Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been heavily criticised by former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood for giving Nicolas Pepe the chance to score from the penalty spot against Aston Villa.
The Gabon international is the first choice for spot kicks at Arsenal, but handed Pepe the chance to score his first goal for the Gunners since his summer transfer from Lille.
While this seems like a pretty classy gesture from Aubameyang to boost the confidence of a struggling team-mate, Sherwood was not at all impressed with these antics.
As quoted by the Metro, the former Spurs and Aston Villa boss believes it was unprofessional of Aubameyang to neglect his penalty taking duties simply to help out a mate, comparing it to Sunday League stuff.
He said: “Stick to the plan, you are the penalty taker, stick to the plan. You’re not a pub team, you’re not in the Sunday League where you think, ‘I’m going to help my mate out, you can take this one because I’ve scored a few goals this year’. You’re behind in the game, you need that goal.
“Stick to the plan, the plan is on the board – Aubameyang takes penalties. And all of a sudden he just says to his mate ‘go on you have a go this time’.
“Unless he didn’t fancy it for whatever reason but don’t just give it to him because you want to give him a leg up and go on and get his career started at Arsenal – put the ball in the back of the net, let him create his own chances.
“Not a chance [Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero would do that].
“I don’t want nice men, I want winners.”
This seems a pretty over-the-top reaction from Sherwood, though of course it could easily have backfired for Arsenal and then gone down a lot less well.
Still, if Aubameyang’s decision helps Pepe onto a run of goals and some improved form, then it will surely have been a fine move.