Monday, 18 February 2019

Revealed: Emery is harming Aubameyang and Lacazette by doing this…

Former Manchester United striker Andrew Cole has questioned Unai Emery’s decision to leave Mesut Ozil out of Arsenal’s starting line-up, suggesting that it is having a negative impact on his strikers.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is third in the Premier League golden boot standings with 15 goals this season while Alexandre Lacazette has also chipped in with ten.

Between them, Aubameyang and Lacazette account for 47% of Arsenal’s 53 league goals this season.

Despite both strikers playing well, though, Arsenal rank ninth in the Premier League for chances created this season, behind the other top six clubs as well as relegation threatened Fulham, Wolves and Crystal Palace, creating 9.6 chances per game.

And Cole believes a major factor behind the team’s chance creation problem is that Ozil has not been starting regularly, with the 2014 World Cup winner featuring only twice for Arsenal since their Boxing Day draw against Brighton.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ debate show, Cole said:

‘Arsenal over the previous years, when Wenger was there, did that. You’ve got to play your best players when you need them, and Ozil is one of Arsenal’s best.

‘If you asked Lacazette and Aubameyang: ‘Do you want Mesut to play?’ they’d say yes all day long, all day long! It’s really, really strange.’

Ozil signed a £350,000 per week deal to stay at Arsenal last January and it was expected that he would be one of the key player’s that Emery built his new-look team around when the Spaniard replaced Arsene Wenger last summer.

That hasn’t proven to be the case, however, with Emery frequently dropping Ozil to the substitute’s bench or out of his 18-man squad entirely, as was the case for Thursday’s embarrassing 1-0 defeat to BATE Borisov in the Europa League.

Despite dominating possession with 77% of the ball throughout the course of the game, Arsenal struggled to create too many clear-cut opportunities against BATE.

Lacazette did find the net from a Sead Kolasinac cross only to be correctly adjudged to be offside.

Lacazette later let his frustrations get the better of him as he was sent off five minutes from time for flinging an elbow into an opponent’s face.

Aubameyang, meanwhile, was given only 20 minutes to score after coming off the bench.

Arsenal’s most creative player in the Premier League this season has been Granit Xhaka and his 27 chances created ranks 43rd in the division.

Ozil, meanwhile has created 1.8 chances per game which is the highest average in Arsenal’s squad.

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