Alan Smith heaps praise on Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they begin to flourish under Unai Emery
Aubameyang and Ozil are beginning to click on the pitch for the Gunners
Alan Smith heaped praise on Arsenal manager Unai Emery for the development of Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gunners made it six English clubs in the quarter-finals of European competition as they overturned a first-leg deficit to beat Rennes in their Europa League clash.
Having lost 3-1 in north-west France last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit a brace and Ainsley Maitland-Niles scored just his second Arsenal goal to secure a 3-0 victory on Thursday.
The Gabon international, who produced a crazy ‘Black Panther’ celebration at the Emirates, has now scored 22 goals in all competitions this season.
Blessed with predatory instincts and blistering pace, former Arsenal striker Smith believes Aubameyang is showcasing his talents and enjoying his football under Emery.
He revealed on talkSPORT 2: “It’s quite surprising really that he hadn’t come to England before now, we’ve known all about his poaching ability, his ability to rack up the goals in seasons and he is doing it once again.
“He’s one of those strikers that’s always in that position in the box and the six yard box as he was last night to tap home.
“He’s got a nose for goal.
“He’s enjoying life in London it looks like he’s developed a really good friendship with Alexandre Lacazette – both on and off the pitch.
“He looks a happy player, and a happy player is normally a good one, a successful one.”
Conversely, Mesut Ozil has struggled at times in the past year.
After an early World Cup exit with Germany, the midfielder then retired from international duty after receiving abuse.
At club level, his relationship with the new Gunners boss has seemed strained at times and the 30-year-old has been dropped completely from the squad.
But now, Smith believes Emery’s methods are finally getting across to Ozil.
“Slowly but surely, Unai Emery is getting his methods across,” he added.
“The players are buying into that, Mesut Ozil looks a different player now without the ball.
“Without the ball he’s not switching off, he’s putting in a shift for the team.”