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.”