“That would have been a massive statement tonight,” Merson says Arteta made one wrong decision with returning player

Paul Merson reckons that Mikel Arteta should have kept Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench in Arsenal’s game against Brighton.

The club captain has missed their last few games, but they haven’t exactly missed him because this has been a poor campaign for him individually.

He has been their main goalscorer in the last few seasons, however, since he signed his current deal with them, things have been different.

The goals have been hard to come by and in his absence, Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1 in their last Premier League game.

But he returned from his injury and Arteta decided to start him in their game against Brighton.

The Gunners struggled for the cutting edge in the game and he didn’t score yet again. 

Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson says that Arteta should have left him on the bench to send a message that players who perform will always play.

“That would have been a massive statement tonight,” said Merson as quoted by HITC

“If I am the manager, and it doesn’t seem to be all going well there at Arsenal with results recently. What a statement, pick that team [that started v Chelsea], Aubameyang wasn’t ready, they win the game and you [Auba] are sub.

“All the players then start going ‘woah, I like this’. This is the problem. You start losing the players. Lacazette is thinking ‘wait there a minute, Aubameyang is getting another chance’. I know he is a good player but everyone has a dip in form.

“And it [would have been] a statement [to put Aubameyang on the bench] – but, at the moment, if I am a player and I am in the dressing room everyone will be going ‘Oh, this is a joke’. And that’s the way it goes. It doesn’t matter how good you are. It’s all on form. I just thought it’s a bad decision this.”

Tags Paul Merson Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

14 Comments

  1. Sue says:

    I must admit I was surprised Laca didn’t start against Brighton…. surely he will against the Baggies?

    1. Admin Pat says:

      Laca had a sore back, Arteta said ….

      1. Sue says:

        Well I’m guessing there’s the answer.. if it hadn’t been sore, then Auba would’ve been on the bench?!

        1. Kstix says:

          True Sue, hopefully Laca gets the nod ahead of Aubameyang in the next game and hopefully martinelli or ESR or Saka(praying he’s OK) are not sacrificed for anyone in that team including Auba. Because Arteta always says about Auba when asked if he could drop him that we can’t forget what he’s done in his previous seasons for this club and Arteta is right but as much as we laud him for carrying us in recent years, if he’s not better than someone else in the same position in the team, sentiments aside, he has to be dropped and currently lacazette is proving to be our Mr dependable, martinelli, saka and ESR playing behind is a much better outlook for us as a team but using Auba based on current form will upset that balance. I do however pray that Auba returns back to form soon, even if he’s not scoring, I’d like to see him work hard again like he used to do. I miss him tbh. But for now, Arteta has to drop him and maybe sub him in in games, sometimes one can get fresh perspectives on the game from the bench as Laca has proved. 👍

          1. Sue says:

            👍 It’s all about the form, Kstix, not the bass 😂 We’re desperate for goals (& points) and right now, Laca is the more likely of the 2 to score – 21 seconds, woah!! – it’s quite simple… he has to start!! Sod how they do in training! Focus on the players who have performed in our last 2 wins… and also, Kstix, remember our chat the other week when I said we won’t win a few on the bounce until at least 2022 🤣🤣🤣🤣🙈

  2. SueP says:

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing
    What if he’d scored or looked bright? His head really sank after the losses and Arteta just may have thought that the lift after the Chelsea win could give Auba that much needed boost. Oh well.

  3. siamois says:

    I was surprised that Auba started the game seeing that other injured players are slowly eased back,I believe it speaks volume about our reliance on Auba and important to the team MA thinks he is.

  4. Arsenal2win says:

    I believe Arteta is not wrong in trying 2 get Auba back 2 form by playing him, I just believe he should be used as a sub sometimes. My greatest worry is Arteta’s inability 2 come up with an adaptable tactical formation suitable & mastered by the players & sticking 2 it come rain or shine.

  5. Shortboygooner says:

    I would have started auba. I have a strong feeling lacca will be sold in this transfer window. I think auba is defo a better striker and needs the same time lacca was afforded to find his boots.

    Also 2 games scoring is still not enough from lacca for me personally. I will be interested to see which of our 4 strikers gets the chop this transfer window. We have too many and need to ditch at minimum 1. I think lacca is the most likley option. Cant see us selling auba. Nketia and our American striker are still young do has to be lacca.

    I still like the guy but just dont see him in our teams future

    1. Dan kit says:

      How is comment pathetic?
      I actually agree with most of what he’s written .
      As a striker Laca just isn’t good enough for me anyway .
      Every striker goes through rough patches , he will come good again I have no doubt

    2. Dan kit says:

      What happened to the reply ?

      1. Admin Pat says:

        No personal insults please

    3. jon fox says:

      Definitely do not agree ! It would be wrong to sell LACA now . PERHAPS, JUST PERHAPS, IN THE SUMMER, DEPENDENT ON FORM OF ALL INVOLVED.
      BUT I WILL GLADLY BET BIG MONEY IT WILL NOT BE IN THIS WINDOW.

      1. Davi says:

        Agree, maybe in the summer but we can’t afford to lose someone who’s playing well right now

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