Manchester United legend Gary Neville has admitted he thought Arsenal had lost their star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a few months ago owing to his inconsistencies.
The 32-year-old scored in Sunday’s North London derby against sworn rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a 3-1 win in the Premier League assignment at the Emirates Stadium. The remaining two goals were scored by youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
“Before [the Sunday game], when you saw that team come through and you saw [Saka, Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard] behind Aubameyang,” Neville said in his podcast.
“I thought they had lost [Aubameyang] a few months ago, I thought he does not look like he wants to be here anymore.”
His sentiments were echoed by Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta who insists his captain had to work harder amidst the criticism he was getting.
“I am really happy with the performance [on Sunday] and the performance against Burnley and with what [Aubameyang] is doing,” Arteta said as quoted by the club’s official portal.
“He was getting criticised and we were asking him to do more. He stood by it and put his head down and he is working tremendously hard for the team, and now I can tell you that he is really giving.”
The tactician also commented on the amazing atmosphere created by the fans for his players and went on to state they had missed it when the fans were not allowed owing to Covid-19.
“Certainly [we enjoyed]; I think when we didn’t have [fans] – we missed it,” Arteta continued.
“It is impossible to attract people and to connect with what we are trying to do if we don’t have fans if we don’t have our supporters here. It is such a different thing when you sense that they believe that they are willing to support and we want to entertain them and play in a way that they can be proud and that happens at the same time.
“That’s why I think we are all enjoying and that we’re really happy today with what we’ve seen.”
After Sunday’s win, Arsenal climbed to 10th position with nine points, as many as their North London rivals who slipped to 11th.