Not so long ago, it seemed like a perfect partnership between Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one which saw FA Cup and Community Shield success that prompted the club to scramble to tie him to a new and lucrative contract extension.
However, it soon became clear that the honeymoon was over as the striker’s form gradually disappeared to the point where he was nothing more than the ultimate luxury. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has become like one of his gregarious jackets, snappy suits or luxury sports cars, all show and no-go to coin a phrase.
I mentioned recently on the podcast ‘It’s an Arsenal thing’ that the Gabon hitman’s performances in the first few seasons may have tailed off because his route to goal has been predictable and that he had become a one-trick pony.
Aubameyang’s success in the Premier League depended on him hanging out wide on the left, receiving the ball quickly and directly and then cutting in at an angle towards the goal. The teams in the Premier League have since cut out the supply and stifled his natural instincts to the point where he is a passenger barely ticking over and certainly not justifying his salary.
It’s well documented that whilst at Dortmund, Aubameyang took his foot off the accelerator in 2017 and despite hitting 27 goals, his dip included 2 from 6. It wasn’t just that, he looked disinterested and preoccupied on occasion as well as showing minimal in terms of appetite and effort.
There were rumours of conflict with the coaching staff and now, there are whispers around the Emirates that the striker regrets signing a contract extension and that he doesn’t like the training regimen or Arteta’s methods. It appears that the smiles of the two men during the good times soon faded as the reality of the rebuild became apparent.
No Champions League football, limited funds to spend in the transfer window, suddenly Aubameyang looked at the prospect of no European football for three or more seasons. It’s said that Edu and Arteta now want to grant the striker’s wish to end his career at Barcelona.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) August 16, 2021
The reality is that neither Arsenal nor Barcelona have great amounts of money to spend wildly, even though there is a genuine need. This may mean that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could feature in a swap deal with Philippe Coutinho whom Arsenal were interested in, before his knee injury which kept him out of action for an entire season.
It’s a sad and sorry state of affairs for Arsenal’s captain, after a promising start and talk of him achieving the sort of status that was afforded to cult hero Thierry Henry, but it was never to be. In my opinion, Aubameyang, just from observing his lifestyle, is all about self and he hasn’t shown any loyalty to any club that’s employed him. He pulls on the shirt for the money and self-promotion, a player that enjoys the spoils but dislikes the toil. Someone that wants the glory but only wants to participate when he feels like it and from the distance of his choice.
If Edu can offload him, it would be good business, even if I’m not entirely convinced by the proposed swap. Arsenal fans shouldn’t be too concerned, Aubameyang was hardly ripping up trees and in some games, you had to look hard for him due to his lack of involvement.
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Dave from the podcast said on one occasion that “he must still be in the changing room, I haven’t seen him touch the ball for 20 minutes.” There were suggestions it was the lack of service which was feasible, then there was the personal loss, malaria, but perhaps, we were all making excuses while he plotted a way of being cast aside or sold. It’s all speculation but it sounds dreadfully familiar in the modern football world.
I wish him well, if he doesn’t want to play for this magnificent club, then go swiftly into the arms of disappointment. The few that wanted out of North London lived to regret it, but at least they are still highly regarded. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be regarded as a flash in the pan, that had the talent but wasn’t interested in becoming an Arsenal legend. Another Anelka but without the fondness.
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