Noel Whelan praised Arsenal and Mikel Arteta’s stance on the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang situation after the striker was stripped of the club captaincy.
It’s been a rocky few days at Arsenal, after the drama involving the club, Mikel Arteta and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The saga started on Saturday after the Gabonese got dropped from the squad to face Southampton, with the manager citing a ‘disciplinary breach’ as the reason.
The striker wasn’t missed much, as the Gunners recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory. Then, on Tuesday, Arsenal announced the decision to strip Aubameyang of the captain’s armband. Consequently, Aubameyang will be unavailable to face West Ham United at the Emirates on Wednesday night, as a dark shadow has been cast on his future at the club.
There has been a mixed fan reaction to the whole saga so far. Many have sided with Aubameyang, directing criticism towards the manager, while the rest have supported Arteta on the decision. The Gabon international’s flirtation with disciplinary breaches is nothing new, as he missed last season’s North London Derby at home for arriving late on matchday.
Noel Whelan has provided his inputs on the situation, backing the manager on his stance. The former Leeds United star told Football Insider that Arteta stamping his authority at the club will benefit Arsenal in the long-term, as the players would want to play for the team more than themselves.
Whelan said, “He’s just not having the impact that he had for Arsenal when he first joined. His stats are really showing that right now. There also seems to be some kind of indifference between him and Arteta – which doesn’t look like it’s going to be resolved.
“He’s had the disciplinary problems, but even before that, he was benched – he’s definitely not that big star who can’t be dropped anymore. Arteta has stamped his authority. If he cannot accept it and turn it around – he will be left out and sold. That will go for any player at Arsenal. That’s a good stance, for me. You have to work hard for each other – or you’ll have to cut players loose.”
As things stand, Aubameyang could be back in contention for selection when Arsenal travel to Elland Road to face Leeds at the weekend. However, he will have to be in the stands or at home to watch Arsenal take on West Ham at the Emirates, aiming to go up to the fourth place with a win over the Hammers.