve spent for Lacazette transfer to us and the one they’ll spend for Mbappe to us by selling those they deemed to have become surpluse to requirements as a result of the transfers of Lacazette to us and the likely that of Mbappe to us too. Even if Mbappe transfer to us becomes successful, Arsenal don’t have to sell Sanchez to recoup. For, there are at least 2 Gunners in the Arsenal squad now who can fetch Arsenal up to £50m or more if they sell them.

  • Polo

    Come guys what’s with the attack on Zuruvi? He has been consistent about his views on needing a clinical striker for a very long time. Even if we don’t agree with the article at least give him/her respect for putting in time and effort writing a piece for UA, for which I thank every author for.

    @Zuruvi, I disagree with you on some points, I think it’s a bit harsh saying Perez is a failure when he really didn’t get an opportunity to show his talent. Whenever, he gets to play he either score or play well, I personally think Perez is a top class player and Arsenal should try to keep him. Chambers is still young and Arsenal will develop him into a top class defender.

    As you may be aware not every club will have a top class player in every position or on the bench, there will always be average players in every team. I believe Arsenal have a fair amount of top class players but they are not consistent example are Walcott, Giroud, Ox, Gabby, Coq etc. If these players were consistent in their talents all the detractors will say they are ‘world class’. In addition, not every cheap players are not top class, I think Kos, Santi, Cesc, RVP, Nasri, Clichy, Sagna, and Giroud to name a few were bought on the cheap, I could be wrong (as always).

    Thank you for your time and effort in writing the article, keep it up.

  • OlegYch

    the reason we finished 5th and not higher was crappy referring, and certainly not a lack of finishing quality
    eg had first City goal been rightly disallowed for offside we’d be level on points with city and liver, had a penalty been given for foul on Sanchez in Everton game, we’d have been third at least

    now tell me one game when we missed a sitter and lost points

  • omgarsenal

    Zurivi….thanks for the article, contentious as it is! Here are a few points I’d like to make about what you said:

    1)¨But my friends, the fact that we scored fewer goals than Spurs or Chelsea is most probably why we are finished 5th and in the Europa Cup places instead of finishing above Spurs of City or Chelsea or even LIVERPOOL (of all teams).¨….Its more complicated that simple mathematical plus or minus algorithms. How many goals that other teams scored were penalties? How many goals were scored in one game, skewing the total overall, etc. You might remember that AFC scored more goals this season than any of the last 2 seasons (77 goals),

    2)How many transfer failures were ¨cheapies¨in reality? Perez is NOT a failure, he just needs more games to show his worth, but will he get them? Jenkinson is an average player but he is still young.Almunia’s record for shutouts was as good as Cech’s and he kept us in the CL against Barca when any other keeper would have conceded. It is easy to judge without looking at the facts.

    3)Wenger never ¨lost out¨on top strikers because of money, but we will never know the real story because we never knew IF any of the players you mentioned WANTED to come to AFC and whether Wenger ever made an offer in the first place. We know Suarez was on the cards but Liverpool jerked us around, and as Tony has shown many times, lied about the release clause….but I don’t see you mentioning that!

    4)Your last paragraph makes absolutely NO sense. Selling 11 playersd will NEVER happen, because,unlike you, Wenger knows his players and their potential. This isn’t FIFA 2017 but real life. We all hope Lacazette delivers and that we’ll keep Ozil and Sanchez but only AFC know what’s up and idle speculation like your article is a red herring.

  • omgarsenal

    Polo….don’t confuse fair argument and criticism of Zuruvi’s article with a personal attack on him, the two are entirely different. If you’re not sure of that difference,ask someone. I appreciate and commend his efforts on UA and personally enjoy his viewpoint BUT when I disagree with his conjectures like you did, then they are fair game…but he deserves respect and civility.