Arsenal manager Unai Emery said he wanted his players ‘to be angry’ after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang expressed discontent at being substituted during a poor display at St James’ Park.
Aubameyang’s performance on the Arsenal left underlined the problems Unai Emery is having in deploying the Gabon international and Alexandre Lacazette together.
But that offered no excuse for the former’s poor delivery and control. Yet he still made it clear he did not accept being removed on 68 minutes.
Emery said of the player’s reaction: ‘It is normal. I want players when I change those on the field, and they are not in the first 11, to be angry… with ambition to play and help the team and to stay on the pitch. For me it is a normal situation.’
Aaron Ramsey also left the field early, after 80 minutes.
Emery said of him: ‘He played with (the Wales) national team too much and he asked to change.. it was not a big problem but he was tired. I think no problem.’
Arsenal were second best in the opening 45 minutes at St James’ Park but took control of the contest thanks to a superb Granit Xhaka free-kick and a second from Mesut Ozil just after the break.
Though Ciaran Clark responded in stoppage time, Arsenal held out to record their third victory of the Emery era and rise to seventh in the table.
Emery challenged Ozil to rediscover his best form on a sustained basis following his winner here.
Asked if Arsenal would benefit from the former Germany international’s decision to retire from international football, Emery said: ‘It’s a new way for him.
‘We want his performance each training day and in each match and for him to give us his quality. I want also his best performance for us and he worked well at first and had a good match.
‘For me, every player is the same. We want to give them confidence and also push them. Today, I am happy because I want every player to have chances to score and he scored today.
‘He has to continue helping with his quality and working hard to continue with the performances we want from him.’
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