Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arteta: Too early to say if Auba will return at Norwich

Mikel Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on when Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang’s exile from the Arsenal first team will end despite being repeatedly asked whether the striker could be part of the squad for the Boxing Day clash with Norwich.

Stripped of the captaincy and forced to train alone following a disciplinary breach, the 32-year-old has missed four consecutive games in the space of 10 days.

In his absence, his teammates have shared 14 goals which has gone some way to dampening calls for his return.

“We will go game by game and decide the squad as we get closer to the game,” said Arteta on Wednesday morning.

“We make the squad the day before and today, as it’s still Wednesday, I haven’t done the squad,” he added.

Further pressed on why in previous press conferences, he’s been able to indicate the player’s availability, he clarified, “Because we did the press conference on matchday minus one, that’s why I can do it. On matchday minus one I can tell you.”

If Aubameyang doesn’t travel to Carrow Road, he may not be available for Arsenal until he returns from the African Cup of Nations which is scheduled to take place between 9 January to 6 February.

FIFA stipulates that “players must be released and start travel to their representative team no later than Monday morning the week preceding the week when the relevant final competition starts.”

We’ll have to wait and see whether such rules are enforced given the ongoing pandemic.

It doesn’t sound as though Arteta has any new injuries to contend with ahead of Sunday’s match with the Canaries although Calum Chambers is out with Covid-19.

“We didn’t pick up any injuries yesterday, obviously before the game we lost Calum with Covid,” said the boss. “We are tested every day and we will see how it goes, touch wood.”

No update was provided on the status of Sambi Lokonga and Pablo Mari, who also tested positive last week, or on the ‘illness’ that prevented Ainsley Maitland-Niles from featuring against Sunderland.

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Cliff Bastin

Should be benched anyway based on form players.


The big worry with Auba and Pepe, is the possibility of another Ozil situation. Both on very high salaries means a waste of resources that could be invested elsewhere

Agree completely. But my concern is, he’s NOT even on the bench, for the 4th (?) game running. Arteta should be man enough, and far-sighted enough NOT to overplay his hand. As manager, you always want to leave a decent, non-humiliating path back for players that have been dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Unless you don’t want them back at all.

Proven, world-class goal scorer, albeit on a drought at the moment, on like 350k per week, on can’t remember how many years left on his contract. And the manager doesn’t even want him as an option on the bench?
Yeah, I can see how that makes sense.


Let’s keep winning with the current team!

Johnny 4 Hats

If you’re suggesting we play a team full of raisins then I am right behind you.


The squad needs some pruning though.

Malepa lindsay

Arteta has a secret in cooking young talents and its perfect as we are each year taking out roll royce to fill positions in the team.
Good luck to them and the whole team .asitstartinsmesmelgoodgooin Arteta


I don’t like all this talk of cooking players. Makes me think of cannibals.

Pierre Omelette Aubameyang


Shouldn’t be near the team in the form he’s in.

David C

If he sulks, send him to train with the U23’s. Auba has to recognize that he has been pretty woeful lately and should put his head down and start working harder to regain his spot.

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Auba’s breach has been a blessing.
Performance wise, his time in this team is finished


A lot of debate is had on here when the likes of Xhaka is out of the team but I think it’s blindingly obvious that since Auba was dropped we’ve looked much more dangerous in attack.

Apparently it was down to the manager’s system or a lack of service – but with the exact same players (minus Auba) we’ve now scored 14 goals in 4 games…


I hate to say it because I’ve always loved auba but you’re right.


It’s not the exact same players. Martinelli has come into the team who works well with laca who drops deep. Its this partnership that’s working for us bringing the best out of both players – previously laca would drop deep and nobody would fill that space so laca with different team mates was criticised. Like all players auba needs players around him that compliment his style but he hasn’t always had that privilege

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

Imagine what we’d do without Auba and Xhaka


I love Auba, and his goals and charisma carried us through a bad place. I just hope he has the humility and character to take this right. Arteta sounds principled, the results and progress justify his being in the position, love his handling of the questions, hope everyone’s grown up because there’s a real identity being made here.


Let him sit on the bench, and if score allows, play him last 10min for confidence building….

Fireman Sam

If we are ahead at anything after 65-70 mins I’d bring Auba on. Sooner he’s back on the pitch we can clear the air.


Didn’t know CC had covid, thought he might have got himself a January move and they weren’t risking him!

Bai Blagoi

Apart from Sambi, Pablo and Calum, also AMN was MIA yesterday. Also Covid?

Tampa Jack

Apparently AMN was ill with non-Covid illness

A Voice in the Noise

Do we assume that no news is good news regarding Tomiyasu?
Hope he’s back on the pitch again versus Norwich, he’s been absolutely immense so far!

Thierry Bergkamp (Xhaka Out)

With a hectic week coming, surely Tomi could be rested vs Norwich and Cedric could get another game.
I’d rather have Tomi 100% fit for Wolves and City


Losing Calum to Covid sounded bad.

Fireman Sam

Yeah sounded ominous! I presume when they say a player is out due to Covid they just mean it’s a test result and they’re following the rules…most likely the player, being young and healthy and not exactly in an at-risk group, is perfectly fine and just sitting at home in their mansion browsing the Ferrari website.

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