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Ian Wright has dismissed the suggestion Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has ‘clocked off’ after signing a new Arsenal contract but admits he is ‘really confused’ about Mikel Arteta’s team.
Aubameyang put speculation over his future to bed in September by penning a new three-year deal at the Emirates.
The Gabon superstar, who won the Premier League’s Golden Boot in his first full season at Arsenal, was heavily linked with a move away from north London before committing his future to the club.
Aubameyang started the season well, scoring in Arsenal’s Community Shield victory over defending champions Liverpool and in the opening-day win at Fulham.
But the 31-year-old has scored just twice since signing a new deal, with some Arsenal fans questioning his desire and fearing his career may follow in the direction of Mesut Ozil, whose influence waned after signing a lucrative contract.
Gunners legend Wright has defenced Aubameyang, however, and says he feels ‘so unfortunate’ for the Arsenal star.
He said on the Wrighty’s House podcast: ‘What I saw the other day was Arsenal’s warm-up before the Manchester United game. There was a shooting session down in the corner.
‘We saw nine shots from the main characters – Aubameyang, Lacazette, all of them – and every single one of them missed. Even though we beat Manchester United, it was telling.
‘If I’m being honest, there’s not many chances being created, which is why I feel so unfortunate for Auba. ‘It’s just a coincidence that he’s signed his contract at this time and then the suits say, “it’s because he’s signed his contract, he’s clocked off”. We’re not creating chances!
‘We’re not creating chances but I do not like seeing in a warm-up shooting session, people missing the target, and sloppy shots. All those things make you look into the team and what’s going on.’
Arsenal have already lost four Premier League matches this season and suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Sunday. Wright was shocked by Arsenal’s performance against Villa and says he is ‘really confused’ about the team. ‘I’m confused with what’s going on,’ he added.
‘It seems like we’ve got a manager who will not tolerate anything other than the best the players have got to give. So I’m really confused at the minute.
‘Shot creation, we’re 19th in the Premier League. Goals scored, 13th. Shots on target, 14th. Key passes, 17th. Expected goals, 16th. They should be doing everything they can in warm-ups to get into the habit of scoring goals.’
Following the international break, Arsenal continue their Premier League campaign with a trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United.