The latest breach of club rules by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was reportedly the ‘final straw’ for Mikel Arteta after becoming frustrated with the Arsenal striker for throwing a birthday party for his son earlier in the season.
The Gunners confimed yesterday that the Gabon international has been stripped of his captaincy and would miss the match tonight against London rivals West Ham.
Aubameyang missed their 3-0 victory over Southampton at the weekend with Arteta revealing that his absence was down to a “disciplinary breach”.
Arsenal hinted in their statement that there had been several incidents of Aubameyang breaking the rules.
The club said on their website: “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.
“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.”
And now the Daily Mail claims that their decision to strip Aubameyang of the captaincy ‘stems from a pre-agreed trip back to France earlier last week’.
He went to visit his sick mother and was allowed on the ‘proviso that he would report for a Covid test on Wednesday night and report for training as usual on Thursday morning provided he recorded a negative reading.
‘However, Aubameyang did not report back to the club’s London Colney HQ until Thursday morning.’
The Daily Mail added:
‘There was also frustration from within the camp that Aubameyang missed the opening day loss to Brentford with Covid just days after throwing a birthday party for his son where multiple guests were invited. At the time the party was within Government guidelines.
‘And Aubameyang missing last Wednesday night’s Covid test has been the final straw for Arteta.’
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Arteta revealed how Aubameyang had reacted, he said: “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.”