There are a very particular set of curses that linger in the damp and murky spots of Arsenal’s London Colney training base.
Not only are the Gunners currently allergic to a Champions League spot, but the fortunes of some individuals that put pen to paper in the back offices at Colney aren’t always vibrant.
A captaincy curse has plagued the club for well over a decade now with the likes of Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas seemingly revolting while in possession of the armband.
The same eventuality befell Laurent Koscielny, Granit Xhaka and more recently Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang.
Yet, it has now fallen on the shoulders of a certain Alexandre Lacazette. There is no player revolt or dampened attitude, but since taking on the captaincy from his great mate who now plays for Barcelona, he has scored just one Premier League goal.
Not only is he suffering from the increased pressure of being the Arsenal captain but it would appear the dreaded number 9 curse has struck the French forward this term too.
Those who donned the famous jersey before him; Lucas Perez, Lukas Podolski and Park Chu Young, hardly enjoyed profitable spells in north London and it seems Lacazette is drinking from the same cup as his predecessors.
With his contract due to expire at the conclusion of the season, there is a sense that he won’t renew his deal. That doesn’t particularly feel like a bad piece of news for Arsenal but after the club’s 4-2 win over Chelsea on Wednesday night, his days in red and white are now surely well and truly numbered.
When Aubemayang departed for Catalonia in January, there was a seismic weight placed on the 30-year-old and it’s simply one he’s not been able to carry.
His performances have dwindled and after a fight with the current pandemic, he was forced to watch from the bench at Stamford Bridge in midweek.
The fact he wasn’t fit enough to start can now be seen as a blessing in disguise as Eddie Nketiah put in the type of performance that should well and truly place the final nail in Lacazette’s coffin at Arsenal.
He ran himself into the ground, pressing relentlessly from the front and working hard to score two goals and equal his French colleague’s tally of open play strikes in the top-flight this season despite just two starts in the competition.
It was damning on the former Lyon man who watched a more mobile athlete stride forward with purpose and offer considerably more threat in offensive areas.
Lacazette did eventually come on in the dying embers, making a grand total of four touches and zero passes.
Many have been quick to criticise him of late, with some on Twitter claiming he has been doing a “Yaya Sanogo impression”, such is his bad form.
That may be a tad harsh but following Nketiah’s brace and overall performance against the champions of Europe no less, his elder teammate should not start again for Arteta during the run-in.