Speculation has been rife over the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang since he was missing from the training pictures yesterday, and it was reported last night that he wouldn’t be in the squad for today’s game against Southampton.
There was an initial suggestion he was unwell, but just now, however, Mikel Arteta revealed it was down to disciplinary reasons.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he was asked why the captain was missing, and replied, “Unfortunately, due to a disciplinary breach, and I think we’ve been very consistent.
“There are certain non-negotiables for the team that we have set ourselves at the club, and he’s not involved today.”
Asked it were a long-term ban or just for this match, Arteta replied, “It starts today.
“It’s not an easy situation, we don’t want to have our club captain in that situation.”
It’s not the first time Aubameyang has fallen foul of the club’s strict rules. Last season he was left out of the team for a North London derby for arriving late, and this latest transgression is surely to raise all kinds of questions about his long-term future.
For now, let’s just beat Southampton and go from there.