Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Criticism Both Distasteful & Opportunistic

Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

People are very quick to point the finger. Especially when money is involved.

En route to become the first true legend of the Emirates era after his heroics on August 1st, the narrative has now shifted to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang easing off and being more than content just picking up his hefty Arsenal paycheck each week.

Stop it.

An uneventful display against Manchester City saw the Arsenal captain match his longest run in the Premier League without scoring: four games. Yes, indeed, in his 90 matches played in the top-flight for Arsenal, the longest spell he’s gone without finding the back of the net is a whopping, colossal four matches. Get the pitchforks out.

Alas, hollow cries for Aubameyang to start ‘justifying’ his bumper new Arsenal contract have already emerged. It’s both distasteful and opportunistic.

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That’s 360 minutes. Half of which have come away at the two best sides in the country. Right, OK. The other two came in successive 2-1 home victories. Right, OK.

So, why the scorn? Jumping at the chance to direct blame towards one individual is, for right and wrong, part and parcel of football. If someone is having a handful of off days and they’re making big money, their name is first to be catapulted into the firing line.

Echoes of the Mesut Ozil scenario will build the case against Aubameyang. Wrongly, of course. Such a fickle bunch supporters can be, eh?

This all coming without much attention being paid to tactical nuances Mikel Arteta is employing as he begins to formulate his Arsenal identity. The need for a centre forward who is willing to drop in between the lines and play diagonals to the wingers when overloads are being created by the full-backs. Not Aubameyang’s forte.

It’s a system that while being fine-tuned doesn’t bring the best out of the Gabon striker, but is a necessary method to account for other areas of the pitch where the team is lacking.

None of us want to see the captain hugging the touchline all game. It’s not constant, but few players in the squad are as willing to sacrifice their roles for the greater good, nor do they have the tactical acumen and discipline to provide balance in that area of the pitch.

Aubameyang will move centrally more often. He will score more goals. He isn’t sat rubbing his hands on a mound of gold and taking social media tips off Ozil. Anyone who suggests as such should revise their allegiances.

Performances that haven’t been at the standard we’ve known to become the norm don’t constitute a sudden lack of neglect. You can be damned sure that the person reeling from this (only!!!!!!) four-game run will be Aubameyang himself.

Yet he won’t be all too disheartened. After all, he was convinced to stay at the club by the manager who is utilising him in this way. Mikel Arteta’s project will have been laid out for the 31-year-old step by step. A smörgåsbord of analyses and projections all building towards an end goal that Aubameyang was sold on. There are some all too willing to forget that.

He was convinced of the project for sporting reasons at a place he now calls home. To question the character of a man who dragged this club through the mire and won matches all on his lonesome is half-arsed, unfounded nonsense.

Next. Appreciate the GOAT. dark

A non-issue.