Has the absence of Auba restored harmony in the Arsenal camp? (Opinion)

Arsenal shined in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last night, but are we better off without him?
Guest post by Sarah Rohan

Wow! What a performance that was! The only negative was not getting the goal from the penalty spot earlier on, so the game was still on a bit of a knife edge as the Hammers seemed spurred on by their fans, and tried getting back into the game even with ten men. Thankfully ESR partnered with Saka to finish them off. The youngsters once again proved their worth and tormented the opponents defence all night. Saka and Martinelli especially who were on fire!

Even the likes of Thomas Partey who has struggled in recent games held the ball well, shame some of his blasted shots got blocked by the defenders. He deserves one of those in the back of the net.
The team on the whole performed their roles to the best of their ability. The running, the tracking back, their creating, basically the whole shebang!

That’s two wins in a row and no goals conceded. Have we turned a corner? Does the Gabon striker deserve his place back in the team against Leeds?

Well after that performance from the whole team last night I think he’ll be raring to get his place back, but I don’t think he should just yet. It makes me wonder why we can’t get these performances from him anymore?

Originally I was blaming our manager, that he was setting the team out and Aubameyang wasn’t getting the service from the players but now I’m not so sure. Is it he just isn’t in form or is it laziness on his part? Is it more of what’s going on in the background, and that the time is near that he will be leaving us? Whatever it is I think he needs to earn his place back into the side.

Hopefully we can carry on playing the way we did, and it will make Auba more hungry to get back in on the action. He still has an opportunity and is definitely an asset that we need to keep in the top four fight, but I suppose that’s now down to how much he wants it, and the relationship between himself and Arteta.

Lacazette was excellent in place of him last night and showed what a captain and forward in this team should be doing. Did the man ever stop running? He was amongst the thick of it the whole game and his passion was amazing.

I can’t fault any of the players last night and would even say that was our best performance of the season. It was finally a game I enjoyed watching, jumping around my living room, fist pumping and cheering the team on.

I thought West Ham was going to be the biggest test going into the festive season, well apart from Manchester Utd, so was very surprised how much we dominated them last night.

So can we keep it up? Can Pierre Emerick gain his spot back in the team? Will he be relieved that he’s had the captaincy removed? Maybe it was too much pressure for him. Will the coach change formation for the next game? So many questions to be answered. Hopefully more light will be shed come Saturday’s match day. All I know is I want more of last night please!

Happy Gooner Xmas!

Tags Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


  1. Great article.
    Apart from the fact the perfomance in itself was probably the best under Arteta, it was very important, the rest of the team showed their commitment in light of the Auba debacle. It looks as though Auba’s behaviour isn’t a sign of any general player unrest, which is good.
    Being a fan, who is very much in doubt, whether Arteta can take us back to the top, I have to say, it seems he is doing the right thing at the moment.
    I hope it continues, from now on. On the 20’th he has been in charge for 2 years, and we really need to see some stable improvement, including being able to give the top 3 teams some real opposition, when we play them next.

  2. “I thought West Ham was going to be the biggest test going into the festive season, well apart from Manchester Utd, so was very surprised how much we dominated them last night.”

    WHU now have 1 win in 6 in the EPL, they are in torrid form at the moment.

    1. Despite our horrendous start to the season, I have not seen much evidence of disharmony on the field, with or without Auba.It seems fairly clear to me that the young team which is evolving under Arteta are singing from the same hymn sheet .

      1. I agree with you about the dynamics on the pitch. The young players seem to realize that the “team dynamic” brings success to everyone, and I don’t see any egos amongst them.

        They realize the opportunity they have to play, and I see plenty of unity not disharmony.

        The locker room or what goes on during training may well be a different matter, but the seem to be together on the pitch.

    2. 2 in the last 7 against Chelsea and Liverpool… They were the clear fourth best team so far before we overtook them. Maybe they are having a blip… Maybe they have come unstuck… We will see…

      1. I was wondering if any would say it as it is.
        West Ham are in a bad period and we wer not at our best and there was lots of silly mistakes.
        So how people think we are super Arsenal again and that was our best performance makes me question if we watched the same game.
        We were good but West Ham were bad.

        1. When will Arsenal beat a better opponent?

          If we lose, we are bad.
          If we win, the opposition is bad.


            1. It’s frustrating sue!

              It seems nothing special is at Arsenal. Some of our own fans turn on us even if we win.

          1. Thanks for that,whenever arsenal beat a team that everyone feels we weren’t suppose to beat,the team is in torrid n when we got beaten by them we are really bad,come on guys when are we ever going to beat a team in their best,Chelsy are having a bad month we are complaining that they are surrounded with injury crisis,let not forget that the teams Chelsea are having problem n struggle to beat none of their players will be in Chelsea present squad first 11

        2. Hellooo….what are you talking about? If one is good the other has to be bad. Or you may want to use BETTER. We were better than Westham. Period.

  3. I think his exile has made his teammates more concerned about their futures at Arsenal. Sometimes fear effect and military-like discipline can increase productivity at workplaces

    I saw them more willing to do 50-50 challenges in our last game. This could be caused by Aubameyang’s exclusion or by our supporters

    1. @Gai,
      With the players fighting for a space and fring players like Matinelli and Thieney not wanting to be out of the first 11 again, Auba will have to improve his performance to enter into the frame again. In his absence two major wins 4 goals without conceeding any. The fans are backing the team with or without Auba. He needs to be humble and handle the situation well. He can learn from G Xhaka former captain. I like the boards and Arteta abiding by club standards. You can’t earn 300k weekly and not be performing and yet lacking in discipline his employers wont like that. Footballers should also have conscience.

      1. Based on the reports about his disciplinary issues that led to the public announcement, I believe he won’t really care if he doesn’t play till the end of his contract

        His football career is almost over due to his age and he’ll still earn 300+ K weekly without having to work hard. I don’t like unprofessional players and Arsenal have been conned frequently by this kind of people

        1. Yes not the best pro. Definitely not a leader even when he banged goals. Hopefully 300k is the good figure. I dont know about the incentives bit the contract was 55m/3 years. That makes 352k (not even counting the last year summer). Crazy salary…. But that helped him improve his car collection.

  4. Actually I’ve said this before and will say it again, Obamayang has gone passed his sell by date. It’s time to move on and let the younger players be given the chance.

    1. I agree 100%. Aside from the odd cameo of his old self now and again, we won’t see the player that he used to be any more. Auba is a chapter worth ending now.

  5. I think it’s simple. If Auba doesn’t score he brings nothing to the game (on current form). Martinelli is very direct and more skilful so you get more for your money. I also think Auba best days are gone, so we need to move on with another striker. I thought odegarrd was very good last night in the first half lots of intricate passes
    Won the ball back, linked up well with Saka, just needs to increase he’s stamina and cut out dodgy passes, but he still learning….

  6. There are complete all-round strikers like Suarez and Aguero and then there is Auba. Speedy and great finisher. If he loses any of these 2 attributes then he becomes passenger. Auba has lost a yard or 2 and I don’t think he is coming back

    1. Even with that lackof speed now he should have scored some of the sitters he had recently. Probably a big lack of commitment and desire. He should stick with that and move on to play for bigger challenges even of he is paid less because absolutely no club in the world will pay 350k for him. Except maybe if the transfer is “free”. Like willian who got a 15m bonus because he xame on a “free transfer”

  7. TOO SOON!!! careful PJ-SA, you know how these types abhor facts that don’t fit with their particular narrative…onwards and sideways

  8. Dangerous to read to much into one game. We’ve turned more corners in the last four years than Lewis Hamilton.

    Let’s be honest. If we lose to Leeds the sky will be falling in and #Artetaout will be back in vogue. Such is the life of many a football fan.

    Like others, I’ll reserve judgement until the whistle is blown on the 38th game. In the meantime, COYGs and I’ll not get too carried away by the highs of one win or the lows of a loss, however unexpected. My old ticker can’t take too much of either.

    1. That is the stance I have chosen to take through this rollercoaster of a season. I enjoy the wins and bemoan the loses, but I will reserve any hard take until the season ends.

      I feel that after 2 and a half years in May, Arsenal should be top 6 certainly and fighting it out for that 4th/5th spot.

      Anything less is failure based on the control, financial support, and player changes Arteta has made.

      I hope the Southampton and West Ham matches show the style Arteta is bringing, and that they are reflective of his vision of how Arsenal play going forward.

        1. Thanks SueP
          Arteta had some leniency when he took over as a inexperienced coach, seems fair.

          But May is nearly 2 and a half years, and high time to have shown something. Style, philosophy, results in table, improvement is mandatory.

          I hope our trajectory continues, but I’m club first fan, and table position in May should determine Arteta’s fate; no more excuses.

  9. Let’s just hope this would make Auba rediscover his best form and others to fight better for the badge.

    OT: what do you guys think about MA dragging Martinelli back to the pitch

    1. There’s nothing wrong with that.
      Martinelli bwas outside the pitch, Arteta had to get him back on the pitch to go get treatment because if he had stayed out then the game would’ve continued with just ten players.
      After Arteta asked him to get back on the pitch, he was still the one shouting to the boys to play the ball out so Nelli can get his treatment. It’s normal football shenanigans

    1. Sue!
      Are we ever going to beat a better team?
      I think we didn’t allow WHU to play their game. We made them look ordinary. Yet some fans believe they are a poor side.

      When are we gettting the honour we deserve?

      Arsenal fans are never satisfied!!!

      1. ARSENAL have played better football at home, my worry is away games….they freeze and dont press and you wont even see the players sync.

        My judgment on the team will be made….if we win more games away and compete with top 3 teams.

        Like it or not we only have 3 teams playing good football in epl this season.

        No 4 spot is open to any team. Hopefully ARSENAL

        1. Hi Shone

          I think competing with the top 3 might come next season, but bear in mind they are probably the top 3 in Europe atm.

          I do agree winning away should/ could be improved on this season. Usually only 2 teams if not one play solid football in a season so 3 teams is pretty tough for the rest of us…..

      2. @Phenom
        Exactly. We usually allow teams to stifle our play. This time we forced our play on them, stifling theirs…

  10. @Adajim,
    Maybe Arteta thought Martinelli was just time wasting. It’s a silly tactics we tried at Everton but it didn’t work. Maybe that’s why Arteta pulled him up to continue with the game.
    I really hope the kid stays fit. He’s always a handful. Sometimes he reminds me of Alexis but I think if properly nutured, he may end up being a better player.

      1. @Adajim, Arteta was been logical, an injured player outside is a disadvantage to the team as the referee will not stop the match, so the best thing to do was to get back on the pitch ,

        What if west ham had scored us with Martinelli outside, how would you feel? Probably, you would be mad at the referee for not stopping the match.

      2. Martinelli was time wasting period. MA needed him to mature up and stop using archaic and “old fashioned” methods of delaying play which could have come back to haunt us just like at the Goodison.
        Good reading 👍 from MA and childish conduct from Martinelli who will need to improve next time.

    1. Na I think he got cramp, why lay the other side of the white line, he got him up, to get on the pitch, clever and obvious really, they have been doing this on the continent for years. Plus he came off minutes later so genuine injury/strain. I like how The pundits was loving Arteta animation on the side line, directing players to get back, to close down, Conte does this Klopp use to do it a lot, Simone etc…When you are trying to build a team pattern of play, I suppose it helps…

  11. Was there disharmony in our camp?
    Auba’s position in the team and value meant difficulty for some players to get enough game time. But based on his form and actions, Martinelli and Laca who better suit MA’s style are playing more and have improved the team.
    I don’t think it is a matter of disharmony. It rather is a process ongoing. MA is building his team and with the inclusion of a suitable striker, a backup for Tomiyasu, and a solid DM, we are good to go.

  12. One of the most important lessons that Arteta has learned at Arsenal is to only sign players with the right psychological profiles, and this is now a cornerstone of his recruitment policy. Not one of the players bought close season has an inflated ego. Although they all have great potential and ambition, they believe in hard work and have a team ethic – even a high profile player such as Odegaard is very humble and sees his development linked directly to the team’s success. You won’t see these guys sulking or complaining if they’re not selected – they will just train harder. I include the slightly earlier purchases of Partey, Tierney, Martinelli (admittedly not an Arteta purchase) and Gabriel in this category. Throw in ESR and Saka and you have a manager’s dream to coach, sell a team plan to and get to play for each other.
    Few of them have played at this level before, but they will be happy as Larry learning with their peers and starting to see the plan working, stutteringly at first, but more fluidly as the playing style becomes second nature.
    Auba is old school – difficult to teach new tricks to and used to being the main man. He never needed to develop many technical skills as sheer pace and finishing ability were enough, but with both on the wane with age he is now becoming a no trick pony.
    This squad is both pragmatic and professional enough to recognise that, popular as Auba is as a person, he no longer contributes to the success of their team and therefore to their own development. Far from disrupting this particular team, the demotion and dropping of Auba has most likely been a relief for them, and I am sure they will perform far better without having to carry him any longer.

  13. “Odegaard is very humble and sees his development linked directly to the team’s success. You won’t see these guys sulking or complaining”

    you obviously didn’t see when the camera panned over to Arteta following ESR’s goal, as you got a glimpse of a clearly less than elated Ode in the background…that wasn’t the look of a man that cared infinitely more about team-oriented achievements than his own personal selfish concerns…just saying

    1. I saw it. Lots of players don’t enjoy being substituted, and you may have noticed that Odegaard’s face always looks like thunder unless he is actually smiling. Or maybe he had tooth-ache. The alternative version is of course that he was unhappy that his team scored and didn’t care who amongst 60k fans and a global tv audience knew it. But sorry, it takes more than a long face for me to accuse somebody of being selfish.

      1. you should look at it again, as I wasn’t trying to read too much into it simply to stir the pot…in fact, if anything I’m taking it with a larger grain of salt than it probably deserves…he was on camera long enough that he could have made the necessary facial adjustments even for appearances sake

        1. TRVL, Decades ago I learned never to judge a book by its cover and that includes facial expressions, which unless you know for certain why they are as they may SEEM , are often wildly different from what a CASUAL observer, may CHOOSE to think is the reason.

  14. I think Aubameyang as captain was always the wrong decision. Remembering Tony Adams, explains what is needed in a Captain…and Aubameyang does not have it. I don’t blame Aubameyang for that, he probably just accepted what was offered. The man who impresses me the most is Aaron Ramsdale. I haven’t seen anyone at Arsenal, for years, with his passion. He is an amazing buy, who I am sure surprised us all. He seems captain material. The other player who impresses me more and more every week is Gabriel. He too has great passion. If Arteta can get the captain right he will save his own bacon. That would be a good thing and will change Arteta doubters to Arteta supporters. A good captain like Adams was will not let the team relax or suddenly stop playing. A good captain will make Arteta. If Auba can accept not being captain he may come again, but it would not hurt us to do a player exchange with him.

  15. I have never been in favor of making a goal-keeper the Captain. He is often too far from the play to affect it. I have no problem with the keeper marshaling the team at corners or free-kicks though.

    I would prefer a central defender or central midfielder as captain. However I don’t think either White or Gabriel are there yet. I would give it to Rob Holding, but he can’t get in the team at the moment, so that point is moot

    I would certainly not make Xhaka captain again, not because of what happened previously, but because he has become slower and when he is on the ball he tends to get robbed. Difficult to shout at others about their game when you are not on top form yourself. Partey, currently, is too injury prone. Lokonga is too young and Elneny looks like he will be leaving soon.

    In fact If I was Arteta, I would be looking to replace Xhaka with a younger stronger quicker DM.

    So for the short term, I would make Lacazette captain. When he plays without Auba he is really into it!!!

    As for Aubameyang, I feel he has some deeper problems he needs to deal with and should get those sorted out before he thinks of playing football again.

    One other item. I would like to disagree with a comment made up above about the lack of Egos. I too think Odegaard has an inflated ego. I get the feeling he thinks he is a cut above the rest of the team. Just my observations, and I would NEVER make him Captain.

    But, great performance against West Ham

  16. I think if Arteta is very sure he doesn’t want Aubameyang anymore at Arsenal, and even not have him in his team for the 2nd half of this season’s campaign.
    Then, I’ll suggest Arteta should speed up his transfer from Arsenal to any club sides domestically and externally that want to sign him during the next Jan transfer window. Who is ready to pay Arsenal their asking price for Auba who has 2&1/2 seasons left to run on his Arsenal contract.

    Three is no point beating a dead horse that can’t comeback to live. It’s saddened to see Auba’s decline in top goals scoring form for Arsenal in the last 1&1/1 season. But which saw hit in goals in high number before his decline in form set in. Which has now resulted the blood that set in between Arteta and him.

    But which I think Auba is at fault to be blamed due to his dip in top form to regularly score goals and gives assist in number. And as if to have his dip in form aggravated, his not adhering strictly to the club’s non negotiable standards soars up.

    And I think this Auba’s non compliance strictly to the club’s standards, and couple with his serious dip in form has made Arteta wanting to hammer Auba with an exclusion from his team squad. The chance to do so then arrived when Auba reported late for for work again after being severally warned to desist from such doing. More so as he’s the team captain who should lead his colleagues by setting good example for them to follow.

    And Arteta who seemed to have been lying in wait to have a chance to execute his hidden hammering plan against Auba now got the chance to hammer him which he has done.. But no any Arsenal supporters can really blame Arteta for his doing so.

    Save, if Auba wants to stay on at Arsenal to honour his contract at the club and fights for his place in the team. But not in the Ozil ill-mannered ways which I believe Auba won’t resort to to do such to Arsenal a beingAuba the gentleman that he is.

    Should Auba preferred to move on during the coming Jan window, and Arteta does not oppose his wanting to move on to tell the buying club to wait for Arsenal to first sign a replacement to him before agreeing to sell.

    Arsenal should cash-in on Auba sale to sell him immediately when an acceptable good bidden is submitted to sign him next Jan window by any club sides that meet the money Arsenal want before agreeing to sell him.

    Let the right timing to sell Auba next Jan window be the essence if at all Arsenal want to sell him and Auba too wants to leave.

    On Arsenal near excellent performance at home in the EPL match last night against WHAM that saw the Gunners put the Irons to the rust as they spanked them 2 nil. The performance of all. The Gunners who played in the match is highly commendable. But will the Gunners follow up their near excellent performance against West Ham with an excellent performance away to Leeds in the EPL next Saturday to nail them. Who I envisaged will want to bounce back immediately after ther woeful performance away to Man City in the EPL where they got moulded 7 nil.

    And will Lacazette learn from his penalty miss in our last WHAM home game in the EPL to be converting it when next he takes it for Arsenal. Supposing that pen he missed was the pen that would have made Arsenal to edge out West Ham,but he missed it? That’s why he shouldn’t miss his next spot kick again for Arsenal. If he happens to get a pen or more at Leeds, let him convert them,

    1. Samuel – nice thought, but you completely ignored the elephant in the room – Auba’s huge wages.
      Most players will not accept a pay cut to leave. It may seem mercenary, but it’s the last big payday of his career and you can’t blame him as in his place we would all do the same.
      He’s no longer worth those wages and clubs either won’t or can’t (including Barca) afford them. Maybe Newcastle would pay but I doubt Auba would agree.
      So we either keep him or sell and agree to subsidise a big chunk of his salary for a year.
      And that’s assuming we get a reasonable offer – by no means certain the way he is playing, and that Auba, like Ozil, isn’t happy to buy a coffee shop in London and just drive his sports cars around for 18 months…

      1. Yes newcastle. Arsenal should gave yhem auba for free lol. I am kidding they can try with 15. That wpuld already be abiiiig improvement on letting sanchez (and consequently mkhitaryan) ozil and co leace for frre or be paid to leave…. Just getting half of his 55m contract makes a solid 25m virtual income. Huge !

  17. Laca style much better fit with our energetic youngsters up top. Akin to Giroud as France striker in World Cup.

  18. The possibility of Auba returning back to the playing XI looks slim at the moment, considering the form, passion and hard work shown by Laca and Martinelli. There is no question of any disharmony in the team I feel. Auba can be used as a super sub or be kept in case someone gets injured. Most probably both auba and Arteta want to get this matter sorted out soon and probably Auba will leave in January.

  19. Newcastle need to jump on this big occasion to get a proven PL superstar !!! Thanks for all his goals but it ia time for auba to move on probably. He does not fit the project and does not seem to be motivated anymore. So ot could be a chance for him to leave on a high instead of staying around, maybe with that same poor form for 1,5 more years. Would tarnish his legacy here

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