The Auba Laca Conundrum – Is there a solution?

What is the best way of using our twin strikers Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette? Can they both start games without upsetting the balance of the side?

At the beginning of the season, Unai Emery appeared to have settled on the fact that he needed Aubameyang to be in his starting eleven even if it meant leaving a rather unwilling Alexandre Lacazette on the bench.

Then, after sneaking past West Ham fairly late on, came Cardiff away and both Auba and Laca started with Ramsey and Ozil making up the front 4. There seemed to be a chemistry between the pair, both scored and the Gunners just about ran out deserved winners. We then went on to also scrape wins against Newcastle, Everton and Watford with both playing, Aubameyang now becoming accustomed to being pushed into a wider left side position to accommodate the Frenchman.

Fulham away, just before the October interlull, was glorious. Laca scored two and Auba, coming off the bench, also got a brace. For the first hour, the team formation appeared to be a 4-4-2 with Danny Welbeck playing the role of Laca’s partner. This seemed to be a sign that, for the second time, Unai was still puzzling over the problem of squeezing both main goalscorers into a starting XI.

Leicester at home saw Auba come off the bench to score two instant tap-ins after some scintillating Arsenal team play, while Laca struggled to take the not so clear-cut chances which came his way.

Our last three matches have been distinctly odd, with our best performance of the season against the dippers sandwiched by probably our worst two performances against Palace away and Wolves at home. Both Auba and Laca started all three with PEA shoved out on to the left flank in each. Although he scrambled a goal at the far post at Palace, he has looked less than his usual happy self in those 3 games, especially against Wolves. Lacazette scored a brilliant individual goal against Liverpool, but also looked a little lost against Wolves (then again, it was a poor team performance).

It would be so good to see them happy to both assist and score alongside each other again as it was in September, but this will largely depend on Unai Emery finding the solution as to how to get them both on the pitch at the same time. One or other of them coming off the bench for the last 30 sexy minutes has worked well on several occasions so far, whereas starting both from the kick off has had decidely mixed results.

Perhaps a change of formation might be able to accommodate both without being detrimental to team balance.

Anyone got any ideas?



11 Responses to The Auba Laca Conundrum – Is there a solution?

  1. LBG says:

    Cheers Chas
    Two different discussion points here for me.
    One:- why are we unable to come out for the first ten minutes like a rat up a drainpipe?
    Two:- how to play Aubang and Lacs together.
    My opinion on point two is well known. These two strikers are “terrible twins” and play best when close to each other. Why is this not possible? In attack the closeness makes them a good target for Mesut with one looking for a first touch into the other or into their space. In defence they should split and press the wide areas. I am expecting much from them, a la Liverpool, sure, and neither has the same drive towards pressing as those three, and I think that is part of the reason for point one!
    The slow starts are more of a puzzle for me. Why can’t the whole team start the game “buzzing”. (This weekend they will certainly meet a team who can in Bournemouth). I honestly believe it is a bit of a cultural thing. Aubang is certainly a laid back geezer, as is Wobbly (if he starts). Xhaka needs a bomb up him early on (if he starts) with ” cut out the risky stuff” written on it. I wouldn’t start either.
    But do we need more motivation from Dick, or a Patrick Vieira/Adams leader who won’t accept half hearted, slap dash starts?
    A project in development is what we know. Anyone know a new Patrick Vieira available and ready to slot in instantly at Christmas.

  2. jim wall says:

    Team v Bournemouth
    ……….sok…. Holding…… Monreal…..
    Bell……….. Xakai…… Torre……… Sead
    …………..auba…….. Lacaz……………..
    Subs… Cheq… Mustafi…. Leices…. Ramsey…. Guezz… Iwobi.. Eddie..

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    I think this problem dates back to early last season when it appeared that Lacazette was not going to fulfill his promise to lead the line at THOF. Why else would we spend €50m+ on PEA?

    It is bizarre that we have two such expensive strikers who do not seem to have the attributes to work together. I don’t see a solution.

    For LBG’s idea of them working closer together requires us to have a proper wideman or men., otherwise everything has to come through the middle and is easy to defend.

    I think we alternate depending upon the opposition and bring on one for the last 20 minutes, though this is hardly a proper solution.

  4. VP of Oz says:

    I agree with Jim 8:38

  5. LBG says:

    Nacho relapse, out for a few more games.

  6. fred1266 says:

    Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny is set to make his comeback from an Achilles injury next week.

    Frenchman Koscielny has not played since rupturing the tendon in the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid in May, an injury that caused him to miss the World Cup.

    He has ramped up his training over the international break, however, and Gunners boss Unai Emery is hoping the 33-year-old can take part in an under-23 game against Derby County on Monday.

    “He started to train with us, every day, one month ago,” Emery told a news conference. 

    “The process with him in this international break is to finish training with us every day to start playing, little by little.

    “First, our idea is to start with the under-23s. He is well, with good performances, good feeling and I think he is close to also playing with us. 

    “But the first idea is, and maybe on Monday, he can play with the under-23s.

    “We are going to decide on Saturday the plan with him, but we are thinking for him to start to take minutes.”

    View image on Twitter

    Arsenal FC

    Back to work


    11:03 AM – Nov 21, 2018
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    Koscielny’s enforced absence has created an opportunity for Rob Holding which the former Bolton Wanderers defender has seized with both hands.

    “I think in pre-season, every player had chances to show us how they can play and little by little, with his work every day, I think Rob Holding is improving,” added the Spaniard.

    “He is taking confidence and with confidence he is at his best. He is helping us like we want.

    “His chances are coming in the matches and now Koscielny also is working with us every day and he is close to playing in the next matches.

    “Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] is working better every day also, I think his adaptation is better now than in the first two months.

    “We need every player and Rob Holding is very important with his spirit, with his commitment with us and with every player.”

    Holding was linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium in pre-season but Emery instead opted to loan Calum Chambers to Fulham.

    “In pre-season we also had [Konstantinos] Mavropanos – but he is injured now, we had Chambers and we decided to let him go on loan to Fulham and we decided that Rob Holding stayed here,” explained Emery.

    “When he [Holding] had chances, he played well and he helped us with big performances.”

  7. Aaron says:

    The option is to play it tight and physical in 1st 10 minutes, then warm up to slick passing with more timed runs.
    The problem with Auba and Laca is they are the same, but different.
    As BR mentioned, alternate them within games or games. They both can’t play 60+ games anyway.
    AMN for Nacho as he is out for a while longer. Sead take a seat right here on the pine please.
    Will need a left back or Danny type player in January for sure.
    Looking forward to getting back on track to winning, do not want to see a manure type run of 20 draws.
    Bournemouth will come to play and this game should be exciting to watch.
    Are the Arsenal and you ready?

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Aaron. I bet you a smoked fish we do not buy anyone in January.

    Can someone explain what Wenger and Emery see in Mustafi?

  9. LBG says:

    Interesting to watch Kieron Gibbs for West Brom tonight. A left back we probably shouldn’t have shipped out

  10. Big Raddy says:

    So thats Gibbs, Szczezny and Gnabry

  11. chas says:


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