Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Arteta: Aubameyang still has the goalscoring capacity

Mikel Arteta insists that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t lost his goalscoring touch, despite concerns over the striker’s lack of end product in recent games.

The Arsenal captain last found the net on October 22nd, in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa, but since then has drawn a blank.

He has had chances, notably a missed penalty against Watford and the glaring miss in the 2-0 win over Newcastle last weekend, and the manager has faith in the 32 year old to delivery, and remains pleased with other aspects of his game.

“To put the ball in the net or not can be a difference of millimetres or by a second,” said Arteta.

“Auba has that capacity and hasn’t lost that capacity,” he said.

“What he cannot lose is the rest of his game. He cannot think, ‘I’m going to do a little bit less of that now to score more goals.’

“It doesn’t work like that. It works the opposite way round because he had four opportunities to put the ball in the net.”

A couple of weeks ago, Arteta spoke glowingly about the way Aubameyang had improved aspects of his all-round game, saying, “Do you see the way he runs, the purpose he has to press the ball, and when he takes it his movement, his link, how is leading the game – that is when he is changing the rest, not when he is static and then he puts the ball in the net.

“I prefer this Auba.”

And it’s something he expects to continue for the good of the team, especially in big games like a trip to Old Trafford.

“That’s non-negotiable,” he said.

“Our front players have to put people on the ball under pressure every single time. That moment changes the momentum of the game a little bit because a few minutes later we scored the goal, again in another high press situation.

“That’s what I demand.”

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GreatYomi

I will always support the team in good and the bad time

Johnny 4 Hats

🚨 Unpopular opinion warning 🚨

As regards Auba, this guy spent his peak years at our club when he really should’ve been playing for Barca or Real. He did us proud in teams that really didn’t do him proud.

He deserves our love and our loyalty. Because for years now, he’s been too good for us.

The Beast

Wouldn’t have thought that would be too unpopular of an opinion but I back that 100%.

Futsboller

Completely.

A Different George

Well, unfortunately we have a history of that in recent years. We would never have continued in the top four without Van Persie (talk about an opinion likely to be unpopular!) and later, Alexis Sanchez.

Frog in the room

He has my love but he was always my second choice striker. He should be benched. People remember the goals of FA cup but not the misses VS Olympiacos. He always been technically poor but a deadly finisher with insane speed . Je lost both, Goodbye meyang.

Gabigol

Essentially in the years that most managers tell strikers to stay within the width of the penalty area, we have one of the fastest strikers in the premier league covering left back at 32 yo.

You have to say he is committed, but another 6 months of this and I can’t bear to watch him being ground down

Man Manny

It’s one thing to have capacity; living up to that capacity is a different ball game entirely.
Auba remains our best goal scorer, even though I wish Pepe was also given a fair chance through the middle (Arteta might be missing something there).
But overall, we need an overhaul of the striker department if we are to sustain a top 4 push. A signing in January is the first step in that regard.

Goonerink

If our press was as effective as liverpool, I’d be inclined to agree with Mikel. But as it stands a pressing auba is not as effective as a poaching counter attacking auba.
Not that I have the answer but still.

gooner

Liverpool press is too aggressive. They come at you and try to win the ball while our press is uncoordinated with one player running at them at a time making it easy to beat. Worst of all we run close to them and stand near them not trying to nick the ball

Daveo

The Liverpool press is perfection. It is absolutely not happening all the time, but when they get the ball into places they want it to be they press as a team. Their favourite thing is to hold solid position off a goal kick, and force the ball into the defensive corner, when there they press the fullback hard and all mark the CMs really tight so passes back into the centre are really dangerous and the type they love to cause turnovers on the most. The alternative for the fullback is to play a pass down the line, which is… Read more »

Goonerink

I would say that auba is one of our most active pressing players, he’s just not that good at it and his pressing partners don’t press as quick as he does, this leaves their positional opponents time to coordinate passes out. When we beat Liverpool last season we forced 2 mistakes from their back 5 and that was because we pressed potentially even better than they do. But that was for 20 minutes, half a year ago in one game, and we haven’t seen it since. Auba tries and looks to follow Mikels instructions, I just think the front 4… Read more »

Daveo

I agree he has been working hard, but it’s more just work than being effective – chasing without challenging. Fans love the running, but if we’re just running then we are tiring out our team (and Auba) with an ineffective press. I brought up EXACTLY this point about how we beat Liverpool with the press and then our press has just died again individuals running around or players moving in rather poor attempts to direct when the ball goes. Dropping off into defensive spaces is generally what we do most off, that works for completely switching to a counter attacking… Read more »

A Different George

I think this is revisionism as regards our pressure “forcing 2 mistakes” from Liverpool’s back 5. Both of those mistakes–from Van Dijk, perhaps the best player in the world at that time and from Alison, a brilliant ball-playing keeper–were ludicrous self-destruction, not created by our pressure, worse than I ever saw from Mustafi. It was two seasons ago, I think, and it might have had something to do with the fact they had just won the league.

The Beast

That’s a pretty high standard.
I’ll probably be immediately corrected but I can’t think of another side in Europe that presses as effectively as L’pool

Gunnerer

I have to agree with Arteta here. His tactics have created more goal scorers than our previously absurd dependence on Laca and Auba. Here’s hoping Auba too starts hitting the back of the net with regular consistency. It might be the difference that makes a top 4 finish possible. COYG

Vonnie

Auba’s been a bit lackadaisical for a while now. Hopefully a tough game at the theatre of bad dreams and rodents will focus his mind, he needs to step up. We can win this one.

DPK

I don’t agree. I think Auba is probably working harder this season than he has in his Arsenal career to date. He’s not playing well I would agree but lackadaisical? Not for me.

Daveo

That I agree with. The effort is very much there, my issue (aside from the obvious long-term goal-scoring form drop) relates to his lack of contribution in creating for others. Our current formation is crying out for some forward line contributions in build-up, edge of the box stuff.

allezkev

If there ever was a day to end his present goal drought then it’s today, maybe from the penalty spot again.

I see that Riley has awarded us the enormous pleasure of Atkinson as our referee, a stitch up, surely not?

onenil

Hope he scores but please not Auba as a penalty taker!

Morrisey fan #1

Seriously! Even when he scores they aren’t the best penalties.

Futsboller

Yeah, I have that feeling that today and against Everton, the ref is going to be a pure home crowd pleaser.

ArseCLE

May be unpopular, but Auba is still our best player. He just needs to start playing like it.

gooner

He’s our most high profile player but there a players that have been playing better in their positions close to consistently for a while now while he has done well but well below his best for a while

Morrisey fan #1

It’s not just unpopular, it is untrue. Without him we will still get points. Without Saka, or ESR I think we will struggle going forward. His goals and goal contributions are abysmal.

Jackie

I say, try Pepe there. He’s quick, strong, can dribble, shoot and link better with his teammates in the build-up. It’s as if Auba doesn’t like playing with the ball. For a striker in a 4-4-1-1, where his hold up is crucial to involving his teammates in the offensive play, he has been poor.

Or maybe he has always been this player. Never one to combine. He’s always ran behind. Get Pepe in there. Get him as close to the goal as possible where teams can’t afford to double up on him. He has all the attributes to cause havoc.

Anthony

I don’t think Auba is our best player. I don’t even think he is our best finisher anymore.

He’s the highest profile because of his salary, age, experience and holding the captaincy.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

20 teams in the league, and only the top 4 have a +goal difference.
Is the league full of bad defenders, or poor attacking players

Daveo

We have 15 goals in 13 games. While conceding only 17 in 13 (and 9 of those in two games). It’s very clear where our problems stem… And yet everytime I mention the need for contributions from our CF in buildup play I’m slammed for it. No build up play, and not enough goals (4/12 league games) – time to change things up and at least try something else. And at least that might motivate Auba to know his position shouldn’t be a given. We’re gonna be without him during AFCON too…

Anthony

At some point we need to either invest in one of Balogun, Martinelli or Pepe to be used as our main striker; or invest in bringing in another striker to replace Auba long term. January gives us an opportunity to look at Martinelli and Balogun again in that position, unless we bring someone else in very early in January. We can’t try Pepe there as he will also be at the AFCON, and there’s no point investing anymore time in developing Eddie at this stage, not at the expense of Martinelli and Balogun. Fortunately, we’ve not been over reliant on… Read more »

Daveo

I think it’s a bit of both – we’re at 72 big chances created – decent, just ahead of a pack of another 4 teams with similar values. And we’ve missed 14 big chances. That’s actually 7th in the league (in amongst about 10 teams with very similar values (12-15 big chance missed range). Liverpool have actually missed way more big chances (25), haven’t created much more big chances (78), but have a WHOPPING 28 more goals on the season. Clearly they are creating (and finishing) A LOT more maybe “decent” chances than we are. So I do think our… Read more »

Futsboller

I know it is hard to imagine, Daveo, but you might be wrong. 😉

Aside from the games against the top three, in which we’ve been completely outplayed, we’ve been good this season, good enough for fifth spot after 13 or 14 games. Our goals will come as it is a primary concern for Arteta — he’s solved a lot of issues with our defence, injected new blood into the midfield (still a work in progress), and he’ll get our forwards banging them in as well. Especially Auba.

Anthony

For the record, I don’t think we’re doing badly. We’re where we should be given overall performances so far this season. I do think had Arteta been able to start the season with everyone available, that we’d probably have 3 more points on the board, but that’s moot now of course. But, as I said previously, at some point we have to address the concern that our strikers are not scoring enough (which seemingly Arteta is aware of and working on it) as well as investing in Martinelli and Balogun – again, Arteta is aware of this and it’s in… Read more »

Futsboller

For sure. I think we have to be realistic about our top four chances though as ManU are about to embark on a streak of very winnable games: Palace, Norwich, Brentford, Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley, and Wolves under a new, very established manager. That could be 21 straight points. After that, things get a touch more difficult, but not so much so (Aston Villa, West Ham, Burnley, Southampton, Leeds, Watford) until they play City again in early March. I don’t like it. We are nowhere near Liverpool and City’s levels, and won’t be at any point this season, but I do… Read more »

Daveo

Well said. I like the trajectory we’re on. First time in some time with this club (we’ve been going backwards far too long). I’m back the team and Arteta, but I still love chatting about the tactical side and improvements that we can make.

Daveo

Sure, it’s a discussion right, you make arugments one way or another. I thought you of all people might appreciate that. I like our back and forths. And we are doing well – I’ve been generally very positive since our shift to a younger team that has focussed on a higher tempo system. And I’m quite pleased with our form (pity about the big game struggles, but the quality gulf is there and the developing youngsters and team needs time). So should we just say wow everything is great, or should we discuss ways we might continue to improve that?… Read more »

Futsboller

I was replying more to the offence you’ve taken (“I’m slammed for it”) at people disagreeing with your view that we need a different CF who contributes more to the buildup. I think we have a proven world-class forward leading the line for a team that is young and still proving themselves. ESR and Saka are brilliant, but they are no Mane and Salah. As you point out in a post up above, Liverpool have 28 more goals than we do because their forwards have combined for 32 goals (Sarah, Mane, Jota, Firmino) on top of the 11 from the… Read more »

Daveo

He’s missed too many sitters for 1.5 years. I’m worried that’s becoming a trend rather than form.

Anthony

As much as we all like Auba, just like we have to be realistic about where we are and at what level we can compete at, we also have to be realistic about how far players, no longer in their prime, can continue to take us. We all used to praise Wenger for knowing when a player was no longer at the peak of their powers, and rightly moved them on or made them effectively a squad/bit part player. I’m not suggesting that Auba at present is a squad/bit part player, but he’s not going to be the player to… Read more »

Morrisey fan #1

I am all for supporting your players, but anyone who has watched the Arsenal over this season and last knows this isn’t entirely true. He isn’t the striker he was when we won the FA Cup. He was immense that season. Age and other factors have brought him down. My worry is we will continue to rely on him and if we don’t get something from Saka or ESR we are going to struggle to score.

Tombo

For a guy with his goalscoring record he does miss a lot of sitters! Let’s have a few goals tonight please auba, feels like the sort of game he might get more chances to run in behind.

Jon

He has been in poor form since last season, it is not a one off thing. Make no mistake Arteta knows it that is why we were after a striker but missed out on Chelsea’s Abraham who went to Roma. He could not say it in public. I hope we give Martinelli a chance instead of Auba starting.

Teryima AdiA

And that is gegenpress, Arteta- putting pressure on the opposition to win the ball back high up the pitch and quick turn overs.

Gabigol

Auba out of form, looking tired, big wages, final year of his contract at end of this season.

I’d be surprised if we didn’t at least try to buy a pressy goalscorey guy in January.
Or even a loan with view to purchase (for those within last 6 months of contract) with perhaps Balogun or Laca going the other way.

Gabigol

The bigger problem is how teams are targeting our ‘best’ players, Auba and Partey.

They know we don’t have big threats if the build up is predictable. So they surround Partey and starve ESR and Saka space by the time the ball cycles around to them.

As for Auba it is simple. Keep him defending. Hence the focus of many teams to attack our left half space once Tavares is caught upfield.

It is becoming a pattern since that square pass against Liverpool, he did it again with ESR leading up to conceding a goal last night.

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