Arsenal has an ongoing internal duel for the starting striker job, but if there’s going to be a winner, it’s okay to let them win, and it’s Eddie Nketiah.
There’s been an ongoing rotation upfront for Arsenal since the season resumed. Eddie Nketiah carried the starting job into the pause and he returned to the starting job in his first match after the pause, but it’s been a flip-flopping back and forth between him and Alexandre Lacazette.
As I’ve said, for Nketiah to win, he doesn’t even have to win. He just has to prove himself as capable as Lacazette and that’s it. A draw is a win for him. Lacazette needs to prove so much more and thus far, Lacazette is proving nothing. He’s not scored a single goal or tallied a single assist and even his hold-up play has been negligible.
Nketiah hasn’t been perfect, but he’s been adequate and he has scored a goal. Essentially, Nketiah is winning a race that he only needed to draw.
The key now is actually letting Nketiah win the race. Meaning, if he’s going to be the better striker, then let him continue to start at striker. Just like before the pause, it’s his job to lose as long as he’s in the lead.
I get the need for fresh legs, and to keep rotating between strikers, but that’s not entirely necessary if we gave Nketiah the start on a regular basis and make decisions match-by-match as far as when/if he needs to come out. That’s when Lacazette can have his opportunity to stake a comeback.
It worked before the pause. Nketiah ran away with the job and Lacazette took that opportunity to actually score more goals coming off the bench than Nketiah was starting. But Nketiah was still playing well enough to not lose the job.
It was instead just an effective one-two punch that can be replicated here and now. It’s assumed that Nketiah will get back into the starting job against Norwich, but after that, when we turn back around and play Wolverhampton three days later, Nketiah should keep the job. That’s part of winning, you have to actually be allowed to win.
The more Nketiah, the better. We really need to know how well he can carry the striker role in order to discern how much help is needed this summer. And that’s where we were headed before the pause, so more of it, please.