The sight of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench at the start of last night’s 2-0 win over Newcastle raised some eyebrows, but afterwards Unai Emery revealed the striker had been ill in midweek, thus his secondary role from the start.
The striker came on after 60 minutes though, and for a player who had been under the weather, produced plenty in that final half an hour, not least the assist for Alexandre Lacazette’s 83rd minute goal which sealed the three points for the Gunners.
Emery provided the update post-game, and gave some insight into the substitution of Aaron Ramsey midway through the second period which sparked fears of another injury for the Welshman.
“Aubameyang has had a temperature for two days and was doubtful to play today,” said Emery.
“But also, he is coming for us to start on the bench and after he was good and he felt good in his 30 minutes.”
As for Ramsey, Emery continued, “It’s only cramp. I don’t think it’s more and I hope he will be ready for Sunday at Everton.
“We started Friday with not good news with Xhaka, because he has a small injury and he could not play today.
“Koscielny was coming with us in the group, but with some pain, and he said to us he is not ready to play the match.
“But then, we had a good response from other players because we have players with good work who decided to play for us.
“I think we are going to play a lot of matches. Next Sunday and Napoli are two very hard matches and we need some players to give them some chances, some different minutes with some different systems and some different tactical ideas in each match.
“We will need everybody.”