Pundit slams ‘crazy’ Arteta for ‘wild’ handling of Arsenal star

Joe Williams
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta smiles

Gabby Agbonlahor thinks Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is on a “power trip” after making Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang train alone.

The Gabon international was guilty of a disciplinary breach ahead of their match against Southampton earlier this month with Arteta stripping him of the captaincy over the incident.

Aubameyang hasn’t played since, missing matches in the Premier League against Southampton, West Ham and Leeds, while remaining out of the squad for their Carabao Cup triumph over League One side Sunderland.

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Reports have claimed that Aubameyang has been exiled from first-team training but Agbonlahor reckons Arsenal boss Arteta has gone too far.

“Arteta has done well as a manager but I think his treatment of players can be a bit too wild for me,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.

“For the offence, Aubameyang has committed I think he’s been overly punished. It’s been overkill. You’d think he’d committed a massive crime.

“Stripped of the captaincy might have been overkill but you understand it. Get someone else in there who is always going to obey the rules and not do anything wrong. Aubameyang was never a captain for me, he’s not captain material. No problems with that.

“Miss a game, ok. It’s a bit harsh but you’re ok with that.

“But then you banish him to train on his own is massive overkill. That’s crazy. It’s like Arteta’s on a power trip. They’ve been winning games so he’s thought ‘Ok, I’m just going to keep him out.

“It’s too much, to be honest. If he’d been caught having a covid party with 100 people enjoying life, partying and drinking, that’s different, I’d understand. He’s gone to get his mum, for goodness sake, give the guy a break.”

Arsenal legend Martin Keown also criticised Arteta last week over the Aubameyang situation, insisting the Gunners boss could’ve communicated the whole situation much better.

Keown said on talkSPORT: “This is a failure to communicate in the right way, what sort of communication is that?

“I’d have to take Arteta to task over that, I want a clear message about this player…

“He could say ‘he’s not available for this game but he’s very much in my thoughts and he’s a part of our plans going forward.’ He could’ve said ‘the player’s not in a mental or fit state to play this weekend so we’re not involving him this weekend.’”