After a solid start to the campaign, Arsenal’s season has gone south fairly quickly. Rewind to the beginning of October and the Gunners found themselves third in the Premier League table and had a perfect record in the Europa League. However, the north London club have managed just one win over their seven total matches since October 6th. This lone victory came in a comeback win against Vitoria de Guimaraes at the Emirates last month.
The difficult month has essentially put the Gunners behind the eight ball in the league standings. They are now in sixth place, eight points back of an important fourth place finish. Not only are they well behind in the race for a Champions League spot, Arsenal are the only team in the top nine to also hold a negative goal difference at this point in the season.
This significant drop in form has found head coach Unai Emery under massive pressure. A vast majority of Arsenal fans have made it clear that they want a new coach to lead the club into the future. Nevertheless, the team’s brass has backed their current coach and claim that Emery’s job is not currently under consideration. This, however, is standard procedure and a change in leadership could very well occur at any time.
While the actual match results will ultimately decide Emery’s future with the club, the Spaniard hasn’t exactly helped himself in recent big decisions away from the pitch. The former PSG boss controversially stripped Granit Xhaka of his captaincy following an incident with the fans and then named Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the new club captain.
Despite the fact that Aubameyang is an outstanding and immensely important player, the Gabon international has rubbed people the wrong way due to his connections with Arsenal Fan TV. The habitually negative fan group is notorious for berating their own players. At a time when togetherness is more important than ever, Emery’s decision to name a captain with these connections came off as very strange and possibly detrimental to both the team and the fan base.
In any event, Arsenal still have the talent and time to turn their season around. Falling eight points behind is tough to recover from, but not impossible. The Gunners easily possess a top four squad in the Premier League and have some of the most lethal firepower up front in the country. Defensive frailties are obviously the team’s main concern on the pitch; however, the usual goalscorers of Alexandre Lacazette and the aforementioned Aubameyang have been quiet over the last month.
Aubameyang has managed just one goal in his last five Premier League matches and Lacazette has zero in his last six total appearances. Though the Gunners have gotten some goals from other players, the club certainly lives or dies through their dynamic duo up front. In fact, Arsenal have lost just one out of their last 30 Premier League and European matches in which Aubameyang, in particular, has scored a goal.
Every player, even world-class strikers, are going to have a subpar month on the pitch. With Arsenal’s defense still shaky, they will need to rely on Aubameyang to do what he does best: score goals. And the the 30-year-old striker will almost certainly bag plenty of goals going forward.
With Aubameyang firing, Arsenal should creep back up the table. Time and ability are on Arsenal’s side. Just as a four game slide has hindered their top four chances, a quality run leading into the packed holiday fixture list could put them right back into contention for a Champions League place.