Mikel Arteta knows exactly what Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is capable of.
Our captain led us to a record 14th Emirates FA Cup triumph last season, scoring four goals as we breezed past Manchester City and Chelsea to lift the trophy.
Aubameyang also has a proven track record in the Europa League semi-finals with a second-leg hat-trick against Valencia two years ago, and Arteta is confident his No 14 can bounce back from a tough period with another influential performance on Thursday.
"My job, my responsibility, is to protect our players and try to get the maximum out of them," our manager said. "We know certain things that the outside world doesn't know.
"They can comment but sometimes without knowing all the details, which is a little bit unfair for the people. We make decisions that sometimes people are judging but without really knowing the detail. That criticism is part of our job.
"Auba played well and he felt much better than the days before [Sunday]. Obviously, scoring a goal is really important for him as well, so he's in a good place.
"This game always gives you another opportunity. If you are there, then you are ready for the taking. He can turn things around really quickly so hopefully we can see that tomorrow."
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