Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has questioned if there’s something going on between Mikel Arteta and Arsenal stars Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The two Arsenal strikers missed our opening Premier League game against Brentford. Arteta revealed in his interviews that Auba and Laca were sick, but the way he said it pre-match made Neville wonder if illness was really the reason.
“They feel unwell, that’s all I can say. In the world we are living, the only permanent thing right now is changes. Instead of seeking excuses, you have to seek solutions and that’s what we try to do,” Arteta said on Sky Sports before the game.
Neville: Arteta isn’t too happy with Aubameyang and Lacazette
Neville feels that if Auba and Laca were really unwell, Arteta would have been a lot more concerned than he was on Friday. His reaction, however, was calm and blunt, and that has raised a few questions.
The former Manchester United star said on his podcast: “I did think there was something in that. His interview before the game told me he wasn’t too happy with Aubameyang and Lacazette. I thought that there was something there that just tell you that.
“Usually, when the players are ill, there would be genuine concern from a manager. ‘We have lost them on the day of the game, we wish them both well’. He sort of pushed it away a little bit, as if something had gone on.”
Yet another rift between players and manager?
Arteta has been a disciplinarian since his first day as a manager. Every player has to buy into what he’s trying to do, if they don’t, they’re out – just look at Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.
Auba and Laca both missing the game on Friday is a concern in itself, but Neville’s doubts about a possible rift make things worse. However, we can’t imagine there’s more to it than what Arteta said in his interviews.
The Arsenal boss definitely likes to keep things quiet in front of the media, but when it comes to Aubameyang, his stance has been different. Remember when he was late to a meeting last season? Arteta made sure to tell the world, and if there was another rift now, we imagine he would’ve done the same right after the game.