• News

Arteta reacts to Arsenal legend’s criticism of Aubameyang decision

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mikel Arteta
Getty Images

The Gunners skipper has failed to score a goal in any of his last five Premier League matches.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has defended his decision to substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 3-2 midweek defeat to Manchester United.

Questions were raised that things might not be quite right when Aubameyang came off at a critical stage of the game by none other than Gunners legend Thierry Henry, who could not understand it.

Arteta, though, stands by his call. He insists Aubameyang’s late withdrawal was for tactical reasons alone, not to do with any underlying issue with the under-fire forward.

“We made a decision to get the best out of the team and I believe at that moment it was the right call to get some fresh legs on,” said the Spaniard in a press conference on Sunday.

“He worked really hard and we were chasing the game and that was the decision.”

Aubameyang needs more goals

The Gabon international registered another blank at Old Trafford on Thursday, extending his goal drought in the Premier League to five matches.

Speaking about Aubameyang’s struggles, Arteta added: “The way he trains and the way he’s behaving, he doesn’t look any different to me. We need his goals and his performances and we know he is part of our success.”

He added: “Of course, you’re always concerned when your main striker doesn’t score goals but he’s trying his hardest and he’s aware of how much we need him to score goals.

“At the moment they are not coming but everything else we ask him to do, he is doing his best.”

Arsenal return to action on Monday for a trip to Everton in their next Premier League fixture.