web analytics

Alexandre Lacazette has lost his sharpness

When watching a repeat of Alexandre Lacazette’s debut for Arsenal, it is quite plain: the Frenchman has lost his sharpness and electric quickness.

In a bid to drum up any semblance of interesting sports content during the coronavirus hiatus, the official Arsenal website replayed their season-opener victory over Leicester City from 2017/18. The match was a 4-3 win to the Gunners as Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud came off the bench to the home side’s rescue.

It was a dramatic, turbulent affair, both teams having led at different times, conceding silly goals, missing chances, and comprising a back-and-forth encounter that could have gone either way. It was also the debut of Alexandre Lacazette.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

Having not watched the Frenchman’s early Arsenal performances for some time, I was taken aback by his individual performance. He scored the opener in just the second minute, deftly directing a header low into the bottom corner. He showed off his excellent first touch, drawing fouls and holding up play. He also ran the channels well and chased after several lost causes, winning throw-ins and forcing errant clearances as a result. It was a very encouraging display.

At the heart of it was an added sharpness and quickness that has not been present more recently. When Lacazette arrived at the club, he was billed as a shorter, faster centre-forward who was quick on the turn, possessed a terrific burst of acceleration, and could wriggle free of defenders in tight spaces. He is not a long-range burner over extended distances, but he is explosive over shorter distances.

This was most evident here. On several occasions, a loose ball would fall just outside the penalty area. A defender or even an Arsenal player would look destined to collect it and bring it under control, only for Lacazette to nip in ahead of them, position his body to shield the ball, and then spin away, passing it to a teammate in the process to keep possession.

Want your voice heard? Join the Pain In The Arsenal team!

Write for us!

Now, I do not have the biological testing numbers that Lacazette has produced across his time in north London. I do not know if he has put on weight or bulked up, but he certainly looked sprier, lighter on his feet, nimble and quick here than he has done this season.

Perhaps the injuries have taken their toll. Maybe Arsenal have instructed him to put on weight to better deal with the physicality of the Premier League. Lacazette does not have the largest frame and it is easy to see why some might have believed he would be bullied in English football.

Next: Arsenal: Grading the summer signings

But whatever the reason may be, Lacazette looked a lot sharper on his debut than he has done this season. As he looks to regain form and confidence, getting that razor-sharp edge back, even at the extent of muscle, is vital.

Source link

Leave a Reply

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