Wenger reveals more about Aubemeyang’s left wing potential

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Arsene Wenger says that he has no qualms deploying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left side of his attack because he thinks the position suits his new signing’s attributes.

After Sunday’s win against Stoke, the boss hinted that the Gabon international could shift from a central position to accommodate Alexandre Lacazette should he feel the need to play his two star strikers in the same line-up.

Ahead of this weekend’s game against Southampton, he reiterated the fact that Aubameyang’s pace means he’s versatile enough to play across the front line.

“He is very good at running in behind defenders, and on the flanks there is a bit more room for that.

“He has huge physical potential and on the flanks he can express that much more than he can in the middle, going up and down.

“He has that capacity to repeat at high intensity, and that’s why I think when he plays on the left it suits him well.

“Also, when you play on the left you can come inside and shoot with your right foot, and he loves to do that.

“He gives us width and runs in behind and that’s a very important ingredient in success. When you’re a defender and somebody runs in behind, you don’t like that too much. He has that capacity.”

Given Aubameyang is cup-tied in the Europa League and Alex Lacazette is just returning from injury, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the former starts centrally against Southampton with the latter taking a breather ahead of Thursday’s trip to Russia for the Europa League quarter-final second leg.

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Redbeard

Wenger says things about most players playing various positions, Sagna and Kolasinac when they signed, he said they can play across the back 4. It’s too our detriment sometimes square pegs round holes.

Almọnd

We don’t have any real winger in our team since Walcott left there by forcing bellerin to overlap a lot and that exposes our back four. Me I’m a fan of Newcastle Captain and defender, Lascelle if that’s his name. And how about leaving our two main CF as CF cos every team keeps two or more CFs and buy a good winger to add some width to our attack.

Runzac

Yes, totally insane in modern football to ask players to be versatile. Fabregas as a striker at Barcelona – Fabian Delph at LB at ManShitty just to name a couple of many examples. These managers should just go play FIFA on their PlayStation.

Nick Foskett

Strangely enough players tend to play much better in the positions that are natural to them and often seem lost and out of place when their not. Who would have thought that would be the case?

Nick Foskett

Can’t understand the amount of thumbs down your comment got ,you just spoke the truth ! Wenger has made a career out of trying to turn players into something that they are not its worked on ONE notable player Henry and a lesser one in Toure the first from a winger into a center forward the latter from a midfielder into a central defender ,oh yes and Lauren how could I forget Ralph, his failures are far more numerous however , Reyes was ruined by being played wide ,Bendtner if he was anything was an old fashioned target man Wenger… Read more »

Evang. Simon

It makes a lot of sense to me………..

IamaGoober

I’m sorry but Aubameyang doesn’t actually have any real prowess out wide. When they moved him out there for Dortmund he was dreadful. I honestly cannot believe we’re looking to deploy him in that position. He’s one of the best strikers in European football who we’ve just paid €70million for, who’s scored shit loads of goals as a striker. So here’s an idea: how about we play him as a fucking striker! Like why do we have to shoehorn players into positions that they’re not good at? Can’t we just play them we’re theyre supposed to be. And how about… Read more »

C.B.

Your first two paragraphs are well argued.

‘The top level isn’t your bag anymore, you make horrendous decisions on a pretty much constant basis now.’ isn’t. Give some examples of the decisions (and that they are his decisions) and the frequency, meaning there are lots of them.

IamaGoober

@C.B Off the top of my head: Away at Liverpool; playing the Ox as a RWB even though fucking everyone (bar Arsene) knew he was leaving. But in order to shoehorn him into the side he moves our best fucking right back over to LWB. Oh … in the same game he didn’t play Lacazette our best striker. Away at Man City; he doesn’t start Lacazette. Our best striker at the time. Was in fairly decent form and he drops him for one of the biggest fixtures in the season. Away at Chelsea; he dropped Alexis Sanchez, when he was… Read more »

ramgooner

@IamaGoober I personally blame Welbeck, Iwobi and the board. Let’s be honest we can do much much better than Welbeck in the transfer market. You can defend Iwobi by saying he’s young and end product will come but what excuse has Welbeck got. In all those situations you have mentioned one of Welbeck and Iwobi could have and should have done better. That’s exactly why the invincibles were better. We had people like Kanu, Reyes and Wiltord. These guys stepped up when it mattered. Iwobi has had plenty of game time this season. About time he started scoring and assisting.… Read more »

   kaius

I know some have a negative view of Iwobi but we need to cut our youngest regular starter some slack.

Ozil has 8 league assists, Ramsey 6, then Iwobi and Xhaka have 5. And Iwobi has played less minutes than all three.

Chidi

Exactly! Frankly speaking, Iwobi’s skillset suits him best for a central midfield position. The way he protects the ball and brings players into the game is really great. He’s hardly bullied off the ball either. Expecting him to score a truck load might be nonsense, but he does need to work on his shooting though. We really need to appreciate what a player he is

Dave M

Its the same $hit every year. We’re a disaster through the middle of the season and when the pressure is off we get a couple wins at the end abs everyone feels oh so joyful and its all Wenger is great again. The ONLY way he should be anywhere near managing the club next year is if we win Europa. Even then I think he should walk away on a high. But he won’t.

Bottom line after the last two season and no champs league hw should not be the manager next. We need something fresh.

   kaius

Was wondering today whether fans will come back if he’s till here at the start of next season.

People spent so much time accusing anyone criticising Wenger of “abusing the manager” but they didn’t realise how deeply fed-up with him a large section of the fanbase was becoming.

   kaius

After the last two seasons, why would anyone have to ask for proof that Wenger makes bad decisions? We’re 30pts off the top of the table. 20,000 fans have gone missing from our stadium.

IamaGoober only listed examples from this season, but there’s plenty of examples from our comical Champions League campaigns too. Bringing Flamini on against Barca was legendary.

Nick Foskett

Taking Auba off yesterday when he wasnt injured and didn’t need resting was one such daft decision playing left sided players on the right and vice versa is another made more than once this season, not picking your record buy striker against Liverpool another, playing the Ox against the same team when it was probably already decided he was going to become their player another! I could go on but I’d imagine your got the gist of my reply to your comment by now

Deano

He started out wide at Dortmund because Lewandowski was still there, and had a very good season.

But yeah I think he kind of enjoys the main striker role and will become a bit cheesed off if he doesn’t play there every week.

Objectivefan

Aubameyang played on the left for Dortmund until he was moved up front when Lewandowski left. He was also Ligue 1 player of the year with 19 goals from the left.

Goonerink

yeah, he didnt score as many goals as a LW as he did a CF but he started out as a winger he didnt get moved there.

no one cried that alexis was played on the left when he played on the right at barca and up front for chile, when his best position was OBVIOUSLY on the left…..

Fatgooner

Be careful, IamaGoober: if you dare to speak common sense on this website you’ll be slagged off and down-voted. Wenger’s got plenty of form in taking quality players and ruining them by playing them out of position. It looks like he’ll try it again with Aubameyang. The good thing is that he’ll be gone this summer so there’s nothing to worry about. It’s gonna be interesting to see what size crowd will turn up this lunchtime. With Spuds winning yesterday, any last hope of a top-four finish was finally extinguished, so this game is a dead rubber as far as… Read more »

John bull

From a true Arsenal supporter ?

Runzac

It´s so easy to pour out frustration. Just wait for a loss and the spit it all out. No context needed. Everything must be like the Invincibles season or else it´s just rubbish, right Mr. Fatgooner? #mrknowitall

John bull

Who should we trust more in making the decisions and calls on the players ? A Sunday morning quarterback and armchair critic or someone who has delivered more than 10 trophies in 20 years , 4 finals, 3 trophies in the last 5 ,a world class stadium , a distinctive style of football ? Who should decide on who should be put in charge of the team ? Who takes responsibility for the decision ?

Reflect and let us know

C.B.

Surely all of us on here know more about the day-to-day situation at the club and have far more experience of football decision-making than Wenger ever will.

In particular, we all have the benefit of hindsight, Wenger will never have that.

[Possibly 4 trophies in the last five.]

C.B.

And we have the gift of ignoring any good decisions Wenger has made.

Nick Foskett

Yes all true and worthy achievements BUT can you tell me out of those 22 years now HOW long we went between trophies? Please do not use the new stadium as an excuse ,we had a very manageable mortgage on the bowl we could have spent more than we did besides Dortmund and Leicester prove that lack of mega funds doesn’t mean you cannot compete at all . George Graham 6 trophies in 8 years including a European pot Wenger with the help of GG defence at first 10 in 22 years so 12 years without any trophies and NO… Read more »

ramgooner

4-2-3-1 or maybe even 4-2-4. We should get another top striker in the summer and move Auba to left wing. Laca can play second striker/No.10 combining with midfielders, drifting into the box and Ozil on the right coming in central areas from the right and feeding 3 deadly strikers. We should be targeting someone with CL experience like a Lewandowski or Benzema. Another option is to go for a top CM like Modric instead of going for a striker so that we can manipulate the ball better in midfield and do well in transitions. If we can’t get a top… Read more »

C.B.

Musa 2 goals in 21 games for Leicester, no assists, and previously one goal in three games for CSKA, in a much poorer league. Not good enough.

Top midfielder to protect the defence and launch attacks, yes.

ramgooner

A squad player like Musa only if there are no top cl level strikers available. Also I think Musa will be extremely cheap as he is at the end of his contract if I’m right. We need to strengthen everywhere. Priority has to be midfield and attack. In defence I’d love someone like tarkowski. He costed less than ten million for Burnley. We should get an English CB in his mid twenties and look to build an English core at the back. I don’t mind a Greek CB if it means he can work with mavropanos. It’s all about communication… Read more »

Andy Mack

IMO you can’t really have a player like Musa as a squad player. At Leicester he showed he’s only good when he gets game-time (like many others) and completely anonymous when he isn’t sharp.

Deano

You talk as if goalkeepers and centre backs are grown in a back yard and we should just unearth one. We need a leader and preferably a defensive one. With Aubameyang , mkhytaryan, Ozil, Laccazette and Ramsey being a pretty potent strike force we need to focus all our attention at the back.

ramgooner

@Deano Let’s look at the CB’s we have Mustafi, Koscielny, Chambers, Holding, Mavropanos(we didn’t loan him out for a reason), Monreal and it’s been confirmed that the idea behind extension of El Neny is to use him at CB when needed. Numbers wise we are fine there. We just need 1 quality CB. Burnley bought James Tarkowski for 4 million. Leicester won the league with Morgan. Bournemouth have Steve Cook at the back who’s been consistently good. There are plenty of leaders out there who can come in and guide young CB’s like Chambers, Holding and Mavropanos. All i’m saying… Read more »

ramgooner

Also moving Auba to the left flank guarantees opposition right back cannot play high up. Auba is a big big big upgrade on Walcott. Walcott always played well in big games in PL and Europe and the reason being fullbacks of quality teams tend to play a bit higher up the pitch but the thing with Walcott is he can’t dribble or finish to save his life. I think Auba can do that much better because he’s got experience. We saw the other day when Ozil played a superb through ball to Auba when he moved left. He can always… Read more »

Midgunner

This makes no sense to me. Why move one of the best instinctive finishers in Europe away from goal?

Either play two up front with Laca maybe slightly deeper, or you know, buy an actual winger.

The fact is we’ve bought two expensive players for the same position. Makes you wonder whether there was any plan at all.

Ramzil

I always said Auba could play as a wide forward if we want to keep Laca in the team. He could be what Walcott was suppose to be for us.

Tasmanian Jesus

So, he’s willing to do to Auba what Juve did to Henry?
Remember, that was the reason Henry came to us..

Andy Mack

Henry was a winger. He’s said many times that when AW moved him to CF he didn’t think he’d be good at it…

Hulk

Arsene pays 70 million for the finished article to ruin him…great!

Ross

Personally think laca is better suited to the right than auba on the left. Laca has more all round game and for me could be the player we wanted Walcott to be

ramgooner

Depends on the opposition i suppose. It’s true that our current forwards are very versatile. In fact if we add one more top forward with an end product we’d be banging in goals left, right and centre.

Who will the opposition mark? Laca, Auba, New guy or Ozil? We’ll always create chances and finish.

Personally loved Laca’s goal against CSKA. When was the last time we had a striker who could take a touch inside the box and finish with his weaker foot like that.

I Didn't See It

Weaker foot, and with minimal back-lift. It was really really good.

Men With Ven

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Andy Mack

We had a very mobile/flexible/transferable front line in the Invincibles.
They could all play LW/CF/10/RW to at least a decent level, and regularly swapped continuously throughout a game. Although it’s fair to say that God could only play as a winger because of his immense skill rather than any great speed by then.
AW isn’t saying that Auba is now our LW.
He’s just saying that we’ve a flexible front line again, which we couldn’t have with OG.

ramgooner

Well said.

LuisBoaMuerte

So Wenger in his peak received a lot of praise for transforming a raw left winger into a world class striker. Now he’s attempting the exact opposite.

LuisBoaMuerte

If we can’t play with two strikers (and I totally understand that especially with Ozil to accommodate) we should drop back Lacazette to the wing / behind the striker. Better technically and more nimble with the ball at his feet.

Matt

Out of all the crazy ideas he has had, this ranks somewhere in the middle.

Sonuvagun

Why are people losing their shit about this? This is a classic Wenger mirage. He will continue play him through the middle for sure.

Leslie Enwerem

This is so frustrating. Is it not time you got it right Arsene? Been 20 odd years.

Play strikers as strikers and wingers as wingers. No one will think you’re a genius if you pull it off, but we will think less of you if you don’t.

All we want is to watch good football. We don’t want to watch really good players struggle, lose their confidence and then never manage to get it back again. We’ve done that too many times before.