Paul Merson has sided with Mikel Arteta after the Spanish manager decided against fielding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Arsenal’s game against Tottenham.
The attacker was left out of the team for disciplinary reasons after he reportedly turned up late for a team meeting prior to the game.
It was a tough decision to make considering that the Gabon striker is one of the key men at the club and he is also the captain.
Arteta put the team before him and showed the other members of the squad that no one is above the group.
Merson says the Spaniard did what brilliant managers would do and he has sent the right message to the other players at the club.
The likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are the future of Arsenal and they will have paid attention to how Arteta would react to the situation and he did the right thing.
They now know what’s acceptable and what’s not.
“Probably the biggest masterstroke of being a manager, and he is a new manager in the game, that is a massive thing what he’s done,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“What you’ve got to look at when you discipline the biggest star at the club, he thought with the future of the club.
“Fair play to Arteta, he’s got to have a look round at people like Smith-Rowe and Saka, who are going to be the future, and he’s got to send a message to them kids that whatever he’s [Aubameyang] done wasn’t right.
“If he didn’t do what he did, then those kids get crossed messages, and then they know that they can’t do that. That’s brilliant management.”