Piers Morgan said negative body language of Arsenal captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was a major concern in Sunday’s north London derby match against Tottenham.
Since beating Manchester United on November 1, Arsenal have played three Premier League matches without a win, scoring just one goal as they scored two defeats in those three matches.
Aubameyang, who ended speculation about his future by signing a three-year contract with the club in September, has scored only one goal in the league since the first day of the season, a penalty kick in Arsenal’s victory at Old Trafford.
The decline in level leads Arsenal to 14th in the table ahead of Sunday’s confrontation with Tottenham, who top the Premier League and have been unbeaten since the end of the first week of the season.
“There is something about body language, especially Aubameyang at the moment,” Arsenal fan Morgan told Sky Sports News.
“Whether it was a lack of confidence because he didn’t score in some matches, whether there was something behind the scenes … There is something going on behind the scenes at Arsenal.
“ Whether it’s related to Mesut Ozil and his situation where £ 350,000 a week goes to a guy sitting there on his Playstation, I don’t know, but that seems to be leaking into this team – a bit of indignation, a lack of fighting, a lack of emotion Lack of coherent tactics, and all of these things, we had a few weeks ago, so they went somewhere.
“It’s troubling, and I think the most worrying thing for me, as a big fan of him, is what’s going on with Obamyang. I hope the kind of pressure and adrenaline rush in North London Derby will bring him back in shape last season.”
Arsenal’s recent difficulties have increased scrutiny of coach Mikel Arteta, who has received widespread appreciation for the impact he had made after replacing Unai Emery last December with the club winning the FA Cup last season.
With the club trailing just eight points behind Tottenham in Sunday’s match, Morgan believes the Spaniard needs significantly more time to form the team to his liking.
“I think you should always give a new manager, I think, probably three or four windows,” Morgan said. “They have to get the team they want to judge.”
“I felt, ironically, we had a very, very good transfer period lately. We brought in some very good players – Gabriel, (Thomas) Barty, Willian. We quit Aubameyang – everything looked fine.
“I still believe in Arteta in the long run. I think Arteta is the right kind of character. I always say that Wenger brought us back away. For the first eight years he was a genius, and for the next 14 years he wasn’t a genius and I think we’ve really lost our way in the last few years.” From Wenger’s term and it will take some time to get back on top. “
And doubts injury to both teams in Sunday’s game, as Tottenham Hotspur captain Harry Kane and Arsenal on the fitness of Thomas Partey, the summer signing.
The Ghanaian midfielder, who joined from Atletico Madrid, played a crucial role in Arsenal’s victory over Manchester United, but was substituted between the halves during his next league match against Aston Villa, due to a thigh problem and has not played since.
Arteta warned earlier this week that he was still expected to miss “the next few matches”, but Morgan was hoping for a surprise comeback.
“I think Barty is the key,” Morgan said. “It looked like he was the pinnacle for United’s victory, so I’m just praying that he’s fit and Harry Kane isn’t on the field.
“I am a die-hard party believer. I think he came from Diego Simeone’s school. He seems to me a suitable world-class player, a fit general, and I hope he motivates us.”
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