LONDON. — Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits he has been “struggling a lot” in front of goal and says his poor form could be a hangover from last season’s efforts.
Having been in fine form ever since moving to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, Aubameyang’s recent barren run has seen him score just three times in this English Premiership football campaign.
A goal in the Gunners’ 2-0 FA Cup win over Newcastle on Saturday took the Gabon forward’s tally to six in all competitions. Speaking in December, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said his skipper was overthinking the issue and Aubameyang says he is still positive of turning things around.
Asked about his lack of goals, Aubameyang said: “From the beginning of this season I was struggling a lot but I think this is part of football.
“We gave a lot at the end of the season to win the FA Cup and to qualify for the Europa League because it was really important for the club.
“Sometimes you have ups and downs and you have to manage as best you can. I tried my best and until now it was not the best performance from me.
“I’m still positive. I think I can turn this around.” Aubameyang also revealed how his goal drought can make it harder to captain the side.
The 31-year-old describes himself as a “quiet, cool and calm” leader in the dressing room and said, despite his personal setbacks, he has tried to maintain “positive vibes”.
“It’s really hard to manage both but you have to be as positive as you can because the team needs you,” Aubameyang said.
“I always try to give my best, not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room for the guys.
“Sometimes it’s hard and maybe you are not in the right mood but you have to find a way to change it and give positive vibes for the guys.”
According to Aubameyang, Arsenal could be on the verge of changing their own fortunes after winning four in a row and moving to within six points of Tottenham in fifth. They host Crystal Palace next tonight.
“At the moment we are playing well and we have to follow this way,” Aubameyang said. “If we win the couple of games that are coming we can turn around the situation.
“We are not so far from the top six so this is the moment to be back in the competition.”
Meanwhile, Gabriel Martinelli will only be sidelined for a few days with Arsenal confirming that the Brazilian youngster’s injury is not as bad a first feared, though he misses tonight’s clash with Crystal Palace.
The 19-year-old rolled his ankle in the warm-up before facing Newcastle in the FA Cup third round on Saturday and had to be pulled from the starting line-up.
Martinelli was left in tears and watched the match on crutches, with Mikel Arteta initially worried that he could face another long spell out of action — though he was more optimistic at his press conference on Monday ahead of facing Palace.
Arsenal have now received the results of his scan and found no serious issues, with Martinelli returning to training in the coming days and expected to be back in action in Monday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle. — Sky Sports.