web analytics

Cue the striker conversation… again

A good team has selection questions to ask every match and Arsenal has to reopen their striker conversation yet again against Leicester City.

Just a couple weeks ago, I had deemed the Arsenal striker race essentially done. All Eddie Nketiah had to do was prove that he was just as good as Alexandre Lacazette and there would be no reason not to trust him with the starting job.

The rotation seemed to be in full effect from the restart. Nketiah and Lacazette were switching off starting jobs, but that was already disrupted when Alexandre Lacazette got the nod against Sheffield United and then again against Norwich City. Two matches in a row, no Nketiah. Despite the fact that Nketiah had looked up to the job ever since he started making regular appearances.

Against Wolves, the rotation got back underway, with Nketiah getting back into the starting XI. He played a pretty strong match despite the fact that for the first 45 minutes or so, he had next to no service. His only real opportunity was a deflected pass that he thrummed first-time, requiring a fingertip save off the post.

By time Nketiah came off, Arsenal had just started to find their attacking stride, but Wolves were on the front foot, so the change wasn’t all that controversial.

Not least of all when Lacazette scored a pretty clutch goal. After seeing Lacazette squander so many chances against Sheffield, I had assumed that Nketiah would pull ahead and after seeing Nketiah’s strong performance against Wolves, I’d again have thought that Nketiah would pull away, but that goal by Lacazette necessitates that the conversation be open again, even if it’s not entirely fair to Nketiah.

The best clubs out there have dialogues at nearly every position, and the Gunners have a lot of dialogues. Even in arguably our most set position—left wing. There’s still talk about Aubameyang vs Bukayo Saka.

So it’s not like I’m complaining that we need to consider who starts up top against Leicester City. I honestly believe that Nketiah is still the surer bet for a strong performance, but the chance that Lacazette could get his confidence back for this final stretch of the season is tantalizing enough that it’s worth exploring.

Next: 5 Things Learned Against Wolves

If nothing else, I feel like we know that Nketiah is a viable option now. The question isn’t how we can figure out the future, but what works better for the present.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *