Alexandre Lacazette says Arsenal didn’t respect Mikel Arteta’s game plan in the first half, and he admits they have to improve.
Arsenal showed both their best and their worst at the weekend, in the 3-3 draw to West Ham United. For 35 minutes, they were embarrassing, but after that, they were the better side and could even have won the match from 3-0 down.
Along with Martin Odegaard, Alexandre Lacazette was one of few players who put in a strong performance for the vast majority of the 90 minutes. He was strongly involved in the comeback, forcing an own goal for 3-1 and scoring the equaliser.
After the game, Lacazette admitted the team as a whole hadn’t followed Mikel Arteta’s instructions properly, suggesting they may have felt the pressure of their current situation.
“My feeling is mixed between [being] proud of my team because we came back in the second half and disappointed because in the first half in the first 35 minutes we didn’t respect the game plan from the coach and gave them three goals,” Lacazette admitted.
“I don’t know [why]. Perhaps we felt the pressure because we knew it was a big game. This is where we have to improve. We have to work a lot on this to be ready for the end of the season.”
It’s true that Arsenal’s pre-Christmas results have put them in a situation where the pressure is on every time they step onto the pitch. In the Europa League, any slip-up could mean elimination. In the Premier League, they really can’t afford to be dropping points.
But they need to deal with that pressure if they’re going to achieve anything. Even a draw against a high-flying West Ham side isn’t good enough. Arsenal need to be cutting the gap to the top teams in the league, not maintaining it.
At least Lacazette helped ensure the Hammers didn’t extend their significant advantage on Sunday.