Struggling at the start of the season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the symbol of Olympique de Marseille's lack of attacking flair. So much so, in fact, that the Gabonese striker was taken to task by the fans during the match against Lille, and received a shower of boos when he was substituted.
Three goals so far this season, including just one in the league: the statistics are far from stellar. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has kept a low profile since joining Olympique de Marseille in the summer transfer market, had another tough game on Saturday against Lille on Matchday 11 of Ligue 1. So much so, in fact, that he had to give up his place in the 77th minute, to the boos of the Stade Vélodrome crowd. This was a first for the Gabonese, who was personally attacked by the fans, who criticized his lack of efficiency and his absence of influence in the team's play. This is where "PEA", who has played for Dortmund, Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona, is expected to shine, especially as he earns almost 700,000 euros a month.
A colossal investment for OM, and inevitably for the fans, the balance sheet is not there, with just three goals and as many assists and this match against LOSC was the last straw for many fans, who took a dislike to the 34-year-old striker, who was uninspired in his choices when he wasn't being caught out by Lille's defense. This is always a complicated situation for a player to deal with, but he received the support of his coach as soon as the match was over.
"People expect him to score a goal a game".
"He missed a few passes, but I don't see a player in great difficulty. We expect a bit more because his name is Aubameyang.He makes mistakes like everyone else, but he's paying a bit for his career and his name.People expect him to score a goal a game," remarked Gennaro Gattuso at the press conference."Today we all made mistakes offensively and I don't see a dead or casual player. We're concentrating a little too much on him and I don't like that very much. I'll go to the fire to defend him, like all my players."
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have plenty to console him with, especially as his team-mates, like captain Valentin Rongier, have also rallied behind him. "For me, it's very hard for the fans.We know what soccer's like these days, people are very demanding. The whistles aren't for him, they're for the team. He's got a lot of experience, but we're all here, and I hope it won't affect him," said the midfielder in the mixed zone.
These are important words of support as OM face a busy few weeks ahead in Ligue 1, with fixtures against Lens, Strasbourg, Rennes and Lyon, not forgetting the Europa League and three clashes against AEK Athens, Ajax and Brighton. These matches will determine the outcome of the season for the Phocaean club, who will undoubtedly need a wake-up call from their striker. It's time for the Panthère to step up to the plate and be decisive in front of goal, or risk suffering the wrath of the Vélodrome once again.