Micah Richards has questioned whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is fulfilling his role as Arsenal captain after watching the club’s star striker turn in another dismal display against Liverpool.
The Gabon international signed a lucrative new contract in the summer, committing the remaining peak years of his career to the north London club but he has failed to maintain his best form over the course of a frustratingly inconsistent season.
Aubameyang was axed from the starting line-up ahead of last month’s north London derby win over Spurs after he turned up late for the pre-match team meeting.
The 31-year-old has failed to score in his three subsequent club appearances and was totally anonymous against the reigning champions on Saturday evening during a 3-0 defeat which Mikel Arteta branded ‘unacceptable’.
Aubameyang failed to register a single effort on goal and spent the majority of the match tracking back in an attempt to snuff out the attacking threat of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker cut a disconsolate figure as he trudged off the pitch following Arteta’s decision to haul him off with 13 minutes remaining and Richards questioned whether the current skipper is capable of motivating the dressing room.
He said: ‘It’s not great to be honest. I think losing David Luiz as well he’s a real leader. They’ve got Aubameyang who’s captain, I’m not in the changing room so I don’t know but he doesn’t look like he’s motivating that squad much.
‘Even Xhaka, for as much as he’s had problems with Arsenal football club he looks like he’s going in there and wants to put in a tackle. Today it was just too easy.
‘Anyone could play against that. Gary (Neville) made the point the centre halves didn’t have much to do.
‘We’ve mentioned before they’ve not played together, no experience and they didn’t have anything to do. And this is with Pepe, Aubameyang and Lacazette and Odegaard on the pitch.’