Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and his father: The curious case of Gabon’s ‘ghost’ managerial appointment that never was
- Credit: Archant
The performances of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been a major factor in Arsenal winning nine games on the bounce including six consecutive Premier League victories before October’s international break. Read on to learn about the Gabon striker’s forthcoming matches for the west African nation – and why the Gunners star tweeted criticisms of the country’s football federation.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker has hit six goals in nine games this season including a late brace in the 5-1 rout of Fulham on Sunday, earning a call-up to Gabon’s 23-man squad.
The 29-year-old who signed for Arsenal in a £56 million deal in January has been selected by new Panthers coach Daniel Cousin.
However, the appointment of Cousin in September has not been without controversy involving Aubameyang – and his father.
Gabon’s football federation (Fegafoot) revealed it named Pierre Francois Aubemeyang as joint coach of the national side before they had actually closed a deal with Pierre-Emerick’s father.
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Fegafoot had to conduct an embarrassing climbdown following the ‘ghost’ appointment after the Arsenal striker posted on his personal Twitter feed to his million-plus followers that his father had not taken the job.
The Gunners striker has often had a tempestuous love affair with Fegafoot and tweeted in French: “The day the federation stops being amateurish perhaps the national team will progress and gain good results.”
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Fegafoot issued a statement to clarify the situation saying: “Our approach was influenced by the good faith we have had with Daniel Cousin and the usual desire expressed by Pierre Aubameyang to manage the national team.
“Following the official reaction of Mr Aubameyang, Fegafoot believes this situation could have been avoided in the light of several interested local coaches ready to serve the nation.”
Unai Emery’s jet-heeled attacker will be looking to add to his total of 20 goals in 50 games under new boss Cousin.
Cousin, the former Lens and Rangers forward named a 23-man squad for their back-to-back 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Sudan, on Friday in Libreville and in Juba four days later.
Cousin replaced Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho who did not have his contract renewed after a poor run of results left them struggling in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.
Cousin’s first challenge in is his new role will be to boost their campaign against South Sudan, the weakest team in the group.
Gabon sit in third place in Group B, ahead of South Sudan, but behind Mali and Burundi.
They drew 1-1 with Burundi last month after they lost their first game 2-1 against Mali.
As joint-hosts, Gabon reached the last eight in the 2012 Nations Cup, but failed to get past the group stage of the tournament held a year ago.
Follow Layth on Twitter @laythy29