Wenger on the character of new signings + Lacazette’s situation

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Ahead of Arsenal’s match with Sp*rs at Wembley on Saturday, Arsene Wenger faced questions about the professionalism of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and how Alexandre Lacazette coped with being benched against Everton.

On whether Aubameyang ‘withheld performances’ at Dortmund…

I don’t believe so. If you look well at the history he played only one game, they suspended him for two or three games, one after the break, one before the break so he played only one game at home where they played a 2-2 against Werder Bremen. Maybe he was not ready physically to play at his best. I don’t believe that he didn’t want to perform.

On playing Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan in the derby…

We are in the middle of the season, these guys are top quality players so why should they not repeat those performances?

On Mkhitaryan’s character…

He has a very professional attitude. Overall, that’s what you want from every player. I’m not surprised by that, it’s completely normal.

On Lacazette understanding why he was benched against Everton last weekend…

You do not have to understand too much. What you want is that everybody focuses to win the game whether they start the game or not. In this game, he didn’t come on because we had a problem with the goalkeeper. Overall, you do not want the players too much to understand why they don’t play. They don’t understand and I agree completely with them. They all want to play and that’s natural and normal.

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67 Comments on "Wenger on the character of new signings + Lacazette’s situation"

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Keith M

Best problem we’ve had with our Strikers-department in a long time.

santori

We already had this problem.

Stats wise, Giroud was comparable to Lacazette.

But he provided a different set of skills.

Now we have two similar players and are reliant on Welbeck to develop (quickly) what Giroud gave us.

HopelessGooner

Seriously..Move on

Mein Bergkampf

I wish a journo would ask Wenger IF Laca and Aub can play in the same starting XI. And then I wish Wenger would say “Fuck yeah”.

TR7

this would be awesome

Goonerink

Giroud and lacazette are miles apart comparatively.
2 key areas of discussion :
Girouds x season with us vs lacazettes first.
Girouds tall man game vs lacas short man style.

First, the time situation. WIth a number of years at arsenal under his belt giroud had:
Experience vs the defenders he would be facing each week.
Experience with teammates looking for his movement/positioning.
Experience with the stamina, strength and pace of the league.
Experience vs the keepers he is shooting against.
Lacazette being a fresh recruit has none of those… Granted he has had some time but 6m Vs 6yrs is a laughable argument.

Secondly, their game plans.
Giroud is a tall, physical, back to goal type striker.
Giroud had 0 pace.
Giroud had a great touch and eye for goal.

Lacazette is a short, intelligent striker.
Lacazette times his runs really well and is constantly looking to catch out the defence.
Lacazette, although not a speedster like Auba, used his pace when it was most effective.

They couldn’t be more different unless one shaved his beard and changed nationality…

Hermitian

“They couldn’t be more different…”

Santori made the same point, albeit in much fewer words.

I would go even further than him. I would say that in selling Giroud and keeping Laca, our plan B (Laca) is now a significantly weaker version of plan A (O’Bangabang).

Those calling for Laca to play the winger should have their heads examined. If the guy can dribble, sprint and fight for the ball, then he hides these qualities very well.

Adriano

I don’t believe it’s true to say Laca is a significantly weaker version of Auba.
Honestly, Lacazette was rated almost as highly as Auba for a bunch of years. And he was going to go to a team that could almost sign anyone they choose(Atletico). His scoring record at Lyon can’t even be compared to Auba’s at Dortmund because look at the teams they were playing in. That Dortmund team was pretty unreal a lot of the time.
Lacazette has shown a lot, and of course I agree he would make a terrible winger. But if his teammates had been spotting his runs and making those passes during the first half of this season he’d have twice as many goals.

dawn

Zero pace? Either look back at some of OG12s goals and assists OR look up the meaning of zero!

arsenal guy

They are the same nationality, different “race” . I agree though, Giroud should have been kept. Welbeck is useless. It would have been nice to see Wenger try Giroud up top playing with either Laca or Pierre. Like he did with France and griezzeman at the world cup, knocking through balls onto griezzeman was amazing to see and caught defenders off guard. Plus his arial game is second to none which would give 2 big scoring dimensions at any moment combined with Laca or Pierre. Too bad he’s gone and Wenger has no vision.

DB\'s first touch

Unless Wenger finds a way to effectively use Lacazette and Auba in the same starting XI (or unless Auba starts banging them in for fun as a lone striker), we’ll have essentially traded Giroud for Lacazette in the backup striker role. Good in the long term given their respective ages, but probably not in the short term as you’d be hard pressed to find a better “off the bench” plan B striker than Giroud.

TR7

Laca’s short man game could work.
Think Aguero when city used to play with two strikers all the time. Laca has very similar qualities.
Besides, how many runs has he already made which xhaka and others didnt spot or ignored.
Laca is an arsenal player. Hence I will get behind him. He’s only 26 entering the prime age for strikers. He will do great.

HopelessGooner

Playing Iwobi ahead of laca is not a problem, it’s just plain stupidity :-!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I 100% agree.

Mpls

That’s Lacapples to Iworanges.

Darren Spencer

This is a great comment. Can’t believe you’re 1-1 ?

JJs Bender

Brilliant Mpls!

Man Manny

Ignoring Iwobi’s positive contributions in the games against Crystal Palace and Everton borders on sheer lunacy

HopelessGooner

Iwobi has great potential but he’s too wasteful in the box , and u defiantly can’t judge a player by 2 winnable matches and ignore the rest of the matches he played this season , & I don’t think we are in a position where we can to play him to boost his confidence or to make him gain more experience in expense of results.. Wenger should just play (the 50 mil , experienced , top goal scorer) Lacazete for f sake.

HopelessGooner

Benching Willshare for Xhaca is not a problem, it’s insanity

HopelessGooner

Also paying Iwobi ahead of laca is not a problem, it’s just pain stupi_dity

HopelessGooner

Sorry .. posted this by mistake , can’t delete now :-/

Lack of Perspective

We genuinely signed two class players.

We’ve got Ozil.

Anonymarse

We signed Lacazette too … we got Jack back. Ramsey is on form again. Iwobi too.

Adriano

And, we still have Welbeck. Who, remember, was always picked ahead of Giroud (who everyone loves, rightly so) and nobody was complaining.

Rob67

No mention of signing the Greek lad, who was going to be loaned out – but wasn’t- just to confirm that Wenger still runs the Club ???

Really……??

Andreiarshavin

Shut up

sixteen swans

Careful. Remember Arseblog’s post about civility.

Better to use plausible-deniability acronyms and abbreviations like STFU or STFUYFMTW … whatever that is.

locksley444

Mavropanos might get a chance in the Europa league games vs ostersund. If we were still in the FA cup, I’m confident he would’ve played a couple rounds.

Finlay307

Oh yes, let’s focus on a Greek boy we brought in for almost nothing. Let’s not try and get behind the team who have finally got some great attacking players who want to be here and have got the contract monkey of their shoulder and got rid of the fucking chiliean twat who was a great player but a complete dick and obviously thought the rest of the players were not worthy of a pass and have a huge game against our biggest rivals coming up which is imperative that we win to keep our chances of finishing in the top four which of course if we don’t win the press will lambast us again and all the talk will be about power shift and useless spineless arsenal.

But yes, the “Greek lad” should have been high on the list of priorities for Wenger’s agenda today.

Petits Handbag

Till Saturday at 3pm at least! Ah no, we need everyone behind the team, fans of course included. All the focus needs to be on beating this bunch of diving, media love in wankers.

Fireman Sam

The amount Spuds dive is ridiculous.

Did you see Lamela’s “clever gamesmanship” to cheat a goal at Liverpool!? He should get an Oscar for that performance.

Ausdrexler

Its worth noting he didnt think his MANU teammates were worth passing too either last weekend.

Andre Santos\' car keys
Andre Santos\' car keys

The decision to hold off Mavro’s loan is in a way an indicator that influence is drifting away from Wenger. The fact that a player was signed whose skill level he knew so little about as to be surprised.

I personally am bullish about his arrival if it matters.

Mpls

That is quite the leap of logic.

How do you get from the club deciding to keep a signing due to impressive performances in training instead of loaning him to “influence is drifting away from Wenger”??

Wenger would surely have been a major voice in that decision.

JJs Bender

Not sure either dude

JJs Bender

Nope

JJs Bender

Segway much Rob?

Eamo

I’ve a funny feeling Lacazette will on Saturday, it’s just the kind of that thing that happens. Similar to when Lacazette started first two games then dropped for Chelsea

Keneh

Our attack is red hot

santori

Its imperative we find the time to play Lacazette.

As I recall, Aubameyang is cup tied.

CL is not a certainty. Europa is one of two possibilities which can haul us back into it.

If Lacazette doesn’t get enough minutes, he won’t be sharp for Europa.

God forbid he takes a knock or loses confidence bc then the alternative would be plan C Danny Welbeck.

Ausdrexler

I am not prepared to write off Welbz in europa. I think against ‘lesser’ teams he will be very efefctive. The problem will come when we meet a good side.

HopelessGooner

Remember joel cambel, lucas perez or even gnabry ..All of them had great potential & were impressive when given a chance.. But for some reason wenger hated them.. We lost all three because Wenger favored (out of form) Walcott.. I think he’s doing the same thing again for laca & willshare..

Fireman Sam

I think it’s way too early to conclude that, and it certainly does not seem to be the case for Wilshere, whom Wenger has brought back into the fold and played in important games.

Romford Pele

We’ve potentially signed the 2 best strikers from 2 of the top 5 leagues. A massive statement from the club, and good business considering what ~£100million has got other clubs.

You can always point out the weakest links within a team, ours obviously being defense, but I don’t think we are far away from being competitive. On the whole I think we have a good backline, but one that gets caught out on the counter when the midfield cannot get back quick enough.

Either we bite the bullet and replace Xhaka with an actual CDM or we use internal solutions, ie Elneny or Ainsley.

My hopes for this season half way through were that City would not go undefeated and we would make champions league. One of those has happened and the other is definitely within the realms of possibility.

COYG

Arse City Blues

Totally agree.

And I’m not generally a player basher, but it’s incredible that Xhaka is still starting games. We have the passers and creativity now, we need an athletic and enthusiastic runner who will play it simple. I am itching to see Ainsley having a go there! Give Kolasinac a run of games and intensive short passing training, and we will have a team of players in their natural positions.

Anonymarse

That would be a novelty

HopelessGooner

Xhaka is untouchable , never gets substituted, he’s unbreakable , never gets injured
He’s Superman..I just wish if he could play football :-/

Walcott\'s Comb Over

Are you a friend or family member of Wilshere? Maybe you are win love with him. Just curious since you seem to talk about him so much. Kind of weird.

Mootilated

I am excited by what the future holds but remember, Aubamayeng is 28 years old. He’s not going to get any younger. So we need to fix the defensive issues ASAP to make sure we get the best out of his time here.

shokim

Great vibes from the new boys. May they continue where they left off against Everton. COYG

Font

Look at what happened after we sold the money grabbing selfish little twat (happiness )he will take M.U to where they belong nowhere. greedy team upsetting short with a fat sister.
We were good before him crap with him and now everybody fills positive
That we have replaced with players that will help the team.
Even the people who wax lyrical about the little narcissistic bully
Are pleased he has left the club . now him and portugess nob head
Can bully each other till one gets the sack and the other warms the bench

A bit unfair on his sister but someone told me he has to pay the food bills for her that’s why he was asking for £500k a week

shokim

It’s no surprise when he’s the major breadwinner in the family. But pretty sure his greedy agent must have got a big fat cut out of his deal.

Rich

Lacazette will be gone in the summer, probably Athletico when they sell Griezmann.
He’s slow, physically weak, lacks stamina and has poor movement, and whilst he’s technically very good with both feet and getting quick shots away, PL defenders won’t be getting too many sleepless nights before facing him.
Think we’ll get our money back, but it’s another dud to add to Xhaka, Kolasniac, Chamber, Debuchy, Perez and to a lesser extent Cech, Holding, Elneny and Mustafi.
I got nothing but abuse last summer when I said Lacazette would do well to get 15 goals in all comps and would be a downgrade on Giroud, and that we should loan out Holding to save tearing his confidence to shreds.
I think Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan are great signings, real shame they’ve been added to offset To Little Chilean bloke leaving, rather than in addition too our best players.

HopelessGooner

I know laca is a bit of a disappointment, but aren’t u a bit harsh on the guy.. It’s his 1st season and overall the team is not playing well this season, he get no balls going forward..that’s why he spend most of the games playing in midfield..technically speaking !

SharpasFc

I still have faith in Lacazette, I even spent time watching his PL goals a short while ago. When he first came he was full of confidence and scored some really good goals…not sure if Sanchez got jealous or whether something else happened to spook him but he genuinely looked unsettled in our game against Man Utd even though he scored….mind you it took me days to get over that game. He will get game time, it’s up to him to prove his quality.

DyL

Not sure, but why cant all four play together Laca, Abua, Miki, and ozil? And don’t tell me about balance because going fwd this none better, and defensively only player that would offer more would be welbeck, but i say unleash the dogs and let them run wild I’m pretty sure they would be a force to be reckoned with!

Eddie McGoldrick

Going a bit further, (quite a bit)

I’d love to see us start one match:

Wilshere Ramsey
Miki Ozil
Auba Laca

Yes, obviously it wouldn’t work
Yes, we’d be woefully defensively exposed

But fuck… wouldn’t it be just beautiful if it worked?!

Mhkizorla

This could probably happen during second half subs. Sounds amazing though!!!! Im super psyched!!! We need to crush those f*ckin spuds

BenG

Why does Wenger hate Lacazette. Dropped early in the season and then Aubameyang comes in to replace him. Seems he never wanted the guy.

Andre Santos\' car keys
Andre Santos\' car keys

Perhaps there’s a reason the signing never happened earlier.
Wenger was known to have had an idea of Lac’s abilities before the 37-goal season.

Frosty

I wish we’d tried for Yaya Toure. Just for a season, to sure up the midfield.

Mayor McCheese

Yaya Toure is an entitled, petulant, d-bag man-baby.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

I actually think a couple games rest is what Lacazette’s body’s been crying out for. Playing pretty much the entire xmas schedule for someone who’s not used to playing over xmas looked to be taking its toll on him. I can see Wenger alternating over the next month or so

Mpls

He chases hard up top too. I know folks wonder why he’s always subbing off – sometimes seems like him included, but it’s likely fitness management for exactly those reasons.

Although I do wish he could be on at times for the late game pressure to see what he can pick up in the box where he’s really dangerous. Especially now that opposition can’t just cover him and Ozil and call it job done anymore.

para

Looks like AW is already turning Laca into a “midfield” player rather than the striker he is. Still the team were not passing enough balls to him anyway during the last times, but now we have three great passers and the team seems to be becoming settled again, so he will get his chance in EL and of course when injuries happen.
Laca seems a very humble person and works for the team a lot when he is not getting the passes.

monstar

tbh, I think Kane’s was a pen, if a player comes sliding out like that with their feet its a foul (even if they don’t make contact) but Delle is a persistent diver, I find it funny how pundits still act like diving is something only foreign players do.