Mikel Arteta has discussed how Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has overcome ‘difficult moments’ to rediscover his best form in recent weeks.
Aubameyang endured a difficult start to the season and scored just once from open play in his first 12 league fixtures, but has shown recent signs of getting back to his best, scoring twice – including a late winner – as Arsenal beat Benfica 3-2 to reach the Europa League’s last 16 on Thursday night.
The Gabon international also netted his first Premier League hat-trick against Leeds earlier this month and has five goals in his past five league outings, with Arteta discussing the return to form of the club captain.
Ahead of this weekend’s clash with Leicester, Arteta insists he has seen a reaction from the 31-year-old and has praised the forward for his attitude after persevering through the ‘difficult moments’ earlier in the campaign.
“Sometimes when you go through difficult moments, you can have those difficult moments and get into a sad mode,” said Arteta at his pre-match press conference.
“I think that’s the worst thing you can do because nobody has to feel sorry for themselves when you’re having those moments. What you have to do is get upset, get angry, work harder and approach the situation and face it.
“Face the challenge in a way that creates more motivation and more hunger to do it and I think in recent weeks I’ve seen that reaction.
“For example, in a training session before we played here he missed a penalty and he was really upset. Instead of going sad he got upset and I said to the coaching staff that I like that and that he would be fine tomorrow.
“When you have that mentality, I think that’s the right way to approach it.”