Arteta refuses to make ‘rash’ captain call; Auba needs ‘time to heal’

Joe Williams
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is ready to call on his “leadership group” as he refuses to make a “rash decision” on the appointment of a new captain.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of his captaincy on Tuesday with the Gunners releasing a statement revealing that the Arsenal striker would also be absent for the West Ham match on Wednesday.

When asked about Aubameyang, Arteta told reporters: “I don’t have much more to say. I think it’s a really clear statement from the club. It’s a decision we’ve made following the last incident we had with the player and this is where we stand.”

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On how Aubameyang had reacted to the decision, Arteta continued: “Yes, we did it both with the club and face to face with the player. He had to accept the decision.

“What I can say right now is that we have made this decision which unfortunately is a tough one. If I had to choose I wouldn’t like to be sitting here talking about that. The next one is that he’s not involved in the squad.

“We need a bit of time. He needs a bit of time to heal. For now he’s not involved in the squad.”

When asked who would be the next Arsenal captain, Arteta said: “Well we have the leadership group and we think that we have different players that are nominated to be captain in the last game it was Laca(zette) and we have Granit (Xhaka) as well who has been captain so we will follow that.

“Obviously, it is a really unpleasant situation and it is not the moment to make any rash decision.

“That leadership group is really strong, it is the one that communicates with myself and the coaching staff and then with the club in a really clear and strong way.

“We are going to continue like that and that is one of the decisions that we made, to make that group a little bit better and try to educate them and try and get the right feedback all the time and build that trust and the strong culture around the club. It is working really well so we will continue to do that.”

On whether the Arsenal camp took the decision well, Arteta added: “Well, they accepted the decision and I think they know because they have committed to it and they have demanded that we want to take our culture, our demands and who do we want to be as a club and how do we want to represent this football club to a different level and when those standard are not met you know that you can not participate in our daily basics.”