Sunday, August 14, 2022

Emery in search of balance, open to pairing Auba & Laca

When Alex Lacazette came off the bench to take up a central position on Sunday, Arsenal immediately looked more dangerous. Aaron Ramsey was the man to make way on that occasion with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his considerable pace shifting to the left.

Ahead of tomorrow’s match with Chelsea, Unai Emery admits he’ll give the duo game time together as he continues to tinker with his squad’s balance and tactics. That said, he’s not giving the game away.

Your guess is as good as ours whether the Gunners two most expensive signings will line-up alongside each other at Stamford Bridge…it would be very bold, that’s for sure.

“The possibility to play Aubameyang and Lacazette is okay because we tried that in pre-season and also last year they played together,” said Emery.

“Each match is different, each match is a different possibility. Against Manchester City, the last 25, 30 minutes they played together. For me, it’s about finding the good balance for all that we want in attacking moments and defensive moments.

“I want to look at every player together, how to get Aubameyang and Lacazette scoring more goals, whether as one or together.

“I want to give them chances in each match and maybe we need a lot of matches for chances for every player, but we started with pre-season and every player is playing for chances and minutes in all the competitions. I think every player will get chances to show us his performance for the team.”

As Tim Stillman points out in his weekly column, the duo’s relationship is blossoming off the pitch and there’s a hope that it could be reproduced on matchdays with French muscle complementing Gabonese speed.

We won’t have to wait too much longer to see if Unai is thinking something similar…

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Somehow I get the feeling Giroud-Auba or Laca-Giroud upfront would’ve been much more suitable to Emery’s style.i.e. any good target man with quality hold up play plus a finisher/speedster.

Maul Person

Considering Giroud wasn’t even at the club when Emery came in, what is the point of this feeling? HFB is no more so what ifs don’t really serve much purpose.


Did I say I particularly want Giroud? Don’t be such a weapon.A target man with decent hold up play could work far better as a complement to both our striker.I don’t know how they will perform together,how they’ll smash’s just my own personal POV.


Both Aubameyang and Lacazette are far better strikers than Giroud. They both are more clinical finishers and have shown how well they work together. They are also better footballers and are capable of holding up play. There is still a great deal of feeling for Giroud but we mustn’t forget how inconsistent he was. He hasn’t exactly set the world alight at Chelsea


Lacazette, maybe. Auba’s hold up play is non-existent, to be honest. It isn’t his strong point to bring others into play.


My suggestion is only for 4-4-2.Laca and Ayba will do far better with one in the wing then with giroud for sure.But If we decide to play 2 up top as giroud the target man,his main role won’t be scoring goal but rather his hold up play and linking,at which he is one of the best in the world.Not a dig at Laca and Auba.?

DB’s first touch

Didier Deschamps disagrees and has a World Cup winners medal to support his argument.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Lol, Giroud didn’t even have a shot on target at the world cup. He has been useful for the team but much less than before.


“Far better” is quite harsh on Giroud, for me he’s up there for technical ability among strikers of his height, right up there.


Giroud was an inconsistent goalscorer but a pretty dependable player. Yes auba and laca are better than him but neither provide his skill set


I think thats harsh on Giroud tbh, technically he was very sound and he scored a lot of goals for us considering we didn’t exactly play to his strengths. Kept Morata out of the Chelsea side too.


Morata is terrible. Long may it continue.


No, but even at his age, at a new club where he probably didn’t get the most heart warming welcome he’s done rather decently. He would have done good if he stayed.


I think Bergkamp & Henry would be better suited, maybe Pires & Ljungberg on the wings & a Vieira-Gilberto CM partnership….

Arsenala Vista Baby

When people said need Giroud, i need to get this time machine working to go back 2 years before..but Henry, bergkamp, pires & ljungberg?..hang on we go..zooommmm!!!


What a name??


I loved that name too ?


I think we’re a lot more dangerous with the two of them on the pitch together. They seem to have a good understanding and Auba doesn’t seem to have any problem scoring from the wing. Works well on the break too.

Faisal Narrage

I’m keen to find out. I know he’s currently out of favour, but I really hope Iwobi can buckle up on his ideas and become viable as a no.8 in the squad. I think a 4-3-3 midfield of Torreira, Iwobi and Ramsey would give us possibly our most balanced midfield in years. Torreira = Defensive tenacity, protection, but can also play the passing role ala Xhaka Ramsey = off-the-ball movement, energy and pressing, goal-scoring threat. Iwobi = Seems to have turned into a physical beast in the summer and can provide that power we’ve lacked in years. Also arguably our… Read more »


Agreed except that implies Ozil on the wing which never works. I’d have Ozil in the middle and Iwobi wide. Alternatively id play a diamond, Aub and Laca up top

Robert Pires: Director of Sports @ Arsenal

Possible lineup:
Bellerin Mustafi Sokratis Lichsteiner
Torreira Guendozi
Mkhitaryan lacazette Auba
Subs: Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi


Auba, Laca, Ozil
Torreira, Gdoozie, Rambo
Lickstein, Moose, This Is Sparta, Bells


I fancy lickstein and nacho, although this might be too soon for nacho


Ive got no problem playing PEA on the left of attack. I know theres a thing about playing him central but he is probably the most natural wide player we have. He’ll score goals from there. He always scores goals, wherever he plays.


Auba Laca
Guendouzi/Xhaka Ramsey
Nacho Papa Musti Steph


Football is ateam game. Everybody defends and attacks as a unit.If any highly paid star is adverse to tracking back,he shd be dropped or sold.


On that basis Messi would have been sold years ago. Do you want to turn us into Stoke City?


Before spouting out media created narratives,check out the “highly paid star’s” defensive stats against City.Something tells me you won’t like it.


Emery is smart enough to know he has to pick and choose the type of games (and period in the games) suited for trying those two upfront. It will be too soon versus Chelsea away. There is also the need to have the right balance between midfield solidity and attacking prolificness. The time will come to play them both, but first, the team has to build confidence and trust in one another.

Caught in two minds

I dont see any issues with playing both. Laca provides a lot of hardwork up top and almost plays like a 10 sometimes. Mikhi doesn’t do enough to deserve a place over Laca…i would have only one of either of Mikhi or Ozil in the team.
Ramsey, Guondouzy and Torreira in the midfield.


I think that line up lacks pace, I’d like to see Reiss Nelson start a few games, cos I think he is the most natural and quick winger we have. He looks ready to me. As ready as Walcott or Chambo ever were. Iwobi I would also like to see ahead of Mhki mainly, and if Mez doesn’t hit some form, I’d drop them both for some speedy work-hard youth.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I expect to see a flexible team that gets fine-tuned over time, but which will have variation even within individual games to suit the opposition on the day, with actual tactical substitutions for when things need changing up a gear, and probably no ever-present favourites. It’s all going to be quite fluid and everybody in the squad is likely to get their chances if they have the skillset and the right work ethic. Very un-Wenger-like. I miss Wenger and wish he could have gone out on a high, and I was disappointed with the way they dumped him, but the… Read more »


Holding over Sokratis! I find it funny that everyone call papa the no-nonsense defender when he was actually just that last season in the bundesliga. I rate him as a defender, but wanna see holding. holding can play very well out of the back, which is the way emery wanna play. also i don’t get why everyone wanna see guendouzi in the starting eleven?! everyone can see he has a bright future but he just passed on 2nd grade of phd and u wanna let him do a lobotomy?! hope nacho is ready and we can go for a 4-4-2… Read more »


There will be games where we can pair them, but I think it’ll be the exception and not the rule. Lacazette is a No9 Aubameyang is a 40 goal a season no9 We’re playing two No10’s at No7+No11 Aubameyang isn’t really a left sided forward, he can do a job…. But did we really spend £57mill a 40 goal a season striker?” So he could do a job? as a left forward?…. And did we really offer Ozil £320k p/w to play as a right sided midfielder?…. We have real talent in our forward line, but the balance just doesn’t… Read more »

Public Elneny

The issue with 2 forwards is you have to make concessions in other areas of the pitch in order to keep the defensive balance. Which is fine on it’s own, you can increase the wingers’ defensive workload or keep both cms behind the play at all times. Our problem is we also have Ramsey and Ozil, two more players for whom defensive adjustments have to be made in order to facilitate their inclusion – and both are seen as undroppable. At the moment we don’t make these adjustments and so we’re unstable as fuck – deploying 2 strikers would make… Read more »

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