Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta opens up and reacts to Aubameyang criticism
Mikel Arteta was unsurprised to have his use of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang questioned with the Arsenal attacker struggling at the start of the new season
The Gabon striker was set to leave the Gunners for nothing in the next summer transfer window, as he simply could not agree a new contract with the club, but Arsenal were determined to keep their star man at the club and made it clear from the start that they wanted him to sign a new deal.
Aubameyang deserved the new contract that he signed with the club and was in fine form, helping Arsenal win the FA Cup and Community shield in quick fashion, but he is struggling to score goals for the club right now, and there have been come comparisons to Mesut Ozil.
Prior to the start of the 2020-21 campaign, Aubameyang averaged a top-flight goal every 128 minutes. This season, however, that has dipped to one goal every 450 minutes with the striker scoring one league goal in five games.
Asked if the solution to Aubameyang’s goalscoring troubles is to play him through the middle, Arteta responded: “Always the question when he doesn’t score is, ‘Why doesn’t he play as a nine?’ Then you move him to the nine it’s, ‘Why did you not keep him on the left because he has been so successful from the left?’ This will happen, I know.”
“The expectation for him is that he has to score a goal every game, so this comes with the nature of the big player that he is, what he’s done in the past and what people expect from him in the future,” Arteta said of the criticism.
“He needs to handle that and we are here to support him when difficult times are around him.”