Mikel Arteta has defended Arsenal’s decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy after an official announcement.
Aubameyang was dropped for the squad for the weekend win over Southampton following a ‘disciplinary’ breach and the Gunners have now decided to remove the 32-year-old from his role as club captain.
The Gabon international will also not be considered for tomorrow’s Premier League clash with West Ham and Arteta has opened up on the decision and his conversation with Aubameyang.
“It is the right decision in the interests of the football. It was a personal conversation, face to face and he had to accept the decision,” Arteta told his pre-match press conference.
“We have the leadership group and the different players nominated to be captain, we will follow that, it is an unpleasant situation and it is not the situation to take any rash decision.
“The decision is a really tough one and there has been a lot to digest and we need a little time. It was really hurting and we need a little time to heal. Our relationship has been really good since I have been here that is why it hurts.
“It is better to be really clear about the situation, with the number of games we have coming up.”
Arteta says his squad have accepted the choice to remove Aubameyang as captain, insisting his side have committed to the culture he is trying to instil at the Emirates.
“They accept the decision. They have committed to our culture, our demands and how we want to represent this club at a next level and if you do not do that you cannot be involved in the basics. The players are dealing with it extremely well.”