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Arsenal boss makes Aubameyang captaincy decision

FOOTBALL By Mirror | March 16th 2021
March 14, 2021 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates with Arsenal's Cedric Soares as Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho walks past after the match Pool [REUTERS]

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reportedly decided he will not take Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off captaincy duties despite his disciplinary issues at the weekend.

The 31-year-old star striker was dropped to the bench for the derby win against Tottenham on Sunday after breaking club rules by arriving late to a team meeting ahead of the game.

Aubameyang looked furious on the bench throughout the encounter, and did not take part in the post-match warm down, choosing to leave the Emirates early instead.

Some had suggested Arteta may choose to strip Aubameyang of the captaincy in order to further punish the player for his behaviour.

But according to The Sun this will not be the case, as Arteta considers the issue dealt with and does not wish to take it any further.

Arteta has by and large received praise for his decision to drop Aubameyang, with a number of high-profile figures lauding his leadership skills.

March 14, 2021 Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the substitutes bench [REUTERS]

Speaking on his FIVE podcast, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said: "It was a massive decision from Arteta. It’s the derby, man! Against Spurs, local rivals, bragging rights up for grabs, trying to get into the Europa League, there’s big things to consider when you’re making a decision like that.

"But I think he’s thinking of the bigger picture: 'I have to make my squad aware and well aware that punctuality, among other things, has to be on point. The captain was late and he’s going to have to sit like everybody else on the bench for this game, I’m afraid.'

"I think you have to respect that."

It remains to be seen if Aubameyang returns to the starting line-up when the Gunners take on Olympiacos in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday.

But Arteta will certainly feel like he has made his point crystal clear, and Aubameyang will no doubt be wary about breaking any further rules in the future.

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