Thursday, September 28, 2023

Aubameyang: I prefer to play up front

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he’s happy to do whatever job Unai Emery asks of him but has made it clear that his favoured position is up front.

The 29 year old has played out on the left for large portions of the season, but when given the nod up top against Bournemouth last weekend he showed his value as a penalty box poacher with the winning goal at the Vitality Stadium.

It will surely have given the Arsenal boss something to think this weekend ahead of the North London derby, and with Alexandre Lacazette coming back from a groin injury chances are he’ll be selected there on Sunday again.

As such, he’s hoping to follow in some famous Arsenal footsteps in a game against the old enemy.

“It’s good when you are coming to work and you have great examples, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp,” he said.

“It’s great to try to follow that. We try to follow in their footsteps. It’s not pressure, but you have to be good so you work for that.

“I prefer to play as a striker, but I’m a guy who wants to work for the team as well. If they need me on the wing, I will play on the wing, of course.

“But I prefer to play up front.”

Aubameyang is joint top goalscorer in the Premier League at the moment, level with Sergio Aguero and obviously it would be great if he could add to his tally of 8 on Sunday.

Earlier this week the former Borussia Dortmund man spoke about the possibility of donning a mask if he finds the back of the net against Sp*rs – we gave him a wide variety to choose from – and Arsenal fans won’t care what he wears as long as we take all three points to go above the vagrant wankladles in the Premier League table.

For more North London derby discussion, check out the new Arsecast Extra

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I think he’s actually been more effective from the left than upfront


Just throwing this out there.. Mesut in the middle, Iwobi on the left and Auba on the right?
Performing a kind of Ljungberg 2nd striker role, while Alex channels his inner Pires. I would love to see this and wonder why it hasn’t been tried yet.


I agree. Not sure why it’s a controversial opinion. His goals/minutes ratio is unheard of and that’s come almost entirely from the left. He seems best at running on to through balls from left midfield with space in front of him. With back to goal, or with bringing others into play in tight spaces (which is a more common situation for a striker in a possession team like Arsenal), he’s no where near the level of Lacazette. Lacazette is also great at leading the press, changing the whole dynamic of the team, whereas Aubemayang is neither a tackler no a… Read more »

Why not

Would argue that under emery we have been alot more direct and moving towards faster transitions.

Wouldnt mind aubu top and lacazette just behind and they can rotate as play moves up and down. auba rotate between centre and left with iwobi and leaving laca to lead top im defensive phases. Gives auba the space to run into and puts iwobi centre behind lacazette to turn and pick the pass. Having both laca central infront and auba smashing it in from left.


Yeah I agree we’re moving towards a more transition style, which I’m all for.

What you describe sounds good to me. I think that’s something the 5-2-2-2 could accommodate, with a pretty fluid front four (like Ozil in the Fulham game, when he was amazing). Maybe Emery hasn’t used it elsewhere because he’s concerned about it’s width. Can’t think what else.


He’s not good from the flank.
it’s a shame because he’s best at going forward, running for space and positioning in front of goal, things he can provide from there, however what we also need is a player who is more involved in play, can create chances and hold possession. And also support the full back defensively.
Not buying a winger in the summer was a major let down.


Hard to agree that he’s “not good from the flank” considering his goalscoring record. Maybe “less effective” would be more appropriate. I honestly don’t know that there is a better alternative to playing Aube on the left right now. Despite all his shortcomings in that position, his finishing ability makes it hard to keep him on the bench.

Faisal Narrage

I used to think this, but hearing Tim Stillman and Clive on the Arsenal Vision podcast made me reconsider. Why do we need a striker who is more involved in play? Why do they need to drop deep, hold possession and support the fullback defensively? I think they’re right, we’ve been so conditioned with Girouditis that we feel the only way a striker can play is as a centre forward. Auba doesn’t do any of the above, but you know what he does? Scores and scores loads when given half a chance. Maybe we just play to his strengths; have… Read more »


unlike our defece where we know there is many clear first choice players bar a few positins like left back and a centre back position most of our attacking positions are still up for grabs. right now i can only think of lacazzette as the only player that should start every game and maybe iwobi. laca fits to tee what emery wants from a centre forward. and iwobi as well. its just that iwobi lacks that bit of quality that makes him the undroppable in the team. all others players are speciasts in something and not very flexible. ozil is… Read more »

Big Dave

It’s Theo Walcott all over again!

Ry Lee

Here’s a news from South Korea about Steve Bould:
It says Bould submitted a CV for a head coach position of South Korea club, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC.
The club eventually decided to hire José Morais, Jose Mourinho’s assistant coach at Inter Milan.


Not sure why he hasn’t played from the right but he frequently was asked to play there at BVB. How about iwobi on the left, him on the right and frequently drifting inwards, ozil (drifting right) behind them with laca upfront?


Am I the only one who doesn’t really care that he’s deployed on the wing most of the time? In a 4-3-3 he’s more of a striker anyway and he doesn’t need to do too much defensive work anyway, apart from pressing because the midfield three will cover most spaces or we’ll take up a 4-4-2 shape without the ball. We need Laca up front because he is much more involved. The only issue is Özil not fitting in a 3-4-3 nor a 4-3-3 really. If only he was a bit better defensively, so we could play him as a… Read more »


Ozil can work just fine as part of the front three, sitting in just behind Auba and Lacazette, floating and playmaking.

But I’m guessing (total guess) we’re going in with a 4-2-3-1. Ozil in the hole. Auba, Iwobi, and Lacazette rounding out the attack. Xhaka and Torreira sitting in, and the back 4.

Is Laca back to 100%? Haven’t been tracking closely.


Well that’s the thing, we don’t play 4-3-3, most of the time it’s 4-2-3-1 where he’s mostly further away from goal and that really doesn’t suit him. Agree that Lacazette gets more involved with the build up play, and he’s also a better presser so you can see why Emery prefers him to Auba there.


Ozil can’t fit in 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formation but he can fit fit into 4-3-1-2 formation right…
.Bellerin Sokratis Holding Monreal
.Ramsey Torriera Xhaka
.Lacazette Aubameyang

Can Iwobi and Mkhitaryan play in midfield three in place of Ramsey, i don’t know. Guendouzi will definitely play in midfield but would like to use him as a substitute.


4-4-2! 4-4-2! 4-4-2! 4-4-2!


I’d say a diamond 442.
Auba and Laca up top with Ozil in the center behind them.
Supported by xhaka and iwobi (or anyone, but I chose him because he’s the best dribbler we’ve got and we need that skillset) in CM and Torr anchoring.

That way we can allow bellerin and Monreal (or kola) to bomb forward to provide width, as long as xhaka remains well positioned and tactically disciplined and switched on.

SB Still

Where will Ozil play in that formation?

Mesut O'Neill

Left back…..

……in the changing room


He’d be in the fight for the right midfielder position along with Ramsey and Mkhitaryan.


Effectively a 4-3-3 with him or Ramsey out there, but yeah.



High gooner

I hope Emery sees your comment BigArse

Pinstripe Stan

Hope you fans are enjoying Abamoyang! You can rest assured that with this quality in the team we won’t be adding any significant signings for the foreseeable future. Happy Holidays GunnarNation and be sure to give a warm welcome to Josh if you see him in the director’s box. He’s a capable young man who is passionate about the LA Rams, wait I mean Arsenal!


I see people come here to criticize our youngsters for not having the courage and confidence of mbappe on the ball forgetting that we have a Nelson who is likely to be better than mbappe…so many major clubs searching for their own Mbappe… the major question is this.. Do other major clubs have their own Smith Rowe??????………they should better Search for theirs… .cheers!!


I appreciate the enthusiasm but Reiss Nelson is “likely” better than Mbappe?
It takes 10 second to find the list of Mbappe’s accomplishments at age 19:
Nelson is 1 year (366 days to be exact) younger, but do you really expect him to win a World Cup, 2x Ballon D’Or top 10, FIFPro World XI first team etc etc within the next few years? If so, nuts


Better than Mbappe? What are you smoking mate.


Nelson better than Mbappe……righhhhtttt….


Kids this is what happens when you drink and comment


I don’t see why we can’t play two up front with Laca and Auba.

Billy Bob

Totally agree with you and I would go with a 1-4-4-1-1 formation: Leno (gk), bellarin (rb), sokratis and holding (cb), kola (lb), Xhaka & Terrier (cm), Iwobi (lw), Miki (rw), laca (s) and auba (s). I would be tempted to play one or two of the youngsters though with AMN replacing kola and ESR or Willock replacing miki

Billy Bob

Agreed – I would go with Leno, bellarin, sokratis, holding, AMN then in midfield Xhaka and the Terrier, with Iwobi left wing and Miki or Ozil on the right, thus making space for laca and auba as the strikers – the former linking up with midfield and playing a bit deeper


3 5 2….Harsh on Iwobi but gives him time to develop more. Not going to have Auba at his peak for much longer and how old is Laca

Thierry bergkamp

Joint top scorer in the league, hasn’t started a few games and played out of position. No complaints from me other than, he could be more clinical at times.

Reality check

Loll “Wankladies” funny but borderline sexit.


It’s wankladles. Not sexist, just Sp*rsy


With Auba Laca and Mesut we have 3 top class players who kind of like to play in the same central area. So be it. I’d rather be in that situation than having 3 shit players who stay in their lane. It would be an issue if they were defenders or defensive midfielders.


Simple 3-5-2….with auba and laca up front… Kolasinac, bellerin wing backs, torriera and Shaka holding… And depending on the game iwobi or ozil behind the strikers… Holding, Mustafi and the Greek beast at the back…


As he well should. But we need to calibrate our attack to suit him. I mentioned 3 at the back was as much a response to personnel available (Cbacks) as it was to cater for strengths and weaknesses (Kolasinac AND Auba). In the case of Auba, he likes to have the ball played to his feet going at it. Which means getting behind the defense and having the width becomes important. Particularly with an added weapon in Kolasinac as wingback to Bellerin on other flank, we afforded ourselves better ability to play to Auba’s strengths ghosting into the box. He… Read more »

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