The Gabon striker is eager to put his disciplinary breach behind him and help the Gunners finish the season strongly
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed he has held positive talks with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta after being dropped against Tottenham last weekend.
Aubameyang had to watch on from the bench as Arsenal earned a 2-1 victory over Spurs in the north London derby on Sunday, with Arteta revealing before the game that he took the forward out of his starting XI due to a disciplinary breach.
The Spanish head coach insisted that the issue had been “resolved” ahead of the Gunners’ Europa League round of 16 meeting with Olympiacos, where they will defend a 3-1 aggregate lead, and Aubameyang is eager to put the whole episode behind him.
What’s been said?
The 31-year-old, who returned to Arsenal’s starting XI for the second leg tie on Thursday, addressed the incident in his programme notes before discussing the importance of making progress in Europe’s second-tier competition.
“On my own situation, I have spoken with the boss and it’s all done now – we move on,” said Aubameyang. “I’m focused on the next game and it’s a big one for us. We fought so hard last Thursday to get in this position, so now it’s time to finish the job.
“There is still work to do. We know all about what happened against them [Olympiacos] last season. We were in a strong position then after the first leg that time, but we didn’t kill them off and we got punished badly for it.
“We can’t let that happen again – we have to use our advantage, be wary of the opposition – but let’s play our game, go for the win and we’ll be through.”
Aubameyang’s thoughts on the north London derby
Aubameyang went on to single out the two players he felt made the difference for Arsenal during the win over Spurs, which saw Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lazazette get on the scoresheet.
The Gabon international was pleased to see Odegaard deliver on his promise in the final third and hailed Keiran Tierney for adding an extra attacking dimension to Arteta’s side in his absence.
“Odegaard deserved it, he worked so hard, we all know he’s got goals in his game so now he has got a couple, I’m sure he will keep getting more for us,” Aubameyang added.
“He’s so clever, he knows when to arrive in the box and we know we have players from wide who can deliver quality – like Kieran did for the first goal.
“He was so dangerous again for us on Sunday – it’s like having another forward!”
How has Aubameyang performed for Arsenal in 2020-21?
Aubameyang has struggled to match the prolific form of his first two-and-a-half seasons at Emirates Stadium in 2020-21, having been shifted out wide on the left on a number of occasions as Arteta has experimented with different formations.
However, the experienced frontman has still managed to hit 14 goals in 29 games across all competitions, with his last effort coming in a 1-1 draw with Burnley on March 6.