Aubameyang is Starving. by AI
More than halfway through the season, with 23 games played, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has only had 17 shots on target this season. Ordinarily, this isn’t a problem. Aubameyang is only one out of 8 attacking options for the team and 5 goals from 17 shots would be a great return for every member of our 8 attackers.
The problem though is that Aubameyang is our only proven world-class forward out of the 8 attackers. No other person should be getting more shots off than him. Our most decisive final-third player is starving of chances. This is of course why Aubameyang has only 5 goals to his name this season and why Arsenal are 11th on the table. Aubameyang’s problem is not that he is failing to score, but that he is failing to see enough opportunities to do so. His situation is different from someone like Timo Werner who has been missing golden chances to score. Aubameyang has not missed a single golden chance this season, and this is because he has not been getting any.
The art of goalscoring is mostly not that of finishing but of being a volume shooter from good, central positions in the penalty box. If it were all about finishing, Edinson Cavani would not have scored so many goals. Great goalscorers are all about repeatedly getting into good scoring positions and getting shots off from there. If you asked professional footballers to shoot from around the penalty spot twice a game for 38 games, they would probably be breaking the Premier League single season record.
This is why Aubameyang has looked better since January. An improved attack means he can get more shots off. Pepe has mostly been the one getting those chances in the past four games and he’s scored twice. If that was Aubameyang with those opportunities, we could be looking at 3-4 goals instead. But the game is not solely played in the box and Pepe’s game has been better off the left than Aubameyang’s.
Aubameyang must come into the side sooner than later. We need his goals if anything good is to come up this season. We need the rest of his 20+ goal potential. That’s why he’s being paid superstar wages. Aston Villa showed that Nicolas Pepe is still not decisive enough despite getting the ball into dangerous areas all game long. We can’t depend on Pepe’s goalscoring potential. Not in this season.