Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ‘past his best’ and has ‘lost his superpowers’, Jamie Redknapp believes.
The Gabon international struggled to have any sort of impact as the Gunners laboured to a 1-0 defeat to Premier League pace-setters Man City at the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta, Pep Guardiola’s former assistant at the Etihad Stadium, will have been pleased that his team did not crumble after dropping behind, but they never came close to breaking City’s fine run of 18 successive wins.
And Redknapp believes the Gunners’ talisman’s influence is lessening with every passing game following his latest no-show in north London.
“This is an important time for this club and the manager right now,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“March 14th is a huge day for them when they play Tottenham because it’s the sort of game that can turn the tide for both teams.
“I look at that team today and you look at a team full of great players and one team with only one or two.
“I look at Aubameyang and he is past his best. He has lost his superpowers. I’m seeing now like he is going to get bullied every occasion.
‘The likes of [Bukayo] Saka and [Emile] Smith Rowe – they’re the ones who are leading the way. The other players have got to step up more.”
Arteta said his side had made a tactical blunder in allowing City to seize the initiative so early through Raheem Sterling’s second-minute goal.
He told Sky Sports: “The way we conceded the first goal put us in a really difficult situation – to concede against them is tough because it puts the game exactly where they want it.
“I think the team reacted really well – we were on top of the game and we started generating chances and momentum, but we lacked the quality in those situations, so we struggled.
“We got something wrong, we talked about something and we didn’t do it in the first five or 10 minutes.
“It was a tactical thing that we prepared and we were unable to read it in the game and that cost us because we were disorganised.”