Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits his scoring problems have weighed heavy on his mind this season but as club captain he’s done his best to bring positivity to the Arsenal dressing room.
The striker has been integral to the Gunners since signing from Borussia Dortmund two years ago but has struggled in front of goal since committing his long-term future to the club in September.
So far this campaign, the 31-year-old has netted just six times in 18 appearances – a situation that has been exacerbated by underperforming teammates – and it’s taken a visible toll on his body language.
It’s not been easy, but Auba has backed himself to get back on track and insists he’s as committed as ever to setting an example to the rest of the team.
“It’s really hard to manage both [being captain and out of form] but you have to be as positive as you can because the team needs you,” Aubameyang told Sky Sports ahead of Thursday’s game with Crystal Palace.
“I always try to give my best, not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room for the guys.
“Sometimes it’s hard and maybe you are not in the right mood but you have to find a way to change it and give positive vibes for the guys.”
Reflecting on his performances in the first half of the season, he added:
“We gave a lot at the end of the season to win the FA Cup and to qualify for the Europa League because it was really important for the club.
“From the beginning of this season I was struggling a lot but I think this is part of football.
“Sometimes you have ups and downs and you have to manage it as [best] you can. I tried my best and until now it was not the best performance from me.
“I’m still positive. I think I can turn this around.”
After a couple of missed chances, Aubameyang did get on the scoresheet right at the end of Arsenal’s 2-0 extra-time win over Newcastle United on Saturday night. Here’s hoping he can pick up where he left off when Palace visit.