Arsenal can’t win if they can’t score goals, and apparently it’s only Nicolas Pep that can even do that. Without his help, what might this become?
The loss to Brighton put me in an even sourer mood than the loss to Manchester City. For City, it was pretty hopeless, but it was all spurred on by David Luiz failing. Against Brighton, Arsenal played incredibly well in nearly every facet except for the final ball. There’s no reason they shouldn’t have had a lead in that first 15 minutes. They had so many chances.
By the end of the match, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang managed seven shots all on his own, yet he never provided that much of a persistent threat. Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette played well enough, but without that same threat to goal.
Again, this attack played well. They gelled together, they flowed together, they moved and combined like a unit. They just couldn’t muster that final threat, that deadly ball that breaks down the opposing defense.
That’s when Nicolas Pepe did it all himself and, just like that, everyone believed again. Seriously, it was a tremendous goal, and thanks to the camera angle, you could see it going in almost as soon as he hit it. But you still had to see it happen.
Southampton has been on a roll lately. They really have. And while they don’t have a whole lot to play for, the Gunners absolutely do and it hasn’t exactly helped them lately.
Suffice to say I don’t have the most confidence in my club because my club has so little confidence in themselves. Do I really think that Lacazette can snap out of his funk all on his own? No. Do I think that Aubameyang is one good move away from scoring a goal? Eh. Maybe. More than Lacazette. But even Aubameyang looked frazzled against Brighton.
There just isn’t a lot of confidence flowing through an elite attack. Other than Nicolas Pepe, that is. Pepe was tremendous against Brighton, he instigated, created, penetrated, and scored that one beautiful goal.
If we’re going to break through against the Saints, it has to be with Pepe. Because I just don’t see who else is in the headspace right now to make it happen.
Maybe that’s pessimistic and cynical of me, but I don’t see any way around it. And it’s not like it puts us in a bad place. After all, Pepe is too legit to quit.