Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks a shadow of the player he was at Borussia Dortmund, says Alan Smith
Last Updated: 04/03/18 5:19pm
Alan Smith fears Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been affected by the negativity surrounding Arsenal, saying he looks like a shadow of his former self.
The striker arrived from Borussia Dortmund in a £56m move in January, but his goal in Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at Brighton on Sunday was just the second he has scored in five matches so far.
At the Amex Stadium, Arsenal supporters were jeering and holding up banners calling for Arsene Wenger to be sacked, and former Gunners striker Smith says the club's new signings may have had their confidence knocked already.
"He looked a shadow of the player he was at Dortmund," Smith told Sky Sports. "Even he, in the short time he's been at Arsenal, has been affected by the mood.
"He got his goal with a little flick, but he's not the player I hoped he would be. I'm not saying he's a bad player, but it's a malaise through the dressing room and he's been affected.
"We haven't seen anything from [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan in an Arsenal shirt yet and this is when you need your big players, in an attacking sense, to get you back into a game."
First-half goals from Brighton's Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray saw Arsenal lose a fourth straight match in all competitions, with the club now 13 points off fourth place with nine Premier League games left to play.
And Smith said manager Wenger needs to take responsibility for a terrible defensive display.
He added: "We've had a few chaotic performances this season off Arsenal, but at times they just couldn't pass to an Arsenal shirt.
"It was Keystone Cops at times and I've rarely seen them sink as low as that in terms of their standards.
"They managed to recover a little bit in the second half, but not enough to recover anything from the match.
"As long as that's in Arsenal's make-up they are never going to be able to achieve any consistency. They are never going to be able to compete with the top teams.
"I always think with Arsenal that when they concede the first goal, like they did, then they lose their heads a little bit.
"They can't just go back into their shape and keep it tight for 10 or 15 minutes and work their way back into a game.
"It was really poor from the visitors today and Arsene Wenger must wonder how it's got to that - obviously the responsibility lies with him for those kind of displays."