Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stripped of Arsenal captain’s armband – SPORT NEWS PEDIA

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Arsenal stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captain’s armband to “defend the interests” of the club, says manager Mikel Arteta.

Aubameyang, 32, was removed from the position of skipper after his “latest disciplinary violation”.

The Gabonese striker, who was eliminated in Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Southampton, will not be considered for Wednesday’s game against West Ham.

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“We made this decision which unfortunately is really difficult,” said Arteta.

“If I had to choose I wouldn’t like to be sitting here talking about it, but we had to.

When we have to make that decision it’s because it’s the right one to defend the interests of the football club. “

Arteta did not disclose how Aubameyang broke the rules, but The Athletic reported returning late from an authorized trip overseas.

Aubameyang was eliminated for disciplinary reasons in March, missing a win over rivals Tottenham for “violating pre-match protocol”.

Asked when Aubameyang could return to the squad, Arteta said: “For now it has been a very digestive thing and a really difficult decision to make, so we need some time.

“It was really painful and he needs some time to heal.”

On his relationship with Aubameyang, Arteta said, “Since I’ve been here, really good – that’s what’s painful.”

Aubameyang took over as captain in November 2019 after midfielder Granit Xhaka was relieved of his post by then boss Unai Emery.

In a statement Arsenal said: “We expect all our players, especially our captain, to work according to the rules and standards we have established and agreed upon.”

Aubameyang, who joined Arsenal for £ 56 million from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, signed a new three-year contract last year.

This season he has only scored four goals in 14 league games and none since 22 October.

Arsenal are sixth in the standings, 12 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Arteta said he spoke to Aubameyang “face to face” about the decision, but the Spaniard did not say who would replace him.

“We have the management team and the different players nominated to be captain – we will follow him,” he said.

“It is a very unfortunate situation and now is not the time to make any rash decisions.

They (the locker room) accepted the decision. They know this because they are committed and asked that we want to take our culture, our demands, who we want to be as a club and how we want to represent it as a football team, at a different level.

“When these standards are not met, you know you cannot participate in our daily bases.”

Analyses
George Cummins, BBC Radio 5 Live

This is a great call from Arteta. He has always spoken of “non-negotiable” and must feel that Aubameyang has crossed the line by arriving late twice in a year.

On Thursday Arteta said there was no intention of selling Aubameyang in January: “We have never discussed such a thing. When players go through difficult times, what we need to give is support.”

Since then, Aubameyang has been stripped of the captain’s armband and has been knocked out of two Premier League games. Having lost the captain’s armband and his place in the starting eleven, there is every chance that Aubameyang will want to leave and Arteta will not stand in his way next month.

As for substitutions, captain Alexandre Lacazette will likely be captain against West Ham. Xhaka is a club leader, but I’m not sure Arsenal fans would have liked him after he was stripped of his captain’s armband. Kieran Tierney and Gabriel would be fan favorites.

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