Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette’s maiden campaign on English soil wasn’t as prolific as it was on a perennial basis in Ligue 1, and having endured a baron spate in front of the target where he failed to find the net in ten appearances during the middle of the season, the Frenchman revealed that the crippling pressures behind his lacklustre spell ‘bothered’ him greatly.
Lacazette will miss the 2018 World Cup after being omitted from Didier Deschamps’ France contingent, a substantial blow for the attacker, who has never experienced a low as deflating as the depths he’s toiled through in north-London.
At one point in the 2017-18 schedule, the 26-year-old only managed to net 1 goal in 14 appearances and also underwent surgery on a performance hampering knee problem, an ordeal which could have dented the striker’s underlying confidence to an irreparable level.
Speaking to L’Equipe (via GFFN), Lacazette understands that he is the only culprit to blame for his shortcomings in the scoring department, an encumbrance which subsequently led him to question his usually potent offensive ability.
“I had never experienced that,” he said. “At night, when I would go home, I would repeat to myself, “Come on, next time it’ll go in!” But it didn’t. And I’d only realised this after five or six matches.
“Suddenly, I started asking myself, “How long has it been since I last scored a goal?” It started to bother me.
“I don’t know how the other strikers manage, but personally, it got to my head. I couldn’t blame anyone, it was all from me.
“I couldn’t blame the coach because he was giving me my chance on the field. I couldn’t blame my teammates since chances were being created.
“It was just me.”
The end of the previous term, however, harboured reward for Lacazette and his tenacity. The former Olympique Lyonnais hit-man registered 8 goals in 10 appearances for the Gunners and appeared to be hitting a rich vain of form, which had despairingly eluded him previously.
But it simply wasn’t enough for Lacazette to earn himself a seat on ‘Les Bleus’ plane to Russia, and with the domestic calendar in intermission for the summer, the troubled marksman ultimately has a vital period off the pitch to reevaluate his worth in the final third.
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