A petty stamping of authority or a message well sent?
So, if reports are to be believed that Mikel Arteta left out captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang for being late to the game, is it safe to say that despite us winning, Arteta was rather petty?
Here’s my opinion, Arteta is not one to shy away from disciplining his players, we saw him begin that with Matteo Guendouzi after we lost to Brighton. He never played for Arsenal again and was sent out on loan, but having a bad attitude and being arrogant and rude to other people is something completely different to being late to a matchday game.
Yes, he was supposedly late and yes that is unacceptable, but what if he had genuinely valid reasons for it and he couldn’t help but being late because somebody maybe needed his help? At the end of the day Aubameyang is only human, and you cannot tell me that nobody has ever been late to work before for one reason or another.
Arteta left him out completely from the game and we won, had we lost though many fans would be on his case. But regardless of the reasoning for him being late, if he was, if it was a genuine reason, I think he was wrong to leave him out.
In a big game, a North London derby, not any derby but a North London derby, a game that is so big for players, the club and the fans, a game that once was in our DNA to never lose, and despite being beaten many times in recent seasons by them, a game where no matter how the season is going, we always want and need to win, for North London pride, for confidence and for mentality if nothing else. So no matter the reasons of what is going on in a dressing room, if a player is not injured, especially if it is the club captain, you cannot leave him out.
Him being late is not a big deal. Now if he was late because his alarm didn’t go off or if he was playing PlayStation or just couldn’t be bothered to turn up on time then that is a different story, but this is Aubameyang, a player who loves the club, whose sees the club and the fans as his family, who ignored major big clubs to extend his contract in what could be the final years of his playing career, so why would he purposefully be late? If he really was late, and it was enough to leave him out and show authority then surely fans have a right to know the true facts so they can understand the managers reasoning behind the decision on a BIG matchday right!?
Although we don’t know the full details as Arteta never discloses things. Yes seeing authority from a manager is a good thing but if it is over something as petty as being late for good reason, then I think our manager has serious issues but he got lucky that we walked away with all three points!