Saturday, March 25, 2023

Arteta on Auba’s decline and the support of returning fans

Mikel Arteta says it’s hard to tell whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was out of sorts last season due to the various difficulties he faced off the pitch or whether his captain’s career is starting to tail off.

The 31-year-old striker was irrepressible in and around the box in his first two and a half seasons at the Emirates but really struggled during the last campaign finishing with fewer goals than teammates Alex Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe.

Covid-19, injuries, family issues, a bout of malaria and disciplinary problems certainly didn’t help the striker’s cause leading to hope that he might be able to bounce back having had a decent summer break.

Ahead of the Gunners opening game of the season, Arteta said: “Since he came back he looked in the right mindset and he’s trying to put last season, which was difficult for everybody and not just for him, for many different reasons, and go back to the level that he can achieve. Because he knows and we know that with his level, this team can achieve much better thing.

Asked if his star striker’s form, which was ropey in pre-season, was a blip or terminal, he added: “I don’t know. Last season and everything that happened individually, collectively around the club too everybody it was difficult to measure whether it was a trend or a one-off.

“Our job is to help the players give the best that they have. We know that with him [Auba], we are stronger. He scores goals and that’s one of the most important things in this game.”

Perhaps the absence of supporters played a part; Rob Holding recently admitted to the Guardian that playing last season in front of empty terraces was a real slog. The boss is obviously very excited that this year will be different and he’s confident it’ll make a difference at the Emirates.

“I’m very optimistic with the fans,” he said. “I watched how they reacted to the team when we played Chelsea in the friendly [at the Emirates], I was very impressed by that. And not only me, all the players and the staff. We had twenty or twenty-five thousand and they were right behind the team. I don’t expect anything different.

“We have tried to explain everything that we could, tried to get them on board, get them to believe in the team and the team has to give enough arguments to the fans to support us.

“Hopefully, we’re able to do that because with them we’re going to be much stronger. We don’t have the capacity in other areas to compete with other teams certainly. But on this we have a big advantage, it’s the history of our club and the fans that we have. I’m sorry but with that one we cannot miss that one. It’s too big a piece of the cake, it’s that relevant.”

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Hank Scorpio

Just don’t play him out wide anymore please. With some decent service hopefully he can score 15-20 goals

El Mintero

When he was at his best and the Auba-laca partnership was flying he was never played down the middle, leading the line. He played just off Laca drifting in from the left. That’s where he’s most dangerous. He’s not a “center forward”.


A few years ago maybe, but doing all the running on the wing makes him look lethargic in the box. Also that robs us of a player that is more effective out wide.


The decent service is surely not coming from the kind of football we are currently playing.

Teta's cult of personality

I think the responsibility for Auba’s decline is about two-thirds due Arteta’s tactics and one-third due to Pierre himself. Our chance creation statistics are just above Newcastle’s (yes seriously) and our style of build-up doesn’t really suit any of our strikers. In the table for Big Chances created, we are 12th whilst Newcastle are 13th. Meanwhile, Auba’s shot conversion rate has dropped considerably from 23.7% (19/20) to 17.5% (20/21). He was ranked 46th for shot conversion last season. Regardless of the number of shots he’s able to get, that’s quite a poor return. For the output of our strikers to… Read more »

Virginia Gooner

In the past it didn’t matter if he played out wide, he still scored. I don’t think that’s the problem. Last season it looked like he’s lost some of that pace he had in abundance. I saw CBs out pace him last season that shouldn’t have been able to get anywhere near him, and that was early in the season so his illness wasn’t an excuse. If he’s begun to lose his pace, then I think he’ll be pretty bad again this season. He’s relied on that pace his whole career to create space and get shots off. He’s a… Read more »


Aubameyang is no more a centre forward than Theo Walcott. It’s never been his natural position, despite that idea emerging fairly suddenly around October 2020, after his form went off a cliff. He was tried there several times last season and it always went badly. Perhaps in a system like Leicester’s, breaking from the middle with space to run into, Aubameyang would work in the role Vardy has played. But Arsenal don’t play counterattacking football. Whether playing well or badly, under Wenger or Emery or Arteta, we move the ball out slowly with the entire opposition behind it. Aubameyang doesn’t… Read more »


Most people don’t like hearing the truth. Auba isn’t scoring from nothing anymore and we aren’t creating as much anymore. He’s always been known to miss big chances, but he compensated with scoring worldies for fun before. That isn’t happening anymore and we all know his build-up/link-up ability is poor to shit. He needs to be dropped for this team to thrive. Goals can come from everywhere. Pepe on the right, Saka on the left, ESR through the middle, all behind Laca who can bring them all into play. Auba will stifle the build up, whilst not bringing anything else… Read more »

Teta's cult of personality

Well I don’t think it’s fair to say that Auba is “no more a center forward than Walcott” and not his natural position. It IS fair, however, to say that Auba is not a natural target man. Auba has 297 apps,184 goals and 57 Assists as a CF. Walcott has 31 apps, 14 goals and 8 assists as a CF. Playing in the middle is where Auba has been the most effective throughout his career. He only played RW/LW so his managers could accommodate Lewandowski, Ramos and Lacazette in the lineup. I watched some of his games at Dortmund and… Read more »


In the year he won the golden boot, he missed 23 big chances. Salah missed 16; Mane, 15. Those were the players he shared the accolade with. If either of them were at Arsenal, they would have undisputedly won the golden boot that year.

No. Auba has always missed big chances, unlike the average striker.


Are you sure those 297 appearances were at centre forward? I’ve not previously seen any data broken down that way. Certainly at Arsenal he’s played the vast majority from the left, and at Dortmund largely from the left too, as you say. Dortmund in any case play very different style that would work better with his attributes at CF. He is similar in style to Walcott, and the few times he’s played CF for us it’s gone about as well as it did for Theo. That’s of course not to say they’re the same level of player. Auba was a… Read more »

Naked Cygan

If we keep going wide all the time on every attack I have a feeling other teams will catch on. And also we keep crossing the ball with very,very, very, poor deliveries with just one or max two people in the box who are not known for scoring headers. We have to stop wasting our time with these hours useless tactics and mix it up some times and attack on the ground from the middle/sides of the box. With the right foot of Auba cutting from the left and the left foot of Pepe cutting from the right we should… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

Will catch on?


I feel a large part of it is having a serious chronic disease. The mental and physical effects cannot be understated.

Teta's cult of personality

No doubt. Malaria is a demon in itself. Probably one of the most physically and mentally draining diseases there is. He also wasn’t really in the right state of mind before the illness.

Hopefully there are greener pastures for our goal tally this coming season.

Mayor McCheese

I feel a large part of it is having a serious chronic disease.


This is one of my favorite sentences of all time.


Auba hat-trick vs the Bees, please!


Who plays the guy out wide….?

Hello? Anyone home? 🤣


What a strange comment from Arteta. You’d expect the manager to come out with a strong statement of being confident in the striker’s ability to bounce back, etc. etc. It seemed to me like barely a luke warm endorsement of Auba and nothing more. Odd.


All’s not well with Auba and Arteta as was clear all through last season


Good. I like the honesty.

Auba was shit last season. There are mitigating factors for that.

He cannot afford to be shit again this season.

As much as I loved Wenger, the great man that he was meant he was never critical of the players. I can’t see how that got the best out of every player.

Let’s see if Auba can respond. He is the captain after all.


Backing Auba to score tonight


This arsenal team will still struggle except Arteta helps Arsenal get atleast 2 lethal offensive threats.


Perhaps lesser expectations for this season can release a bit of jizz


Poundland Pep just announce ur resignation. Fans back at the stadium will no longer buy this trust the process nonsense


I back him.


I’m so sorry, but I’ve got zero confidence in this man.
I don’t think he is the right guy for the task.
Wish we had sacked him in May…


It was not Auba’s mistake or at least it was determined by our lack of creativity, created by the manager.


Auba’s form fell off a cliff straight after he signed that bloody contract and now he’s another very expensive albatross on the wage bill. It’s got nothing to do with playing on the left, he’s always scored from there, and he’s always been useless playing through the middle. I’m tired of seeing that stupid grin in all the media pictures and comparing it to the cowardly pussy footing around in the games. If he still has genuine problems then someone should say so, his disciplinary issues would indicate that he’s playing up like he did at Dortmund. At least Laca… Read more »

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x