Arsenal’s supporters have flocked to social media this week, to urge manager Mikel Arteta to push star attacker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back into a centre-forward role.
The early weeks of the season have of course proven altogether underwhelming for Aubameyang.
The 31-year-old, fresh off the back of a 22-goal Premier League haul last time out, has since managed to find the net just twice in 8 appearances thus far in 2020/21.
A host of potential explanations for Auba’s lack of production have been pinpointed, with some pointing towards Arsenal’s creative woes.
Others, meanwhile, have suggested that the prolific hitman has not looked the same since putting pen to paper on a new deal at the Emirates back in September.
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (R) speaks with Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 1, 2020. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP)
Recent weeks, however, have seen an increasing number of Arsenal fans highlight another aspect of their side’s current setup as the undisputed central factor behind the goalscoring struggles of their captain.
This of course comes in the form of Aubameyang’s position on the pitch.
To this point in the campaign, Mikel Arteta has continued to field his star attacker in a wide role, with Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.
Whilst Arsenal’s opening stretch of fixtures saw the latter impress, though, recent weeks have seen Lacazette looking nothing short of abysmal in front of goal, with the Frenchman clearly lacking in confidence.
In turn, calls have mounted for Aubameyang to be returned to his natural central role, not only for his own benefit, but the best interests of the north Londoners as a whole.
‘Arteta, hope you see this…’
And, as outlined above, such appeals on the part of the Arsenal faithful have only continued to ramp up this week, on the back of Aubameyang’s latest strike.
The former Borussia Dortmund man is currently away on international duty with Gabon.
Patrice Neveu’s men got their latest stretch of fixtures underway with an African Nations qualifying meeting with Gambia on Thursday night.
Gabon eventually emerged from the clash with a 2-1 win, as Bubacarr Jobe’s late strike did not prove enough to displace the evening’s hosts from their spot atop the Group D table.
Gabon’s 2nd of the matchup, meanwhile, came courtesy of star man Aubameyang.
10 minutes into the 2nd-half, a ball in from the left saw the 31-year-old peel off, before slotting home at the back post:
— Aubameyang P-E (@Aubameyang7) November 12, 2020
Arsenal’s fans, meanwhile, could not help but pick up on Aubameyang’s positioning in netting the game’s telling goal, with many having since taken to the comments section of Aubameyang’s above-linked Tweet to make their feelings very much known:
Tell Mikel to play you at CF please la
— Alex (@AlexCullen17) November 12, 2020
After the break, I only want Auba in the middle for Arsenal. This guy knows where to be and what to do in the middle.
— Yannick Doumbe (@YannickDoumbe) November 12, 2020
c’mon bro, you should be playing as a ST at Arsenal! 25 goals minimum hahahahhahahha
— Gabriel Lourenço (@gabegol8) November 12, 2020
OMG even Gabon knows that Auba needs to play in the middle, cmon arteta play him in the middle
— thu.t4 (@t4_thu) November 13, 2020
So, this is what happens when you’re played through the middle. 😄
— Richard Waterfield (@Dickie1408) November 12, 2020
— leo_al_deebah (@AlDeebah) November 13, 2020
Mikel arteta hope u see this
— CoSbYkAyZ (@Cosbykayz) November 13, 2020