The problems at Arsenal can’t be fixed simply by adding new faces on the pitch

Bringing in some new stars is all well and good, but there are more issues at the Emirates than just playing personnel...


Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund finally announced the transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Wednesday morning with the Gunners hopeful the Gabonese striker’s arrival could help fans forget that the team is a pile of dogshit.

It was an uncharacteristically early announcement from the club that caught many people unawares, even though we’ve all been waiting for weeks for it to be confirmed. Unable to wheel out Theo Walcott to discuss how Swansea wanted it more than Arsenal, they had no choice but to use their new record signing to distract from their latest humiliation at the hands of the worst team in the league.

32,000 people tracked Aubameyang’s private jet as it flew from Dortmund to London Gatwick, and just as many expected to be tracking it back again after the final whistle went at the Liberty Stadium.

Thankfully, Arsenal had ensconced Auba at London Colney on Tuesday afternoon, with Gunnersaurus ripping out all forms of communication to ensure that PEA couldn’t actually watch his new team play. You know, just in case.

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However, had they a true grasp of his character, they need not have feared. A player of Aubameyang’s quality and confidence would watch Arsenal knowing he will improve them just by stepping onto the pitch in a red-and-white shirt. All he has to do now is play football above a League 2 level and he’ll be hailed as a god. A well-paid footballing god at that.

Aubameyang arrives with a Nicklas Bendtner-sized ego and a scoring record to match the very best. The former Dortmund man has 21 goals this season already with 13 in just 16 league games. Alone, he scored 40 last season – Arsenal have scored just 46 in the league in 2017/18.

He’ll need every inch of his arrogance and ability in front of goal to counter-balance the effects of Arsene Wenger’s approach to coaching a defence – namely, that he isn’t interested in doing it.

And with Mesut Ozil committing to the club until 2021, Auba might just get the chance to do exactly that.

To Arsenal’s credit, you would be hard pushed to find anyone shocked that the club let Alexis Sanchez leave this month, yet they have managed to astound us all by signing two players we’ve actually heard of to fill the gaps while finding 12 million reasons Ozil should stick around.

Aubameyang now faces the biggest task of his career. Along with Mkhitaryan, he will be expected to fill in for Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin, Petr Cech, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck if Arsenal are to have any chance of making the top four this season.

There are now just 13 league games left for Arsenal, who are eight points adrift of fourth place. They have to travel to Tottenham, Brighton, Leicester, Newcastle, United and Huddersfield, and play Manchester City at home. That leaves just six games they can expect to win given their fetish for bending over away from home. A time machine might have been a better use of Arsenal’s transfer funds if top four really is their aim.

Or buying out Arsene Wenger’s contract.

On an ordinary day, the news that Arsenal had managed to get one of the world’s leading goalscorers to join them while convincing the world’s greatest goal creator to stay at the club, would have had fans climaxing with every mouse click. But following so close to the Swansea Shambles, and mixed in with the exits of Alexis, Walcott, Giroud, and Coquelin, the sound of Arsene Wenger’s dying swansong makes a pretty awful football porn soundtrack.

The problems at Arsenal are not fixable with new faces on the pitch or renewed old ones, and none of these deals address a defence that has shipped more goals than the Titanic did Atlantic ice.

That’s not to say it’s not brilliant to see Arsenal bring in a player like Aubameyang, especially in January. But I can’t shake the feeling that the club are like a married couple who have been fighting for ten years and have now decided a baby will fix things. Sure, it will distract for a little while, but eventually, someone has to deal with the shit.

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