Friday, March 1, 2024

“He put his head down” – Arteta hails Aubameyang’s work rate

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the performance of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the striker led Arsenal to an impressive 3-1 win over Sp*rs at the Emirates.

The Gabon international was unrelenting in his defensive work and capped a fine afternoon with a goal and a reworking of Thierry Henry’s iconic knee slide celebration in front of the visiting fans.

Having endured a tough 12 months, the captain appears to have found his mojo again and now has five goals to his name this season.

“I’m really happy with the performance today and the performance against Burnley and with what Auba is doing,” said Arteta.

“He was getting criticised and we were asking him to do more. He stood by it and put his head down and he is working tremendously hard for the team, and now I can tell you that he is really giving.”

On the performance as a whole, he added: “It’s a good example of the senior players showing big leadership and standing up for the team and the like of Auba scoring the goal and then two academy players.

“They’ve been raised and developed within our system. They’ve come here in a big derby and worked for the team and scored two goals.”

After the game Emile Smith Rowe, who opened the scoring, took to social media to say it was the ‘best day of my life’. Raised in the club’s academy, the 21-year-old tucked home Bukayo Saka’s cross on 12 minutes. Saka, another Hale End graduate, later added the club’s third as both ended the game with assists.

Reflecting on the work of his youngsters, Arteta said: “They are able to trust me to get that feeling because they’ve been raised and educated really experiencing those feelings and being in the stadium as a supporter of the club.

“A lot of people that we have in our organisation have a real sense of what a derby means and I think they will be proud of what they’ve seen.”

Two weeks ago, Arsenal were bottom and Sp*rs topped the table. Today’s victory saw the Gunners climb above Nuno Espirito Santo’s faltering side. It’s been quite a turnaround.

“That is the beauty of this game and the danger of this game as well that things change so quickly at both ends and you always have to be alert and try to seek improvement and do better, which I believe we can still do,” said Arteta.

He also touched on what he’s been saying behind the scenes to keep spirits high during the tough opening month.

“What we did is try to explain to them what happened in the first three games, we missed nine, 10, 11 players that we could not select, they were out and the ones that were in had issues as well because they had Covid, they had injuries and we played the best two teams in the world, which you can see yesterday when they played each other.

“So we had to accept that we were bottom of the table, that was best to accept the reality, and go back to certain things we have to do better, believe in what we do, stick together and we were lucky because we had our people with us in a difficult moment, which in football is very rare to find. Then things started to get better.”

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Maul Person

Aside from all the other conversations surrounding the club, the manager, the leadership… what a day! North London is red, not just in the result but in the fact that we leapfrogged the Sp*ds too. And Kane had a shit game!! COYG!


Absolutely! I loved every second of it (except their goal). I’m in utopia right now. Everything is in perfect harmony. Tomi is a gem and so is Ramsdale. Beautiful, just beautiful!

Maul Person

I confess I was sceptical about Ramsdale at that price and knew nothing about Tomayisu. But my goodness! They, and the rest of the team, brought it! Here’s hoping they keep this momentum going.


Auba does seem to understand the magnitude of this game. He shows up every time. But my word, what a signing Tomiyasu could turn out to be! Someone compared him to Monreal when we first signed him. And after these first 3 games, I say I see the likeness. He is not flashy or anything, but he is very solid and hard like a rock! I think if he settles alongside that back 5 he will be even better. His performance was made all the more sweet knowing that Sp*rs turned down the chance to sign him for Emarson Royal,… Read more »


A very good comparison. Hope his career will be at least as positive as Monreal’s one. Loved Nacho, bought his shirt in 2018 to pay respect to the Man


If I was comparing him to anyone from arsenal past, it would be much more Sagna than Monreal. (and not just because he is on the right rather than left, in style of play too)


For the record I loved both Sagna & Monreal but totally different styles of playing full back..and Tomiyasu much more like Sagna for me


Or perhaps he doesn’t need to be compared to either. He’s a unique player.

FAulkner Gio

Monreal was so much more than Sagna , eventough I loved teh guy.
Tomi’s body language ressembles Nacho’s so much.


nacho was one of those senior pros i was surprised we didn’t keep around as his career wound down. he would have been a nice option for us over past couple of seasons. losing him and santi around same time left us much weaker i think – very hard to replace that experience and attitude.

Giuseppe Hovno

“He shows up every time”…. unless he’s late 😂

Hank Scorpio

Auba is class. His record speaks for itself. He’ll thrive if we can consistently attack with a degree of cohesion. Gotta laugh at people sayng he couldn’t play centrally last season. After a disrupted season with illness, he looks up for it this season. Of the signings Tomiyasu has arguably been the pick of the bunch thus far.


The key with auba is finding the balance around him. He needs two technical attackers to support his lack of build up play and allow him to play more direct (and Saka provides the best of both technical and cam be very direct). Auba and pepe are a tough combo to make work.

A Different George

Apart from injury and illness in his family, Aubameyang had malaria last year. It’s quite likely that he felt the effects of that both before the official diagnosis and after he returned. Once I heard about the malaria, a lot of his listlessness, his lack of focus, made more sense.

Johnny 4 Hats

I saw Odegaard, Auba and even Xhaka just running eyeballs out to put defenders under pressure today. That’s amazing to see. Sometimes you wonder if the players are committed to this project. Days like today make you realise that there is a really strong bond between these players and their manager.


Not going to disagree this week. The high press was as good as its been in a long time. Just finished watching (delayed as usual). What a preformance. High Tempo, strong technical play from the 3 behind auba, Partey was an absolute beast. Close to MOTM (Saka, ESR, auba, ode, tomi, all contenders). Couple key things. We forced a lot more down the right and even by passed xhaka a lot and that made a Huge difference in our Tempo with xhaka. Credit him he put in a shift. Ramsdale goal kicks are difference makers – such speed and placement.… Read more »


Xhaka had a role in all three goals today. He kept the tempo well for all.


Yeah he turned players twice. Might be a career high. He has a strong game. Still feel we’ll be better with the inevitable change to lokonga. But xhaka had a solid game (bit loose and bit crazed as ever), but he put in a shift.


That may be one of the best things about yesterday’s performance, it didn’t feel like we’ve peaked.

Half the players will get better as they reach their prime

They will continue to gel and the automatisms will keep getting stronger

We actually have a bench that can influence games

Wrighty's hats

First time in ages that I’ve looked at the options on the bench and thought that we would have a strong contingency plan if things didn’t go our way straight away. I imagine if things hadn’t gone so well in the first half, we could have brought on a Sambi, Pepe and Laca combo to run at them to great effect. In a way it’s a sign of how well we controlled the game that attacking reinforcements weren’t needed! On a side note, I was trying to predict the subs and couldn’t decide whether Partey should come off to limit… Read more »


Yeah, It’s crazy that the deepest we’ve been in years is the time we have the least competitions to play in. But it is definitely about balance too. And IMO the best balance we have is with the double pivot (Partey plus another strong midfielder – Lokonga is obviously my preference for versatility, mobility, age profile, and maturity) and Ode #10 and ESR and Saka on the wings. Thus, we’re left with the choice of Pepe or Auba up top. It’s rough on Pepe right now, but team balance is more important than pigeon-holing favourites in if the fit isn’t… Read more »


Damn, Tomi, how happy am I that we chose him over Emerson, what a character, what a dedication, and also very good at football!

Santi’s Better Foot

How many headers did Auba win from the goal kick today?? One wonders if it’sa consequence of the technique of the kicker.

Great day all round. COYG!!!

Wrighty's hats

Agreed!! He’s not usually one to win his headers! He had a great game.

A Different George

I think the technique does play a role, though I’m not sure. He’ll win a lot fewer balls lofted high for him and the opposing centre half to both get under; then it’s a fifty-fifty based on strength and jumping ability–and even if he wins the ball, it’s unlikely he’ll have full control. But if it’s a relatively hard, low kick that he and the defender have to be moving to reach, then his understanding of positioning and his quickness give him a much better chance to win it and keep control.


I agree, but it’s completely down to the technique of the kicker. Ramsdale drives the ball, flatter, more over spin and he delivers it into space where he wants the striker to be. Auba is excellent in those situations (as has been Pepe) because they aren’t under heavy pressure from the defender, both can get up high, and both are fast. They are winning flick ons and even heading down to mids. Leno goes under the ball, sends it higher, with a lot more backspin. The ball hangs in the air and the defenders can get set. Auba get’s dominated… Read more »

The Arsenal

Arteta deserves alot of credit today. Brave decision to start Xhaxa. But he was also really good today. Auba loves playing the spuds.


So pleased for ESR. Just imagine growing up in the academy and then doing what he did today in a NLD at the Emirates in front of 60,000 screaming fans. I wouldn’t have been able to control my emotions.

Wrighty's hats

I was thinking it must have been like folklore to them – hearing from senior players, those who came before them, about what it was like to play in the NLD. There wouldn’t be many academy graduates who’ve gotten to play in one at home (let alone score and assist in one!). So pleased for ESR, Saka and AMN!


The handbrake was taken off – and normal service was resumed.

Long may it continue.


I have been like a pig in shit since yesterday at about 4:42pm. UTA!

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