Tag Archives: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal fans need to stop with the Giroud revisionism – his exit led to Aubameyang’s arrival

Every time Olivier Giroud scored a goal for Chelsea, Arsenal Twitter goes into a meltdown in what is becoming one of the biggest re-writes of an Arsenal players history.

Giroud was never a bad player for Arsenal.

He was limited, he was never a great goal scorer, he relied on others to create and he would have long spells without scoring. But he was never a poor player.

Giroud has shown for both Arsenal and France, and to a lesser extent for Chelsea, that a side needs to get the right players around him to get the best out of him.

At Arsenal that was Alexis Sanchez. For France is was Antoine Griezmann and Chelsea it was Eden Hazard.

Giroud is at his best when he is not expected to be the man to get the goals.

His highest league tally for Arsenal was 16. He has just 17 league goals in 71 league games for Chelsea.

When France won the World Cup in 2018, Giroud failed to score a single goal.

But all this was OK as long as Sanchez, Hazard or Griezmann were contributing from out wide.

Giroud is one of the games greatest hold up players in modern times.

How often did we see Sanchez pop a short pass into him, Giroud ply a one touch lay-off and Sanchez goes through and scored?

Arsenal were at the dangerous best when we had Sanchez on the left, Theo Walcott on the right and Aaron Ramsey in behind Giroud.

All 3 were more than happy playing the ball into the big Frenchman, continuing their run and getting the ball back in a goal scoring position.

As for goals, Giroud was a master at getting i infront of his man for a new post knock in.

Giroud’s fault came when fans demanded more from him. When Sanchez or Hazard wasn’t scoring (and left).

Without a world class wide forward, Giroud was simply not as dangerous.

He is not the type of player that takes a game by the scruff of its next; wins it through his own individual brilliance.

And this led to frustrating criticism from the stands when goals began to dry up from out wide.

When Arsenal Giroud, no one was upset.

Some fans have attempted to revise history by claiming Giroud was replaced by Alexandre Lacazette. He wasn’t.

Lacazette was already at the club when Giroud left us in January 2018.

It was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that was his replacement.

The story goes Arsenal wanted Aubameyang, Dortmund wanted Michy Batshuayi and Chelsea just wanted a striker.

So the deal was in motion, with Giroud joining Chelsea, Batshuayi to Germany and Arsenal getting their man in Aubameyang.

If anyone does not think Arsenal got the best deal then they are deluded or agenda driven.

Since joining Arsenal, Aubameyang has 62 Premier League goals. Remember that Giroud figure from earlier? 17.

It was Aubameyang’s brilliance in the semi final, and repeated in the final, that saw Arsenal win the FA Cup in 2020. Giroud could not have scored the goals Auba did.

Imagine the outcry if we had kept Giroud instead of signing Auba; and the Gabonese striker joined Chelsea?

We would all be fuming.

Lacazette has come in for criticism for his goal droughts during his stay at Arsenal. But he has 45 Premier League goals to his name. Giroud in the same time (for Arsenal and Chelsea) has just 21.

Now a case could be made that Giroud would actually suit Arsenal now.

With Aubameyang on one side and Bukayo Saka or Nicholas Pepe on the other, Arsenal could do with someone like Giroud for them to play off.

Someone that they could play the ball into knowing they’d get it straight back. Someone who Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin could aim for with a cross when they hit the touchline.

But for Giroud to ply with Aubameyang, you’d need to ignore that fact that we had to sell Giroud to sign Aubameyang.

And with Lacazette already at the club, it would make no sense to have the 3 of them – Giroud, Lacazette and Aubameyang.

Now if it happened the other way – with Arsenal signing Auba in the summer and it being Lacazette involved into a January 3-way; I would kind of understand the debate. But it didn’t happen that way.

So really the debate is simple for Arsenal fans:

Arsenal were not wrong selling Giroud to Chelsea. Giroud has not improved since joining Chelsea. He is the same old player that will score 8 in 10 and then 1 in the next XI.

Let’s stop the revisionism over Giroud. Let’s stop pretending that Aubameyang is not 10 times the goal scorer.

Keenos

6 goals in 8 games – Is Aubameyang form really a “major problem”?

In recent months, we have seen some really extreme views from Arsenal fans in what has been a rollercoaster of a season.

Some people have shown their true colours, sharing views based on RTs, likes and attention.

These usually take the form of sharing an extreme view that makes like sense, all because you are an attention seeker.

It is not only just the wannabe YouTubers and Twitter celebs doing this either.

These ones are who go viral, who we all know about. But others are doing the same. Extreme views for a bit of attention.

I read one view yesterday that sums it up:

Aubamayeng’s form is becoming a major problem…time to start playing Martinelli and bench Auba

I have decided not to post the actual tweet in the blog because I want to avoid a “pile on” and people abusing the Tweeter in question. We have no idea how fragile he or she is and it is common in these situations for people to post an extreme view for attention, and then play the victim when they get that attention.

Aubameyang has not had a great season. He struggled prior to the turn of the year with just 5 goals. Although this was highlighted by a bigger problem at Arsenal – that we were not creating enough chances.

His current run reads a lot better:

  • 6 goals in 8 games
  • 6 goals in 6 starts
  • 5 goals 5 Premier League games
  • 5 goals in 3 Premier League starts

If 6 goals in 9 games is “a major problem” then I do not know what the Tweeter is expecting? 10 goals in 8 games? 20?

Yes, Auba has had chances to score more – he could have grabbed himself a double against Benfica; but I am certainly not worried about his form.

Anyone that has followed Aubameyang’s career will know that he has a history of missing easy chances.

He is better when he does not have to think is a tag that has been given to many a world class striker in their time. And Aubameyang falls into the bracket.

What is the problem here? Is it that Arsenal fans need someone to constantly hate? And with Mesut Ozil now gone they are slowly moving onto Aubameyang.

Is it that they do not actually like Aubameyang – they detest a rich young man who likes fast cars, load clothes and hair cuts that would get you suspended in Primary School?

When you take into account that Aubameyang has been carrying some personal problems on his shoulders in the last few months, to say 6 goals in 8 games is “out of form” is just stupid. It is attention seeking.

And then they say that Martinelli should start is equally as ridiculous.

Have you forgotten about Alexandre Lacazette? Or do we not want him to play because he is also in poor form?

Lacazette had a nice little run around Christmas where he scored 5 goals in 4 games, but his current run is 1 goal in 9 games – although he only started 4 games.

So even if Auba was dropped due to his “bad form”, it would be Lacazette and not Martinelli that comes in for him.

This sort of Tweeter would probably be the first to say “we played Martinelli too much too soon at a young age and after a poor injury” if he played 5 games in a row and then picked up reoccurrence of his injury.

For some fans, Arsenal and Arsenal players will never win.

They will moan when a youngster is not picked; they will moan when he is not picked enough. They will moan when a player only scores 6 goals in 8 games. They just like to moan.

Negativity garners attention – TalkSport make a radio station out of it.

You constantly see people on Twitter and other social media platforms doing the same. Sharing extreme negative views for attention.

Ultimately, if you need to spend your time attention seeking on Twitter, you clearly have something key missing in the real world.

Keenos

Arsenal need a Bergkamp or Giroud, not an Ian Wright

Arsenal’s front 3 are not working.

It is clear and obvious to all, including Mikel Arteta, that Arsenal are not creating and therefore not scoring enough.

The problem is Arteta is yet to work out what his front 3 is.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was deadly on the left hand side last season, finishing 2nd top scorer in the league. But he creates very little from out wide.

If you play Aubameyang on the left, you need to have a striker in the middle that can be the creative outlet.

When Aubameyang is outwide, Alexandre Lacazette is in the middle. But he is more of an Ian Wright or Jermaine Defoe than a Dennis Bergkamp or Gianfranco Zola.

Lacazette is a goal scorer. Not a creator.

When Arsenal play Lacazette and Aubameyang together, they are sacrificing creativity for goals. But the problem is for them to score they need to get the ball in dangerous places.

In all 3 of Arsenal’s defeats this season, both Aubameyang and Lacazette have missed clear chances to score – Lacazette against Leicester and Liverpool; Aubameyang against Man City.

So as it stands, the strikers are not getting enough chances, and when they do they are fluffing their lines.

With Lacazette down the middle and Aubameyang on one of the flanks, it leaves either Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe or Willian on the opposite side.

It leaves us with just one naturally creative player in the front 3 for the final third.

In the short term, Arteta should move Aubameyang into the middle and play 2 of Willian, Pepe and Saka.

Aubameyang then focuses on what he does best – scoring goals; whilst the onus is then on the two wide men to drop inside and feed up. The full backs then provide the width.

It is similar to how Manchester City attack – with Raheem Sterling on the left and either Bernardo Silva or Riyad Mahrez on the flanks.

The widemen cut in giving the full backs the space to get to the byeline and play cut backs to Sergio Aguero.

The other option is to look at Liverpool.

Liverpool’s goals come from their widemen – Sadio Mane and Mo Salah – rather than Firminho up front.

Firminho is their creative outlet in the final 3rd.

Like City, Liverpool also rely on their full backs for creativity in the wide positions.

The problem is for Arsenal is we do not have a Firminho type striker who can drop a little deeper.

If we wish to go down the Liverpool route, we need to find a Dennis Bergkamp – a striker who is a better creator than he is a scorer.

Arteta could then play his Bergkamp type down the middle, looking forward, feeding Aubameyang wide left and either Pepe or Saka wide right.

Chelsea sign Kai Harvetz this summer. He would have been ideal to play the “false 9” position.

The final option is to take inspiration from Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.

Wenger played Olivier Giroud down the middle.

Giroud is not a naturally goal scorer, but he is fantastic with his back to goal and bringing others into play.

Arsenal at their best with Giroud in the team had Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott on the flanks, scoring the goals.

2016/17 saw Arsenal score 77 league goals – the highest since 2009/10.

Alexis Sanchez scores 30 goals in all competitions and Theo Walcott 19. Giroud was 3rd top scorer with 16.

Giroud does a similar job for France as well – bringing Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe into play, letting them take the glory.

Instead of a Bergkamp type who will drop deeper to create, Arsenal could go for a Giroud type who plays with his back to goal and brings the wide forwards into play that way.

Arteta needs to make a decision on a long term plan:

  • Aubameyang down the middle with creativity out wide
  • Bergkamp type down the middle, with the goals out wide
  • Giroud type down the middle with the goals out wide

Whatever route he goes down, one thing is clear.

Lacazette down the middle with a Aubameyang out wide doesn’t work.

Keenos