Mikel Arteta has instructed struggling forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not to overthink things as he aims to return to form.
Aubameyang has been prolific for the Gunners during his time at the club, scoring 22 league goals in each of the past two seasons.
This season, though, has been different, as the Gabon striker has only two Premier League goals in 11 games. Just one of those goals came from open play, and it occurred on the season’s opening day.
Ahead of Arsenal’s game against Burnley on Sunday, Gunners head coach Arteta told his star forward that he will perform better if he’s able to clear his mind.
“Sometimes, it’s how much you think,” said Arteta. “With strikers like Auba that has to be in a natural way. He doesn’t need to think.
“The action is there, he makes the choice in the right moment, with the correct foot, and puts the ball where it needs to be.
“Sometimes, when you are in this sort of spell, you overthink a bit. There is nothing we can teach him to do differently to what he’s done in the past.”
Aubameyang’s poor run of form has come with his team struggling as a whole. Arsenal have lost three of their last four Premier League matches and enter Sunday’s game in 15th place.
Though Arteta is aware of Aubameyang’s importance to his team’s cause, he knows that the scoring burden can’t only fall on the striker’s shoulders.
“Individually, we’re doing a lot to see where he scores his goals, how they get provided, the areas he needs to attack, and the type of finishes he is efficient with,” the Spaniard added.
“When you have a player in this spell, you need others to step up. The problem is when there’s two, three or four players in the same way, it becomes unattainable.
“So you need someone there to help him. Then things come more naturally because the pressure is less.“
Heading into the game against Burnley, the Gunners have scored just 10 goals in 11 league matches. Only the league’s bottom three sides – Burnley, West Brom and Sheffield United – have scored fewer goals this season.