Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has responded to Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville’s criticism of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for his poor form this season.
The Gunners skipper has been in the firing line of many pundits for his performances this campaign. It’s not harsh to say that Auba has been nothing like his previous self this term, but for people to link his display on the pitch to the money he earns from his new contract is just a bit too far.
Carragher labelled Aubameyang as ‘lazy’ and called him ‘another Mesut Ozil’ for earning a lot of money and underperforming, while Neville wasn’t too kind either as he claimed that the Gabon star ‘didn’t try to do a thing’ against Liverpool last month. (Sky Sports)
We now know that Auba played against West Ham and Liverpool with Malaria. The pundits who went in on him during that difficult period look a little silly now, and Arteta has urged them to stop commenting without knowing the facts.
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “Again, [pundits] are all the time free to talk. My job, my responsibility, is to protect our players and try to get the maximum out of them. We know certain things that the outside world doesn’t know.
“They can comment but sometimes without knowing all the details, which is a little bit unfair for the people. We make decisions that sometimes people are judging but without really knowing the detail. That criticism is part of our job.”
The Insider’s View:
Aubameyang will be the first one to admit that he hasn’t been himself this season. However, the reaction from some pundits have been extremely over the top, even after most of them knew about the former Dortmund man’s problems behind the scenes.
The Arsenal skipper has had a lot of personal problems to deal with this season. His mother was unwell for a while and just when he recovered from that, he picked up Malaria which had a terrible effect on his body.
All that combined with the kind of criticism he has received from some pundits this term has made this a really difficult season for him. Hopefully, he gets some slack now, but knowing some of the people who are given voices on television these days, Auba shouldn’t hope for any change.