Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told to strip Aubameyang of captaincy and appoint Kieran Tierney

Arsenal: Club told to be patient with Arteta by Dublin

Arsenal have been told they need to axe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and replace him as club captain with Kieran Tierney. Mikel Arteta is under pressure with the Gunners sitting down in 15th just four points above the relegation zone.

Paul Merson has said Arteta needs to make a statement and replace Aubameyang with Tierney as captain.

The Scotland international has impressed for Arsenal when available since making a switch to the Emirates from Celtic.

Tierney is showing the character needed if the Gunners are to rise up the table and salvage their season, says Merson.

“I would give it to Tierney as he’d run through a brick wall for you,” he told Sky Sports.

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“He’s the one player I look at who gives everything, and I’d give him the captaincy.

“There’s a way of showing how much you care, and the relationship he is building with Bukayo Saka down the left looks decent.

“Arsenal need that all around the pitch, and at the moment they’re in a relegation battle.

“For me, I don’t see them doing what Burnley are capable of, rolling their sleeves up. Arsenal are searching for the perfect win but they need to start grinding out results.”

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Merson has also slammed Willian for his poor form since making the move from Chelsea to Arsenal.

“He’s been shocking,” he added. “I’m a big fan of Willian and at Chelsea he was unbelievable. At times, he was unplayable but he is a shadow of his former self and I don’t know what it is.

“He’s the only one you can ask and again it must come down to confidence. I’m not sure he will play. He’s had enough chances to play, more than the other younger players.

“Arsenal’s big-name players haven’t been performing over the past six weeks or so and this is the problem Arteta has been having.

“[Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang scored the other day, but he’s not really looked like scoring.

“His body language hasn’t been great, Nicolas Pepe is not even starting all the time and Willian just looks like he’s being carried.”

Arsenal return to action against Chelsea in the Premier League on Boxing Day.

Kick-off at the Emirates is at 5.30pm as Arteta looks for a vital win to move further away from the relegation zone.

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