Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged his 10th Barcelona goal since his January switch from Arsenal on Sunday, much to the annoyance of renowned Gunners fan, Piers Morgan.
On the same weekend that the Gabonese forward was helping new club Barca overcome Levante to record an impressive seventh consecutive La Liga victory, his former employers in north London saw their Champions League qualification hopes dented as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Brighton.
The 32-year-old departed the Emirates in the January transfer window for absolutely nothing, having been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy by boss Mikel Arteta and frozen out of first-team contention.
It was a decision that the outspoken Morgan has not been shy about criticising – and he took to Twitter again this weekend to once again blast Arteta for the call.
“Aubameyang scores again for Barcelona. His 10th goal in 14 games since Arsenal gave him away for free. Now officially one of the worst decisions in managerial history,” wrote the 57-year-old to his 7.9 million followers on the social media platform.
BREAKING: Aubameyang scores again for Barcelona. His 10th goal in 14 games since Arsenal gave him away for free. Now officially one of the worst decisions in managerial history. @Auba @m8arteta pic.twitter.com/wzdRDz1XUW
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 10, 2022
While Aubameyang’s resurgence in form suggests that Morgan might have a point, former Gunners Premier League-winning right-back Lee Dixon snapped back at the former Good Morning Britain host, labelling him “rather silly”.
“Piers. Really. You are really making yourself look rather silly. Enough. Get over it. He was disruptive. Club always bigger. You know that,” replied Dixon.
Morgan quickly responded, hailing Aubameyang as a “magnificent player”, whose exit was set to cost Arsenal Champions League football next season.
“I don’t agree. We lost a world-class striker because our manager mismanaged him. Quite clear from his form at Barca, where Xavi loves him, that he’s still a magnificent player. And we’re left with Lacazette who hasn’t scored this year. Terrible decision that will cost us [Arsenal] top four.”
Dixon then Morgan of having an agenda against Arteta, before inviting him to stop taking swipes at the Gunners’ hierarchy and get behind the team.
“Our coach decided he didn’t fit. We all have our favourites. He [Aubameyang] quite clearly is yours. Banging the Auba drum suits who? You and your agenda which is fine. But doesn’t help anyone but you. I would say ease off and support.”
True to form, Morgan wasn’t about to let the former England international have the last word.
“You don’t need to be patronising. I’ve supported Arsenal for 50 years and always will. My only ‘agenda’ is for us to be a competitive team again. Giving our best striker away for free and bringing in no replacement is proving to be the terrible mistake I said it was at the time.”
Arsenal were no doubt delighted to be free of the Aubameyang and Arteta tension that hung heavily in the air at the Emirates when they agreed to release the frontman just a few short months ago.
However, his spectacular record since arriving at Camp Nou has placed yet more scrutiny on the controversial call.
Having lost their last two games by an aggregate score of 5-1, Arsenal could desperately do with a forward in their ranks who has scored 10 goals in 14 appearances as they look to reignite their flagging top four challenge.
Whether Aubameyang could have ever produced that same form given his strained relationship with Arteta is highly dubious, but questions will continue to be asked about the decision should Arsenal’s fortunes not improve.