Confidence & Persistence
Lacazette has not hit four goals in three games because he’s working harder. For all the justified criticism he has faced this season, that much is unfounded. Even when Arsenal, and Lacazette, were at their lowest, he would always run himself into the ground.
Whether pressing from the front or tracking back centrally to turnover possession, he worked.
Now, as the goals start to arrive, this remains the case. It speaks volumes of his character that even when he was severely struggling and shot for confidence, his work-rate never waned. That bite and determination were largely what secured him the Player of the Year award in the 2018/19 season – 19 goals in all competitions were just part of it.
Rarely ever has there been a striker as reliant on confidence as Lacazette. The drop off in performance level – not for lack of trying – when he hits a barren spell is startling. When that self-belief is back, every part of his game is sharper, cleaner, and ultimately, more threatening.
He persisted with gritty displays even when the going was tough, and with the support of a structure and personnel better suited to getting the best out of him he’s profiting. Which, of course, means Arsenal are too.
At 29 there will need to be a discussion about his future with just 18 months left to run, but whatever the outcome is on that matter (a long-term upgrade is still needed) utilising players in positions that suit them, with job roles tailored for their needs, is for the benefit of all.