Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has called on Arsenal’s players to stick together as they aim to “raise the level” after a 5-0 loss to Manchester City leaves them still without a point in the Premier League.
Having already suffered league defeats to Brentford and Chelsea to open the 2021-22 season, the Gunners endured a chastening outing in the early kick-off against the reigning champions on Saturday.
City scored twice inside the opening 12 minutes and were three up by the interval, by which time Arsenal were down to 10 men after Granit Xhaka received a straight red card for serious foul play.
The heavy defeat on the road comes ahead of an international break, during which captain Aubameyang believes the squad need to hold honest talks between themselves, having worryingly played with a lack of courage against Pep Guardiola’s impressive side at the Etihad Stadium.
“You have to take risks and you have to be brave on the ball, and we didn’t today,” Aubameyang said. “After that and the red card, it was a completely different game.
“But, as I said, this is not enough and everyone needs to raise the level, look at ourselves in the mirror and work this out as a team and stick together. This is the only way to go forward.
“We have to play with courage and in this type of game, you have to play with everything. You have to take risks and we just didn’t do enough today, and that’s it.
“I think we need to talk between us players. I think this is now important because we are Arsenal and we need pride. That’s it. We have to talk and say the truth between each other, be honest and as I said, raise the level.”
Aubameyang had scored a hat-trick in a midweek EFL Cup thrashing of West Brom ahead of the trip to Manchester, yet Arsenal are still to register a league goal during the campaign.
They mustered just one shot against City, their lowest tally in a top-flight match since Opta started recording such data in 2003-04.
A third straight failure to score means they are stuck on the club’s longest run of fixtures without scoring a goal in the competition since a four-game span from January 31 to February 28 in 2009.
“For sure [the rebuilding process] is going to be difficult, but we are a team,” Aubameyang, who had just 15 touches against City before being replaced just before the hour mark, continued.
“We have to stick together in this moment. As the senior players, we have to show the way as well to the young players. I know that won’t be easy but we will try to do our best.”
Arsenal have a fortnight before they get the chance to play again, returning after the international window with a home game against Norwich City.
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