Despite scoring in the 3-1 defeat to Man Utd in the FA Cup on Friday night, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has come under criticism.
The 29-year-old has been in fine goalscoring form again so far this season, netting 17 goals while providing three assists in 29 appearances.
That is ultimately what Arsenal signed him for in terms of offering a prolific presence up front, but Tony Cascarino has blasted the Gabon international for not contributing more.
Specifically looking at the defensive work that he puts in and the general impact, or lack of, when he isn’t scoring goals, the Times pundit clearly wasn’t impressed with Aubameyang despite the fact that he scored in the clash with United at the Emirates.
“If Unai Emery is trying to reinvent Arsenal he will not be able to do so while carrying any players, but that is exactly what is happening with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at times,” he wrote in his Times column.
“The Gabon forward is lightning quick and has been prolific since joining the club last January, but he needs to be able to give his team more than that. Aubameyang can be anonymous for long periods. Last night he scored Arsenal’s first goal just before half-time but had contributed absolutely nothing in the first 40 minutes.
“Alexandre Lacazette is similar. Both players will end up with very good scoring records for Arsenal but are too often on the fringes of games.”
In fairness, Cascarino perhaps has a valid point. It’s an area of criticism that Mesut Ozil has been plagued with for years, but Aubameyang doesn’t seem to put too much of a shift in defensively for the most part and that is a problem especially with the way in which Emery wants his side to play.
However, the inclusion of Lacazette in that argument is arguably going a step too far, as the Frenchman’s ability to hound and harass opposing defenders is evident to see.
Scoring goals is Aubameyang’s main job, and if he can continue to do that, Emery will surely have to find the answers elsewhere to provide him with a solid base on which the Gunners can go out and win games rather than leaking goals and constantly being left with a tougher job on their hands.