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Birmingham City
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 By Mark Rodden

Arsenal striker Aubameyang hails Emery, says club 'stagnated' under Wenger

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has hailed new head coach Unai Emery and said the club had "stagnated" under Arsene Wenger.

Emery, 46, was appointed on Wednesday, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis promising that "all the resources of the club" will be made available to the former Paris Saint-Germain boss.

Arsenal finished a disappointing sixth-place in the Premier League this season but, speaking to French radio station RMC, Aubameyang has indicated that he is happy with Emery's arrival as the club look to the future.

"He's a really good coach," Aubameyang said. "In Paris, it's never very easy. There's a huge amount of pressure... I know he did really good work with Sevilla and with PSG too."

Aubameyang only joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January and admitted that there is always "apprehension" when there is a change of manager. But he said he is looking forward to hearing the Spaniard's ideas and revealed that he is excited for the future.

"I think it's a little bit of a mixed feeling in fact," Aubameyang said, when asked how he felt about Wenger's exit. "On one hand, it's strange for all the fans that the coach has left. But it's definitely a fresh start.

"Since over the last few seasons -- you have to tell the truth -- the club has stagnated a little bit, I think everyone is actually a little bit excited to see what happens next season."

The Gabon international, who has scored 10 goals in 13 Premier League games, added that it would feel strange now that Wenger is no longer at Arsenal.

"It is strange that the coach has left after 22 years," he said. "But that's life -- we have to look forward. It's going to be a new start so we'll have so we'll have to see how it goes... everyone will have to get it into their heads that we have to work hard to rival the best."

Aubameyang also reiterated his preference for playing with a strike partner, and said: "I think everybody knows that I like playing through the centre. I hope that we can play with two attackers -- that would be ideal. But if the new coach needs me on the wing, there's no problem."

Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan said he was looking forward to a new approach at Arsenal after the Spaniard's appointment.

"I still haven't had the opportunity to meet him," he told Vivaro News. "We didn't have time to talk to each other.

"I hope he will bring new tactical ideas and spirit to Arsenal and I hope he will succeed.

"I haven't talked to my teammates about him. I would like to meet him. Everyone in the club is a professional. Everyone knows what he should do and what he is expected to do."

Mark covers European football for ESPN FC. Twitter: @mrodden


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