The Aubameyang conundrum – Time for Arteta to be ruthless?

The Captain Conundrum: What to do with Aubameyang? by Goonerboy

Hello family!!! A lot has been going on regarding Ozil, it is overwhelming and emotional to be sincere, but I admire the way Arteta has remained solid on his stance, this is the ruthless streak we need to change the culture at this football club, I have a lot to say but I will resist the urge as this is not an Ozil article.

Speaking of being ruthless, would you agree if I said we need to apply the same to our captain right now? For the records, this is not hating on Aubameyang or anything of the sort but I can’t help but think that he does not merit a starting position right now.

The game these days is so unforgiving and completely result-driven that there is almost no room for any passenger in a team. I believe it is generally accepted, at least among our fanbase, that if Aubameyang is not scoring, he brings absolutely nothing to the table. It amazes me how a seasoned footballer is completely unreliable with the ball at his feet when not in a scoring position.

When he has the ball, I always worry about him giving the ball away so much that I sigh in relief whenever he successfully completes a 5-yard pass, although he perfectly makes up for it with his world class positioning, movement and finishing, and you can’t ask for more.

However, the goals have somewhat dried up and we are no longer seeing the hard work as shown towards the end of last season which for me is a big worry. We can slam Lacazette all we want, but I don’t think anyone can question his never-say-die attitude, consistent hard work, how he tactically makes us tick offensively even when he is not scoring, can we say the same for Aubameyang right now?

Don’t mind me for trying to do Arteta’s job, but seeing the difference Martinelli has made, in just his attitude alone, since his return, there is no way one can justify not playing him and that goes to Lacazette and Saka as well.

My question is, you are the manager, how would you line up in our next PL game? What do you do about our captain?

To answer in my own way, the front trio of Martinelli, Lacazette and Saka has to continue- it is easy for me to say that because I wouldn’t have to bear any consequences for airing my opinion!

But for the manager it is not so straightforward, for the simple fact that right now, our dressing room is in a very delicate state and Arteta has to be very careful in managing the situation. Benching your captain in favour of a youngster is not going to sit well at all, especially when you consider Auba’s influence is the dressing room and with what has happened with Ozil, it is indeed a tricky situation right now.

Martinelli has somehow brought a positive mentality back to the team as he, alongside Smith Rowe, has given us a glimmer of hope in what has been a frustrating season. Tactically, I enjoy the partnership between Tierney, Martinelli and ESR on that left side, it gives us a much needed balance and unpredictability.

Apart from the fact that Lacazette is integral to the way we want to play, he is officially the most in-form player right now in the league according to Whoscored and Squawka and do I need any justification for our star boy Saka?

There is no way Aubameyang deserves to start ahead of any of these players AT THE MOMENT, but how do you do that and still maintain peace and harmony in the team?

The easier choice would be to bench Martinelli, but I strongly hope we don’t do that, we need to unleash this beast of a player and no better time to do so than NOW!

What do you think?


READ MORE: Photo: Done deal – Arsenal officially confirm their first January signing and give a major hint over his initial status

Tags Arteta Aubameyang lacazette Martinelli


  1. I saw an improvement when he played on the left wing in West Bromwich, so Arteta had better play him there for a couple more matches before dropping him. Arteta must also think about the effect on the dressing room, because Aubameyang is the incumbent captain

    1. Captain or not he should be dropped,we are playing g with 10 men every time static most of the time

  2. I would say play one in the FA cup and one in the prem. They can always be subbed for each other if they are not performing.

  3. Although his goals have been crucial for arsenal , I have always felt that Aubameyang has been shoehorned into the Arsenal team, I have always had the impression Rose tinted arsenal fans have seen him as the second coming of Thierry Henry, his goal ratio may of suggested this however his footballing ability certainly doesn’t.

    For me auba is a poacher I think his best position is the defenders shoulder number 9 , not the left wing, problem is now for whatever reason his goals are drying up its come under question what he can offer the team, as in recent games and certainly before his injury Martinelli looks such a better option on the left wing!

    With Martinelli and Saka slotting into the wing positions qnd lacazette looking a lot more comfortable with this energy around him , Aubameyqng has to prove himself from off the bench, he needs to come on qnd be a match winner , again something he has proved in the europa league this season, certainly not the end of him, however why disrupt lacazette martinelli and saka with smith-Rowe playing as the 10, on a side note ide love to see Auba start as number 9 against Newcastle this Saturday.

    1. Even as no 9, he is limited to ground through balls only as he can not compete with EPL giant defenders. He is also not good at holding the ball
      to invite fellow attackers to arrive.

  4. Start him in the FA cup game, and send him back to the bench for the Crystal Palace game if he doesn’t performs tomorrow.
    No disrespect to PEA but he hasn’t done anything good this season at all, and we’re already halfway into it.
    He should earn his spot. He had half the season to pick up form but he didn’t. Right now the performance of the team is more important than satisfying one player.
    I’m sure even he’ll be happy if he doesn’t pick form and he sits for the kids and eventually we make top four.
    There’ll be no complaining

  5. Not sure how relevant this is to the conversation but it doesn’t get mentioned much that historically Auba’s game was based on pace – he used to be unbelievably quick before he joined Arsenal, and as he gets older he is getting slower, and that has meant he’s had to adapt his game to maintain a high level. Despite his incredible goalscoring at Arsenal, he’s never been able to sprint away quite so comfortably as he used to at Dortmund and it’s impressive he was able to score so many goals for us given that apparent change.
    I don’t believe this is the major reason for his loss of form this season but age affects everyone so maybe? Just throwing it out there.

  6. I think in my opinion, the problem of this team is not really in the front. Thank God we now have the young blood who are increasing the pace of the passes. The real problems are with the likes of uncle Xhaka and Elneny who are too slow and lack creativity to move the ball forward very quickly. My two sons will ask me why are they passing the ball back and sideway all the time. Since the game of Auba depends on pace, Leno will spend 2 fo 3 minutes before he releases the to a defender very close to him all in the name of playing from back. Thank God Partey is back, the combination of Partey and Smith Row will help our attackers pick their form trust me.

    1. Correct Ola,

      Leno and the three slow midfielders not to mention slow defenders in Holding made Arsenal loose previous games. You can see the difference with the majority of the team fast.
      Auba could still do well if we had a fast team.

      There was a day we were loosing a game by one nil and I saw Leno keep the ball for too long as if we were the ones in the lead.
      Do coaches see these things or is just us fans?

  7. We also need to add another creative player to the squad. We cant rely completely on Smith Rowe to play the number 10 role week in week out. We need creativity and goals from midfield. We should buy one of Isco and Nabil Fekir. Or move Pepe to the number 10 role. You cant spend 72m on a player and not get the best out of him. He can rotate with Smith Rowe. He only has to adapt his game. To know when to pass and when to dribble. Arteta has to demand more from Pepe.
    As for Aubameyang, he is getting older. He can come off the bench a times. What matters now is getting 3 points every week.

  8. I think the question being asked is does PEA play or not. As FA Cup next then yes, play to his strength, on the shoulder of the last defender, no need to do much defending, stay forward, tell midfield to hit balls early – that’s how we beat Chelsea in the final, his pace. Similar to how Leicester use Vardy, when they won the league Drinkwater hit balls over the defenders and Vardy knew that, got there, happy days. Get the ball in the box and if he’s not there then leave him out.. over simplistic I know but, hey, we’re paying 2 guys £600k/week and neither is playing currently..
    Play to players strengths; actually same with Willian though not quite sure what his strengths are these days; so make it £800k/week for 3 players not playing..

  9. For me all that matters is to watch entertaining football and of course to get three points.I really don’t care who starts as long as these two objectives are being met.

  10. The very first thing I would recommend is to take the catincy away and giveit , thie week to Tierney. That alonw would make it abundantly clear to Auba that no passengree wil ever be carried under this manager. I would pick Auba this wek in th cup and tell him that is his last chance to start working like ALL player are expected to do. If he doe s so then fine, keep him in theteam If not then he is no use and I would try to sell him on as best we can can even in this depressed market. Bottom line is no lazy players are ever worth keeing in the team.

    1. jon, I’m with you on relieving Aubameyang of the captaincy. The weight of it may be affecting his game, because he has never demonstrated any leadership or other traits, normally associated with captaincy. His form may improve if he is given the freedom to play his own game.

  11. I feel you have underrated Aubameyang’s link play on the wings and his weak foot crosses feom the left a little too much. Yeah he has had a bad start-stop beginning to the season, but recently he has worked more for the team. He has come back to defend and has played reasonably well bar the finishing. The injury just afyer his goal stopped hia momentum too, and then maybe his confidence has been affected. He is gradually coming back to scoring form. He should play in the cup, but I think MA would give time to Mart on the left. Whatever happens I think at the moment he needs some relatively easy games with the new look side to improve his performances and if we want the Marti-Laca-Saka trio for the prem, Auba needs to start in the cup.

  12. I’d bench him. Looks like he needs to get his head straight. Mentally fatigued. Defo not captain material either. He proved that with his attitude towards the end of the West brom game. We need someone to step up and take the arm band!

  13. I suggest that Aruba and martinelli should always be subbed for each other. In the next PL match, Auba should come as a subsitute for Gabi.

  14. Relieving Auba of the captaincy at this time would cause the dressing to explode. Trust me on this one. This is not the time to pressure our manager making into making suicidal decisions. I agree Tierney is captain material, but he is for the future. There are more pressing matters still to be addressed. The captaincy is not one of them.

  15. Why do some of you keep yawning bouh PEA age issue. How old is vardy, and why does he still sprint so well scoring, putting smiles on his fans faces and not to mention he’s British. I think Auba is suffering from African chieftaincy no offence. Aguero, Suarez, Lewandowski etc still balls like Oh this is NICE.
    Age isn’t affecting PEA on any case to me. His just lost it, like all other Africans who had enormous deal do.

  16. Auba is and was always a flop. His new contract was a terrible mistake. Arteta is an arrogant chabionship level manager. Kroenke must bring the Southampton’s manager who is better than Pepe and Clopp combened.

  17. “He’s one of the best players for the counter-attack that you can find on this planet because of the timing of the runs and the really outstanding finishing record in situations like that,” Klopp would later muse.

    “When we scouted him at Saint-Etienne he played more from the wing and he played more for me at Dortmund on the wing as well because for us it was not clear how he could keep the ball up front with his back to the opponent, stuff like that.
    “But then he ended up doing that really well as well. He can play both positions, from the wing or as a single striker or together with another striker.”

    The fact is Auba has done incredibly well at Arsenal considering our slow build-up and sideways passing borefest, especially this season when Arteta figured that we needed to be a defend first team if we were going to get results…I’m assuming that was based on our victories against some top teams, who clearly weren’t at their best, at the end of last season…not really his fault, in a sense, because when he first arrived everyone knew we were a shambles from a defensive perspective…ultimately that led to some seriously negative football, to the point where guys stopped even looking to counter quickly…we’ve become so used to attacking players at the club, especially since Ozl’s big deal, that we don’t look at the situational factors…this guy is a world-class forward that requires service, like most goalscorers, which has clearly been a problem at the club this season, thus the search for a creative midfielder…let’s focus our attacks on the myriad of average to below average players on our current roster who have little to no potential moving forward, instead of creating an environment where top notch players might want to avoid like the plague…just a thought

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