Mikel Arteta responds to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher’s criticism of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal FC v Slavia Praha - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Leg One
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been suffering from malaria. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says recent criticism of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proves people can pass judgement without knowing the full ‘details’ about a player’s situation.

The 31-year-old came in for fierce criticism from Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher earlier this month following his performance in a 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Neville accused Arsenal’s front six of playing like a ‘little Mafia’ against Liverpool, with the former Manchester United captain fearing the attacking players were trying to get Arteta sacked.

While Carragher said Arteta had another Mesut Ozil-type situation on his hands with Aubameyang, given the player is on big money at the age of 31 and is past his best.

However, that game against Aubameyang’s was his last before he was diagnosed with malaria and the striker played twice while suffering with the disease.

Aubameyang has since returned to the side and he scored during a 2-0 win against Newcastle on Sunday.

Newcastle United v Arsenal - Premier League
Aubameyang got back to scoring ways against Newcastle. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

And Arteta believes the recent criticism of the striker from Carragher and Neville shows that sometimes people are unaware of the full situation.

‘Again they are all the time free to talk,’ said Arteta.

‘My job and my responsibility is to protect the players and to get the maximum out of them. Obviously we know certain things that the outside world doesn’t know and they can comment but sometimes without really knowing the details.

‘We make decisions that sometimes people are judging but without really knowing the detail. That criticism is part of our job.

‘He played well and he felt much better than the days before that. Scoring a goal is really important for him as well so he’s in a good place.’

Aubameyang will be hoping to start on Thursday as the Gunners seek to overturn a 2-1 defeat from the first leg of their Europa League semi-final clash against Villarreal.

A Nicolas Pepe penalty gave Arsenal a crucial away goal out in Spain, when the Gunners were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Dani Ceballos.

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