After Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City a narrative quickly emerged that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had had a bad game.
Of this there can be no doubt.
The Gabon striker finished the match with just 20 touches, only 10 completed passes (both the fewest of any Arsenal player who started the match) and zero shots at goal. A poor outing from the Gunners captain.
Alongside this version of events though emerged a separate narrative that Aubameyang is not a big game player for Arsenal. This just simply does not stack up.
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The ring leader for the criticism was Jamie Redknapp who after the game painted the image of the 31-year-old as a washed up, has been with little to offer Mikel Arteta’s side in its current guise.
“I look at Aubameyang and he is past his best,” said Redknapp. “He has lost his superpowers. I’m seeing now like he is going to get bullied every occasion.
“The likes of [Bukayo] Saka and [Emile] Smith Rowe – they’re the ones who are leading the way. The other players have got to step up more.”
Redknapp is generally a fine pundit, but on this occasion he seems to be guilty of having far too short a memory.
It was only just over six months ago that Aubameyang’s goals against Manchester City and Chelsea dragged Arsenal to glory in an FA Cup victory that has provided the springboard for them to even be playing European football this season.
The problem with Aubameyang is not that he isn’t capable of effecting the biggest games any more, but rather how he is being used in them.
On the 13 occasions when he played as a loan striker in Premier League games against the big six since his move to Arsenal in January 2018 the Gabon forward has just one goal.
That would seem to imply that the 31-year-old has a problem against a higher calibre of opposition.