Aubameyang must work harder according to former Arsenal legend

Former Gunner Martin Keown not best pleased with Aubameyang

Pundits have to make a living and the way they do that is not by being complimentary but being controversial. Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown is dead set on earning his crust and the target of his criticism is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The bigger the target the more coverage it seems, well, we are covering Keown’s comments so he has obviously got his target audience.

Basically, Keown is having a dig at the lack of work ethic in the second half against Bournemouth.

He said: “It’s been a difficult week for Arsenal and I thought they pressed really well. The intensity in their play, that is what every good team is looking for.

“It’s not just playing with the ball, it’s what you do without it.

“I thought they started the game very well. Everyone was engaging, they forced Bournemouth back and they were struggling a bit.

“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang is trying to fix the play and everyone else is engaged, so they play it long, and Arsenal win it back. Then they can be creative and this is what Arsenal are good at.

“They’ve got that creativity, they’re well probed. They’re all on the front foot, ready to break. But in the second half they seemed to switch off.

“Aubameyang, you are scoring the goals but you need to work harder. I know it’s tough but you can’t allow space, [Bukayo] Saka as well.

But it was not just Aubameyang that Keown was critical of

“[Dani] Ceballos is late, they don’t engage properly and the back four is far too deep.

“Maybe [Granit] Xhaka should push in a bit closer. That left space behind the full-backs, so Bournemouth were running wild into those spaces.

“It’s a problem for Arsenal when it goes into the front players, they need to be better at this.

“David Luiz scored the winner today but he must get back, help the team. Arsenal were lucky on a number of occasions.

“Ceballos, the poor guy is there on his own. The two other midfielders need to get up the field.

“These are things you definitely need to work on in training because better teams will punish you. That has to improve if they are to finish in the top four.”

To some extent Keown is dead right, the players do need to track back but that was not the big issue on Sunday. It was lack of creativity from the midfield upwards.

The defence did just fine yesterday, it was not a perfect performance but it was a clean sheet. I am not sure that having a go at players not tracking back is being fair. Arsenal had the game for the taking and did not, that is a midfield/forward problem and nothing to do with working harder. Creativity and vision is what was missing, not work ethic.

But Keown needs to earn his money so carry on, Aubameyang can take it.


  1. He wasn’t pressing enough in the second half, but then again, most of our players dropped off.

    Completely unfair to criticize a player who’s been scoring so many goals, with hardly any opportunities this season. Auba had zero service the entire game as well. Once Tierney and Bellerin are playing, and Pepe settles (we’re still hoping) we’ll see a lot more creativity.

    1. Yes, we need our wide players to penetrate. Pepe and Saka failed to do so

      I wished we had purchased Wilfried Zaha or Adama Traore instead. Imagine the threats those two could bring to the opposition’s final third

  2. To be creative, you need to have the ball first. In the first half, we were more creative because we had an organized press that forced mistakes. In the second, the intensity dropped. I’ve mentioned multiple times, Auba needs to be the first line of press.

  3. “I am not sure that having a go at players not tracking back is being fair. Arsenal had the game for the taking and did not, that is a midfield/forward problem and nothing to do with working harder.”

    It’s not fair?
    But it’s fair and justifiable when the player being criticized is Ozil?
    Cus I can recall for the past years he’s been the player targeted the most for not running around headlessly or tracking back.
    So now having a go at other players not tracking back is being fair?

    On PEA, he lacked service again, and we saw he couldn’t step up yesterday to get the winning goal. So are we gon continue playing like a team who relies on certain individual performances before we could win? When the team should be winning games easily

    1. What does Martin expect Auba to do? Help out Leno in the goal? Geez, where are these guys coming from? If they are pundits, God help us, because even an idiot could see that Auba, and even Pepe, was isolated up front with very little or no service at all. And we expect these guys to score goals after helping our defence?
      However much Ceballos, Willock, Guendozi & Torreira can run around, they are not the creative players to provide the service to your forward line on a regular basis. If our defensive midfielders cannot help the defence and the CAM’s cannot provide the service, how is it the forwards’ fault?
      Our guys do not have the ability to string together combination play with fast one-twos and to pick out the exact spaces for our forwards to run into at the end of the pass. All in the name of work rate, pedestrian stuff is being passed off for “helping the team”, while out creativity didn’t even make the bench.


    Having a feeling this time our unbeaten run is going to be fruitful and get us 3rd or 4th..

    It is impossible for a player to score in every game he partakes on even Messi does not do that.

    We shall see the best of Aubameyang soon when Lacazette comes back.

    I feel our wing problem has been quite solved with Saka, Pepe, Martinelli, Nelson all vying for 2 spots..

    All we need is a fully fit squad through out the season and we might challenge City with Laporte out at their back.

    1. I’m glad to see some positive comments like yours

      We are in a good position on the table and you pointing out our match record this season shows improvement. In fact I wonder how our team would do against the Liverpool who won 2-1 at home this weekend.

      I think we are sorted in midfield Inc wings and up front. And with Bellerin, Tierney and Holding back our defense looks stronger than the one we put out against Liverpool

      Anyway, a long road ahead. Anything could happen but finishing 3rd or 4th certainly looks possible

      1. Yeah is good to be positive… But the Midfield still feels that is it not creative enough, I get more joy from watching the Europa and cup games than the Arsenal EPL games…

  5. My team if I want to be ruthless and pick with form.


    Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli..

    Guendouzi, Torreira..

    Tierney, Holding, Chambers, Bellerin..


  6. If everyone was fit, the best team in my opinion is


    Fact is no way will Emery drop a £72 million player as much as people want it
    I would like to see Martinelli play instead but it won’t happen

    All I can hope is that Pepe improves ASAP

    1. This is how I see it on current form and our injury list. Couple players still need time to get up scratch and still waiting on Laca. Hopefully Bellerin be ready in two weeks. We have competition for places and I’d definitely see this line-up changing. But current form and trying to play players in most natural areas this is my team. Nelson and Tierney done well together and Nelson saw a lot of the ball in his last start. But when Laca comes back he’ll play and Martinelli would get the shout, unless Nelson and Tierney form a bond just like our strikers did.


      Bench – Leno, Holding, Sokratis/Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torriera, Willock, Pepe …strong bench, stronger when Laca returns.

      1. I wonder why the coach is not considering Maitland Niles in his natural position. I think he could be one of our best midfielders and he already had the experience. We should appreciate him for atleast filling the gap very well in the absence of Bellerin. He made some costly errors quite alright but he did ok in majority of the games despite just being a make shift. It pains me when I see the sometimes unfair criticism of the young man instead of encouragement. It’s not his fault that he can play multiple positions more than lots of one dimensional players, this should be to his advantage but it’s unfortunate that some don’t see from that perspective. He also deserves his chance in the middle like Willock, Cebalos Guendouzzi, Nelson etc. I hope we would not allow him to leave for another club in frustration like Gnabry, Chamberlain, etc

  7. PEA pressing can only be effective if there is pressing all over the pitch. I saw several instance he was all alone, trying to press up to 4 Bournemouth players.

    Our wingers are not in this pressing game (anyone ever seen Pepe press?), and ceballos faded in the second half. Pressing only improved a bit when Lacazette is playing, whether up front or wing. He got the strength and the stamina.

    I wonder what these analysts are watching.

  8. Good constructive criticism from our Legend Martin Keown. Criticism and encouragement go hand in hand.
    We are not there yet as a team right now and we need to improve on a lot of things individually and as a squad.

    Let’s not rest on our laurels just yet.

  9. its a squad failing that emery hasn’t addressed. Keown also pointed out the space we leave betwen midfield and defense, which has been going on all season, and probably extended into last season as well. this obvious flaw hasn’t attempted to be corrected yet so when the opposition gets the ball between that area, they have so much space to run and all they need is a wide player to follow them. I agree with him about Auba pressing. It’s not just him though. Whole squad needs to do better. We did it first half then stopped.

  10. Emery keeps changing formation, I don’t know when or he would stick to a single formation. Yesterday we lacked creativity. Auba was isolated the entire match. Besides the assist Pepe was crap once again. I think Emery needs to find a way to play Ozil and Ceballos in the same team.

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