Arsenal coach, Mikel Arteta has broken his silence after stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy in what he described as a “really unpleasant situation”.
A few minutes ago, the Gunners announced that Aubameyang would no longer be club captain and that the forward will not be considered for selection against West Ham on Wednesday night.
Aubameyang was axed from Saturday’s Premier League 3-0 win over Southampton for what manager Mikel Arteta said was a “disciplinary breach”, which reportedly concerned a late return from an approved trip abroad last week.
The Gabonese striker had traveled back to France last week Wednesday to go collect his sick mum and bring her back to England.
He took to Instagram last week thanking fans for offering support. He wrote: ‘My mother is going through some health issues and I had to be there for her.
‘She’s already much better now… I’m more than grateful to the doctors and nurses helping her get through this.’
However, it had been agreed that Aubameyang would return later that evening to ensure he would be ready to train on Thursday. But he reportedly flew home on Thursday morning instead and current Covid testing protocols also meant that he was unable to return to training until he had produced a negative PCR test.
The club then made a decision today to strip Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy.
Arsenal’s statement on Tuesday morning, December 14 said: “Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United.
“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.”
Arteta later faced the media just hours after the decision on Aubameyang was announced, and revealed he will not appoint a full-time successor to the 32-year-old striker as captain just yet.
He said: “Well we have the leadership group and we think that we have different players that are nominated to be captain in the last game it was Laca and we have Granit [Xhaka] as well who has been captain so we will follow that.
“Obviously, it is a really unpleasant situation and it is not the moment to make any rash decision.
“That leadership group is really strong, it is the one that communicates with myself and the coaching staff and the with the club in a really clear and strong way.
“We are going to continue like that and that is one of the decisions that we made, to make that group a little bit better and try to educate them and try and get the right feedback all the time and build that trust and the strong culture around the club.
“It is working really well so we will continue to do that.”