Unai Emery was impressed with Alexandre Lacazette’s reaction after the Emirates Stadium crowd booed his substitution against Fulham on Tuesday.
Far from booing Lacazette himself, the supporters were rather upset with Emery for taking the striker off. The 27-year-old had just ended a Premier League scoring drought lasting almost a month (even if he did get three assists, score one Europa League goal and force a Manchester United own goal in that time) and they wanted him to stay on.
However, despite initially looking disappointed to come off, Lacazette then encouraged his teammates whilst leaving the pitch, gesturing that they needed to stay focused. He also clapped the crowd after coming off.
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDWvid) January 2, 2019
Later, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added to Arsenal’s lead, Lacazette stood up to celebrate with his striker partner. Emery was clearly happy with the way the striker turned a disappointing personal moment into an opportunity to spur the team on.
“Every supporter can think different things tactically but for me today his work was very good,” Emery said. “Lacazette scored also & he helped us when we changed him with his positive reaction.”
Emery on Ramsey: “Every supporter can think different things tactically but for me today his work was very good. Lacazette scored also & he helped us when we changed him with his positive reaction. We need to decide with a cold mind what is the best decision.” #afc pic.twitter.com/gecVMw40Zv
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) January 1, 2019
You’d understand Lacazette throwing his arms up or chucking his gloves to the floor in anger, as every striker wants to stay on when they’re scoring. Instead, he showed that the result was more important to him, which was great to see. Plus, the substitution ended up being a good one, with Aaron Ramsey getting on the scoresheet.
Hopefully, Lacazette will be able to play the full 90 minutes next time. If he can’t, reactions like this one are the best thing for the team.