Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been criticised by pundit Garth Crooks for only just starting to use Alexandre Lacazette in his best position as a central striker.
The Gunners were back to their best as they thrashed West Brom 4-0 at the weekend, with Lacazette playing a key role as he scored twice and generally looked a real threat up front.
This was much-needed for Arsenal as last season’s top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to struggle this term, but Crooks has hit out at Arteta for failing to use Lacazette in his best position for so long.
The Frenchman was a prolific scorer at centre-forward during his time at Lyon, but at Arsenal he’s often had to drop a little deeper or sometimes play wide to accommodate other players.
Writing in his BBC Sport column, Crooks named Lacazette in his Premier League team of the week, but hit out at Arteta for trying to be too clever with his tactics instead of using players in their most familiar roles.
“It shouldn’t be difficult to play a player in his right position,” Crooks said. “However, it seems Arteta has struggled to get a grasp of the obvious at times. The Arsenal manager has mixed and matched players, and even tried to put square pegs in round holes on occasions.
“Lacazette is a natural centre-forward and any other consideration is nonsense. It’s not complicated. The striker’s two goals suggest Arteta would do well to leave him where he is. His perpetual tamperings have cost him in the past.”