Football

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Martin Keown spoke very honestly about Aubameyang after Arsenal 0-0 Sporting

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Arsenal have officially qualified for the last-32 of the Europa League.

The Gunners won their first three group games, but were held to a 0-0 draw by Sporting Lisbon last night at the Emirates.

However, Qarabag's win away at FC Vorskla assured Unai Emery of qualification - but they are not guaranteed top spot yet.

It was an underwhelming night at the Emirates on Thursday, which was marred further by the serious ankle injury sustained by Danny Welbeck in the first-half.

The reaction of the players around him said it all, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming on in his place.

But the Gabonese striker failed to leave his mark on the game, missing a host of guilt-edged chances.

The jet-heeled forward did get Jeremy Mathieu a straight red card in the 88th-minute, but he then skied the resulting free-kick.

Not his best night, especially for a striker of his calibre.

Arsenal legend Martin Keown was in the BT Sport studio after the game and offered a very honest opinion on Aubameyang's current situation.

Aubameyang after Mathieu's red card

Keown said: "He is the closest thing to Thierry Henry that I have seen since he left the club, he really is that good.

"Someone in his camp should be pushing him on, dragging that performance out of him because he is a special talent, he scores lots of goals and it’s just a hunger get him to boiling point, I don’t think he was there tonight."

He's got a point. Aubameyang has scored a lot of goals at Arsenal - 19 in 29 appearances - but he's struggled to impact a lot of games.

Joe Cole also shared Keown's opinion in the studio, saying: "He is so talented he has such good physical attributes but he needs senior players pushing him on telling him how good he can be because his goal scoring record is good but he sort of flits in and out of games.

Aubameyang on the bench

"If I’m Aubameyang I’m looking around thinking I want to score goals like Kane or Aguero. I think he played within himself and he just needs a little push."

Emery is the man that needs to inspire Aubameyang.

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Topics:
Martin Keown
Europa League
Football
Unai Emery
Sporting
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal

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