Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirmed on Tuesday that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in the wake of his latest “disciplinary breach.”
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Aubameyang will also be dropped for another game, meaning he will take no part in Arsenal’s top-six Premier League clash with West Ham United on Wednesday (Watch live at 3 pm ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The 32-year-old will be replaced by a “leadership group” which will be comprised of Alexandre Lacazette (de facto captain), Granit Xhaka (de facto vice-captain, stripped of the captaincy by previous manager Unai Emery) and Rob Holding (sixth season at Arsenal).
As expected, when asked about the decision to strip Aubameyang of the captain’s armband, Arteta refused to go into greater detail…
“I don’t have much more to say, as it’s a really clear statement from the club. It’s a decision we made following the latest incident we had with the player. As you can imagine, when we make that decision it’s because it’s the right one to defend the interests of the football club.”
Below is PST’s original post about Aubameyang’s initial suspension, from the weekend…
Arteta has confirmed captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was, not for the first time, dropped for disciplinary reasons ahead of the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
[ MORE: Arsenal 3-0 Southampton – Recap & highlights ]
While Arteta would not provide any details about the nature of Aubameyang’s transgression, NBC Sports’ Premier League insider David Ornstein has reported ( that the Gabonese international and captain returned late from a trip abroad, which ultimately caused issues with COVID-19 protocols.
🚨 EXCL: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped from Arsenal squad for late return from trip abroad last week. 32yo had permission to go for personal reasons but was back later than agreed & it had Covid protocol implications. W/ @gunnerblog @TheAthleticUK #AFC https://t.co/im7yEtRK7X
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) December 11, 2021
Below is live reaction (via the BBC) from north London following Arsenal vs Southampton, as the Gunners were victorious without their captain and star striker…
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being dropped due to a disciplinary matter…
“He had a disciplinary breach, that applies to everybody. That’s a non-negotiable and when that happens, he’s out of the team.”
“Whatever happens in the dressing room, I cannot share. I am sorry. I’m telling you the reason, I cannot lie, it was that, this is where I stand. From my side, I will never [say what the breach was].”
Mikel Arteta, on the victory and bouncing back from a poor run of results…
“I’m very pleased. After a difficult period, we had two defeats where I don’t think we deserved to lose the games but we did. We started the game a little bit nervy, you could tell that we were carrying that feeling still, but we finished strong.”
Mikel Arteta, on the first Arsenal goal and the quality of play in general…
“It was [a “piece of art”] — that’s our identity, the way we want to play, it’s not possible to score all the goals like that. But that’s the direction we want to take.
“I am very happy. It’s a contribution from the whole game, what is required in every moment and then the execution and that’s what we’ve been lacking a little bit, because the intention is there, it’s just doing it more consistently. You could see that the team wanted to keep attacking, hit the post twice, a goal disallowed.”
Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard, on …
“It was a little shaky in the beginning, we lost the ball in some stupid areas, but the second half was brilliant and we deserved the win.
“[The first goal] was a brilliant goal, played out from the back, we’ve been practicing this movement, it’s good to see that it played out well. We practice these things every day in training. We saw that it world in a game, it’s a good feeling.
“We’ve been doing these things for a long time, we just need to be more clinical in the box, to finish better. If we can manage that, it will be good.”