Alexandre Lacazette ( Lyon ) : One Season Wonder ?


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La Gantoise vs Olympique Lyonnais, 90th minute: the head hidden under his shirt, refusing his teammates’ comfort, the 24- year Gone was well aware that he had not only missed  a penalty but more important a golden opportunity to offer to his team the first three points of their brand new European campaign. What’s going on with last season’s Ligue 1 Player of the Year and best goalscorer(27 goals) ?

Lyon’s young forward had a rare chance to be the fans’  hero for the club’s return to Champions League, three years after their exile to Europa League. After a very disappointing game from the whole french  team and in front of a brave nine-men Belgian squad, that last  chance was  more than exiting; it should be  a striker’s dream, but not this time. Lacazette had already scored many penalties but this time not only Gantoise’s goalkeeper managed a remarkable save but Lacazette’s shot wasn’t one of his usual quality.

Now to be fair the Frenchman played his best game since the beginning of the season, but still he was unable to score( a goal off-side + two good saves by the Belgian goalkeeper); Lyon’s  current goalscorers are  Claudio Beauvue(2) Nabil Fékir (4) and in CL’s first game, Christhophe Jallet. Unfortunately, Fékir the team’s playmaker and scorer is out for at least six months, after his iinjury during the friendly between Portugal and France(0-1). Nobody knows when the young Gone will be back, so it’s now up to Lacazette to take responsibility and score for the club.

The player had a rough start this season; a much discussed new contract signed just before the end of the Summer Window, a back injury, his alter-ego  Fékir absence,  the press and  the club’s faithful expectations, are good enough reasons to put his mental in a rude test.

“We’re all behind him” Lyon’s Captain Gonalons told to Canal+ after the game.”He has to rediscover his potency to put  the wheels in motion, but it will come; he hasn’t lost his talent”. Of course there’s no doubt about the player’s talent, but many others before him found difficult to bear the media and the club’s expectation, like former Lyon’s midfielder Yohan Gourcuff, called the “New Zidane“, now playing for Rennes, trying a come-back to France’s best.

Are the media, the clubs and the supporters guilty of putting too much pressure on still young shoulders ? Lyon’s boss said that the future could tell if Lacazette’s penalty  miss, would affect the player’s confidence.

Lacazette’s  new partner Claudio Beauvue claims that they both need time to ajust and get used to play together, but the former Guigamp player’s talent is not as radiant as Fékir’s, so there’s no assurance of a bright future. French pundits have already began to associate the player with Tottenham’s outcast Emmanuel Adebayor.

After the game, the young Frenchman tried to be optimistic, despite the game’s disappointing result: “ It’s a big disappointment” told L’Equipe after the game.”I took responsibility, but I didn’t score. That won’t prevent me from taking more penalties and most likely scoring some of them.That’s Football.”

Until now the player is on 702 minutes drought, without scoring(all competitions)

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Categories: Analysis, Champions League

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