Despite the fact that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was Arsenal’s top scorer for many years, it has been a general feeling that he is just a goal-poacher and has never helped out with his defensive duties.
After he finally signed his contract extension, he seemed to be even less effective and I don’t suppose Covid and malaria helped him much, and when your captain is fined for ill-discipline, then you know you have a problem. And when Lacazette ended as our top scorer then the fans began to question Auba’s shiny new expensive contract.
This season didn’t start too well either, with the covid problem, but Auba came back for half and hour against Chelsea, and a hat-trick against West Brom’s youths helped him on road to full fitness.
He had an hour in the ill-fated game at Manchester City, but since then he has scored 4 goals in our 6 game unbeaten run, and has started to look like a real leader. As Arteta said yesterday on Arsenal.com: “I have never seen Auba transmit what he is doing now,”
“Apart from the goals, the celebration when they put the ball in the net, do you see the way he runs? The purpose he has to press the ball, and when he takes it his movement, his link, how is leading the game – that is when he is changing the rest, not when he is static and then he puts the ball in the net. I prefer this Auba.
“For me it is a click. It is a combination that realising that his role has to go well beyond that.
“What was good, or very good, two or three years ago, with his role in this team, at this club, it is not enough. He had to take a step forward. I would say the same with Laca, look what he is transmitting, not just doing or playing, what he is transmitting. For me that is really, really important.”
Personally, I am very happy that Aubameyang has galvanized himself back into action, as he was looking a bit too comfortable after bagging such a big money contract.
Long may it continue, and we can still dream of him winning the Golden Boot once again….