Saturday, September 23, 2023

Arteta left “sad” by Aubameyang’s failings as a captain

Mikel Arteta admits the decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy has left him “sad”, not least because he views one of the key responsibilities of a coach is to get the best from his players.

Following a second disciplinary breach within 10 months, the Gabon international has had the armband taken off him and now faces a spell on the sidelines while the club tries to figure out if its relationship with its highest-paid player can be rehabilitated.

While Arteta went public with the news ahead of last weekend’s win over Southampton, he’s steadfastly refused to discuss the specifics of the incidents that have led to such drastic action and what was said behind closed doors to the player.

One thing is clear, the beaming smiles that were on show for the cameras when Arteta watched Aubameyang pen his contract in September 2020 are a distant memory.

“I feel really sad,” said Arteta when asked where his relationship with Aubameyang now stands.

“I wouldn’t like to be in this position not with him or any player to make these kind of decisions because at the end, the formula of a coach is when you try to help a player to become a better person, to be happy, to be fulfilled as a player and to enjoy on that pitch.

“At the moment, with that decision, Auba is not going to be able to do that. For me, it’s just a sadness.”

It’s not the first time that a player has fallen foul of Arteta’s rules since the Spaniard took over. Matteo Guendouzi was frozen out following a spate of incidents and there was a clash of personalities with Mesut Ozil that saw the German excluded from the squad.

While many might question his man-management track record, there’s no doubting the consistency with which Arteta has demanded his players adhere to the fabled “non-negotiables”.

On that, he said: “I’m here to make the right decisions every day and to defend the club and to be consistent is something that we want to do on and off the field. We have to be consistent in our decision making.

He added: “What I expect from any person representing this football club and badge is passion, that they give absolutely 100 per cent, that they put the club in front of any personal interests and are able to fulfil the badge that we have on that chest.

“Apart from that, you can listen to individuals, you can understand different cultures but that commitment, that passion has to be there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t [with Aubameyang].”

Although the latest coming together between high-profile star and the club’s management has set the football fraternity’s collective tongues wagging, the boss maintains he’s making progress on fixing the club’s culture, something he felt had been seriously eroded in the time between him leaving as a player and returning as coach.

“We have come very, very far,” said Arteta. “You can probably only see that when you’re around here but you can see it also in the energy and the togetherness around the team when they play together. But, we’re still not there. We’ve had another incident and that reflects that we’re still not there.”

As things stand, Arteta has decided not to appoint a new captain and instead says he’ll rely on the existing “leadership group”. Granit Xhaka (stripped of the captaincy under Unai Emery), Alex Lacazette and Rob Holding are amongst those who’ve worn the armband already this season and it’s expected they will continue to share the duty, although the boss wouldn’t name those he’ll be leaning on.

“Auba won’t be part of that leadership group,” said Arteta. “I can’t tell you who is in that list now. 

“The decision that we have taken as a club is very clear, it’s because we believe that he has failed to be committed at the level that we all expect and agreed. It’s as simple as that.”

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I wonder if players voted, what would have been the outcome.

Reality check

According to Ornstein, they already have voted for Xhaka, again.


Guys like Ramsdale and Tierney stand out as good shouts for captain (Tierney being replaced by Tavares is not serious, as interesting as Tavares is). Who exactly is voting for Xhaka?

Reality check

The Arsenal squad.


How dare we make the arsenal squad feel uncomfortable and pick someone who might be a better decision than the guy who makes them feel good.

We need a captain who SHOULD be leading this team not just one who might feel right to the players. My school captain was an asshat, but got the gig because he was “cool”, doesn’t change the fact he was just a POPULIST JOCK choice and actually completely useless at the job.

Bleeding gums murphy

If it is Xhaka that’s puts a firm stop to the Partey Lokonga partnership which I thought was improving all the time. Big backwards step for me.


Bin the lot, then. They’re unlikely to win anything for the next 20 years if that’s their idea of leadership.


Xhaka no as captain and player. Let him out to care his daughter’s cancer…


That’s out of order.


From the post I gather English isn’t the posters first language? I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that if they worded it differently it would have a different sentiment? That’s also assuming xhakas daughter is struggling with said condition.
Like Jack had to take time out to put his family’s health first sort of thing

If not then you are a cunt pal!

So No-Go.

Can this disgusting comment not be deleted?


Delete it please. And this.




Wow.How low can you go.Just wow

Mark Kirby

Honestly….. what a disgraceful comment. No place for that whatsoever


Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

Brady’s bunch



Xhaka shouldn’t even be at the club anymore! Scooting over his fucking terrible performances for the last 5 years. He was essentially awarded a new contract by Arteta after he quite literally said he wanted to leave and go to Roma, and he brought the club into disrepute by throwing the shirt down and the armband whilst simultaneously telling the entire stadium to fuck off. After that happened he should never have played for Arsenal again. Let alone get a nice new bumper deal!! No wonder Pierre thinks it’s not too big an infraction to be late a few times… Read more »


I we give you another 5 mins, will you tell us how you really feel?

Bill Hall

Yes, when we beat Man City in the semi-final that was appalling football ????


So is there any truth to the story that his mother was sick and that was the reason for the trip? Depending on the level of sickness and so on, I’m willing to consider Arteta has issues. Something seems off here


Yep. Seems like everybody assumes there must be something more behind this, yet the club is only using the “he was late again” line.

So either it IS only about him being late after visiting his sick mom, or the club is withholding the real infraction, and thus creating confusion.

Either way, I think this has been badly handled.

Shane C

Tierney, Tierney, Tierney.


I dont see Auba playing for us anymore. Good thing he isnt cup tied and Jan is by the corner.


Pretty hardcore discipline. I back the manager, but I really hope it doesn’t backfire.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

When have Arteta’s purges never backfired?

Deliberately overlooked Saliba and then being forced to play Kolasinac, Elneny and Xhaka at CB.

If recent history such as the Saliba, Guendouzi and Özil fiasco are anything to go by… It will start out fine, then things will take a drastic turn and we’ll end up having to find a more expensive solution in the transfer market when the situation inevitably becomes irreparable.


Not to sound overly harsh, but I don’t really care what Auba thinks about this punishment. He’s put himself in the situation, he’s 32, and frankly he hasn’t been good enough on the pitch to warrant any sort of extra consideration anymore. What I care about much more is what the half-dozen or so core young guys think – the ones who are going to be guiding this club for years to come. If they think this is too severe, Arteta has a problem. But if they’ve been quietly frustrated by Auba’s behavior over the past two years, this may… Read more »


A lot of the issues with the attack are down to Arteta’s tactics vs. poor performances from our strikers. We play extremely slow possession based football which results in very few chances. We’re in the bottom half of the league in that regard with less than 40 percent of what the top teams create after being in the bottom few teams for that last year.


Agree that our tactics aren’t helpful, almost like we want to play Man City football but with a backline 40 yards too deep. However I do wonder if our tactics are maybe partly down to the limitations of our strikers. For example, if our forwards were better in the air, could we get them the ball quicker with longer kicks or deep crosses? If they were quicker, could we prioritise balls over the top, or into channels? If they were more technical, would we be happier playing the ball into their feet with their back to goal? Etc.


And we have a track record of missed chances this season, a good number of them Auba’s (penalties and cocking up MO’s goal included!).


I don’t think we’re dramatically under performing our expected goals however even if as fans we like to remember the misses. We have other games where we score goals we shouldn’t. Arteta has been fairly rigid in terms of how we play attack wise once teams figured out how to stop the cup run tactics -were just man city lite vs adapting to the strengths of the players we have (Auba is fast and consistently one of the top goal scorers in Europe). I find it doubtful in our current situation we will either find a major upgrade who is… Read more »


Good point, there were stories about AMN being disciplined for being late. How can you have one rule for him and another one for Auba, who’s the club captain? Auba is a manchild who needs to grow up and take some responsibility, and I don’t believe this is over a couple of isolated incidents. It’s a huge shame because a happy, sunny Auba is a joy. Mikel clearly feels let down and the club wouldn’t do this lightly. Auba being a troublemaker like he was at Dortmund and what was that tweet liking Ronaldo gloating about beating Arsenal?

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Ah yes. The self-admitted family man, husband and father of two is “a man-child who needs to grow up and take some responsibility”. “Troublemaker at Dortmund” yet his worst offences are punctuality related and there’s no evidence he was ever a divisive figure in their squad.

It would be fair to say he’s not your ideal captain. Heck.
It would even be a lot easier to just admit you never liked the guy for being exuberant.

I’m sure should Arteta bin Partey, you’ll be saying something similar.


Arteta (and Edu) took the opportunity just this Fall to make a sea change decision and replace Leno with Ramsdale. If there’s a silver lining afoot– this may be time for another dramatic move– accelerating the changeover up-front of the team’s attack.

Mikel is open to criticism at times for his in game decision-making.
But he and Edu have lain out a solid plan to move forward on personnel.

Don’t be surprised to see the club eat a large chunk of salary to move Auba on in January.


I don’t know if it’s just me but that word passion really sticks at me, if auba has no passion o play for this club (regardless of his ridiculous wages) then fuck him

Satellite Partey

The younger players cannot be impressed with the club’s exit strategy for older, expensive players.


Sounds to me that Arteta is giving more in his answers than he would need to which is a strong suggestion he would rather see Auba sold. Was always going to end up like that based on previous though ( of both Auba and Arteta). 2 things for me though, a) the non negotiable didn’t apply to Kia clients so I don’t fully buy this, b) if Aubameyang was scoring like hell, then another solution would have been required. All people are different though you need to include some wiggle room to create fatter for performance. As a manager of… Read more »


I think that’s where the non negotiables part comes in, there are negotiables but also things that everyone must adhere too.
You manage people but I bet they have to follow the same gdpr outlines etc etc


What about Willian going to the Middle East at the height of covid? Was still in the squad despite contributing the absolute total of nothing. Or Xhaka taking the piss out of the fans? Mikel wiped the slate clean? Non-negotiables starting to sound like a broken record.


Xhaka fan incident was prior to Arteta’s tenure, and so it was actually impressive man management that he got him on board and playing again.
Can’t argue too much on your Willian point though. That was a clusterfuck from start to finish….


Of course I know it’s during Emery’s tenure. But it still happened? What he did was certainly past non-negotiable to most fans.


Xhaka was before Arteta, and hasn’t had an issue with the manager since. Willian was a one-off, Auba has been a repeat offender and is captain. To whom much is given, much is tested etc


When a player is underperforming the expectation of the captain and highest paid player at the club is that they exhibit professionalism and put in the extra commitment.

Auba was already being given special treatment to leave midweek – during rampant Covid.

The club has not been harsh with their expectations. Auba is failing to respect his responsibilities.

Dude is making more in this one contract than the vast majority of us will see in our entire lifetimes. Most of us several times over. He should probably respect that.


Wow pretty major. I hope it doesn’t cause too much rupture in the group. I guess its another way Arteta is asserting himself, along with bringing in his own crop of players. I’m in two minds really. Will wait to see how it pans out.

Hank Scorpio

Hard to know really but hopefully not. Auba was already gone for AFCON so his absence may reduce the impact of the decision to a degree.


If the club has a set of rules every player must follow then I have no problems with this. The players have agreed to follow those rules, they break them they cop the punishment. They must have the same for the guys at the top and the guys at the bottom of the pecking order.

Hank Scorpio

Without knowing the details behind this aside from Auba catching a plane in the morning rather than the evening and issues with covid protocols it is hard to know if this totally justified or Arteta doing his selective phoney drill sergeant thing. Will be interesting to see if the player says anything. In any case I’ve heard this emotive language from him before about other players and wish he’d ease up on the insincere platitudes.


Some very biased assumptions there. I have no reason to believe Arteta is having some kind of pissing contest. Why would he have a ‘phony drill sergeant thing’? Is it impossible that he is actually trying to shape a culture of professionalism and respect for the badge? And why would these be ‘insincere platitudes’? Is it not possible that he has passion for the job and the club? I have no reason to believe he is out there as some devious poseur throwing players under the bus for personal pleasure. I see a guy who invested himself passionately as a… Read more »


Some people really don’t like the manager, and anything, anything becomes a good enough reason to belittle and put him down. I see the same things you do — a manager trying to win big things with the club by ensuring the small things are done right every single day. It’s a damned difficult process, indeed. This club will be successful again when everyone realizes that we are owed nothing, have a divine right to nothing, and must do the dirty work of supporting them especially when they are losing. That doesn’t mean we can’t be critical, that we can’t… Read more »


Arteta has gotten far more support and rope here than any other manager would largely down to this idea of his potential that might or might not be fulfilled. Any other manager at a top club would not survive with the results he has. Even Stillman and to a lesser extent blogs have been pretty clear on this. It’s time to stop ripping any fan who disagrees with your views of him as the jury is very much still out on whether he has what it takes to actually be a top manager.


Huh? Arteta is roundly criticized at just about every turn on these pages. The guy gets so much stick that other managers are routinely defending his right to hold a managerial position. The fans in the stadium this season have been exceptional, beyond belief amazing, but on social media platforms it is the same old moaning and complaining, even when we win, especially here. Sure, the jury is still out, Arteta has a lot to prove and a long road ahead of him, but, you know, why not support him along the way? It can only do the team good.… Read more »

Zadok the Motherfucking Priest

I’m with you, I think anyone calling for his head is asking us to just dive headfirst back into the managerial merry-go-round where we go through this cycle again and again, never actually improving because we don’t stick at something for long enough to do so. Arteta isn’t Ole. That’s the comparison that really irritates me, and I think Arteta suffered from managing at the same time as Ole because idiots saw two rookie managers at previously big clubs now struggling and assumed the cause of Man United’s failings must therefore be the same as Arsenal’s. We don’t have Cavani,… Read more »


The main issue is we don’t actually play differently with the new players than we did with the old ones – we simply excuse the results, style etc bc “it’s team of new players”. The fundamental issue with the team the past 18 months very much has been the style of play – offense in particular vs anything personell wise. Put another way Arteta has achieved less than Emery for instance with a far better squad. That was the exact same issue with Ole. Fans loved him as a former player but he just never was able to develop into… Read more »

Hank Scorpio

I don’t doubt Arteta is doing his best, doing what he thinks is right or is passionate etc. Arteta has previously used similar language, saying he’s failed various players, takes responsibility for failures, and is sad etc. I take it with a grain of salt and given that he’s used such language a few times and what follows for the player concerned I see the words as insincere. I certainly don’t think he was crying in his cereal on the morning ahead of his conversation with Auba. That’s not to say I (dis) agree with individual decisions he makes. As… Read more »


Completely agree – and would add to Hank that surely Arteta has more to gain than any other single individual in Auba hitting form again and banging in 25 before season’s end?
I truly believe he’d rather have him turning up 30 mins early for shooting practice and scoring hat-tricks of a Saturday, mate!


I think people backing Arteta here are completely missing the point. This should never have even crossed his mind. To me this just shows he does not have the respect of his squad and is deperately trying to assert his authority by going public. This sort of stuff happens all the time in every dressing room and it’s not aired in public for all to see. Good managers don’t need to embarass or publicly call out their own players in order to get the best out of a squad. Just imagine the thought of Graham or Wenger doing this in… Read more »


Times have changed since Graham and Wenger, the news get out before papers are even published. You can’t sleep on secrets anymore.


George Graham made examples of very senior players as he was building his young squad. It wasn’t as public back then because nothing was. The media landscape has changed completely.


Auba had these issues when his time ran down at dortmond.

Nostalgic Gooner

If only the Board was as ruthless as the manager. What are our non-negotiables as club? Top 4, net plus goal difference?

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta



Just give the armband back to Xhaka. So what if he told SOME fans to “fuck off”?! They deserved it. He wasn’t telling me to fuck off, as I have always supported every Arsenal player, in good times and bad, whether it be Henry, Bergkamp, Seaman, or whether it be Cygan, Stepanovs, Willian. The Arsenal fans who he was telling to fuck off, are Arsenal fans who I also wish to fuck off; fans who constantly disgrace our great club; fans like Piers Moron, Frank Warren, and just about anyone who has ever appeared on AFTV. What a great slap… Read more »


The problem is that Xhaka cannot differentiate fans who criticize him on social media and supporters who supported the team in games. Fuck him. A captain who did not even want to get jabbed? Was he even fined for his conduct to the supporters? And why did Arteta not simply fine and suspend Auba for a match or two, like any other manager would do? He acts so special when results so far have been so mediocre.


Arteta could’ve fined Auba and suspended him for a match for disciplinary measure. Instead he turned this into another circus. Non-negotiables starting to make me puke.

Jean Ralphio

The best captains are cental defenders or centre mids. Players in the thick of the action.


Arteta is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t….I think he’s done the right thing here with Auba, no one player can be bigger than the collective. Whether he goes in Jan who knows (large wages), but him going to the AFCON could be a blessing… In terms of Captain, I’d leave it with Laca until the end of the season and then decide, do nothing hasty. My preference going forward is Ben White, but it’s all opinions… either way let’s get behind the Team and COYGs…

Bergkamps boots

I like the idea Arteta’s trying to instill some sort of professionalism and pride into the players, it’s been a while since we’ve had even half a squad that played for the badge. Besides, Auba should have been sold last summer after he’d obviously lost interest in playing for us.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

“views one of the key responsibilities of a coach is to get the best from his players”

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from reality. Whenever Arteta has failed to improve on a player’s development (which is most of the time), all he just does is highlight that he needs new players for his “system” and look for an expensive external replacement.

Individual development has arguably been the weakest attribute of Arteta as a manager.

Tell that to Emile Smith Rowe who was challenged with scoring more, then scored 4 on the bounce.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

“that they put the club in front of any personal interests and are able to fulfil the badge that we have on that chest.”

This coming from a man who has given his personal friends jobs in the coaching team and has also cost this club millions with his numerous fallouts with players.


What does give jobs to his personal friends mean? Managers choose their coaching staff.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Did Mikel seek the brightest coaches to help him achieve his positional play philosophy or did he in fact just give his longtime friends Steve Round and Albert Stuivenberg another gig in the EPL?

Can we honestly say that given their track record in the Premier League, Steve and Albert were what this club needed to become elite again.

Their appointment makes as much sense to me as giving Cedric a four year contract. Which is to say…Not much.


How do you know that Steve Round and Albert Stuivenberg are ‘longtime friends’?

Also, Arteta didn’t give Cedric a four year contract, that was Raul and Edu, when they did their mate Kia a big favour.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Arteta literally has a decade long relationship with Steve Round going back to his Everton days. He also met Albert Stuivenberg back in the 2015/16 season when he was doing his UEFA A license training under the Wales FA setup. He’s known both of them for quite some time.
Where did I say Mikel gave Cedric a contract? I’m aware of how Cedric came to be an Arsenal player. It was as nonsensical and nepotistic a decision as our appointments at assistant coach.

You can’t just fill out a coaching staff with ‘the best’. That’s like setting a team up on FIFA with 7 of the world’s best attackers and 3 worldy CBS. You need a dynamic which both works philosophically with your intentions and style and with personnel you can work with on the daily. That said, Mikel being a young coach doesn’t have the same networking pool or respect garnered as a top class coach so his choices are more limited. I agree that our back team staff(squad,team,platoon even!) Aren’t good enough either at their job role or in challenging Mikel’s… Read more »

Darqgoon from Oz!

Easy to be “tough” on the captain when he isn’t performing. Balls would be dropping him if he was still a top five in the league. Arterta just flexing his muscle because it’s convenient.


I work as a teacher, and I used to deal with disciplinary infractions every day (I now teach students who are quite highly motivated, so I have many fewer issues). Here’s the thing with rules and discipline – rules should be clear and enforced consistently and dispassionately. The punishment should also be clear. I don’t have any issues with Auba being stripped of the captaincy and being dropped. I do, however, have issues with him being completely frozen out and Arteta treating this like a fucking family funeral. Look, a player came late, woop-dee-doo. Strip him of the captaincy, sit… Read more »


Why the media? It’s an internal thing. It’s been clearly communicated. Mikel saying it begins today clearly shows it has an end point. One that he wasn’t willing to give to the media. If it’s after West ham then someone’s going to pipe up and say ‘bad enough to strip him of captaincy but only 2 games?!’ and if it lasts longer you’ll get the opposite ‘hes been stripped of captaincy and missed two games!? What more do you want mikel’ As a teacher you deal with the infraction with the student right? Do you then go into classes and… Read more »


As many have said, the landscape has changed. There is literally no benefit of not doing that. There is enough “noise”™ around the club as is, this creates more room for speculation. You have fans wondering if he’ll ever play for us again, ffs. If he’d said Auba is being stripped of the captaincy and would only return to the squad after AFCON, no hard feelings, it would be clear this is a severe punishment, but it would be better than this “he’s let everyone down” spiel. There’s no need for a moral outrage here. And unlike what you have… Read more »


It’s sad that it all had to happen so publicly. But you it’s a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation for the manager. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into a saga.


Has anyone else noticed that every time Auba gets a crazy haircut his form dips? He’s like the opposite of Samson — the dude needs to get rid of the braids to regain his scoring boots.


That’s literally Samson.

Bill Hall

I think the best thing our Pierre can do if he cares about the club is to apologise, take it on the chin and move on. Then rediscover his form at the AFCON and come back a goal-scoring machine again. Because for a long time he hasn’t been able to hit a barn door from 3 yards and when playing he hasn’t looked like he could give a flying fuck! He has pretty much brought all this on himself!

Bill Hall

Oh and just so we are clear, I would love to have him back to his best form because when he is banging them in he is happy and it shows on the pitch.
And I miss the somersaults!

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