How Arsenal is playing beautiful football without Auba

How Arsenal is playing beautiful football without Auba

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22 Jan 2022
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Auba

Arsenal stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy and won five matches in a row without him (four of them with a crushing score). 

 

Better Arsenal without Pierre

It seems that now the sale or at least the loan of the Gabonese is a priority for the winter transfer window. Let’s take a look at why Aubameyang has gone so bad – and if there really is a direct link between his absence and success. Aubameyang’s decline was predictable. The new contract of 2020 is pure populism. To understand the nature of Aubameyang’s decline, one must clearly outline the strengths of his peak version (the Dortmund variation). Pierre-Emerick is a mega-fast player who was put on the flank for a long time, and then abruptly retrained into a top forward. To add to his success in his new position, he chose a star landmark and thoroughly studied the movement of this player in the box. 

 

Auba is not same anymore

The guide was Hernan Crespo. It turned out to be an unusual, but lethal combination – perhaps the fastest player on the planet with the opening of a killer in the penalty area. 97 of Pierre-Emerick’s 98 Bundesliga goals have come from inside the box. Super strength – cunning movements with which he generated a huge number of moments. Breakaways in space were a bonus – of course, with such a speed he was dangerous in fast attacks (here you didn’t even need to watch Crespo – just learn the offside rule).

At the same time, the implementation remained a weak point. The problem was publicly acknowledged by Thomas Tuchel. The Gabonese was in the lead both in unrealized clear scoring chances and in goals. The best indicator for predicting the performance of a player of this type is precisely the number of good chances – while they are on the stream, goals are at about the same high level.

This rule worked in almost every season in Aubameyang’s career. The exception is just the “contract year”, which we will discuss in more detail. In other seasons, his goal deviation from  did not exceed 2.5 – as a rule, there was a slight bias towards the minus (poor implementation). In that same 2019/20 season, the deviation was 6.2 – a wild anomaly for a player who has never been famous for converting difficult chances. He scored more long-range goals back then than he did in his Bundesliga career (not that hard considering there was only one ball, but highlights how atypical that stretch was). 

This season, with 22 Premier League goals and important FA Cup goals against a team in crisis, can be judged differently. From the position of a fan: applause, many thanks. From the point of view of a rational functionary: thanks too, but there is no objective evidence to believe that this will happen again. Paying 350 thousand a week not for stability, but for an anomaly is a counterproductive move. Let him be popular among the fans at that time.

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