Why Lacazette will be Arsenal’s key player through February and beyond

Blackpool 0 Arsenal 3

(FA Cup Third Round)


This was Unai Emery’s first FA Cup tie as Arsenal boss and a game he was expected to win comfortably.

Because Blackpool supporters are at war with the owner and have been boycotting games.

Inside 11 minutes, Ramsey hit a free-kick which deflected onto the far post and bounced down for midfielder Joe Willock to head in.

Striker Eddie Nketiah had chances but couldn’t convert. When he gets one, he’ll get three.

In 37, Carl Jenkinson’s low cross deflected towards the far post. Willock tapped in.

Blackpool 0 Arsenal 2 in 37 minutes.

The goal that wrapped it up was a long time coming and it happened after Lacazette came on in 64.

When the keeper saved Ramsey’s jabbed shot, Iwobi tapped in for 0-3.

It was interesting that Emery took Lacazette up north and brought him on when Arsenal had not added to their tally in the second half
Laca is quite a rare animal, a goalscorer whose passing shows a lot of composure and maturity.

Very different in style to Aubameyang, who is a lone ranger.

Laca plays in the front third and keeps possession really well, so he will be used like this again. He is reliable, sure-footed, and sees a lot, so he can keep the attack ticking over.

From now through to May, Alexandre Lacazette will be very important, so I hope he stays fit. What he gives Arsenal, they can’t get from anyone else.

When you’re winning away from home, it’s a good idea not to give your opponents the ball – and Laca rarely does that. The others can play with him very easily and his skills made this contest more comfortable for the other Arsenal players.

When you’re 2-0 up, you need often need another goal. When you’re 3-0 up, you only need possession in the other half of the pitch.

Emery, a squad rotator who doesn’t pamper Arsenal’s big names, made six changes to the team that beat Fulham 4-1 on Tuesday.

The teams were:

BLACKPOOL: Howard, Nottingham, Daniels, O’Connor, Bola, Spearing, Guy, Taylor, Feeney, Delfouneso, Gnanduillet.
ARSENAL: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Elneny, Ramsey, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Iwobi, Nketiah.

Subs: Martinez, Medley, Torreira, Guendouzi, Saka, Lacazette.

PS. Saturday’s big game is West Ham v Arsenal (12.30 kick-off)

Emery is out-performing Pochettino and Klopp in their first seasons