Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been urged to change his tactical approach in order to unleash Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, after the forward failed to register a shot against Aston Villa. Aubameyang barely had a sniff against Dean Smith’s side as the Gunners were battered 3-0 at the Emirates.
Aubameyang has struggled since signing his new contract.
He had an impressive end to last season, while there was constant speculation surrounding his future.
With reports linking him with a move away from the club, he scored twice in both their FA Cup semi-final and final victories as Arteta lifted his first trophy as the club’s manager.
He was rewarded with his fine form with a new contract worth a reported £250,000 per week.
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Since then, however, he has struggled in front of goal and has only scored twice in the Premier League.
He found the net on the opening day of the season – just days before his new contract was signed – and then went five games without finding the net before scoring a penalty against Manchester United.
Aubameyang has predominantly been used on the left-hand-side of a front three, with Alexandre Lacazette through the middle and Willian on the right.
But with Arsenal adopting a counter-attacking style of play recently, the Arsenal front three have often been starved of chances.
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The absence of a creative midfielder has led to a lack of balls being played forward past the opposition defences.
And Watford captain Troy Deeney believes it could be time for Arteta to change his approach in order to create more chances for the front three and get the best out of Aubameyang.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I’m starting to think, do they need to change formation to probably get Aubameyang in better situations?
“I know it’s very easy as we are pundits who sit here and watch and think we know everything about coaching, but he doesn’t seem to be getting in the same positions he once was and the goal threat he had before as well.”
Deeney went on to explain that part of the reason for Aubameyang’s sluggish start could be the lack of a proper pre-season.
Arsenal won the FA Cup on August 1st, and barely had time to recover before starting the new season on September 12th.
Deeney continued: “I think we’ve all got to remember it’s been a very short pre-season with no real rest.
“Especially for those Arsenal guys who played the last game in the FA Cup and with the Community Shield as well.
“They are probably tired; people don’t like to hear sportsmen get tired but they do. Mentally as well as physically.
“He’s just having a bit of a slow start.
“Would you still think he’s going to score 20 goals this season? I think he would score that many. When he gets going he’ll be right up there.”
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