“He committed to work harder” – Arteta talks Lacazette’s upturn in form

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Mikel Arteta says Alex Lacazette has turned around his form thanks to hard work and a helping hand from the coaching staff who’ve been helping him to visualise the changes he needed to make.

The 29-year-old started the season with a bang netting three goals in Arsenal’s opening three Premier League games but he promptly went off the boil and didn’t net again until the Boxing Day win over Chelsea.

That strike – a coolly taken penalty – sparked a mini-renaissance in front of goal with the Frenchman scoring four more times in seven appearances. He’s also looked far more confident in his hold-up play and dovetailed well with youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

So what changed? Ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Wolves, Arteta tackled the question.

“It’s linked to confidence and that’s linked to him obviously playing more regular minutes,” said the Spaniard.

“He’s scoring more goals and he finds himself in better form. Then it’s about supporting our players when they go through difficult moments.

“We have to be right behind them, we have to talk to them, we have to give them tools to resolve the issues they are going through. Laca has done that by working hard. It’s as simple as that.

“He committed to work harder, to sticking to what his abilities and qualities are and the moment he transformed a little bit his confidence, he became a different player.”

Opening up on the specifics of the help given to the player, the boss continued: “[We gave him] A lot of things related to the game. Things he needs to read better about his movement, sometimes about his body language…a lot of things that are important to visualise yourself, then [he needed to] try to correct them.”

When the season ends, Lacazette will enter the final year of his contract. Not so long ago, there was talk of a contract extension but after initial talks stalled – not long after the player was crowned player of the season for the 2018/19 season – he’s been more regularly linked with an exit than a new deal.

Arteta admits it’s a situation the Gunners have to face, but for the moment he wants the striker focused on the pitch.

“We will talk certainly about that situation,” said the Spaniard. “At the moment, what I want is that he keeps performing the way he is until the end of the season. Then it will be the right time to talk about it.”

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Anonymarse

Sign him up

loose_cannon

He’s been fantastic lately, and if the make up of the squad was different there’d be a strong case for extending his contract. As it stands we’ve just handed out 2 medium term deals to attackers in their 30s, we shouldn’t hand out a third. The question then is who replaces him? Aubameyang at CF would have been the obvious answer at the beginning of the season but in truth I don’t think he’s ever been convincing for us playing there on his own. Might be different with the energy of ESR, Saka and Martinelli behind him but at this… Read more »

Ordnance Dave

There’s no way we could afford either of those English taxed strikers.

loose_cannon

How much do you think they’d cost? And bear in mind the money we’d raise from selling Lacazette and possibly Nketiah could be funneled into the transfer fee.

Also I would be willing to pay an “English tax” on occasion if it meant getting players that are already settled and proven in the premier league.

Anonymarse

If we can afford 60m a player we probably could but tbh I’m not sure either is as good as the two we’ve already got

Anonymarse

If he keeps playing like this I’m quite happy with Lacazette. Got a few good years left in him yet.

Francesc

sign him up but not on insane crippling wages

PeteyB

I’m pleased he is performing and I like him a lot, but I don’t think signing him up will be wise in the longer term. Time to say a find farewell and reinvest whatever we can get into somebody 25ish.

Rich

He’ll be 30 this summer

We should go back to a policy of 1yr extensions for over 30s

Our recent history has made me cynical, can’t help but think his recent upturn in performance is more to do with an extension, or securing a lucrative move, then he’ll revert to type

I’d be inclined to sell him, otherwise we run the risk of fielding a team of Lacazette 31, Aubameyang 32 and Willian 34, in 2 years time

We should probably try and avoid that scenario

Wouldn’t be at all surprised if we dished out a 3-4 year extension though

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Clubs do not have that power anymore. You can offer one year to Laca and West Brom can come and offer him 3 years with more money.

Goonerrific

Let’s just enjoy the moment and not be too hasty to worry about the future right now.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

That’s what got the club into certain situations with other players, recently

Goonerrific

I respectfully disagree. Short of netting another 20, goals this season, laca isnt going to end up as a big loss to us in the long run. Sign him up and we’re committing to losing him for nothing at likely £150-£200k a week for the next 2-3 years. Commit to sell and we probably get £15m for him? and Its unlikely he’ll go to a top rival I’d imagine. Let his contract run down and we get a committed striker for the next 12 months allowing us to recruit or internally promote in a strategic manner. The highest risk of… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

We fans are congratulating the club for clearing out but this is a sign of big failures. It doesn’t make sense if you have to cancel 4 to 5 contracts.

A Different George

For a while, even though in theory we lined up in a 4-2-3-1, Lacazette was being asked to play as a false 9, a little like Firmino at Liverpool, but with much slower movement around him. It’s great to have good hold-up play, but eventually you have to pass the ball to someone. A lot of times, there was no one there; Lacazette looked exhausted by the 70th minute, with not much to show for his work. I think the change was Smith Rowe, that is playing with a 10. We’re much more like a 4-2-1-3 now, with Emile interchanging… Read more »

Reality check

Tbh I’ll let him go, he’s not getting any younger and we are broke. Not going to miss his goals as he doesn’t score many anyway, his link play is also hit and miss. Would rather get a younger striker with the money his sale brings in. Great guy, hard worker, but dispensable imo

Andy

i agree. he is a decent player but way below what i expected for the money he cost. would be happy to take a fee for him now and hold onto balogun. we have let far too many good young attackers leave for next to nothing in recent seasons because we were so focused on bringing in big names in a desperate attempt at staying in the top four.

Reality check

Oh yes, expected much better from a 46mil striker. On a side note, apart from the untimely, unfortunate injuries that we pick up, this is another thing that really bugs me. How come, all of a sudden, all these players pickup form just before entering the last year of their contract?

Fezec

Walcott did that to us every 3 years

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

“Sell Henry, we have Owosu and Akpom”. Is that a statement you made in 2006? Just asking.

Bergkamp Henry Pires

Despite him scoring a few here and there I don’t think he has a future at Arsenal. We should of sold him in this window. How many contracts have we ripped up lately when, with better management, we shoukd of been getting much needed money in for these people. I dare say Saliba will also end up as another £30m down the drain, the club has no intention of using him. We have improved with Edu, now we’ve settled the ship by off loading Willock, AMN and others. Now we need to start growing the talent we have and adding… Read more »

Tumang

He seems reborn and revatilised. Long may it continue

Twatsloch

Lacazette has been a joy to watch over the last few months.

El Mintero

Give him another deal. He’s worth it. Player of the year 2 seasons back proved he was worth the money we spent on him. Last year his ankle injury held him back. This year he’s back to his best. Let’s avoid another Giroud situation. Laca has at least another 2 good years in him.

Finsbury Park Gooner

Absolutely agree. Thought the wave of criticism against him was a bit harsh, when nobody in the team was performing or scoring goals. I’d be very happy to see him extend for another year or two.

Snape

We can do better in the summer when we take him to the laundry and leave him there. Cos TBH lacazzette has not raised any roof since he joined us. Hasn’t even crossed the 50goal mark and he joined before auba. Yeah take away aubas PK goals. Dudes not the lightning rod we expected when hr joined from lyon

OZAKEME KEME

Arsenal should consider keeping martins odergaard

OZAKEME KEME

I want arsenal to buy Bamford from leeds for this coming season for us to have more deadly attack

Matthinc

Bamford has hardly been a reliable goal scorer for Leeds.

Graham

Good guy. Seems well liked by the team. Works hard. Versatile number nine with decent all-round qualities. Looking at his situation more coldly, he doesn’t score enough goals. And while we are producing more goals from other players that is less of a concern. But sometimes it won’t be this way. It pains me to admit that I don’t think Auba is the solution there unless we change the way we play in the final third because of his weaker link-up play with the midfield and wingers. So we have a problem on the horizon if we want to claim… Read more »

Magneto

Lacazette started the season well – scoring goals – but went “off the boil” when his manager tried to be too clever by dropping him in favour of a certain Brazilian colleague against Man City.

I’m not surprised that his confidence and form took a knock after that.

Billy bob

Could we not extend his contract for a year or two and, if he stays, give Balogun a chance to shine and be guided by Laca?

Modha

He works really hard off the ball, and I love the understanding he has built up with ESR and Saka

punter

Best Case Scenario – He has a stellar last few months of the season. He can then get selected for France in the Euros and perform well there. At the end of summer Arsenal sells him for a decent sum.

MojoWillneny

Work rate has always been there. End product’s been there too lately. He’s benefited a lot from ESR’s emergence. Remarkable what an effective no. 10 can do for the other attacking players.

Public Elneny

My worry with Lacazette is that he’s only effective when he goes into unsustainable overdrive with his effort levels. Even when he’s out of form he’s not exactly a low effort player

Which makes him unsuitable as a first choice CF as he can only maintain good form for short patches. But then probably too expensive to be a back up

We really need to sign a new starting CF this summer. And Laca would probably be better suited to a less physical league at his age – I could see him being excellent in La Liga or Serie A