Mikel Arteta’s beginning to life as a manager of Arsenal is showing signs of promise. Though results are not sending shockwaves across Europe, performances are much enhanced. Of the five games, the prior Manchester City helper was in charge for, two have ended in victories for the Gunners.
Draws against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, Together with a defeat at the game against Chelsea, finish the initial set of five for the Spanish tactician. There’s a very clear style now at play and using Nicolas Pépé and Mesut Özil is reassuring.
In theory, a leading four composed of Pépé, Özil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Alexandre Lacazette is exciting. In practice, there are quite a few kinks, as Arteta is finding out. The Gunners have scored in all five of the matches but a recurrence of six is not what many envisaged.
Pépé is back among the goals and Aubameyang continues to deliver. However, Lacazette has failed to add to his tally for at least a month. He is being used as the focus of the attack but not to his or her strengths. The Frenchman is shutting down opponents and generally being a nuisance. However, his threat is deteriorating.
And they may choose to cash in on the prior Lyon forward. The 28-year-old has also stopped adding value to his attempts. In actuality, his post-shot anticipated goals average is worse than his expected goals (xG) average significance there’s some poor finishing.
With Arsenal now generally moving Lacazette away from target, perhaps earning someone better suited to that job makes more sense. As matters stand, Arteta is nullifying one of the most potent strikers in Europe with how he is using him.
Since the change to the Emirates, he is finished with 14 and 13 in the Premier League while chipping in with 12 further aids.
He has failed to add to that tally in the 351 moments since. Lacazette was averaging a goal every 135 minutes and a target participation every 112 minutes. Under the new boss, his target participation has risen to every 351 minutes.
His shots are down from 3.51 to 2.3 and touches from the penalty area are down by 2 on a per-90 basis. It is as though he is being set up in the facilitator role, much like the 1 Roberto Firmino works in for Liverpool. While the Brazilian generates for others, Lacazette’s anticipated assists numbers stay the same, pre-and post-Arteta’s arrival, 0.07 per 90.
His shot assists have risen, marginally, from 1.46 to 1.53 however, the difference is minimal and does not compensate for other important metrics decreasing. Lacazette is not being shoehorned into the side, it’s clear Arteta believes that he can play that role in the meantime but it’s a marriage of convenience at the moment.
If Arsenal are to prosper, they want key cogs in vital areas which could mean there is no room for the Frenchman in the starting XI. He’s far better than a squad choice and the Gunners could finance a range of moves together with the money recouped from parting ways with him. A January move is unlikely but a summer one could be on the cards.