Paul Merson Says: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should stay at Arsenal
Sky Sports pundit reminds Gunners captain of his crucial role at the Emirates and warns "the grass isn't always greener" as speculation over his future mounts
Last Updated: 12/04/20 11:47pm
Paul Merson explains why Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang should stay at Arsenal, how the suspension of football should reignite hunger in players, and offers his advice on managing mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
'Grass isn't always greener, Auba'
Merson responds to the president of the Gabon Football Association advising Aubameyang to leave Arsenal for a club with greater ambition…
It's easy saying move to another, more ambitious club and win stuff but there are not a lot of trophies to win, especially with the two phenomenal football clubs Liverpool and Manchester City.
I was very fortunate to play for Arsenal for a long time and make no mistake about it, it's a great club. The grass is not always green on the other side, you have got to be careful.
Aubameyang is at an age now where he will play every week for Arsenal. If he goes to, say, Manchester United or somewhere else, four or five bad games and you are out of the team.
He's going to play every week at Arsenal and when you are coming towards the end of your career, two or three years to go, you have got to enjoy your football and play.
If I were Aubameyang's agent I would be stressing that he is at one of the best clubs in the world, a phenomenal football club that has as much chance as anybody, bar Manchester City and Liverpool, winning something. For me, I would stay.
'I hope every player is hungrier, not only Pogba'
After Paul Pogba revealed his lengthy injury problems had made him hungrier than ever to return, Merson hopes the suspension of the football season due to the coronavirus pandemic serves as an added reminder to footballers just how fortunate they are to be playing the game…
I hope [Pogba returns hungrier than ever]. You cannot come out of all of this and not be hungry to play the greatest sport in the world.
You are getting paid to play something you thoroughly enjoy, so if you come out of this without that hunger to play football you should not be playing football or being paid to play.
Anybody would give anything to play football, and this will certainly give players the hunger and appreciation because football goes very quickly.
When I was playing at Arsenal, George Graham would tell me when I was 20-year-old to make the most of my career and I would think I had ages left, but it goes quickly.
Hopefully this will make players appreciate they are playing the best sport in the world and getting paid to do it. If Pogba does not come out of this hungry, pack the game up!
'Pick up the phone, reach out!'
With mental health thrust into the public consciousness during these unprecedented times of isolation, Merson offers a simple piece of advice in dealing with one's personal wellbeing…
I've had my days, sitting in has been hard and it has been a struggle. But I know these days are going to pass. I ring my friends, talk to people, and that is the most important thing.
Pick the phone up and reach out. I know we have all got to isolate but you have got to talk to people. It's a hard time for everybody in the world, so we have got to reach out and try to talk to someone.
Mental illness will tell you not to pick the phone up, addiction tells you to be on your own, it wants you to isolate. That is why it is important to pick the phone up and tell people how you are feeling.
People have the habit of saying, 'I'm fine'. Fine means nothing, I don't know what it means, fine isn't a feeling. It's important to keep asking people how they are really feeling.
Pick the phone up, even if you are OK and talk to someone you have not spoken to in a while because this is a testing time for everyone.