Arteta responds to Henry criticism of Arsenal decision

Mikel Arteta has defended his decision to take Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off in the defeat to Manchester United.

Aubameyang has failed to score in his last five Premier League games and has just four league goals to his name all season.

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Despite that lack of goals, Thierry Henry claimed after the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United that Arteta’s decision to take off his skipper and main striker was evidence that something “is not right” at Arsenal.

“Aubameyang is your captain. He is your goal scorer,” Henry told Amazon Prime Sport.

“You put him as your captain. 15 minutes to go, you’re losing 3-2 and you take him off. 3-2 away from home, you need a goal and you take your captain, your symbol, off the field. You know he can score goals so something is not right there.”

Ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Everton on Monday, Arteta set the record straight, explaining that Aubameyang “doesn’t look any different” and that the Arsenal striker is aware that he needs to score more goals.

“We made a decision to get the best out of the team and I believe in that moment it was the right call to get some fresh legs on,” Arteta said.

“The way he trains and the way he’s behaving he doesn’t look any different to me. We need his goals and his performances and we know he is part of our success.”

He added: “Of course, you’re always concerned when your main striker doesn’t score goals but he’s trying his hardest and he’s aware of how much we need him to score goals.

“At the moment they are not coming but everything else we ask him to do, he is doing his best.

Arsenal have scored just 17 goals in their opening 14 Premier League games and Arteta was also asked whether they would make a move in January to bolster their goalscoring options.

Arteta added: “We have to focus on the players we have and try to make them better and just take more of the chances than what we are doing.”


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