Burnley FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

'Grasp the obvious’: BBC pundit blames Arteta for key Arsenal player’s struggles last year

Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Garth Crooks has slammed Mikel Arteta for changing Alexandre Lacazette’s role at Arsenal far too many times, in his column on BBC Sport.

A proven goalscorer as a centre-forward, Lacazette is at his best when he plays there. However, Arteta pushed him back into a number 10 or second striker role in November last year, and that hurt his output in terms of goals.

My Revenge On Ben Foster

Back in his favourite position in Arsenal’s last three wins, Lacazette has four goals to his name. He looks like a player who can’t stop scoring at the moment, and he is earning a ton of plaudits from fans and pundits as a result.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Seeing the Frenchman at his best up front, Crooks seemed bemused as to why Arteta would chop and change constantly. He blamed the Arsenal boss for misusing Lacazette, calling any consideration apart from playing up up front as ‘nonsense’.

He said: “It shouldn’t be difficult to play a player in his right position. However, it seems Arteta has struggled to get a grasp of the obvious at times. The Arsenal manager has mixed and matched players, and even tried to put square pegs in round holes on occasions.”

“Lacazette is a natural centre-forward and any other consideration is nonsense. It’s not complicated. The striker’s two goals suggest Arteta would do well to leave him where he is. His perpetual tamperings have cost him in the past.”

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Arteta has a tough decision to make now

Lacazette has been on fire and there is no way he can be dropped. Bukayo Saka on the right flank is the same and he deserves to keep his place as well.

Gabriel Martinelli would be the fans’ choice for a role on the left flank, but that would push Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of the side. The skipper has arguably been our best player since he joined us, but it’s just not happening for him this season.

Dropping him could affect his confidence even more, but sticking by him even when he is not scoring might send a wrong message to other players in the squad.

It will be interesting to see how Arteta manages the situation in the coming weeks, but the one thing he simply cannot afford to do is change Lacazette’s position again.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment