By Our Reporter
Celebrated Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored just two Premier League goals this season, and failed to register a shot on target in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa on Sunday evening.
In fact, he’s registered just 10 shots on target in eight games this season.
However, although he is still on form, there are so many ways Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta has impacted on his football career.
It should be noted that Aubameyang’s role has changed at Arsenal since Mikel Arteta arrived; but what impact is it having on the forward’s potency?
The 32-year-old has been moved more to the left-wing under Arteta, and asked to do more defensive work in an Arsenal which has shown signs of becoming more solid. But for Aubameyang, that has meant a drop in goals and shots per game.
There’s no denying that Aubameyang is used in a different way under Arteta. In fairness to Arteta, he came in, put his foot down and said: ‘This is how I want my forward players playing… you may be scoring a lot of goals… but it isn’t winning us more games!’
“I imagine that threw Aubameyang back a bit, and then we essentially had a year-long contract saga. Even Arteta admitted he doubted whether Aubameyang would sign the contract.
If you think of it from Aubameyang’s point of view – expectation has gone up with a £350k-a-week contract, but under Arteta he’s playing in a system and being asked to do things which mean he doesn’t score as many goals. It’s sort of a catch-22. He’s probably thinking how do I live up to the contract price tag in a system where I can’t score as many?
Before Arteta he was scoring three in four, since Arteta it’s one in two. I don’t think there’s necessarily a problem with a striker not scoring as much, so long as he helps the team in ways that he wasn’t before.
Whether he’s tired or whatever it might be, Aubameyang did not look very interested on Sunday evening, and Arteta alluded to a spirit in the team, which he does actually every week. He won’t have been too pleased with him.