Did Wenger lack the nerve to play Aubamayang and Lacazette together?

by Tony Attwood

On the Star’s web site today this appeared from Garth Crooks.

“The very suggestion Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can’t play together as a pair at Arsenal sends me apoplectic,” Crooks told the BBC Sport.

“The fact of the matter is Arsene Wenger lacked the nerve to play the two up front on a regular basis, and if Unai Emery had started his first two games of the season with both men in his line-up he may have had different results.

“Managers deserve nothing (and often get nothing) when they sacrifice a striker with massive goalscoring credentials for midfield mediocrity.”

I wondered about this because my memory was that after Aubameyang was signed Lacazette was often unavailable.  So I went back and had a look at the record.  It runs like this, starting at the beginning of February.  You may recall that Aubameyang was not allowed to play in the Europa, so that removed those games from the reckoning.

So here are the matches after the signing of Aubameyang (starting in fact 1 February) which came at a time when Lacazette did not seem to be performing at the height of his powers…

Arsenal v Everton, Lacazette on the bench did not come on

Tottenham v Arsenal Lacazette on the bench but did not come on

Arsenal v Man City (Lacazette injured)

Arsenal v Man City (Lacazette injured)

Brighton v Arsenal (Lacazette injured)

Arsenal 3 Stoke 0 (Lacazette as a sub on 60m)

Newcastle 2 Arsenal 1 (both played)

Man U 2 Arsenal 1 (both played)

Arsenal 5 Burnley 0 ( Aubameyang 2  Lacazette 1) (both played)

Huddersfield 0 Arsenal 1 (Aubameyang scored) (both played)

So from the time when Lacazette recovered – well enough to be a sub against Stoke, there were then after that our games left and both players played in those.

Before then there were the Europa games that Aubameyang couldn’t play in, and the games in which Lacazette was injured.

And before that, Aubameyang wasn’t at the club.

So I think Mr Crooks saying Mr Wenger “lacked the nerve” to play both men is not correct.  More to the point, Mr Crooks I think may be mistaken and should perhaps offer an apology.


Today’s anniversaries




21 Replies to “Did Wenger lack the nerve to play Aubamayang and Lacazette together?”

  1. Great response. When I read the title I was ready to state the same facts. Like you I also wanted both to play together more during preseason and first two matches. My only thoughts was the Emery wanted to have a game changer to come on. I however believe you win the game then bring on other to develop or to rest.

  2. Thanks for this article. It just goes to show how the once mighty BBC Sports now lets it’s
    pundits (they’re effectively professional trolls) get away with pure nonsense on it’s national

  3. I think Garth Crooks is only conforming to the journalists knocking of Arsene Wenger conformity. The agenda was set by the media to be knocking Arsene Wenger when he was the Gunners boss. And they don’t look to relent in their knocking/blaming/bashing him even after he has left Arsenal. Hence, one should not be surprised to see Garth Crooks is knocking Arsene Wenger again without first checking the available facts & figures on ground to see if his knocking him claims can be backed before voicing out in the media in what has turned out to be Fake News at the end.

    The obvious glaring fact of Arsene Wenger leaving behind a strong winning squad before he left the club for any incoming Arsenal new manager to inherit the very strong squad is evident in all the Arsenal starting XI and bench Unai Emery has made in all the 4 PL matches that Arsenal have played since the beginning of this season is there for all and sundry to see, as Emery has largely used Arsene Wenger’s signed Gunners but 2 (Socratis & Guendouzi) to play all the 4 Arsenal matches so far in this PL season’s campaign. What I think has caused Arsenal defeats against Man City & Chelsea was the Gunners not yet mastering some little details of Emery’s playing from the back and pressing without the ball match playing strategy. And the Gunners are now looking to have begun to master it faster than it was first thought they would with their beating of West Ham and Cardiff City in the PL before the international break commenced. I think in true, Garth Crooks should indeed apologise to Arsenal for spreading Fake News in the media against the club.

  4. Garth Crooks is an idiot, and he is being an idiot. Which is more or less constant across all the idjuts employed as muppets by the medja.

  5. Magneto

    “Thanks for this article. It just goes to show how the once mighty BBC Sports now lets it’s pundits (they’re effectively professional trolls) get away with pure nonsense on it’s national platform.”

    But it’s not just the BBC is it, as I pointed out yesterday with the following from John Brewin of the Guardian during his ‘real-time’ commentry.

    This is his bullshit comment:

    “”72 mins: Anyway, the secret is out: Arsenal are weak at set pieces. Oh, you knew that already? Well, it’s yet to change under the new boss.””

    Which of course, just like Crooks ramblings today, is utter crap considering the goal he was talking about was the FIRST we had conceded from a set piece this season under ‘the new manager’.

    It seems as per Mr Brewin Mr Brooks should perhaps know what he’s talking about before he opens his mouth.

    As for hopes of an apology. Fat f***ing chance.

    Bunch of lying c****s the lot of them.

  6. Ben, I opened the website you gave and read the story of the Scotsman, Mr David Danskin who formed Arsenal and first named it Dial Square Club. Then changed the name later to Royal Arsenal naming it after a munitions factory in London in collaborations with 15 of his factory Colleagues who donated 6 pence each and him donating 3 shillings toward the change of the club”s new name top Royal Arsenal who nicknamed as the Gunners. He first married when he was at Royal Arsenal and had 3 children. But later left to Coventry due to the injury he sustained when playing for the Royal Arsenal. While at Coventry where he was working in a motor factory he lost his wife but he remarried and had 3 children again. But sadly, he lost most of his belongings in a German air raid leading to his losing all his football work documents and medals won. He later had serious health challenges that led to his demise at 85 years. Let his soul rest in perfect peace in Jesus Christ Name. Amen!

    I think Arsenal can pick the story of this man that is reported to have form Arsenal FC and give him the honour he deserved even after his death. I will suggest a Statute of him be erected in front of the Emirates Stadium to recognise his forming the Gunners. So, it’s up to Mr Tony Attwood and other concerned Arsenal elite supporters who are in position and positioned to take this matter up.

  7. Also I just spotted this fact I didn’t know from Jammy on the same thread:

    “Yet again, the media regurgitating this myth that we are not good at set-plays. Last season we conceded the third least number of goals from set-pieces, so this is just a beautiful example of how they will outright make up lies about us”.

    Spot on Jammy

    Also as Jammy says, the sad thing is people do believe these things if they are told them often enough.

    And what’s all this bollocks about United and Spurs being the ‘New Arsenal’ just because they lose?

    Again as Jammy says, and some still maintain there’s no anti Arsenal agenda in the media.

  8. Thanks for this excellent article, Tony. It’s just a pity it won’t get the prominence that non fact based comments like the one from Garth Crooks get all the time in the mass media. But that’s sadly not in our hands.

    On set pieces, Adrian Clarke highlights how good we are in his Breakdown on Arsenal.com which as always is very good – and fact based!

  9. Just to emphasise the point regarding the media either not knowing their facts or simply just making things up, we have this today on the SKY web site:

    “Since Aubameyang’s arrival from Borussia Dortmund in January, the two have only played together on four occasions, but have scored seven goals between them in those games.”

    You’d of thought somebody at SKY could count to 5 wouldn’t you ? Okay, maybe not. (It’s actually 5 games and 30 mins but we’ll let them off the 30 Minutes)

    The following also from SKY Pundit Jammie Carragher back in August:

    The former Liverpool and England defender told Sky Sports: ‘I can’t help thinking that with Aubameyang coming in, there is no way he can form a partnership with Lacazette at all.

    So good to have such an knowlegeable pundit spitting, sorry spewing, his usual nonsense.

    Sky Sports: Don’t you just love ’em. I’m so pleased I pay them a kings ransom for all this insight.

  10. This is all about trashing Wengers legacy.
    If Wenger had faults, being risk averse with attacking players wasn’t amongst them
    Crooks isn’t just a muppet, he is a muppet with an agenda

  11. Mandy Dodd

    “This is all about trashing Wengers legacy”.

    That is certainly a big part of it.

    If Arsenal do well the inference will be that Emery got more out of the players than Wenger could manage.

    If Arsenal do poorly the inference will be that the players Wenger bought were not up to scratch.

    Either way success will be ‘despite’ of Wenger and failure ‘because’ of Wenger.

  12. @ Nitram

    I have formally complained to both the BBC and the Guardian about this. I do not expect a positive result but the more of us that do this, the more notice they might take……………..or maybe not!

  13. ferg

    Jammy’s comments are on:

    Cardiff v Arsenal; beware Now TV, Sky’s commentary, and Tottenham Nomads.


    Well done sir.

    I have never actually complained officially in my life and wouldn’t really know where to start.

    Alas, as you suggest I doubt it will bring about any contrition, let alone any type of appology, mainly because I believe they are all well aware that what they say is utter bollocks. They just don’t give a toss.

  14. Mike

    its a shame the Grauns don’t include a box for feedback in their begging cooking headed “if not, do tell us why”

    Nitram . I guess that’s why.

  15. @ Nitram, ‘Either way success will be ‘despite’ of Wenger and failure ‘because’ of Wenger.’

    I agree with your comment, the WOBs and media are addicted to Wenger bashing, they seem to can’t let go.

  16. Thanks Nitram, it’s always comforting to know there are people out there who despise the mainstream media and see through their never ending stream of transparent lies as much as I do haha.

  17. Jammy

    It’s been a hobby horse of mine for many a year, and I have no doubt at all that I have bored many an untold visitor shitless with my endless calling out of the lying b******s, but it has to be done.

    How anyone can deny the anti Arsenal bias is beyond me.

    There’s a little spuddy that pops up on here now and again to give me grief, insisting Spurs get the exact same media abuse we get.

    But that’s a Spud, and I can just about understand that, but the thing I just cannot understand is a point you made, and that is how so many of our own fans fall for it all, hook, line, and sinker, every time, and even go as far as to deny there even is any bias.


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