Aubameyang hails Mikel Arteta's positive influence

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action against Chelsea.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has backed manager Mikel Arteta, stating that the players feel much better than they did earlier in the season.

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Arteta was appointed Gunners boss in December, succeeding Unai Emery after a disappointing first half to the season under the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla coach and things appear to slowly be on the up at the Emirates with the ex-Manchester City assistant in charge.

Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League, 10 points adrift of the top four, but fans have been impressed with a different style of play with an attacking and high-pressing approach evident.

Results have been mixed with too many draws frustrating Arteta but a good win over Manchester United on New Year's Day and progress into the fifth round of the FA Cup means there is plenty of optimism in the red half of north London.

Aubameyang believes Arteta is gelling nicely with the squad and has been able to improve the Gunners already in the short period he has been in charge.

He said on Football.London: "He's doing very well. We are improving every day. We're feeling much better than the beginning of the season."

The Gunners squad have taken time out during the current winter break in the Premier League to travel to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp and Aubameyang and his team-mates have been working hard ahead of their return to action against Newcastle on Sunday.

The Gabon international will hope to be back among the goals against the Magpies as he looks to add to his tally of 14 for the season so far. The 30-year-old shared the Golden Boot last season with Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, with all three players hitting 22 goals, and Aubameyang is keen to get back to the top of the goalscoring chart between now and May.

Leicester star Jamie Vardy is currently the division's leading marksman with 17, with Manchester City ace Sergio Aguero next on the list with 16. But the Arsenal forward is only three behind, among a group of players on 14 which includes Southampton striker Danny Ings, United's Marcus Rashford and Salah.

When asked if he wants to retain the Golden Boot, Aubameyang said: "Yes. Why not? First of all I always say the most important is the team and our targets. Then if I can be top scorer it's cool."