Martin Keown has defended under-fire striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by insisting Arsenal need to improve “collectively” rather than single out players.
The Gunners are winless in four Premier League games and Aubameyang has managed just two goals, one of which came from the penalty spot.
But former Arsenal defender Keown insists the striker is not receiving the service he needs to thrive and improvement is needed from each member of Mikel Arteta’s squad.
“It’s never about one player. I saw enough [against Spurs] to suggest that Arsenal have improved, they had 70 per cent possession,” Keown told Stadium Astro .
“This is about Arsenal losing a game that they tried to win and they were naive.
“You can talk about crosses, you can talk about how you create them, I feel Arteta will find a way to do that. As well as they did Spurs, soaking up pressure, Arsenal can obviously do a lot better.
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“That is not just down to Aubameyang. Yes, we need him to improve.
“The chances that Arsenal create, I think they are 20th, they are not scoring enough goals – just 10 from the start of the season.
“It’s all there but they are going to have to do it collectively. I don’t think we need to dig out one individual, it’s about the team now coming together, creating opportunities and staying in games long enough to win them with Aubameyang.
Is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being scapegoated for Arsenal’s poor form? Have your say here.
“I don’t think he’s getting the sort of chances that he thrives on. I think we waited until the 85th minute until we got Aubameyang in that position where he uses his pace and can finish.
“I’m not going to attack any one individual player, I think it’s about the collective. Yes he has to start scoring goals, yes he needs to do something inspirational, but he needs help from everyone else around him.”
Keown believes Arteta can help Aubameyang rediscover his form by ensuring the Gabonese ace drops deeper to receive the ball at his feet.
“He needs to retain his confidence and at the moment the confidence is ebbing away from the group,” Keown added.
“It’s not just Aubameyang, it’s about the manager. All these crosses into the box doesn’t suit Aubameyang, he wants the ball to feet, where he can do damage.
“It’s quite difficult for him when he realises he can’t count on those behind him. It’s a two-way show in any team. Aubameyang needs more, and to give more.”
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