Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal put four past Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League opener at the Emirates, even though it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Gunners. Two unnecessary late goals for the visitors marred the occasion somewhat with old defensive woes reappearing.
Games like this one, however, can sometimes do wonders for the form of a striker. A few goals in the net of inferior opposition, with all due respect to the Ukranian side, have been known to spark a goal streak for an attacking player, and Aubameyang could get some valuable confidence boost from his fantastic performance on Thursday.
Sky Sports pundit, former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur player Jamie Redknapp believes the European campaign can serve Aubameyang as some sort of a form catalyst. It’s his belief that strikers are different to other players in a team, with the sound of the ball hitting the back of the net an important moment in their heads, regardless of the opposition. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that a Europa League brace is exactly what the Gabonese needed after a relatively slow start to the campaign.
Redknapp highlighted the former Dortmund man’s importance for Arsenal, although he feels that the recent comparisons with club legend Thierry Henry haven’t been warranted yet. For that, as Redknapp says, Aubameyang needs to start affecting big games in the Premier League – he needs to be scoring goals against the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea on a regular basis.
The former England international also believes that this might be the moment when Arsenal start making up some lost ground on their arch-rivals. Spurs have, it should be said, gone some way ahead since Mauricio Pochettino took over and Arsenal in that time dwindled, but they’ve utterly failed to make use of the summer transfer window and their form at the moment seems quite poor.
On the other hand, the Gunners are slowly starting to take shape under Unai Emery. It will still take time. The road is long, but at least it seems to be the right one.