Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is no longer a shadow of the player who scored goal after goal for Arsenal in previous seasons. The Gabonese striker has massive form dip this season and only managed to score two goals in the Premier League. According to former Arsenal player Alan Smith, this is not because Aubameyang has ‘lost his hunger’ since he signed a new mega contract with Arsenal, but his role from the left side under Mikel Arteta.
“The fact that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t scored from open play in the league since the opening day does tend to point in a worrying direction”, Smith told the Evening Standard. “If one of the world’s best finishers can’t find the net in seven games, what does that say about the team as a whole? Well, it says for a start that the number of chances created has dropped. The Gunners don’t carve out the opportunities of old.”
“In fairness, that’s bound to happen when a coach is concentrating on organisation and solidity, when he’s determined to eradicate flimsy defending in favour of a disciplined approach that gives little away. Some say he is wasted on the left, but I can’t agree with that when he has shone so brightly from that position in the past. Mind you, his success from that flank partly depends on the centre-forward’s input and Alexandre Lacazette has fallen into a slump that’s not helping. It might be time to move the captain inside.”
“As for the accusation Aubameyang has lost his hunger after signing that humongous contract, I’m not having that. The 31-year-old doesn’t seem the type to coast along. He likes scoring too much to be going through the motions. A lack of creativity doesn’t help his cause, a shortfall that leads to Arsenal struggling against sides adopting a low block. Leeds, however, don’t go near that tactic, with Bielsa insisting on attacking verve. As a result, this might be a day for Auba’s huge grin.”