If it’s to be believed that time keeping is the ill-discipline that saw Aubameyang stripped of the armband, then I think most Gooners would accept that.
Even big fans of the striker would understand a captain cannot act in that matter. It made sense for all parties to equally drop him for the West Ham game.
Then though, his omission was extended to the weekend which has escalated the drama.
Drama that Arteta could easily end.
Yet it’s been a week of the manager not giving straight answers to questions like, does the player have a future at the club?
By not giving an answer he’s in a sense …. giving an answer.
The likes of Ian Wright and Martin Keown feel the Spaniard could ‘kill the story’ by integrating the player back into the squad.
The latest rumours are that the forward is training on his own and there’s even talk he won’t play for us until after the African Nations Cup.
I should stress they are rumours but gossip that Arsenal haven’t rushed out to deny.
If Auba isn’t even involved against Sunderland, then you’re left with the prospect that his poor conduct is based on more than showing up late for work?
Or is it a refusal to take accountability?
Arteta would do himself a favour by giving more clarity. By not doing so he’s in danger of being accused of being too strict.
If Aubameyang’s only crime is returning late from visiting his ill mum, then it would seem harsh to prolong his punishment.
Why would you feel the need to completely discard him if that’s all he’s done?
If that’s what’s happening then it raises the possibility of this being a club decision, with the priority being to yet again slash the wage bill.
It’s fine as long as we are winning games.
The moment we are not, fans will have every right to ask why we are paying someone a fortune to sit at home.
Arteta can’t keep washing his hands of talent every time they don’t meet his principles. He needs to show he can work on the training pitch and make individuals better.
He should use this cup tie as an arm round the shoulder, a way to build Auba’s confidence and put a smile back on his face.
Why wouldn’t our boss want to do that?
The same regards Pepe. If these are footballing decisions then both should start on Tuesday night.
If not, it’s more than a football decision…
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