Arsenal fans won’t be out of place if they ask if the captaincy curse is back with what has been happening to club skipper Pierre-EmerickAubameyang in the past two weeks. The Gabonese international has been a shadow of himself in the Gunners team for the majority of this season though things picked up at the turn of the year but that improvement in form is now a thing of the past judging by the events of the last two weeks. Aubameyang has largely struggled to score the goals for the Gunners since the signing of his new contract last summer. He had one year left on his then Arsenal deal before the club handed him a two-year extension to make it three more years for him at the club. In addition, the player was given a pay rise of £250,000 weekly that could rise to £350,000 depending on add-ons.
The history of the Arsenal captaincy curse can be traced back to William Gallas in 2007 when the Frenchman sat on the St. Andrews pitch looking depressed when he was expected to be the one motivating his team as skipper. William Gallas and Arsenal were the Premier League leaders at that time but they had to face the horrific ankle injury to Eduardo da Silva as well as conceding a late equaliser to Birmingham City who finished the game with ten men. Arsenal and their hosts played out a 2-2 draw and it was damaging for the Gunners who needed three points from the game to maintain their push for the league title. In the end, the poor reaction from William Gallas started a big collapse for the Gunners who were beaten by Manchester United in the title race and had to even settle for third place. After William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas was given the armband at Arsenal and he later requested for an exit just like his successor Robin Van Persie, who jumped ship for rivals Manchester United. Other captains like Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Per Mertersacker and Laurent Koscielny struggled to stay fit. Koscielny asked to leave the club in a disappointing manner as well, while his successor Granit Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy after his poor gesture towards the fans last season. Pierre-EmerickAubameyang was promoted from vice-captain to succeed Xhaka as captain and has been exemplary until his numerous lateness to team meetings. He was dropped for the North London Derby clash with Spurs penultimate weekend as a result and his body language has not been the best since then. Arsenal fans would be hoping the captaincy curse has not struck yet again. Hopefully for their sake, Aubameyang gets his act together while on international duty with Gabon ahead of the crucial final two months of the season.