Tag Archives: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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

Aubameyang contract kicks off new era for Arsenal

After what seemed like an eternal wait for Arsenal fans, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally confirmed his future with the club by signing a three-year contract, which will keep him at Emirates Stadium until 2024. 

Rumours swirled surrounding the future of Aubameyang following his FA Cup Final winning brace in August. The player posted a number of cryptic tweets that featured an hourglass, sending Arsenal supporters into a frenzy when his new deal was announced on Tuesday. 

With his new contract signed, read on below for how Aubameyang’s decision to commit to Arsenal could help the Gunners’ pursuit of players in the transfer market.

Having wrapped up a deal for their talismanic captain, Arsenal’s attention must turn to their top transfer targets before the window closes on 5 October. Manager Mikel Arteta has maintained his interest in midfield duo Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar, who have been the Spaniard’s preferred options for much of the summer. 

After impressing in Lyon’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season, Aouar could be persuaded to join Arsenal because of the presence of a world-class finisher in Aubameyang. Although the Gunners are playing in the Europa League, this could be an attraction for Aouar. Lyon missed out on European football altogether when Ligue 1 was terminated in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The presence of Aubameyang, who leads by example with an excellent goal-scoring record, could help Aouar integrate quickly into the side should he choose to join. Thanks to their French-speaking connection, Aouar would have the chance to settle seamlessly into an Arsenal side that is crying out for creative talent. 

Arsenal are also finding it tricky to negotiate for Partey with Atletico Madrid insistent that, unless his £50 million release clause is met, he will not be allowed to leave. The player is said to prefer a move to the Premier League but is yet to force his way through the exit door. 

The message sent by the Arsenal skipper in rejecting Barcelona is that he has complete faith in Arteta and the Spaniard’s ambitious rebuilding process. After all, Arteta has won the FA Cup and had his job title changed from head coach to manager in the space of nine months as Arsenal boss. These are on and off pitch examples respectively that Arteta is prepared to take full responsibility for the club’s fortunes on the road to success. 

This is a factor that must not be underestimated in north London. After the acrimonious events of last winter that dangerously divided the Arsenal fanbase, Arteta has instilled a sense of hope and optimism amongst supporters barely a year into the job. Moreover, he has drilled accountability and discipline into his players that has led to a healthy competitionfor places amongst the squad. 

Although he is the first name on the team-sheet, Aubameyangis at the forefront of this. 

Asked by Arteta to move out to the left wing to accommodateAlexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah, he did not once complain about being shifted out of position. Instead, the Gabon international remained focused on scoring goals, for he knew this is how he would contribute to the team most effectively. 

Arsenal have already beaten off Napoli and Manchester United in the transfer market this summer by signing Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille. Already, signs are showing of Arsenal’s ability to attract top players.

The news that Arsenal’s star striker will remain at the club, having been convinced by his manager’s project, is evidence that the Gunners are embarking on a mission to achieve success. Having Aubameyang along for the ride will only accelerate the process.

Zac Campbell

The Pub, The Arsenal, Saka, Martinelli & Aubameyang contracts

Who is off to the pub today?

I’m giving it a miss.

Nothing to do with my worries about Covid19 (I have no worries) and more to do with me not being bothered to wander round the streets of London looking for a boozer that is allowing people in.

Many pubs will remain shut, and those that are open will be at around 70% capacity. And that is actual capacity, not football day capacity where there can be hundreds in a pub which has a capacity of less than 100.

If you’ve booked your table for 2 hours, fair play. If you haven’t, go and get a few cans and sit in Finsbury Park, Highbury Fields or whatever open space is closes to your house.

Personally, I will be in my garden. The garden bar will be open. BBQ on. The game on my outdoors TV. And at £12 for 15 bottles of Amstel, plenty of money will be saved by all.

Out of nowhere yesterday Arsenal announced a new deal for Gabriel Martinelli. It came out of nowhere.

“Pay parity with Saka” a mate mentioned. And that’s probably true.

In Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, Arsenal have two of the most exciting teenage attacking talents in Europe.

It makes complete sense to ensure both players are on similar money, with similar length contracts. These two are our future.

Hopefully within the next week new contracts for the future is followed up with a new contract for the present. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Reports began to leak that Aubameyang is on the verge of agreeing a 3-year deal with a salary “up to £250k”.

This would represent a 2 year extension, with his current deal having 1 year to run.

It will be an interesting deal when it comes down to the money.

Not too long ago the squad agreed a 12.5% temporary reduction in wages for the 2020/21 season. The reduction would be halved if Arsenal make the Europa League.

Aubameyang’s new deal will surely take into account the squad agreement.

So if it is agreed he is to be on £250k a week, he would immediately take the 12.5% reduction, which would take him down to about £220k.

That would be the sensible action to do to ensure squad happiness.

It would be wrong if Arsenal have asked players to take a reduction, and then give Aubameyang a big new deal with no reduction.

You would be annoyed if you were a player sitting there on £100k a week, now earning £12.5k less, then seeing a teammate, who was already paid more than you, receive an extra £70k a week.

Arsenal will have to be clever with the deal, negotiating incentives with Aubameyang. A pay rise in 12 months time. Even a nice signing on fee or end of contract loyalty bonus making up the missing salary.

Today it is Wolves away.

A tough game but 3 points is essential.

Get to together with your mates. Have some beer. Watch The Arsenal. Stay alert. Stay safe.

Keenos