Why was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped by Arsenal? Latest disciplinary issue puts captaincy in question

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out of the squad for a disciplinary breach, according to manager Mikel Arteta, who revealed the information ahead of the Premier League match against Southampton in the round of 16.

The striker did not report to London Colney for his final training session ahead of Saturday’s game against Southampton.

It was initially suggested that the Gabonese player might be unwell, but Arteta has since claimed that 32-year-old Aubameyang was disqualified after breaching club rules.

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Speaking ahead of the Saints clash, Arteta told Sky Sports: “Unfortunately [he’s been dropped] due to a breach of discipline.

“I think we’ve been very consistent that we have some non-negotiables in the team that we’ve positioned ourselves as a club, and he’s not joining today.

“It’s not an easy situation and it’s not a situation where we want to have our club captain.”

Aubameyang’s History of Disciplinary Matters

The Gabon international joined Arsenal in January 2018 from German club Borussia Dortmund for a reported transfer fee of over $70 million.

Right before moving to Arsenal, Aubameyang was suspended and fined by Dortmund for missing a team meeting after training. Some speculated that he did it to help force the transfer, which later came true.

“It was an important meeting,” said then Dortmund coach Peter Stoger. “If he doesn’t want to be a part of that, another player has a chance. He briefly said he forgot it, but we all know that’s not the case.”

It was not Aubameyang’s first foul at Dortmund. He was also suspended in November 2016 following a trip to Milan without the approval of then-coach Thomas Tuchel, and in November 2018 German newspaper Bild reported that he was late to practice more than once.

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Arteta, who took over at Arsenal in December 2019, had previously kicked Aubameyang out starting lineup in March 2021 for a derby against Tottenahm following what the club called a “breach of pre-match protocol”, but ESPN reported being late for the match that same day.

“He’s going to start the game, we have discipline problems, we’ve drawn the line, we’re on,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “We keep it internally. We have a process that we have to respect for every game, and that’s it.”

Just a month earlier, in February 2021, the club was forced to investigate a possible breach of COVID-19 protocol by Aubameyang after appearing on social media about the striker getting a new tattoo. There were no words of disappointment from the story, although the coach explained at the time that the matter would be handled internally.

Aubameyang 2021-22 season for Arsenal so far

After a Carabao Cup hat-trick in August, Aubameyang has scored four goals in six Premier League games, leading many to believe he can turn a corner and return to the form that has scored 29 goals in all competitions. arena. in the 2019-20 season.

But Aubameyang, who was named the London club’s captain in November 2019 by manager Unai Emery, has not enjoyed the best run of recent times – five Premier League games without a goal – and Arteta dropped him from the starting line-up in the recent 2-1 loss to Everton (he came on as a substitute in five minutes).

The Arsenal boss was forced to answer questions about his relationship with Aubameyang in the lead up to the round of 16 against Southampton.

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“I have a very good relationship with my players. I always do what’s best for the club and the team. Decisions are not personal, decisions are just performance and to bring out the best in the team,” said Arteta.

In September 2020 Aubameyang signs contract extension Arsenal have a tie with the club until the end of June 2023 when he turns 34. And while it’s unclear if recent problems have caused the player to lose the captain’s armband, the club do don’t think about moving him.

“We’ve never discussed something like this,” said Arteta, “when the players are in trouble, what we have to support.”

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