Thoughts on Alexandre Lacazette’s Knee Injury

Alexandre Lacazette had been set to start Arsenal’s Europa League game at Östersund on Thursday.

Can you actually believe that we have just 11 games left in the Premier League this season? It’s amazing how time flies in this division, and I must say, it has been yet another frustrating campaign for Arsenal. The fans were used to finishing in the top four all these years and it became a bare minimum in terms of expectations but after finishing in fifth place last season, one must have thought that the Gunners would do enough to at least challenge for the title or something, but shamefully, the Gunners are a whopping 27 points behind Manchester City and eight points behind fourth placed Chelsea.

The potential for yet another campaign outside the top four is looming but the team’s cause isn’t helped with the recent update that top scorer (yes, with nine goals), Alexandre Lacazette will be out for four to six weeks due to an ongoing knee problem that required him to go under the knife. The club’s website released an official statement,

“The minor procedure was a success and he will now undergo a period of rehabilitation. It is envisaged that he will return to the squad within four to six weeks.”

With the likes of Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott shipped out to other Premier League clubs, Arsenal is left with their new record signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Danny Welbeck as the only senior center forwards in the team. The likes of Eddie Nketiah and Chuba Akpom are still waiting in the ranks to stake a claim for first team action but they are far from ready.

Lacazette’s time in the club has been bittersweet so far with the initial buzz surrounding his arrival and his debut goal after 94 seconds against Leicester City. He had such a good start to his Arsenal career and I strongly believe that the constant substitutions for Olivier Giroud didn’t help his cause. With Giroud suffering an injury layoff, Lacazette managed to play for 90 minutes but he failed to influence most of his games. I will still need to cut him some slack as he’s playing in a different league and that requires some adapting to do, but many expected better from the French forward.

I’m quite unhappy about the timing of Lacazette’s injury, as it has come at a time when he needed some goals to improve his confidence, falling his horror show at Wembley as well as Arsene Wenger’s comments about how Aubameyang’s arrival affected his confidence. With Lacazette injured, Arsenal will need Danny Welbeck to come up with the goods in the Europa League, while Aubameyang would lead the charge for the fourth place finish we remain hopeful for.

I wish Lacazette the very best and hope he recovers swiftly as we need his services for the remainder of what’s left of the season.

Sayonara.

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The story of Santi Cazorla is One that is Tinged with Sadness in Every Regard.

Image result for cazorla injury

It is hard to see a player fall time and time again into the depressing cycle of injury, rehabilitation, depression and injury once again. For 32 year old Spanish international, Santi Cazorla, the year 2017 would be one he will never want to remember as it was the beginning of potentially, the end of his footballing career.

The former Malaga man has been out injured since October 2016 as he has suffered a series of nasty injuries. Cazorla is a player that is much loved at the club and even fans if other clubs as his ability, cheerful nature and overall commitment to the cause of the Arsenal project.

News emerged that the player has undergone his 10th surgery on his ankle, that may probably mean he will also miss the whole of this year due to injury. On his day, Cazorla is one of the best central midfielders in the world as his skill set of vision, creativity, passing and finishing are up there with the very best. He has had to graft skin from his arm to add to his feet, as he lost 8cm due to a gangrene infection, but his spirit is what is keeping hope alive that one day, we would still see this brilliant footballer play the football in the way only he can do.

The ambidextrous footballer is one of the players that makes Arsenal tick, as he offers balance to the middle of the park that has been missing since his absence. While the club has since moved on in his absence, what he brings to the pitch is one that the club can still benefit from as his leadership, experience and ability are needed to lead the current crop of players to a new era.

The player was emotional in an interview he had last year, as he spoke of the torment of not playing, the agony of rehabilitation and the feeling that everything he does to get back to the pitch will still end up on the treatment table. Arsenal have not been overly blessed with the avoidance of these kind of scenarios which has led to questions about the club’s medical department.

The likes of Wilshere and Abou Diaby at one point or the other have always struggled to maintain permanent fitness, which fans hope don’t happen to Cazorla. Arsenal fans have taken to the player who joined in the summer of 2012, as his displays were unexpected of a player that was not on the radar of the big clubs.

His contract at Arsenal expires this summer, but one can’t begrudge the Arsenal hierarchy if they don’t want to offer him new terms. Afterall, the club have paid his wages despite not playing for about 15 months, which in itself is a commendable fact in this world of impatient club owners and administrators. If he leaves Arsenal, he will leave as a player that gave so much, but was betrayed by his own body.

If his latest return doesn’t happen and he suffers a setback, he should be thinking of retirement. He will be missed, but as a wise man once said, “The best things in life are on the other side of fear”. It would be sad to see him go out like that.

Guest post by Mark Weasley from Retro Football News

Arsenal Delegation in Germany to Sign Aubameyang

So the news dominating the rounds yesterday was that Arsenal’s Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis, new Head of Recruitment, Sven Mislintat and new transfer negotiator, Huss Fahmy, were seen in Dortmund airport, ahead of what we believe is to secure the services of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. As you’d expect from any team with a player on the verge of an imminent departure, the BVB gaffer left Aubameyang out of the team that drew with Hertha Berlin. The Gabonese forward has been criticized in certain corners with Jupp Heynckes advising the Gunners to think twice before signing Auba.

I don’t see what the fuss is all about though. Players move from clubs to clubs all the time. It’s as normal as England losing on penalty shootouts. Aubameyang isn’t the first bloke to submit a transfer request to leave his club and he certainly wouldn’t be the last. Dortmund should be grateful for the insane amount of goals he gave them, and this time, they are not losing their main striker for cheap, like how they lost Robert Lewandoswki to Bayern. A fee of around 60 million Euros has been reported as the potential transfer fee and they can certainly use it to find a suitable replacement.

Besides, Arsenal can do with a player with such a prolific goalscoring record like Aubameyang. Losing a talismanic player like Alexis Sanchez is no mean feat, especially with the Gunners still in contention to challenge for the Carabao Cup and Europa League, but getting Aubameyang will go a long way to soften that blow. If he can pick up where he left off at Dortmund, it will be beneficial to everyone associated with the club.

The Gabonese forward is set to leave Dortmund after scoring 141 goals in 212 appearances over four-and-a-half years. He had already banged in 21 goals in 23 games for the club, which is such an amazing scoring record. Prior to this campaign, he scored 40 goals last season and 39 goals the season before that.

Let’s just hope he emulates this form in his new club

Sayonara

Bonus Reading: Why Do Arsenal want Aubameyang, What can he offer and how risky is it?

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