Alexandre Lacazette says he knew he had a part to play in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Ham, as what he does on the pitch is different to everyone else.
Lacazette’s introduction was arguably the turning point in Arsenal’s win at the weekend. Up until that stage, the team were struggling to make any clear cut chances, and only a slightly fortunate break for Nacho Monreal had got them on the score-sheet.
Then the Frenchman came on, and the game changed. His hold up play allowed the players around him to make a few more chances, and his dangerous ball across the box led to an own goal from West Ham debutant Issa Diop, which gave Arsenal the lead. Lacazette told reporters afterwards he knew he could make the difference.
“I knew I could help the team,” he said. “What I do is different to everyone else. I just want to play and help my team all the time. When you come off the bench you have to be ready for your team-mates, it is what I tried to do and obviously it helped us to get the win.”
It helps that the 27-year-old also seems to have the faith of his head coach Unai Emery, even if he isn’t getting starts right now.
“The manager just told me to play my game and said we will win if I play well,” Lacazette continued. “There is a lot of difference under the new manager. You can’t really compare the two coaches – they are their own men when it comes to football.
“Even if the aim is still to play and hurt the opposition with the ball, there are some big differences.”
At this stage most Arsenal fans expect that Lacazette will get his first start of the campaign against Cardiff City this week. With the way he’s playing, and Aubameyang’s struggles to get off the mark, it makes sense to give the former Lyon man a chance.
We’ll see if Emery agrees this weekend.