Should Aubameyang start for Arsenal against Slavia Prague on Thursday?

Mikel Arteta has got a very big decision to make on Thursday as the Gunners have to go all out for a win in Prague or lose out on a place in the Europa League semi-final, effectively ending our season.

So he has to decide on whether to play Aubameyang up front or not. Our captain looks like he has been playing under a dark grey cloud since he was dropped from the North London derby and has hardly been involved in the few games since.

He didn’t manage even one attempt on goal against West Ham or Liverpool, and was left on the bench until the last 15 minutes of the first leg against Slavia, but at least got one shot on goal before storming off at the final whistle. He was not even on the bench against Sheffield at the weekend due to a mystery illness…
So maybe he won’t even be available for Thursday’s crucial game, but Paul Merson said on SkySports that he thinks that Aubameyang simply must start if Arsenal are going to have the best chance of advancing ahead of the Czech Champions. “If I need to win a football match and I know I will get chances there – I might not get many, but they will get chances Arsenal – I need my best goalscorer on the pitch.

“If he does not bring anything else to the party, he will put the ball in the back of the net. And even if he is four yards out and he taps it in, that is what you call a good goal because no-one else is there to tap it in, he is the one there. He finds himself at the back post tapping them in and there is an art to that.

“So for me, he plays, as they have to win. You have to get your goalscorers on the pitch when you have to win. If you do not have to win and you are protecting the lead, then you do not have him in the team as you want people tracking back for the team.”

“So that tells you everything and it is another Ozil situation…

“If I need to win a football match and I know I will get chances there – I might not get many, but they will get chances Arsenal – I need my best goalscorer on the pitch.

“If he does not bring anything else to the party, he will put the ball in the back of the net. And even if he is four yards out and he taps it in, that is what you call a good goal because no-one else is there to tap it in, he is the one there. He finds himself at the back post tapping them in and there is an art to that.

“So for me, he plays, as they have to win. You have to get your goalscorers on the pitch when you have to win. If you do not have to win and you are protecting the lead, then you do not have him in the team as you want people tracking back for the team.”

So, Gooners, what do you think? Do you think that Arteta should keep the faith that Abameyang will come good again on Thursday? Or is it too much of a risk?

Tags Aubameyang Merson Slavia Prague

31 Comments

  1. Dan kit says:

    If we want to alien the tie absolutely fcking not .
    We all know that if he’s fit he starts because Arteta does not play form players .
    If he did have the Flu I’m not sure how he would be fit anyway ,because you don’t get out of bed for a week let alone run around a football pitch

  2. Dan kit says:

    If we want to win the tie *

    1. Wyoming says:

      It hardly matters who starts.
      The players are all much of a muchness.
      You are allowed five subs as well.
      On paper Arsenal is far superior and should find a way to win

      1. Dan kit says:

        It hardly matters who starts . 🤔
        Ok bud 😂

  3. Goonster says:

    I don’t care who starts. All I care about is us winning.

    1. Gideon says:

      Total agree with you pal

    2. Gily says:

      Not caring who plays is the same as not caring whether you lose or win. Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.
      Since poor preparation promotes poor performance, it matters so much who plays if we really want a win to our favor.

  4. Eddie says:

    Hell No.. I know what you’re thinking, he’s been our best performer for the past two seasons.. yeah that’s it, the past 2 seasons, he’s not even our best striker this season. Constantly disappearing and ghosting important games, plus if we want to qualify we need 10 outfield hardworkers not 9.
    Sure tomorrow might be a good day for him, he’ll start and put up that too performance we see once in a blue moon yeah, but left to me? I ain’t gon be starting his ragged Travis Scott looking ass tomorrow.. sorry I just don’t want him starting, he’s been slightly no different from Willian this season.
    Would rather see Martinelli or Nketiah start over him, he can be a super sub

  5. Pirate Dandy says:

    No

  6. gotanidea says:

    No, because he doesn’t work well with Lacazette. Lacazette is in-form and seems to be playing for a new contract, so he has to start in CF position

    To make more chances and to avoid counter-attacks, we need attackers that can keep the ball upfront. We can use Aubameyang’s pace in the second half

  7. Sue says:

    He’s being assessed… if fit then yes, start him, Laca and Gabs. Go for the jugular!!

    1. Sue says:

      ESR and Saka are available 🥳

  8. McLovin says:

    Laca and Martinelli 100%. Indifferent about Pepe now that ESR and Saka available (how fit?)

    Ceballos I wouldnt start as he has made more mistakes in the past EL games than anyone.

  9. Sean Williams says:

    Start Martinelli. Nketiah is just not good enough, and Aubameyang has something going on. To have a chance we need Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and ESR to start. Lacazette has earned his place by really trying and giving his all. Keep Ceballos a 100 miles away from the team….he is an ill disciplined, headless chicken. If Arteta gets into ‘scared/coward’ mode with his team selection we will surely go out. In terms of team selection lets hope Arteta shows a pair and picks a team that will go for it.

  10. Gunnarsenal says:

    Yes, I’d do
    Leno
    Bellerin Gabriel Holding Cedric
    Partey Xhaka
    Martinelli Saka ESR
    Auba

    1. instrooments says:

      Nice line up.. The only tweak would be laca for auba… Laca has shown time and time again that he blends well with the kids… Hold up play is key to a slavia side that would most likely defend deep and try to catch us on the counter attack…

      There would be no space for auba to run into…. Arteta needs to analyze the game properly… Slavia only needs a Goaless draw and almost achieved same at the emirates if not for the late goal..

      So a Goaless draw might not be impossible for the czechs, so we need proper ballers to commit them to fouls and all

      1. instrooments says:

        Oh, bellerin?? Naaaah chambers owns that position for now.. We need hardworkers on the pitch for the rest of the season…

        1. Gily says:

          Productive hard workers

  11. Phil says:

    Arteta has made this difficult for himself due to the very poor result last week.
    Pick an out of form Aubamayang just because he’s our best goal scorer and we go out then Arteta will be crucified for playing him.
    Leave him on the bench and we go out then Arteta will be crucified.
    Performance goes out the window in this game. Just find a way to win. We need an early goal and they will need to come at us, which opens the game up nicely for us to just sit deep and play on the counter. What we cannot afford to do wake up half way through the second half like we do on far too many occasions.
    Just get the job done. And I believe we will

    1. Gily says:

      All we need is an outright win or a draw with not less than 2 goals.
      That is not asking too much

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍

  12. Grandad says:

    I am sure he will start regardless of his lack of form.This is the most important game of the season, and the absence of Tierney is a major blow because there was some telepathy between him and Auba.

  13. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

    No, as per Arteta, that until the pre-match press conference today, he was not able to train.
    I feel he would be more ready for the supersub role than a starter, besides, Lacca and Gabi along with Pepe seems in form at the moment.

  14. S.J says:

    Lacazette.

    Martinelli. Smith-Rowe. Saka.

    Xhaka. Partey.

    Cedric. Gabriel. Holding. Chambers.

    Leno.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 Good side.

    2. OnceGreat says:

      That squad can win comfortably. I hope Arteta makes the same decision tonight.

  15. Sue says:

    Auba didn’t train ☹, but Balogun and Azeez did 🤩

  16. Innit says:

    Start Aubameyang, Martinelli, Saka and ESR for our attack

    Give Lacazette a breather

  17. Joe. S says:

    Auba on the bench for me. I would prefer Martinelli’s energy and ability to make a nuisance of himself with opposing defenders rather than the old ghost warrior. A positive result tomorrow depends on the midfield’s ability to take control early and create openings that will put Slavia’s defence under pressure. Xhaka and Elneny’s involvement must be minimal. Get that ball forward.

  18. Shortboygooner says:

    Lacazette.

    Martinelli. Saka. Pepe

    Xhaka. Partey.

    Cedric. Gabriel. Holding. Chambers.

    Leno.

    For me we need to take the game to these guys and put them to the sword.

    Auba, ESR and others can come on after the first 4 have run them ragged and finish of the game if we haven’t scored.

    I dont think aubas form warrants starting sorry. I prefer lacca over auba on the day but auba is lost atm. Of I was pepe lacca martinelli. I would be so annoyed if auba starts. These guys have been playing their hearts out and doing everything right and can’t get into the team over some guy that can’t even score. Common

  19. OnceGreat says:

    If Martinelli is fit, I don’t think he should. One interesting observation was James’ from AFTV about starting Pepe on the left.

    Honestly, I’d go with either Martinelli or Pepe ahead of Auba on the left. He has to make an impact from the bench as a way of earning back his spot.

    And no, I wouldn’t start him ahead of Laca for the striker position. Also, he seemed more dangerous as a sub against Slavia than what we saw against a myriad of oppositions when he started.

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