Arsenal succumbed to defeat at the hands of Manchester City this weekend as a Raheem Sterling winner was enough for Pep Guardiola to see off his former pupil, Mikel Arteta.
It was a decent enough showing from both sides. Arsenal were dogged in their defensive play to keep City at bay, who looked like they’d rediscovered a bit of their swagger at times in attack.
But minimal chances being created will have been a worry for Arteta. The City backline was rarely worried by the Gunners’ attacking play and key players like Willian, Aubameyang, and Nicolas Pepe all failed to produce.
The performance of Aubameyang was a particularly worrying one. Often isolated out on the left, Aubameyang barely got involved with play and when he did, he was sloppy or hounded out of possessesion by City.
Coincidentally, it’s the first sub-par showing from the Arsenal skipper. And after being awarded a reported £250k-a-week contract in the summer, is it time the Gabon striker started showing more for that money?
The Arsenal man is known for having huge impacts on games. That’s what he’s in the team to do. The fact he can be quiet for much of the 90 minutes can often not matter, given he can spring into life with a moment of magic and produce the goods.
But it’s now just one goal in five Premier League games for Aubameyang. By his own high standards, those numbers are unacceptable, especially in a team that relies on him so much in the final third.
Obviously, 29 goals across all comps last season show this could just be a minor blip. But being caught laughing and joking with Ilkay Gundogan following the loss and bringing little to the table during the game, will only annoy some Gunners fans.
Hopefully for Arsenal fans, ‘Auba’ can get back to his best soon. If the Gunners have hopes of a top four spot, then it’s crucial that their main man starts firing again before too long.