I suppose that, but for the width of a post, I might have had a different opinion. If Alexandre Lacazette's perfectly crafted curling shot after 22 minutes had crept into the corner of the net instead of hitting the woodwork, I might have been raving about him.
But instead I came away from Wembley last night completely unconvinced that the Frenchman who during the summer eclipsed Mesut Ozil as Arsenal's record signing will be the answer.
Lucky me, I was treated to hospitality in one of the boxes high up in
the corporate ring at Wembley. The pink champagne on arrival was
lovely, the food was top class, but what was really special was the
From so high up you could follow the movement of players so perfectly
and I wanted to see what Lacazette had to offer. I was with a friend
who is the assistant manager of a League club and we looked together.
The thing about Arsenal's new boy is that to be better than Olivier Giroud he has to score goals in big games.
Giroud gets them by the bucket load against the ordinary teams, but
Arsenal fans always complain he goes missing against the top clubs.
So to justify spending £52.7m to bring him from Lyon, he has to offer something special. He has to be able to rival Harry Kane 4.60 and Romelu Lukaku 5.80 for the Golden Boot and offer value way above his current odds of 14.50.
The 37 goals he scored for Lyon last season suggest
that ought to be a fantastic bet, but the big question mark is always
how success in the French league can translate to the hustle and bustle
of the Premier League.
There's no doubt he oozed class on the ball in terms of his touch and
his passing. That effort which hit the post was brilliant, he gave it
away only once, and played one superb through ball that Danny Welbeck
might have made more from.
But my friend and I were both unsure about his work rate.
He seemed happy to jog about a lot of the time and, while it might be
because it is still pre-season and he's catching up on his fitness,
there wasn't the explosive pace we were expecting to see.
Of course it might be different when he has the guile of Ozil and Alexis Sanchez
to feed from, assuming that Arsene Wenger's determination to make sure
both of them are still at the club after August 31st is as resolute as
Then Lacazette's penchant for keeping a position in line with the six
yard box rather than running too wide to seek spaces might get its
rewards. We'll know more when Arsenal kick off the season on Friday night against Leicester but I'm not too convinced right now that backing Arsenal at 13.00 to finally end their wait to win a Premier League title would be justified on the basis of their new boy.
Not that Chelsea who are 4.80 behind favourites Manchester City 2.88
looked a lot more impressive either. Their squad is thin and the
rumours that all is not well behind the scenes remind you of the last
time they were about to defend a title when everything collapsed under
Antonio Conte had a big help from having no European football last
season so was able to get by with a small squad. This time he's got more
games but less players. Anything but a recipe for success.
Home » England » Tips for betting » Premier League Betting: Lacazette oozes class but may not be the Arsenal answer
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