Arteta accused of over-the-top player management following Aubameyang ostracism

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been accused of dictatorial handling of his squad following the recent issues with ex-captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arteta stripped Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy after the 32-year-old Gabon international returned from a sanctioned trip a day later than scheduled. As further punishment, Aubameyang was banished to individual training and training with the under 23 team while also being excluded from the last four Arsenal squads.

Many fans and pundits have praised Arteta’s move to strip the former Borussia Dortmund striker of the captaincy but a few more have come out to criticise Arteta for allowing the punishment to go on as long as it has.

Former Good Morning Britain host and celebrity Arsenal fan, Piers Morgan, was one of the first people to criticise the Spaniard for the measures taken against Aubameyang. Morgan was one of the first to highlight the reason for Aubameyang’s absence and has not stopped in his criticism of Arteta since the incident came to light.

“Shameful decision by Arteta. What a disgusting way to treat a man who went – with the club’s full knowledge & permission – to help his sick mother,” Morgan tweeted on the day Aubameyang was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy.

Morgan’s tweets and criticisms have now sparked some form of public sympathy for the Gabonese striker. Many fans now believe that Arteta’s point has been proven and that the striker should be integrated back into the team.

However, it does not look like Aubameyang will be getting his chance at redemption any time soon as he is also set to be omitted from the Arsenal squad to face Norwich City on Boxing Day.

Arteta urged to give Aubameyang a break by ex-Aston Villa man

Gabriel Agbonlahor is the latest to come out with comments against Arteta’s approach to the issue. The former Aston Villa captain has described the Arsenal manager’s actions as being ‘way over the top.’

Arteta meted out the same treatment to Mesut Ozil, who many believed was frozen out of the squad by Arsenal and Arteta for political reasons after the midfielder publicly criticised the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province of China.

Agbonlahor, in his recent interview with Football Insider, criticised the way Arteta deals with players in general using the Aubameyang issue as a case study.

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

“I am not a dictator,” Arteta says in defence of decision

In the press conference ahead of the trip to Norwich, Arteta was asked about the Aubameyang situation and his thoughts on the comments criticising him for ‘taking things too far.’

The 39-year-old former Manchester City assistant manager furiously defended his decisions to the press, saying his actions were about teaching ‘respect and commitment’.

“I do not establish my authority by being dictatorial or ruthless. I just ask for one thing: respect and commitment,” the Arsenal boss said.

“At this level, if I don’t get that, I will pack my bags and go somewhere else because that is the minimum I can ask for.


“To be successful you have to be passionate about something and want to represent a club of this size, with its history. That is the minimum standard you have to bring.

“I am not going to ask anybody to put the ball in the top corner every time they hit it, but I will ask them to do the right things every single day for this club.”








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