“That ball has to end up in the net.”
For Mikel Arteta, the solution to a goal drought is pretty simple – and he emphasised his certainty that Alex Lacazette will be back on the scoresheet very soon.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suspended for the next three games, the French striker will bear the brunt of the goalscoring responsibility, but our head coach says we need all of our players to fill in.
“It has been confirmed that [Aubameyang] is going to be suspended for three games,” Arteta said. “It’s a big shame and a big loss for us, because as well we know Auba’s intention when he plays. But unfortunately he mistimed the tackle, he made a decision and we have to accept it.
“He’s been superb under me, he’s trained really well, he’s working so hard. He’s scoring goals and has probably been the most important player on the team. So to lose him, obviously, is really bad news for us.
“Players have to step up. You know, when one of your big players is not there, they have to take responsibility. I’m sure when they’re not playing, they want a chance and they talk. It’s time to talk on the pitch, not outside. You come on there, you make the impact that he made and you sure me that you are as good as him or even better. You have the chance.
“You can help [Lacazette find his goalscoring form] by talking to him and giving him confidence, but that ball has to end up in the net. I think that’s the best medicine for strikers.
“What we have to try to do is put Laca in positions where he can have as many opportunities to do that as possible during a game.
“[Gabriel Martinelli] is having an impact every time he’s coming on, but it’s not just him. It’s others players like Reiss and Nico too, so whoever players there on Saturday has to step in and has to be thinking that they need to make the difference for the team.”
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