Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Arteta: ‘Painful’ Aubameyang decision was communicated face to face

Mikel Arteta has admitted that the decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy was a painful one, and revealed it was communicated to the 32 year old in a face to face meeting.

The club released a statement earlier today saying, “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.”

Ahead of the West Ham game tomorrow night, Arteta faced the press and this was obviously the main topic of conversation. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: Can you elaborate on the statement.

Arteta: I don’t have much more to say, I think it’s a really clear statement from the club. It’s a decision that we have made following the incident, the last incident that we had with the player. And this is where we stand.

Q: How many incidents have there been?

Arteta: I don’t mind you asking, but I cannot go any further on that. As you can believe when we have to make that decision, obviously, because it’s the the right one to defend the interests of the football club.

Q: Did you break the news to him yourself?

Arteta: Yes, we did it in combination with the club. Having a personal conversation with myself and face to face with the player.

Q: How did Auba take it?

Arteta: He had to accept the decision.

Q: What’s next? Any thoughts on who is going to be the next captain?

Arteta: Well, we have the leadership group. And within that we have different players that are nominated. Laca was captain in the last game, we have granite as well, who has been Captain as well. So we will follow that, obviously, is a really unpleasant situation. And is not the moment to make any rash decision.

The leadership group is really strong. It’s the one that communicates with with myself, the coaching staff and with the club in a really clear and strong was, and we’re gonna continue like that. That’s one of the decisions that we made to make that group a bit better. And, and try to educate them and try to get the right feedback all the time and build that trust and a strong culture around the club and is working really well, so we’ll continue to that.

Q: The next captain will be Arsenal’s 11th in 14 years. How important is it to get this decision right for the short term future of the club.

Arteta: It is really important. But for me, having the leadership group is something that has been tremendously helpful because then you get different voices. This is a really multicultural dressing room, one that needs a lot of attention and different feelings and different languages. And they all have to be in both. And I’m really comfortable with that.

Q: Has there been any impact on the dressing room?

Arteta: Well, they accepted the decision. And I think they they know, because they have committed to it. They have demanded that we want to take our culture, our demands, and who do we want to be as a club and how we want to represent his football club to a different level. And when those standards are not met, you know, then you cannot participate in in our daily basics.

Q: Would you consider selling Aubameyang in January?

Arteta: All I can say right now is that we have made this decision that, unfortunately, is a really tough one. Obviously, if I had to choose I wouldn’t like to be sitting here and talking about this, but but we had to do it. And the next one is that for now, he’s not involved in squad?

Q: When will he back in the squad?

Arteta: What I can say is for now, as you can understand, it’s been a lot to digest and a really difficult decision to make. So we need a bit of time.

Q: How would you describe your relationship with Pierre-Emerick?

Arteta: Since I’ve been here, really, really good. That’s, that’s why it’s painful.

Q: If Pierre had scored 10 goals in his last five Premier League matches, would you still made the same decision regardless?

Arteta: Without a question of a doubt.

Q: Has he said sorry.

Arteta: I cannot discuss what I have discussed with him. Sorry.

There is more to come on this via the embargoed section of the press conference. We’ll publish a transcript of that at 10.30pm this evening.

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You could see the pain in Arteta’s eyes. Will we see Auba in an Arsenal shirt again or is he all but headed for the exit door? One thing is for sure, Amazons show it gonna be lit 🔥🔥🔥

Naked Cygan

I hope we see him again. He is a great player who can score a lot of goals for us. Unfortunately, the new system does not seem to be working for him, and to be honest, he wasn’t the right choice to be our captain in the first place. He wasn’t vocal enough IMO and with all his other issues he hasn’t really set a good example for the youngsters. We have lacked a proper captain for years!!! Agree with the amazon show, it might be an Oscar nomination.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Few years ago:
According to Behrenbeck, Dortmund are open to a sale due to the striker’s poor attitude. “Dortmund knows that there won’t be a future for Aubameyang at Dortmund,” he told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast.
“He was unpunctual again. Afterwards he said he didn’t know about the team meeting but everybody knows about it.
“It is a problem that he has been unpunctual since day one. He had three coaches since the last few years, Peter Stoger, Peter Bosz and Thomas Tuchel and every coach had to suspend him. It says a lot about his philosophy and character.”


He probably just needs faster cars.


Dortmund hasn’t won the league in a decade, Bayern’s won 9 in a row. It’s an abysmal record, as much respect as I have for that club.

Yeah, standards and rules are important. Just as important to ask why a manager can’t get more out of a clearly talented player. And as with Auba, “this is not the first incident”.

Santi's Thigh Grab

So the Dortmund manager is responsible for his poor attitude and lack of punctuality? So how does a manager fix that? Maybe by suspending him and stripping him of his captaincy.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Crocodile tears as far I’m concerned. He’ll probably sleep like a baby tonight. Binning players is nothing new to Arteta, he does it all the time.

El Mintero

So you would have kept him as captain? Really?!


‘…we have the leadership group. And within that we have different players that are nominated. Laca was captain in the last game, we have granite as well, who has been Captain as well..’ Xhaka should be absolutely nowhere near the armband or the ‘leadership group.’ The fact the guy is still even at this club after the way he disrespected the armband, the shirt and the fans still blows my mind to this day. He can shout all he wants on the pitch, but ultimately when the chips are down, he’d much rather get a needless red card to get… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

Glad you got to get all of that off your chest!

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Couldn’t have articulated that better myself. Spot on. Harry Maguire had a nightmare holiday yet managed to captain Utd to second place without ever having his captaincy under threat. But let it be known that tardy Auba has tarnished the club’s reputation and is now irredeemable. Arteta likes deliberately isolating players and creating squad issues that only he can solve. He wants to be seen as firefighting when he wouldn’t need to if he didn’t start the fire in the first place. Just think about it. We’re complaining that our options at CM are abysmal but who was the genius… Read more »


The fact you have more down votes sums up the state of this team. “OK let’s give xhaka and laca another shot”… Ground hog day… Some one please save us from ourselves.


Because people are some reason obsessed with Arteta. The guy is literally proving himself to be not up to the job in any capacity, yet loads of fans want him to succeed so badly due to his affiliation with Guardiola that they’re completely blind sided by the fact we play terrible football, our results are mediocre at best, our performance data is terrible, and the way he treats the players is so recklessly old fashioned and completely amateur. I wonder what would happen in a situation where Arteta had no previous experience or links with Guardiola but Graham Potter did?… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta


All this hoopla over a coach that couldn’t even get us into the Europa Conference League.

It’s like we are just supposed to ignore all the warning signs. We’ve essentially become an expensive vanity project for a toxic, underperforming and vainglorious manager.

His man-management makes Mourinho look like a teletubby in comparison.



Santi's Thigh Grab

Good, it means he’s managing.


This will be the true test of Arteta. Pick Xhaka and he will completely alienate himself with half the fan base. Pick Gabriel, Tierney, or Ramsdale and it shows there is at least a focus on the direction of the club and some respect for fans. Really disappointing Auba let the team down again. A genuinely likeable guy and he’s had some big moments with the team, but he’s shocking form is pointing more towards a career down turn and the fact that he continually cannot follow protocols for a guy paid >300K per week – more than many earn… Read more »


I don’t disagree that Xhaka is the wrong person right now – but if Arteta is choosing a club caption to avoid alienating the fanbase, then we’re already heading the wrong direction. If that played any role then they should set up a twitter poll.

Regardless – the timing is unfortunate – I could see Laca take the reigns until he leaves in the summer, and open it up for Ramsdale or Odegaard. Just hope Tierney isn’t picked (though he’d be fantastic); if he is, he’d assuredly get injured or completely usurped by Nuno.


I totally disagree. Part of the captain’s job is connections with the fans. If not for the fans, what is professional sports? Xhaka openly told the fans to FO and threw aside the armband because of some ironic cheers after another rubbish effort from him and the team and then used trolls on social media as a scapegoat for his actions. IMO he had no right ever playing for Arsenal again let alone captaining the team (and that’s not even considering my opinion that he isn’t good enough anyway). To make him captain again would be a total slap in… Read more »


That all happened over two years ago, and though Xhaka is far from our favourite player out there, he leads the best he can out there. He interacts with the fans like all the other players, so he doesn’t seem to hold the same grudge. I agree that I’d rather him not be captain again, but I do hope that half of our fanbase won’t turn their backs on the manager (not that a large number of them haven’t already) because of his captain selection. I still find it odd how many conditions, and how many odd conditions, we place… Read more »


Conditions like supporting players that actually respect the fans, particularly as captain? I support the team even through the struggles, but my affection for the team is absolutely affected by the character of the players we have. It’s no coincidence that my favourite players on this team are Saka, Gabriel, ESR, Lokonga, Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Tierney, (and Partey…although he too needs to step up both as a player and leader). These are guys with character and a future with the team, not some place-holder that sometimes acts like a captain and sometimes like a knob, but is part of the “leadership”… Read more »


Has nothing changed in 2 years? Do you think Xhaka exists in a perpetual state of disrespect for Arsenal fans, or do you think it was a regrettable episode and he relishes playing for the club and its fans?


He continues to let his team down. He’s already been sent off this season. You’d be happy with that? Sorry mate, he has made too many mistakes and he’s simply not good enough to warrant the continued excuses (and selection). At another club there would be no way back from that and there shouldn’t be at this club either.


That implies that Viera, monsieur carte rouge, let his team down too often to be a good captain. I don’t buy that one. As I said, I don’t want Xhaka to be captain, I don’t want him starting every game, but it irks me a bit that fans still hold a grudge against him and that half of our fanbase would turn on the manager for appointing him as captain. Let’s move forward.


Let’s move forward. Without Xhaka as captain, please


Vieira was good and won things for his team his aggression was part of why he won things for his team and why he was an invincible.




The other guy is none of those things. Obviously!

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Comparing Xhaka to Vieira is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard here

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

I think Arseblog has been infiltrated by rival fans down the lane.
No true gooner could really want Xhaka as captain, or even in the squad

Bleeding gums murphy

Are you joking he wanted to leave in the summer. He relishes playing for the club 😂😂

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Yes Futs, I do find it odd how many odd conditions we place on our support.

It’s almost like some of us can’t possibly be real fans unless we satisfy certain conditions.


What’s good for the goose …

Brady’s bunch

Giving it to Xhaka sends out the wrong message completely and I’d fully agree that he’s lucky to be playing for us, still didn’t say sorry for his actions. whoever extended his contract has to be questioned. Shame about Auba looks like it’s heading to only one conclusion.


Let’s not forget that Xhaka’s breakdown did not happen in a vacuum.

The abuse he and his family were repeatedly subjected to was disgusting and the Emirates was full of toxics.

He stepped forward like a man, and I think like a leader should, and took full responsibility for his actions.

Not one of the psychologically deficient abusive fans did.

This doesn’t mean I think he should be our future captain. It just means exactly what it says.


He took no responsibility. He refused to apologise as he had done with everything. He blamed the ref for good sending off this season. That’s him in a nutshell. It’s everyone else’s fault we’re not league title holders because he’s prefect and it can’t be him.


False. He did apologize.

Toxic fans were telling him they hoped his newborn daughter would get cancer. That is just one example out of thousands and thousands of hateful things people screamed at him.


The captain in any sport, at any level, is the connection between the team and the manager, not the fans and the manager – the fans are fans because they found a connection with the team and want the team to be successful. I’m an Arsenal fan, abroad, who fell in love with a style over 20 years ago that doesn’t exist anymore, yet I can’t imagine ever leaving this base. I was never a fan because of the relatability of Xhaka, or an affinity for Unai Emery – both of the individuals thoroughly annoyed me, and I itched to… Read more »


The betterment of the club is having happy fans that pay for subscriptions and tickets. So, I disagree it should play no role what fans think.

Mayor McCheese

It’ll be Laca, then Xhaka.

It’s not a big deal, honestly. The issue with Ramsdale and Gabriel is that they just haven’t been at the club very long, and with Tierney, he’s injury prone, which means he plays irregularly.

I don’t really care all that much who’s captain, though it was the right decision to take it from Auba, that’s for sure.


We love a captain who never plays, do we not?


I disagree on the “not been at the club long enough” argument. Many in the “leadership” group have been at the club too long. My personal choice would be Gabriel. IMO he has the most unflappable character of the whole team and no-one is going to mess with him and he’s arguably one of the first names on the team sheet. The only downside would be his grasp of English, but all reports are it is actually pretty good now. Ramsdale is of similar character. Tierney, is a good option, but injury prone is a concern. I wouldn’t even mind… Read more »


I like Gabriel, too, and I imagine he commands a lot of respect amongst the team and he looks to be a very likeable guy. I think his grasp of English might be the catch, though. Aside from him and Ramsdale (and not sure a goalkeeper bound to his box is the right choice for ref-chats), I don’t see another guaranteed starter in this team who can assume the captaincy without a question mark. As unpleasant as it might be to us, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arteta lets the captaincy question fade into the background and just chooses a… Read more »


If Arteta let’s the captaincy “fade into the background” then he’s walking the same path we’ve walked at this team for the last 15 years. This group needs direction, but not from some mediocre experience piece, from one of the young core to build around going forward. This young core is full of characters I see this as a massively important decision. Arteta needs to make a decision here and back this young core and one of them as his long-term captain, but sadly I think you might be right and he’ll take the easy way out of the “leadership… Read more »


You’re misunderstanding my point. I’m saying that the next captain is so important, that he shouldn’t rush into the decision, and thus will let the question fade into the background for now, and will likely make the call towards the end of the season or in the offseason when he knows who can take it, hold it, respect it, and honour it.

This new team hasn’t even been together for half a season yet, and it might take some time to settle on the player who will lead resolutely for years to come.


“rush into a decision”, how long does he need? This is his job he works with these guys all day everyday. He should already have a plan in place. Sure take a week or two, but what next season? 2023 Summer? Will someone be “ready” then? This club is so risk adverse that our risk adverseness induces risk.


I think appointing Arteta in the first place as manager shows that this club is far, far from being risk averse, as does stripping the captaincy from Auba at a crucial moment in the season.

I think you are underestimating how tumultuous this moment could be in the dressing room and for the staff. Let it blow over, let it recede into unimportance, continue with the leadership group and captains selected for each match, and then choose a new one with an eye to next season.

Wrighty's hats

I have to agree. Especially given the last decade and how many captains we’ve had – taking a bit of time to consider it properly seems like the most wise thing to do, especially if the aim is to not continue perpetuating the cycle. There isn’t consensus here about who would be best, and I can’t imagine it would be a simple decision for MA either (yes, despite working with the players every day) – maybe it’s just that no one particular person is deemed appropriate just at the moment? In which case, better not to unnecessarily burden someone who’s… Read more »


Laca would be a good choice if he was staying at the club but as it stands no. I’m not against Xhaka if I’m honest as I do think he’s turned a corner (he was an absolute pr*ck in that moment though) but it’ll limit Lokonga’s playing time so that’s a no as well. Tierney for me please.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

People keep talking about Gabriel and his understanding of the language. It hasn’t stopped Harry “lets fucking win this game” Kane, has it


Ramsdale is too fiery. I bet there’s people in the dressing room he rubs up the wrong way.

Mick Malthouse

Tierney (injuries aside) is the only one who shows true leadership values – 100% drive and determination in every game. Build the future around him.


Gabriel and Ramsdale certainly do too. I’d fully back any of the three and Saka too if he was the choice.

Wrighty's hats

The thing is, club captain is a whole job on top of playing football. Wearing the captain’s armband and talking to refs I would argue are relatively small parts of the job. Yes Saka definitely leads by example on the pitch, and by all accounts seems like an incredibly upstanding and good-natured guy. But being club captain at his age and stage of development would be a hindrance to him more than anything. Because of my strong belief in him as a player for the ages, and knowing that he will be seen as one of the Arsenal greats, I… Read more »

Finsbury Park Gooner

“This will be the true test of Arteta” 🤣🤣🤣

Give over


Oh god, not all this bollocks again.

Man Manny

If we ever needed to play well against West Ham, this is an added impetus. We must put this saga behind us and go for the three points tomorrow, playing like the last 70 minutes against Southampton.
A win – and a top four place (the first time in God knows how long) – would take attention away from Auba.
Speaking about the captaincy, my pick would be one of these 3 players: Tierney, Gabriel or Ramsdale, with Odegaard as vice.


Incident has made what was already a must-win game even more important now. Massive, massive game.


Westharm will thrush us and we already have who to blame…. Auba.

Brady’s bunch

Oooh thrush us that could be a bit sore 😉

King 14enry

I think the leadership group approach isn’t great in the long-term, but probably the best way forward for the rest of the season. See how the season plays out, who steps up as the leader of the group, and nominate a player for next season. I think Odegaard, Tierney and Ramsdale are all viable options at that point, depending on how they perform on the pitch.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Sounds like he was hinting it would be Laca or Xhaka.


I think he wants to keep it open and choose someone else. If he wanted a safe Laca/Xhaka choice, he could have named them outright. Saying he’ll make it later and rotate the leadership core is a tacit admission that he doesn’t have an obvious candidate, or that that candidate isn’t from the core. That a second stripping of captaincy from a temp captain won’t look good.


He did outwardly say Xhaka and Laca is part of the leadership group.


Also, what are the chances either of them are still here next season? Looks to me like the lot of ‘em, Auba, Xhaka, and Laca are quite possibly all in the sale bin.

2 out of the 3 look committed when they hit the pitch. They’re the ones earning the armband.


Interesting interview.
I love auba and celebrated like crazy when he signed for us because I have followed his career since his days at Milan as a youth product. One thing has always been clear for all to see; he is not your traditional leader.

I hope with the burden of the armband taken off his shoulders, he will work hard to recover the goal scoring form that convinced us to break the bank and offer him a 3 year contract extension.


Always thought this as well, maybe what was expected from him as a captain never really suited his profile. Unfortunate event, honestly, but hope we can put this behind quickly and find someone that can communicate clearly as the voice of the group and that consistently embodies on and off the pitch values for Arsenal. Don’t think Auba was far away from that, maybe he just isn’t that vocal and slips sometimes


Can’t help but wonder if the club have made this a bigger deal than it needed to be. Putting out the statement before this press conference takes all the focus away from the game and puts Arteta in an awkward position. Still think the right decision has been made, just not sure about the publicity around it.


On the flipside, if they didn’t do it now and had the chance to talk to Mikel about it, it could have come out before the match against west ham and had a negative affect on it and the fans


Aubameyang captaincy was for a team in a much worse shape.
Hope they consider a spinal position for captaincy, CB, CM or CAM.


From an admittedly cynical point of view, with no shred of evidence, I get the feeling that Auba must’ve betrayed his loyalty and commitment to the club. Being late after picking up Mum doesn’t sound like an offense that requires stripping of the captaincy (even if it was a repeat of something earlier this year). Maybe he is demotivated and caused team disunity, or perhaps Barca turned his head.


Mikel looked genuinely upset like his hands were tied. I can’t wait to find out what this was lol


Seriously, if he had simply called before being late saying “Hey boss, I’m sorry that I need to be late because xyz,” would that merit being stripped of the armband? Assuming that the travel reason was personal (something about his Mum?), then the reason for the delay must have been important. I presume something else is going on here. I just hope it’s not Arteta’s shitty man-management skills

Hank Scorpio

The last point is certainly possible. It’s either that or Auba could not make the evening flight as instructed and did not tell anyone, or he completely disregarded the instruction to catch a flight in the evening and decided of his own accord to do so in the morning. All a bit of a circus really.


Oh come on, why don’t we give the captain’s armband to a player who is part of this new foundation (Tierney, Partey, Ramsdale for me)? Isn’t that what this “process” is all about? Lacazette, huge respect for him, he does seem to have captain’s qualities but he could be leaving soon. Xhaka, lost for words there.


Laca until the end of the season and then one of the lads?


If you give it to Laca or Xhaka, and they leave, or need to be stripped to a new more capable captain (say Gabriel or Ramsdale), it looks bad. I think Arteta understands this is enough rocking of the boat, and wants to continue with a core leadership team he selected, instead of going outside it right now.

Tampa Jack

I think him referencing several players is an indication that he is not going to formally pick THE new Captain until next summer. I think he uses the remainder of this year to get a feel for what he has with this young team– see which leaders rise in the group and which ones are nailed on starters. Then after summer signings– He’ll name a permanent long term (hopefully) captain and vice captain from the core. For the rest of year I’d guess that– Laca, Xhaka, Holding or Tierney. will all start some games w armband I prefer this approach… Read more »


Arsenal club can not be Arteta’s experimental lab. Test with outspending the PL buying unproven lads, now test run a captaincy experiment till season end. Come summer and we are 8th. What next experiment?




Who is/are the WE Arteta repeated referenced?


The management of the club, he’s obviously referring to Garlick and Edu I imagine

David C

We might have been better off keeping Giroud instead of getting Auba. It would have saved us a lot of money on wages and my wife would have watched more games with me! haha

Sad for Auba, but I support Arteta on this one.

One of White/Gabriel/Tierney/Ramsdale for captain.


Giroud is such an underated player. Low key just look at his trophy cabinet. Especially since he is a late bloomer in footballing terms.

David C

has scored 4 goals in 8 games for Milan this year too.

The way we were crossing the ball non stop last year would have suited him as well. Just an excellent worker and teammate and a good plan B at this point in his career.

El Mintero

I miss him…and Joel Campbell! They were a great combo…


Sounds like he’s out the door?


This seems so petty to me. Its sad that we can’t let our legends age gracefully and leave the club in a respectful way. The club messed up by giving him that contract in the first place, now they hv to ruine Aubas legacy to try force him out. I hope he stays and just sits on the bench til the very last day of his contract like Bale did at Real and tells them he is not leaving!


Are you fishing for the award of ‘most silly comment of the season’? Because if so, we’ll played. If not, that’s a very silly comment.


He can’t even get that as it was won by the dude in the earlier article that called the Auba captaincy an “affirmative action” move…


Yes seems to have all gone south pretty quickly…I know he’s been out of form for a while, but if this is a reaction provoked by visiting his sick mother I find it hard to side with the club. Would have rather done without the agro and had a less rancorous changing of the guard at the end of the season. The captaincy really isn’t that important, those thinking that not having some sort of heroic leader is the root of our current problems are deluded. Perhaps it’s a smoke screen for wanting to shift him on in Jan, but… Read more »

Wrighty's hats

I know people have different opinions and maybe I can’t help but see the good in people, but do people really think that MA is so heartless that he would strip the club captain of his captaincy just because of something to do with visiting his family? It must be something on top of that, like inadequate communication with the club and/or not representing himself in a manner that is expected of all players. Our club is not heartless. I feel sad for supporters who feel otherwise. As MA says, the club at all levels is trying to steer back… Read more »


Oh yeah, thats a good idea from a fan of the club. Lets hope a player, who was in the wrong, hurts the club. Genius


The answer to that last question could be quite telling. You’d want Auba to be contrite, admit he’s fucked up and apologise… but reading between the lines it doesn’t seem like that has happened. Which is shame, a dam shame. Ah well, the club is bigger than the individual, onwards and upwards please Arsenal!


There’s more??
Hopefully the players can focus on the game tomorrow because it’s massive


Arteta convinced Auba to sign another contract telling him to create a legacy at the club. Not sure this is the way to get a legacy. It’s a shame that Auba, much like Ozil before both of who should have left the club as legends somehow have tarnished their careers. I still don’t get the “non-negotiables” and how it seems to be implemented. Is it across the board or only implemented when Arteta wants to make a point? Willian didn’t get bombed out of the club when he went to Dubai during a pandemic and he was massively shit. First… Read more »


Agree with your every word. This is all baffling to me. Romario scored a brace for Barca against Real and asked to be subbed so he can hop on a plain to party in Brazil. The coach didn’t give him some talk about “non-negotiables”. Admittedly Auba was out of form the past month, but he also deliveres our most recent trophy against our city rivals.


This HAS to be the reason we do not resign Lacazette. We simply cannot do it unless it’s for a single season.

Once a gunner

As anyone noticed whenever Arteta took this type of decision we usually have good results?


Maybe that’s why he’s constantly falling out with somebody.

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Like the time we went on a barren run of goals and had a dearth of creativity shortly after binning Özil and Guendouzi?

Those good results?


I don’t understand the hype behind making KT captain. My thinling is we need a captain who is assertive, physically and vocally. Who will out another teammate in line. When I think of KT, he represents a pretty dated style of a left back who lacks taking on players but can pace down the line and crass the ball, sometimes when no one is in the box. I’m not trying to roast him, but can someone explain why he’d be a good captain to lead this team?


Have you ever questioned his commitment, or his passion? He also has 2 assists in his last 2 games, not bad for a dated style of left back.


Because he has a fair amount of experience and is a no nonsense type player so he isn’t getting into trouble. Also his instagram isn’t pics of him out or getting a new wrap on his car. Hard to argue when your captain is there putting the time in and not screwing around.


Really confused about when the ‘KT is crap’ line became doctrine amongst fans? As a collective we’re the most fickle, flighty bunch of supporters going.


Holy crap, this is like a poisonous gas floating around the Arsenal fans, confusing their sense of judgement reg. humble, passionate players and players who see this club as a springboard / guarantee for an extra high living standard


I didn’t say he is crap. I questioned why he should be captain. Yes he has two assists in the last two games, Southampton he misses the first attempt to cross, then kicks it straight into the defender and the third chance headers it over him. Everton assist was lucky due to him kicking it into his own knee and then crossing without looking. His cross accuracy stats stand at plus minus 20% accuracy. He does a lot of blind crossing. Yes he is very committed and passionate, if thats what a captain should be then yes, but so is… Read more »


I seem to remember he scored a goal in the Europa League against Benfica perhaps(?) to put us through. Then in the interview after the game he brushed off the importance of him scoring Vs the result for the team. That’s always stuck with me and makes me think he’d make an excellent captain.


I don’t know if anyone caught Mueller’s comment about Barca last week. He said that Barca have “everything” — technique, tactical awareness, etc — but they don’t have “intensity.” This has been one of Arsenal’s biggest problems too — look know further than the Everton match. The culture had become a bit cushy and posh in Wenger’s later years and you saw that continue after with players like Willian. Essentially, top players would only come to Arsenal because of the location and paycheck. Not a recipe for building an identity or any kind of intensity. Though it’s not necessarily their… Read more »

John C

Never thought he was the right man for the captaincy as he really doesn’t seem to be that type of character.

In my opinion the two players that stand out on a temperamental point of view are Ben White and Tomiyasu, with both very calm and assured. For me Ramsdale and Gabriel are too excitable for the captaincy.

Tierney is the other option but probably too injury prone.

On balance I think Ben White is the best option for the captaincy in the long term.


Okay, I have a fairly complex take on this one. I think stripping Auba of the captaincy was the correct decision. I also think Mikel has decided to turn this into a much bigger issue than it needed to be. It was Arteta’s decision publicly sanction Auba. That is different from enforcing the rules. He said Auba’s absence was due to a “disciplinary breach”. He could just as easily have said that it was due to “Covid protocol”. Auba is 32. He’s an adult. I don’t quite understand why it’s important to teach him a lesson like he’s a little… Read more »


Yeah, it’s funny how Arteta keeps asking himself all these questions in public, and then trying hard to avoid answering them so as not to make the situation more public than it needs to be. I mean, the guy is such a control freak that he just dominates his press conferences. Why doesn’t he ever let someone else answer the questions?


I have no idea what you’re actually trying to say, but I think you might have stumbled upon what’s at the heart of this: Arteta is a control freak and also bad at achieving control. This thing is absolutely a communication failure. Either it really was about Auba taking a bit longer with his mom, in which case, the high drama of Arteta’s reaction seems pretty OTT, or it was something else which merits this reaction but Arteta is deliberately withholding it from the press, thus making himself and the club look worse. Arteta’s answers here have only created doubt… Read more »


I couldn’t agree more with the fact that this is an inexperienced manager in action…he definitely has problem handling big egos…big names wouldn’t survive his stewardship…

Wrighty's hats

Appreciate the thoughtfulness of your points. I disagree with the notion that discipline only matters on the pitch. Players have to be extremely well disciplined to excel in this professional sport. Discipline off the pitch translates to discipline on the pitch – and it also builds trust and confidence between teammates, and cohesion amongst the entire group. Some say that because of his laid back personality, Auba tends to run behind schedule, and that’s just who he is, so it’s harsh for him to be sanctioned. That’s not how the world works though! I’ll make clear that I really do… Read more »

Santi's Thigh Grab

Well reasoned post, not something you typically find in the Arseblog comment section. I hope he comes back fresh and fighting too with big performances.


I agree with a lot of what you’ve written, but I think your main point is wrong. Thomas Tuchel has said that at Dortmund, Auba was also often a little late, but they’ve worked around it and, ultimately, everyone was okay with it because that’s just who he is and he still performed well. This tracks with my experiences in the real world, and I’ll trust Tuchel’s expertise before I will Arteta’s. I watched this long interview with Roy Keane – the poster boy for footballers taking “their job” seriously. He was saying how in his younger days they’d go… Read more »


arteta wants to be captain again!
in all seriousness, we should be looking to
1.) give it to a player who will be here next season
2.) give it to someone who is not xhaka

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Again with this Leadership group bollocks! FFS! Why are we the only ones who behave like this. Even a blind one-legged dog knows that making Laca or especially Xhaka sends a pathetic and weak signal to the fans, our rivals and also gives the media yet another reason to take the piss.


I’m an Auba fan, this appears to be a very tough decision about a tough situation. Auba looks to have been doing the right thing and taking care of his mother, yet still by the letter of Arsenal’s law, he breached protocol–again. The captaincy was not likely to stay with Auba much longer, but stripping him now is a very tough decision. Guess we’ll know more next year when the documentary of this season comes out. Another angle on this, if Ferguson, Wenger, Klopp, Guardiola, Conte, et al had made this decision, would there be controversy…? Honestly, I doubt it.… Read more »


I honestly don’t know why we are speculating about the ins and outs of this decision. Auba broke the rules (terms of employment) as set out by the club (his employer). He is a senior player, club captain and there is a certain expectation that comes with that. You don’t bring the club into disrepute, or go against the rules as set out by the club. It’s as simple as that. Which rule he broke, is irrelevant, the fact is this is the second time he’s been pulled up for not adhering to the rules he has agreed to. If… Read more »


Honestly it was our own fault for ever making him captain in the first place. He’s not that kind of guy. He had these problems at all his previous clubs too. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a great squad player, but it was always a bad idea to make someone like that captain, it’s setting yourself up for this sort of thing down the road.


IMO, Arteta has missed this big time. Auba was on a poor run and there was no way he could be our second striker and captain of the team at the same time. It is a case of overkill. Appears more personal than professional. Was Arteta a great player..? No. Is able able to work with players who are more talented and more exposed than him as Auba is? That’s the problem. He has no skill or personality to deal with guys of a higher football acumen than him. He’s filling out the team with yes men and this is… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen & the DicTeta

Interesting breakdown. I’ll be ecstatic if we see the back of Arteta come this summer.

Many AFC fans say they want Arsene’s best values to be retained at the club yet they want to keep around an underperforming manager who handles the squad like a reality TV show.


I watched the long version of the interview. Arteta clearly mentioned a “leadership group” involving Laca and Xhaka. And he reiterated Xhaka is a very important player in the team. This club is a circus running around in circles. If Auba is stripped of the captaincy and even frozen out of the squad, how is Xhaka still playing and acting like our leader? Disgusting. Are we supposed to forget how he confronted the fans after a bad performance?


If Xhaka is given even a sniff of consideration for the captaincy, then all confidence in Arteta is lost. Nothing could be more regressive, unambitious, lazy, and careless than giving the armband back to Xhaka.

Wrighty's hats

Mojo, I don’t want you to be too upset if you see Xhaka wearing the armband a few times over the next few months. I suspect he will, as I suspect the armband will be passed between the ‘leadership’ between now and the end of the season, or until a formal announcement is made re club captain. I don’t think MA is crazy enough to choose Xhaka as club captain again, for the exact reasons you said, but in my mind that’s very different to giving him the armband to him for games here and there (as well as to… Read more »


Not the point of the article, but the concept of embargoed press conferences is so weird to me from a NA pro sports background. But I’m anticipating this transcript, so I guess it works


I would err on the side of the manager because we have nothing concrete to talk here.

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