Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed his second successive penalty for Arsenal in their 1-0 win over Watford. The Gabonese striker powered the spot-kick without much thought of placement straight into the grateful arms of Ben Foster. That’s the Hornets stopper’s YouTube thumbnail sorted.
The 32-year-old was fortunate that Aston Villa and former Arsenal keeper Emi Martinez parried his strike back into Aubameyang’s path to score in the 3-1 victory a couple of weeks prior.
After this, however, questions have been raised whether the striker should now face the chop from the penalty-taking responsibility and let it fall to one of his teammates.
Mikel Arteta was defiant about the idea when asked in his post-match press conference.
“He will stay on penalties if he’s happy to do so. You will miss when you take penalties – that’s part of your career and the job – [but] we’ll try to help him,” explained Arteta.
However, whilst Alexandre Lacazette remains in the starting line-up there is the opportunity for Arteta to defer responsibility to the Frenchman.
The 30-year-old currently has a 100% record for the Gunners, whilst in the Premier League, Aubameyang has converted just 64.3% of his 14 spot-kicks.
With such a crucial match with Liverpool set to take place after the international break, the Gunners are not expected to get too many shooting opportunities at Anfield.
Therefore, should a penalty fall the way of Arsenal, would selecting the reliable Lacazette over the out-of-form Aubameyang be more beneficial to the Gunners? I for one would argue yes.
That is also dependent upon whether Aubameyang starts against Liverpool. As suggested on the Monday edition of The Arsenal Way’s morning show by Umar Choudhry, Mikel Arteta might be minded changing formations to cope with Mohamed Salah and company.
Switching to a three at the back system to integrate Nuno Tavares and Kieran Tierney onto the left flank to suffocate the effectiveness of Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
This would mean sacrificing a forward player and the choice likely falls to one of Lacazette or Aubameyang. The panel suggested that it would be the Gabonese striker who is left out based on his recent form.
With less than two years remaining on his deal and the likelihood of an extension very low, there have been links with possible January moves. Barcelona were credited with an interest in the striker to replace the sidelined Sergio Aguero.
Arteta will have plenty of time with the international break to decide the outcome and short-term future of the club captain.
Make sure you have subscribed to The Arsenal Way! The Fan Brands team along with plenty of your football.london favourites will be producing daily Arsenal content for you to enjoy including match reactions, podcasts, football fun and interviews. You can follow Tom Canton from the TAW team to keep up to date with his work.
Source by Football London