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Aubameyang stripped of Arsenal captaincy

Aubameyang stripped of Arsenal captaincy

Aubameyang stripped of Arsenal captaincy

Arsenal have stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy after his “latest disciplinary breach”.

The Gabon striker, who was dropped for Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Southampton, will not be considered for Wednesday’s game against West Ham.

“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed,” read an Arsenal statement.

Aubameyang, 32, was also dropped for disciplinary reasons in March.

On that occasion, he missed the win over rivals Tottenham for a “breach of pre-match protocol”.

This time Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has not disclosed how Aubameyang broke the rules, but The Athletic reported that he returned late from an authorised trip abroad.

“We have been very consistent, that we have certain non-negotiables in the team that we have set ourselves as a club,” said Arteta after the Southampton match.

“Whatever happens in the dressing room, I cannot share. From my side, I will never say what the breach was.”

Aubameyang took over as captain in November 2019 after midfielder Granit Xhaka was relieved of the job by then-boss Unai Emery.

Aubameyang, who joined Arsenal for £56m from Borussia Dortmund in 2018, signed a new three-year contract last year.

This season he has scored only four goals in 14 league games and none since 22 October.

Arsenal are sixth in the table, 12 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Analysis

This is very a big call from Arteta. He has always talked of “non-negotiables” and he must feel Aubameyang has crossed the line turning up late twice in a year.

Last Thursday Arteta said there was no desire to sell Aubameyang in January: “We have never discussed something like this. When players are having difficult periods what we have to give is support.”

Since then, Aubameyang has been stripped of the captaincy and dropped from two Premier League matches. Having lost the captaincy and his place in the starting XI, there’s every chance Aubameyang might want to leave and Arteta will not stand in his way next month.

As for replacements, Alexandre Lacazette will probably be captain against West Ham. Xhaka is a leader at the club but I’m not sure that would go down well with the Arsenal fans after he was stripped of the captaincy. Kieran Tierney and Gabriel would be the fans’ favourites.

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    Written by Ericson Mangoli

    Ericson Mangoli is a researcher and a freelancer journalist, his work has been published by African Stand, Financial Stand, African Policy, and Kenyan Report.

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