Mikel Arteta explained that Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was absence from the starting lineup versus Tottenham Hotspur for disciplinary issues.
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The north London derby was without one of the most clinical finishers in the world, but Arsenal still won 2-1, as Arteta would not disclose many details about the Gabonese star’s indiscretion but dropped him to the bench.
Here is what Arteta told our partners in the UK at Sky Sports about his handling of the Aubameyang situation.
“He was going to start the game,” Arteta said. “We had a disciplinary issue. We have drawn the line and we move on. He is on the bench.”
Pressed for details, Arteta shed a crack of light on his decision: “We keep that internal,” said the Arsenal boss. “We have a process that we have to respect for every game and that’s it.”
Post-game, Arteta shared a little more on the situation but wouldn’t confirm if the absence was due to being late, as reports had suggested.
“We have a way of living together that we have to respect each other but he’s an incredible guy and one of our most important players and he’s our captain,” Arteta said. “These things happen. We move forward. We dedicate it to our fans.”
Arteta then went on to explain that discipline and doing things in the right way is at the core of what he is trying to create at Arsenal, and didn’t answer direct questions about whether or not Aubameyang will remain as the skipper.
This was a major statement from Arteta as he attempts to plug further discipline into his team.
This is his captain and the club’s last captain, Granit Xhaka, went through an ugly time with the club to boot.
Let’s see how this plays out.