The latest episode of the All or Nothing series centering around the Gunners showed a behind-the-scenes look at the Arsenal manager’s decision to strip striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy, as well as the squad’s reaction.
The striker was stripped of the captaincy after arriving late for training, with the Gabonese player’s history of being late earning discipline several times under Mikel Arteta. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made the train forward alone and eventually allowed him to join Barca on a free transfer.
The show offers a glimpse into the moment Mikel informed the squad of his decision, when the manager addressed the Gunners’ players about the punishment of Pierre-Emerick. The Spanish manager said he had to announce something. According to Mikel Arteta, following the last disciplinary issue they had with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the consequences he decided to accept in order not to involve him in the game, he thought carefully – himself and the club – what was the next step.
The Spaniard says that they have decided as a club that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is no longer their captain, so they should know that. Another solution is that while Aubameyang is not involved in the squad. Arteta will make decisions down the line. Mikel Arteta continued that the club and he will not accept such behavior and what they are building is completely against such behavior.
So if they’re going to make any sense in changing their culture – and making sure they become a different club and team – they need to stand by those words, clearly, in every action, with anyone. According to Mikel, this is the message he needs to send them. Rob Holding and Mohamed Elneny seemed to support Mikel’s decision, saying it shows the boss has balls.
A little about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
After moving to Barcelona on 2 February, Pierre-Emerick made his debut four days later in a 4–2 win against Atlético Madrid. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first hat-trick against Valencia on 20 February as he finished with 13 goals in 23 appearances for the club.