After scoring the winner against Napoli in their Europa League quarter finals, Alexandre Lacazette revealed Arsenal have improved because of Emery’s tactical awareness which was so during Arsene Wenger’s era.
Lacazette joined the Gunners in the summer of 2017 ahead of what proved to be Wenger’s last season as boss at the Emirates Stadium. Emery was selected as the Frenchman’s successor and has enjoyed a fine debut season in north London.
Speaking to Soccer Saturday (h/t Sky Sports), Lacazette detailed how things have changed under the new manager. “There’s a lot of difference. We work tactically more, we do more video as well, how the coach speaks is different than Wenger.
It’s different. It’s hard to always compare the coaches because they have their own technique to manage the team.
“I think we are better every month, better and better, we are improving. It was one of the targets of the coach to concede less goals, even if this season we concede many goals, away as well he wanted us to keep a clean sheet. We did it and he wants us to do it again.”
Given the size of the job Emery had in replacing Wenger—who won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup on seven occasions in his 22-year stint at Arsenal—he deserves tremendous credit for the work done this season.
Arsenal sit in fourth place in the Premier League table ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Crystal Palace, while their 1-0 win over Napoli on Thursday secured a 3-0 aggregate win in their UEFA Europa League quarter-final.
Lacazette’s exceptional free-kick was enough to separate the two teams on Thursday.
There were times in his debut season when it was doubtful as to whether Lacazette would cut it in the Premier League, especially after the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018.
However, he has emerged as one of the team’s vital players this term. Lacazette was expected by many to be a penalty-box player when he arrived in England, although he’s showcased more facets to his game this season, most notably in terms of creativity and link-up play.
With some key games still to come, Lacazette’s penchant for shining on the significant stages will serve Arsenal well. If he can fire Emery’s side to Europa League glory and a top-four finish, there’ll be excitement among the Gunners fanbase about what may follow in the years to come.
Lacazette will hope to continue his fine form when Arsenal host Crystal Palace on Sunday.