Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang plans to leave Arsenal after pulling out of contract talks

Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

Recently crowned as Arsenal captain, it might well be asked why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang felt it necessary to berate 20-year-old Joe Willock for a misplaced pass against Brighton. 

It was a moment that illuminated pretty well the tension that pervaded the Emirates for the majority of the 2-1 defeat. 

For a moment there, we were tempted to call it a shock result. 

Was it a shock, or did it simply confirm what every Arsenal fan already feared and suspected? 

That the problems in the red half of north London went way beyond Unai Emery and that interim boss Freddie Ljungberg is not going to be the solution. 

The Mirror's John Cross has published an illuminating piece on the depth of the crisis that is engulfing Arsenal at boardroom level. 

It is not just the future of their manager over which they are sweating, either. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has pulled out of contract talks, the strongest suggestion yet that the Gabon international intends to quit the club in search of silverware. 

There are just 18 months left on his current deal, making his sale a pressing matter in the summer lest he should leave for nothing. 

The striker is unlikely to go down as one of the great Arsenal captains - the armband was foisted on him after the Granit Xhaka fallout - but he would be a tremendous loss from a goalscoring point of view. 

Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

He has netted 53 goals in 83 games and is the only member of a homesick squad who ever achieves anything tangible away from the Emirates. 

The 30-year-old's future is just one urgent issue that needs to be sorted by the summer. The Ljungberg situation is another. 

Per the same source, the board hoped the former Invincible would inspire the current crop of players but he has so far overseen a draw with Norwich and a loss to Brighton. 

That makes finding a new manager simply cannot wait, as there are real concerns about the Swede's lack of experience. 

Initially, Arsenal planned to wait until the end of the season to pursue employed candidates like Brendan Rodgers - who has cleverly used these links to earn himself a massive pay rise and an extension at Leicester - and Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta. 

Waiting is no longer an option amidst their worst run since 1977. 

Can things get any worse? Arsenal could enter the new decade in the relegation zone and have both Chelsea and Manchester United to face over the Christmas period. 

Their season already seems to have been written off by both the hierarchy and even certain players. 

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