BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand has questioned why Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe have not scored more goals in order to help out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the top end of the pitch.
The Gunners captain is struggling for form at the moment and Ferdinand can’t understand why other stars have not stepped up to the plate to plug the gap:
“When Aubameyang doesn’t bang nobody else seems to be stepping up, that’s the problem. I love the way Arteta is bringing the young players in and the young players have been performing but sometimes you need the experienced players to drag you through a situation like this.”
“Laca man! We need Laca to come up with some goals man! Pepe! When you get your chance come in and bang. We haven’t seen that cutting edge from this Arsenal team. Arteta came in and steadied the ship and told them ‘This is what I’m doing, this is my team this is what I do at Arsenal’ and the players responded to it.”
“Aubameyang, in particular, was scoring goals but this just shows you how reliant this team is on Aubameyang. If he doesn’t score then Arsenal aren’t the same team man.”
In Lacazette’s case, it appears the Frenchman is suffering from the same lack of confidence as Aubameyang, which is a massive concern for manager Mikel Arteta who should be relying on the two strikers to get him goals.
Pepe’s situation is different and it’s slightly unfair of Ferdinand to criticise the Ivorian considering he has started just two Premier League games this season. Were he to get a longer run in the side, we would have more to judge him on.
Whoever is to blame, though, the lack of goals is one of the central issues for Arteta currently and he needs to resolve the problem fast.