Alan Smith believes the changes that Mikel Arteta made to the way Arsenal plays the game is to blame for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s lack of goals.
The Gabonese striker has scored just once from open play, and twice overall in the Premier League this season.
He had netted 22 goals in each of the last two seasons, however, the goals have suddenly dried up with the team also struggling.
Arsenal’s big problem before Arteta became their manager was a leaky defence, and the Spaniard has managed to fix that with the Gunners now one of the hardest teams to score against in the Premier League.
But it has come at a price, reckons Smith, who says that they have made it hard for teams to find them exposed when they lose the ball, but they remain toothless in their attack because of that.
“His form is a symptom of Arsenal’s lack of form going forward.” Smith told Sky Sports.
“Mikel Arteta had to change the way they played, he had to make them more robust, harder to play against, more solid at the back.”
He added: “Wherever Arsenal are on the pitch, they always make sure that should they lose the ball, they are not exposed,”
“They’ve always got that in mind. Arteta works quite hard on that in training. And yes, it’s taken away some of that joie de vivre, if you like, that Arsenal have always been associated with going forward.”
Arsenal will face Tottenham in the Premier League next and the Gunners will hope that Aubameyang will rediscover his scoring form in that game.