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Arsenal’s Arteta 'has fallen out of love' with Aubameyang – Keown

11:58 GMT+3 11/12/2021
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal.
The 55-year-old former Gunners captain feels the 32-year-old striker needs the protecting of his manager to regain his form

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has admitted striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is currently struggling for form but called on manager Mikel Arteta to step in and support the player.

The 32-year-old Gabon international has gone for six matches without a goal for the Gunners in the Premier League and was benched in the 2-1 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park.

Aubameyang, whose last goal came in Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on October 22, has also missed a number of open chances especially in the games against the Toffees and Watford where he also fluffed a penalty.

Keown, who won three Premier League titles with the North London club, believes Arteta is the only person who can help Aubameyang to regain his form.

“He’s fallen out of love with the player, he doesn’t quite believe in him,” Keown told talkSPORT.

“OK, you’ve given him a new contract six months into his tenure as manager when they won the FA Cup and that’s all well and good, but since then he hasn’t performed in the same way.

“The player is at a loss of form and in those moments, if I look at it from the player’s point of view, you want that support from the manager and want someone to stand by you.

“You certainly expect, if you’ve been dropped, to come on in a game of high importance.”

Keown has further explained the reason he feels the Arsenal skipper should have started in the away game against Everton.

“I do believe that Aubameyang should have started [vs Everton] and I’m trying to find the logic from the manager,” Keown continued. “Personally, I would play him.”

Keown, who made over 400 appearances for the Gunners and won 10 honours, also believes managers always find a way of restoring form to players who look out of sorts.

“He’s lost his confidence and it’s about how he regains it,” added Keown. “These are all the skills of a manager.

“The top managers find a way. I always found with the top managers I played under that they never wavered, they always showed that undeniable belief for me.

“Then they got the best from me.”

He also believes that Arteta’s decision to drop Aubameyang to the bench could also come to haunt him.

“It becomes a problem when you lose games,” added the former centre-back. “They’ve lost the last three away games, and if they were winning those games you’d have to say this is brilliant management but when they don’t win those games, that’s when the question marks come.

“It looks then as though the manager doesn’t quite know the XI he can really trust and rely upon.

“Arsenal away from home at the moment are losing too many games, conceding way too many goals and things are not right. So you can’t look at those decisions and say they were absolutely right by the manager.”

Arsenal will next face Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.