Two Arsenal players offer remedy for the woes of Mikel Arteta’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Football | sport
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s future at Arsenal appears to be on the line after Mikel Arteta stripped the Gabon international of his ambassadorial duties on Monday following a series of disciplinary issues. But with the demise of his main striker, two players stepped up in the win over West Ham to give him some form of breathing space in the Champions League football bid.
Arsenal needed a win over the Hammers to move their opponents to fourth place on Wednesday night, and duly held up as they recorded their sixth win in 10 Premier League games.
A goal from Gabriel Martinelli and a new strike from Emile Smith Rowe made the difference against their city rivals, although it could and should have been more after Alexandre Lacazette missed a penalty among other efforts including Kieran Tierney hitting the bar.
Aubameyang’s form has been indifferent so far this season, with the star having scored just four goals in 14 Premier League games this season for the Gunners.
And after wasting in front of goal in the games against Newcastle and Manchester United, he was abandoned for the game against Everton where once again he missed a glorious late opportunity.
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After suffering a long-term knee injury in Project Restart, the Brazilian made appearances last season in a sporadic role.
But his most important appearances have given the 20-year-old much to cry out for in terms of securing a first-team spot.
Elsewhere, Lacazette really impressed with the goal of securing a first-team spot in the Emirates.
The Frenchman scored his second of the season in his sixth start last weekend against Southampton.
And he’ll be annoyed not to add to that tally against West Ham after missing a penalty.
He almost scored in the first half, but was pushed back by a smart block from Craig Dawson.
And with a superb assist to prepare his partner Martinelli for the opener, he shouldn’t be too dismayed by his performance.
With his contract at the end of the season – likely not renewed due to a lack of playing time – his improved form and minutes could be a huge factor in keeping him at the club.
And Aubameyang’s potential departure may well be tempered by the duo’s impact in a European qualifier attempt.