Opinion: Next season is a defining one for Aubameyang

Arsenal struggled to get the best out of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season, something that didn’t reflect well on him considering that he had been in solid goal-scoring form in the previous campaigns.

The less said about the fact he got a new big-money deal at the start of the campaign, the better.

His lack of goals is one reason Arsenal had to settle for a place outside the European spots in the Premier League last season.

He finished the last campaign with just 10 Premier League goals in 29 outings, but he scored 22 times in the same competition in the previous two seasons.

Next season is an important one for Arsenal as they bid to break back inside the top four.

Mikel Arteta knows he will have few excuses if Arsenal has another poor season, especially because they will be focused on just domestic games.

He will need Aubameyang to get back to goal-scoring form and spearhead the club’s attack.

At 32, the former Borussia Dortmund man is approaching the end of his time as a footballer, perhaps his goals are drying up.

Next season is a defining one for Auba, it could confirm his decline or shows us that last season was just a blip.

Tags Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

51 Comments

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  1. kev says:

    Even when Aubameyang came to Arsenal and was scoring a lot of goals it was clear that he was poor at a lot of things. How many times on this article have I not seen Aubameyang score goals in a match and people would say ”he needs to do more”. Of course its clear he’s not a complete striker and his strength is his positioning. Thats why has several performances where if you look past the goals he’s just above average. Last season I could tell he was low really low on confidence and the way Arsenal played as well as not creating a lot of chances affected his game. Physically I have not seen much of a decline. Aubameyang’s positioning is so good he could go to Man City and score 25goals. He’s the kind of striker the chances always fall to because of his movement. If he regains his confidence he will be back. His problem was not physical but mentality and the way Arsenal played.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      What more do you need from a golden Boot
      winner and contender? What more is needed from a striker who score a lot of goals?

      1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        I concur with your sentiments HH…if you asked one of the best managers in the free world, none other than Jurgen Klopp, about our much-maligned striker/winger Auba, he would wax lyrically about his former player’s attributes, whether out wide or tucked inside

        unfortunately for us, minus a brief period under Wenger, the offensive scheme has lacked the requisite ingenuity or sense of urgency that would be most beneficial for this world-class scoring machine…the fact that he produced to the level he did, prior to this season, is a miracle indeed

        whereas this year, under Arteta’s sideways borefest, that cared more about our 3-wheeled shopping cart, Xhaka, being fed than our best player, Auba became an afterthought…hopefully we return to playing football next season

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Agreed. His form prior to the last season in spite all shows the quality he is.

      2. kev says:

        I want him to contribute more to the play but I’ll not blame him for not being able to do so because he is a limited player. I have never seen him to be world class though his stats make it look like that. Yeah it sounds contradictive but I’m one who can’t just use stats and ignore what I see. For me its all about the eye test. Auba doesn’t look world class on the eye compared to Van Persie or Harry Kane. If he’s world class then Vardy too should be world class. His positioning is great so in a team creating loads of chances I back him to score over 20 every time. There is no problem physically but there is mentally.

        1. speedy says:

          kev you are kidding right.vardy is more limited compared to auba, he hardly get any assist. If wenger had stayed am sure auba stat would be phenomenon as seen in his thirteen games (or so) under wenger.

        2. emeka Collins says:

          If u take away scoring goals aubameyang offers next to nothing in the squad. He can’t do what a Harry kane does for the Spurs. He can’t do a lewandoski does for a Bayern. he can’t even do what a benzema does for a real Madrid .let me not include what a Ronaldo does for Juventus becos that will be too much to compare . Auba is an average stricker and not a striker u can build ur team around.

        3. emeka Collins says:

          Kev you are right all day long and all night long about aubameyang. The guy is only good at positioning himself to put the ball at the back of the net. Offers nothing more nothing less to the team. Arsenal should get rid of him asap and get a genuine stricker if they want progress this season

    2. O.T.S says:

      I do agree with you. Auba can’t hold the ball and that is the major problem I have with him, he can’t create chances by himself always depend on his teammates a whole lot. But when it comes to positioning, Auba is nothing but a beast and that I think is the only area he edges lacazette.

      1. kev says:

        I have never seen him to be world class and that was even when he was at Dortmund but his movement means he will always score lots in a team that creates lots of chances. He wasn’t clinical in Emery’s first season but he still scored a lot. His style is effective.

        1. Edward Jike says:

          What’s your definition of world class striker? Is he suppose to create goals for midfielders or to score. Auba has done that consistently with 3 different clubs. He was played off position last season and he still got almost the same goals with Laca. It’s only Arsenal fans that like to underrate their players. Everybody football fans knows that Auba is World class and nobody cares about your view.

          1. emeka Collins says:

            So someone needs to define what a word class striker means to u before u realize aubameyang is not a word class striker. Where they will rate benzema, Harry kane ,Ronaldo ,Suarez, lewandoski, immobile’s of lazio, haris seferovic of benfca etc. Does aubameyang fall in the same bracket with these names mentioned above?
            They all have one thing in common, putting the ball at the back of the net. But when it comes to all round play; dribbling,creating chances , holding up the ball and moving forward with it (hold up play), winning Ariel duels inside the 18yrs box constantly, wrecking havocs to defenders or dribbling through defenders and scoring goals within and outside the 18yard box . where does your self claimed “world class striker “aubameyang fits in? The answer is nowhere near those guys

    3. AJ says:

      You said it all kev

  2. Yossarian says:

    He had a lot of prtoblems last season both with his mother’s illness and his own illness. Hopefully he can get past it all and produce and good season or two. Upgrades to the rest of the team will help too.

    1. Raz says:

      This. He was ill and talked about not being sharp. Provided he recovers his health, he’ll be back. With the financial support it looks like we’ll be getting, we’ll be back.

    2. Ozziegunner says:

      Aubameyang needs to play off the shoulder of the last defender or start his runs within his half on the counter, with midfielders with the vision and passing skills to play him into space.
      Hopefully, with improvement in his health and personal issues, he can get back to his best goal scoring form.

      1. VasC says:

        This comment appears to be written by someone who has really watched regularly the way Auba play during his prime in Arsenal colors.

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          👍VasC, thank you for noticing! As they say form is temporary, class is permanent; all Arsenal and Aubameyang need is an upgrade of midfield.

          1. VasC says:

            Before the need for an upgrade, the starting 11 need consistency, a game plan that plays to the strengths of the players and an effective plan B.

            Upgrades can be brought/bought in an instant easily. But, to integrate and make it work within the system can’t happen in an instant or that easily.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Maybe we need to move Aubameyang back to the left wing and play with direct balls to our forwards, like what Italy did when they played against Spain and England. Because he always lives on the shoulder of the last defender, like Kylian Mbappe

    That type of counter-attacking tactic doesn’t always work if the opposition sit deep and will make us lose the ball possession when using it against a ball-hogging team. But Aubameyang’s main ability is his pace, his link-up play isn’t good and we’re stuck with him, so we need to try something else

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      GAI, I am waiting for you to please provide your view on what Mikel Arteta’s system and style of play are, to best utilize the Arsenal players at his disposal?

  4. JW says:

    I would agree, next season will be the defining one for Aubameyang!

    I would strongly suggest that it will be the defining one for Arteta and Edu too.

    Perhaps more so for those two.

    1. O.T.S says:

      To be honest, it should be Arteta not Aubameyang. Next season is a defining one for Mikel Arteta.

    2. VasC says:

      Most importantly, the coming season is a defining one for our club. One more season outside European qualification, nobody shall predict where the loyalties of our best players will be.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        Plus the lost revenue.

  5. O.T.S says:

    I do agree with you. Auba can’t hold the ball and that is the major problem I have with him, he can’t create chances by himself always depend on his teammates a whole lot. But when it comes to positioning, Auba is nothing but a beast and that I think is the only area he edges lacazette.

    1. guy says:

      Positioning is only an asset if you are capable of doing something with it when you get it. He is no longer a given to outpace defenders, and although he can score special goals the conversion rate has greatly diminished.
      OTS everybody knows it is a defining season for Arteta – it is mentioned every other sentence already. There really is no need to mention it again when we are discussing Auba.

  6. Sue says:

    He’ll be back to his best, I have faith!

    OT.. Balogun has been given number 26 shirt

    1. speedy says:

      this why i always love your comments sue, always here with the goodies. Has anyone seen the home kit.

      1. Sue says:

        🙂 Yes speedy, saw a picture of ESR in it (yay!!). I’m not keen on the collar though hahaha! We’re to wear it on Saturday against Rangers…

        1. speedy says:

          i thougth that was photoshoped. These days you dont know what real on the internet anymore.

          1. Sue says:

            Very true! I’ve seen a couple of just the shirt. At least we haven’t got long to wait…before we splash the cash 😄

        2. RSH says:

          thanks for the insider info sue, im off to search for pics lol!

  7. Ahmad73 says:

    I think he has to be better this coming season. Regardless of form or effectiveness we’re stuck with him though. He is not transferable due to his age and wages. That’s why contracts should be laden with incentives.

    1. guy says:

      Of course he will be better this season Ahmad – he was pretty atrocious last time round. Better but good enough? I really can’t see past him being an occasional sub. We MUST use this time to give a run to Balogun and Martinelli – I would rather try to establish two young careers than give a swansong to Auba, who’s time has almost passed even if he does regain form.

      1. guy says:

        Sorry bad grammar – “whose”!

  8. Biscuitbum says:

    We are assuming he will be with us next season. If so we sure as hell had better pick him as a royally hacked-off Auba would be worse than Ozil.

  9. Andrew Elder says:

    Four years ago he won the golden boot award with Dortmund in the Bundesliga with 31 goals one ahead of Lewandowski. He was terrorising defences with his blistering pace, one of his main assets. His positioning is still good but his pace has dropped a bit which happens to most strikers at age 32. If he can score 20 goals in the EPL next season he’ll be doing well. Always rated him both as a player and a man and really hope I’m wrong.

  10. guy says:

    I find some of the comments here hypocrytical – Xhaka is ridiculed and wanted out because he is deemed to not fit the style some believe we should play in (despite the Euros showing how good he is) yet with an equally limited Auba not fitting our playing style we are told it’s Arteta’s fault for not adapting our system to accommodate what is basically a one-trick pony. Not a passer, doesnt dribble past defenders, can’t head the ball, average ball control, doesn’t motivate, lead or contribute. Can’t change his game. He is rapidly losing his two major attributes of blistering pace and the ability to score goals. The pace will not return but perhaps the knack will (although he has always needed 3 chances to score one and is very capable of missing sitters) – and only IF we are willing to change our playing style just to accommodate him. We tried just moving him to the left wing this season and he was as anonymous as in all the other positions. Yet Pepe managed it cutting in from the right. Despite taking tons of flak he has a skill set that can adapt, but Auba doesnt. I for one prefer to see how this season pans out with our existing system with a more progressive defence and midfield utilising ESR Saka Pepe, a new AM and Balogun/GM. He’s a striker who needs pace to thrive, at 31 in the twilight. We cant rely on him returning to the stats he had at 29, and its foolhardy to change to try to accommodate just him. It’s a no from me.

    1. Pepe says:

      It is mind blowing to put Aubameyang and xhaka in same sentence and to me it’s nothing less than insulting
      What has xhaka done for Arsenal ever since he has been here
      Without Auba I don’t know where this team will be in the last season’s before the one that was just concluded
      Auba has given us all great memories and moments to always remember
      Xhaka has done nothing special from day one we signed him as a Captain he even cost us top 4, in all his years here you can barely pick moments where he ran the show for us…
      Aubameyang had a bad season and you dare to bring him in same sentence as xhaka that’s path€tic

      1. guy says:

        I think this comment speaks as much of your contempt for Xhaka than your admiration for Auba. Yes Auba’s goals were critical in the past. In my opinion he will contribute less and less going forward. It is called getting older, and it happens to all players. Perhaps Auba’s prime asset has always been pace, which most admit is diminishing. It is just my opinion that this is affecting his goal scoring, and a pure goal scorer who isn’t scoring goals is a passenger. Auba’s game does not contribute in any way other than the goals column. Saying he must stay in the first team because of what he did 2 seasons ago is not the way to run a football club. That’s not a criticism of Auba as a human being, Henry and Bergkamp reached that stage too, and we still adore them for what they gave in their pomp.

  11. RSH says:

    Auba should be starting striker beginning of the season. if it’s not gonna happen again time to look at Martinelli and Balogun as starters. Even in his worst form I think Auba can still chip in with a decent goal tally so i’m not over-concerned about him this season. Arteta needs to be gutsy though and make the change when it needs to be made.

    1. RSH says:

      oh i forgot laca is still around. but hopefully sold by the time the transfer window closes.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        And who will step up to replace Lacazette’s goals and work for the team?

  12. Logic says:

    We bought him to score goals and he has been doing that just last season has been a struggle for him but looking at his past record in all leagues and for us I don’t understand how our fans can turn against him. I mean he carried us single handedly season before last. People also forget our creativity issue and lack of offensive football was also a major contributor in Auba’s struggle last season. I hope we play better attacking football instead of hopeless sideways and backward passes. With new more agile and more creative midfield Auba will start banging in the goals.

  13. Sokie says:

    I can’t believe arsenal fans are criticizing Auba. He had personal problems last season and still scored 10 goals in premiership. Someone even said he doesn’t contribute anything else. I wonder if we watch the same games. Lacazette has hailed him severally for the effort he puts in for the team, tracking back and defending when he’s played on the left wing, how can we not see that.

  14. gunnerforlife says:

    I am sure Auba will come good this coming season and start firing on all cylinders as he did when he came to Arsenal. I feel Auba is more effective on the wings with Laca/Martinelli/Balogun in the centre.

    1. VasC says:

      I wonder if we’ll ever see Arsenal playing with two proper CF / ST. It’s been ages since we’ve had two players up-front in the middle. It’ just 4-3-3 , 3-4-3, 4-2-3-1 and the likes in the past few seasons. Whatever has happened to the X-X-2s???

  15. FingersFurnell says:

    I reckon last season was more of a defining one for Auba really given the reportedly new big contract and the way in which he finished the season before with a new Manager but then again every season is a defining season for all premier league players, nobody gets a pass, a few games maybe but not a whole season, as it affects opinion and value

    It’s a good debate though and I can certainly see both sides, I’d like to think he will be better next season but do I actually think that, I don’t know, hope more than anything else I guess

    Would the Club have bought him in this window if he had performed the same way for, say, Everton last season, would we as fans be clamouring for that?

    Moot point as we already have him so we need to use him well next term, yes that’s down to Arteta and the players around him to a degree but the real challenge is for Auba, he’s got to prove himself all over again in my opinion

    10 league goals last season is maybe not such a bad return for a player out of form playing for a team that finished 8th but with closer scrutiny they came in just 7 games, with a hat trick against Leeds and a double against Newcastle within that, so in 29 League appearances Auba only scored in 7 games and as has been said he is all about goals, unlike, say, Laca in that if he doesn’t score he doesn’t bring much else to a game

    A lack of consistency last season was our problem as a team and that was certainly true of Auba, that really bad run we had from Oct 17th until beating Chelsea on 26th Dec was “defining”, it killed our season, in 10 league games we only won one, away to ManU in Nov, 1-0, Auba scored a pen, his only goal in that poor period but Arteta persevered with him when I for one was shouting at the telly for Eddie to come in and be given a run

    We started the season well enough, Auba scored in our opening game at Fulham (everybody had a good day there including Willian who was man of the match!) but apart from that pen at Old Trafford he didn’t score again in the league until we drew at home to Southampton on 16th Dec

    So, looking forward with optimism but with fingers firmly crossed

  16. Johannes says:

    Aubameyang currently feels like a dead weight on the team. I hope he can start banging goals again and soon so, because otherwise he is a handbrake in Arsenal attack.

    I don’t think that Arsenal tactics has changed that much. Emery and Arteta are believing quite the same kind of tactics. So I don’t know why Aubameyang seem to be quite invisible during the game.

    I think the tactics where the team is keeping the ball most of the time is not good for Aubameyang. If the attacking moves are built so slowly that opposite team is organized in defence you practically loose the biggest weapon of Aubameyang which is running in to the space behind opposite defensive line.

    He was banging goals when Pepe came to team and now when Pepe has learned the system of Arsenal it seems that Pepe is more effective than Aubameyang and we also need dribbler instead to left flank.

    But I hope i’m wrong.

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