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Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has claimed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already been adversely affected by the mood at the club since his January arrival.
Aubameyang joined the Gunners for £56m in the winter transfer window having scored 141 goals in just 213 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, but his strike during this afternoon’s defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion was only his second in five Arsenal outings so far.
The result saw Arsenal slump to a fourth consecutive defeat across all competitions and again ramped up the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger, and Smith believes that the team’s new signings have been dragged down by the team rather than helping to lift them up.
“He looked a shadow of the player he was at Dortmund. Even he, in the short time he’s been at Arsenal, has been affected by the mood. He got his goal with a little flick, but he’s not the player I hoped he would be. I’m not saying he’s a bad player, but it’s a malaise through the dressing room and he’s been affected,” Smith told Sky Sports News.
“We haven’t seen anything from [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan in an Arsenal shirt yet and this is when you need your big players, in an attacking sense, to get you back into a game. We’ve had a few chaotic performances this season off Arsenal, but at times they just couldn’t pass to an Arsenal shirt. It was Keystone Cops at times and I’ve rarely seen them sink as low as that in terms of their standards.
“They managed to recover a little bit in the second half, but not enough to recover anything from the match. As long as that’s in Arsenal’s make-up they are never going to be able to achieve any consistency. They are never going to be able to compete with the top teams. I always think with Arsenal that when they concede the first goal, like they did, then they lose their heads a little bit.
“They can’t just go back into their shape and keep it tight for 10 or 15 minutes and work their way back into a game. It was really poor from the visitors today and Arsene Wenger must wonder how it’s got to that – obviously the responsibility lies with him for those kind of displays.”
Wenger remained defiant regarding his future after the match, which saw his side lose for the eighth time already in 2018.
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