Arsenal legend Martin Keown was left baffled by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ‘mysterious’ and ‘unusual’ efficiency within the Gunners’ Europa League draw with Benfica.
The captain was the main target of consideration on Thursday evening after quite a few surprising misses, as Mikel Arteta’s aspect may solely draw 1-1 within the first leg of their last-32 tie in Rome.
Aubameyang was hailed by followers and pundits final weekend, with many claiming he was again to his greatest after watching him rating a hat-trick in Arsenal’s Premier League victory over Leeds United.
However he seemed a very completely different participant in opposition to Benfica as his ruthlessness in opposition to Leeds was changed with a wastefulness in entrance of purpose, with Keown saying he was responsible of messing up a couple of ‘bread and butter’ finishes.
The striker missed a sitter within the opening 20 minutes, when Hector Bellerin put it on a spot for the skipper to attain just for the striker to fit huge from mere yards out.
Had he put away his possibilities, Arsenal would have taken an enormous benefit to their ‘dwelling’ second leg in Athens.
“It was a very unusual efficiency from Aubameyang,” a dissatisfied Keown advised Jim White on talkSPORT.
“He scored a hat-trick on the weekend and it seemed as if he’d reignited his profession, he was hungry once more, he was at boiling level. You’d have thought that may be him now, he’s flying and he’s turned a nook.
“However final evening, mysteriously, he didn’t attain the heights.
“He had a obvious alternative that he missed, two or three alternatives the place maybe he made the incorrect selections, but it surely didn’t appear to be he was actually fired up.
“Arsenal performed the identical staff, the primary time they’ve picked the identical XI for successive video games since 2018, and there have been some good indicators, however Aubameyang was the one participant… he’s received to show up in video games.”
It’s a been a wierd season to date for Aubameyang, who has struggled for kind since signing his new bumper contract at Arsenal.
The striker had managed simply eight objectives in 22 appearances earlier than his hat-trick in opposition to Leeds, and after his newest clean Keown wonders if he’s struggling mentally.
The Gunners legend added: “I’m unsure whether or not that is psychological and if it’s a psychological concern, however he didn’t appear himself final evening. So whether or not that’s the dearth of crowd or the motivation…
“His misses, it was prefer it wasn’t actual. The primary one, it was a bread and butter end!
“You’d anticipate the highest gamers to place that behind them, however after that there have been one other couple of alternatives, one the place he flashed previous the put up when he ought to have hit the goal, and one other when he was by way of on purpose however determined to come back again and it gave the defender a chance.
“These are all choice making, that’s often what units him aside, however not final evening.
“If he had been himself, Arsenal would simply, comfortably, have gained that recreation.”