Unai Emery Says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Lacking Confidence After Slow Start

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 24, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenalduring the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on August 18, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is suffering from a lack of confidence after starting the 2018-19 season with no goals in the opening two games. 

Aubameyang was wasteful in Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Chelsea, leading Emery to acknowledge the Gabon international is enduring a rough spell, per Sky Sports' Rory O'Callaghan:

"Aubameyang needs to find the confidence, then to score and score another.

"The strikers, they need, I know a lot of strikers in my career and it's about the moment, they need [to be in] the moment, and he's the same.

"But I'm sure now that Aubameyang, [Alexandre] Lacazette, Danny Welbeck, they will score more goals in here, for us, in Arsenal."

ESPN FC's Mattias Karen provided additional quotes from Aubameyang, who netted 10 times in his first 13 Premier League games after signing for the Gunners in January:

But that form has not carried through to the 2018-19 campaign, and new coach Emery has struggled to get the same out of Aubameyang as predecessor Arsene Wenger did in the second half of last season.

Emery added: "Last year, Aubameyang scored goals here. And for that, I spoke with him more times, and I have given him my confidence with his work. He is going to find goals. The first six months for him here is good, and he was doing goals last year. And for that, I am sure he is going to do the same this time."

The 29-year-old left Borussia Dortmund for the Emirates Stadium in January, and his 10 goals for the Gunners were enough to see him surpass the 30-goal mark for the third season in succession.

He will need to improve his current trajectory swiftly if he's to make that four. However, his public response to the Blues defeat was at least the kind fans would hope to see: 

Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were all guilty of missing chances against Chelsea, but the former missed more than any other Arsenal player with four, per WhoScored.com.

From the 2015-16 season until his departure, Aubameyang scored 100 goals in 119 appearances for Dortmund, which is evident of the high-calibre finishing he was exhibiting prior to his £56 million Arsenal switch.

One attribute Aubameyang offers in more abundance than any other player in the squad is pace, and he recently demonstrated his status as Arsenal's speed king:

Emery's men have yet to win this season and have been outscored five goals to two, although they were handed a difficult start, facing the two most recent Premier League champions, Manchester City (2017-18) and Chelsea (2016-17).

Aubameyang's readiness to contribute in front of goal will be critical to Arsenal's top-four hopes or even any slim chance the club might have of getting their campaign back on track to launch a title challenge.

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