Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media today ahead of his side’s second leg clash against Olympiacos tomorrow.
The mood around the club is brilliant after a very impressive win over Tottenham in the derby on Sunday. Everyone who played made their mark, but the headlines were stolen by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Arsenal skipper was benched by Arteta after a disciplinary issue before the game. Reports later revealed that Auba arrived late to a team meeting, and the Gunners boss was not a happy man.
Many wondered if the decision on Sunday would cause a rift between Auba and Arteta. The Arsenal boss has dismissed that and has claimed that both parties have moved on after having a chat about what happened.
However, Arteta quickly claimed that Auba will have to earn his spot back. He said that there are no exceptions for any player in the squad, and the Arsenal skipper’s place in the starting lineup is not a given by any means.
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “We talked, everything has been resolved in a really positive way so we move forward.”
Asked whether it’s a given he will come back into the team, Arteta said: “No. Everybody has to obviously perform at the highest level to earn their place in the team. There is no exception there and we will try to put a really competitive team out tomorrow to try to win again.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Arteta was right to do what he did on Sunday. He had to set an example to all the players in the squad, and what better way to do it than to let everyone know that even the captain will not be spared if there’s any indiscipline.
Arteta’s comments are really strong but Aubameyang is expected to start against Olympiacos tomorrow. He will definitely be looking to make a statement of his own and the Arsenal boss will not expect anything less.
Auba’s form hasn’t been too bad recently. He has scored six goals in his last six starts in all competitions, and if he can get back on the score sheet tomorrow, everything that happened on Sunday will be forgotten.