Souness has hit out at what Aubameyang said after yesterday’s game.
Pundit Graeme Souness has hit out at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the comments he made after our 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.
The Gabon international scored the opening goal in a morale-boosting victory at the Emirates Stadium, and put in a generally fine display as the team really clicked into gear and showed what they could become under new manager Mikel Arteta.
Aubameyang suggested afterwards that Arteta has improved the situation at Arsenal, as he made it clear he and his team-mates understand what they’re supposed to be doing now.
It’s perhaps little surprise that these comments didn’t go down well with an old school pundit like Souness, who believes players should at least have a rough idea of what they’re doing anyway.
‘What’s having an understanding with a manager got to do with anything?’ Souness said on Sky Sports, as quoted by the Metro. ‘I don’t like that. I don’t like players talking like that. You know what you have to do. Okay, there’s one young player and one senior player there, Aubameyang I think he’s 31. I don’t like players talking like that. You know, you learn.’
He continued: ‘When you get to a certain age you know what you have to do to be successful at this level. You have to run around with enthusiasm, you have to be aggressive, you don’t give the ball away cheaply.
‘You attack things in an aggressive manner – and I’m not talking about going around fouling – just everything about Arsenal in the first half was passive. In the second half they became more aggressive, played with more passion. And to succeed at this level you must have all those ingredients. And then when you lose the ball you sprint back into your position. You get goal-side as quickly as you can, the basic things. Get first to the ball.
‘I get fed up hearing “tactics, tactics, tactics”. The first thing you have to get right: you have to have the ball. So to get the ball you have to get to it first, and then you’re in possession, and then a bit of team shape, team play, comes into action.
‘But to hear people say “we now know what we’re doing”, I’m not accepting that. For a 31-year-old to say “yeah it’s now clear, we now know what we’re doing”, I am not accepting that. He knows what he has to do to be successful. He’d have known that six, seven, eight years ago.’
While there may be some truth to this, Souness should probably consider that he both played and managed in very different eras, and tactics have arguably become more sophisticated and varied in the modern era, meaning players will understand and adapt better to some systems than others.