7amkickoff statement: Aubameyang

The club have publicly shamed Aubameyang and stripped him of the captaincy. Auba has yet to make a public statement in his own defense but even if he did just say “to heck with all of you, I’ll come back to England when I want” I think the way this has been handled by the club is kind of ugly.

This isn’t the Arsenal football club I fell in love with. The one that tried to play beautiful football, which respected the players as adults (even if they acted like children at times – I mean, Nick Bendtner put his dick in a taxi), and which didn’t drag players in the press.

I get that some of you will like the way the club is acting, and that’s fine. We all have different values and expectations. For me, this is yet another ugly chapter in a list of ugly things this football club has been doing the last two years.

Honestly? Between the way we play football on the pitch and the way that the club have been treating players and workers I’m finding it difficult to like this football club at the moment.

Obviously, I’m Arsenal till I die but I really hope that there’s a culture change soon at this club. Because this isn’t really floating my boat.



          1. For what it’s worth, your name also has an asterisk. If I were to guess, I’d say it’s for those who have logged in an account. I could be wrong though.

  1. from the previous thread:

    auba losing the captaincy is a good thing. i’ve said a thousand times that a striker shouldn’t be the captain for several reasons. first, scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football so the last thing you need is your goal scorers distracted by anything other than scoring, particularly because they don’t care about anything other than scoring. second, and this is some shit i made up, good strikers are weird; all of them! they need to have the freedom to be as weird as necessary to be effective goal scorers.

    good captains aren’t weird. they’re very rational and predictable and are extensions of their manager on the pitch. they have to be in a position to best control the game and up top is not the best position. strikers, on the other hand need the freedom to express themselves. wright needed to be goofy, anelka needed to sulk, henry needed to be moody, adebayor needed to do goofy dances, rvp needed to talk sh*t, giroud needed to jump on people like he was small, alexis needed to squat deep in thought, and auba needed to wear marvel masks, do flips, and be late to meetings. strikers can only be captains if they’re not really leading the team as they’ve got senior guys sitting deeper to do that. let auba focus on his goal scoring.

    1. I agree with this. My only problem is that Arteta is publicly dragging the player. It’s the kind of unseemly stuff I hate from a football club.

      1. I agree, over the past couple of years, the club has seemingly adopted a policy of airing out all dirty laundry in public, with respect to the players at least. As soon as there is a hint of trouble, the calculated leaks start flowing and the papers start reciting every misdeed the player of the moment has ever committed. The players salary and/or transfer fee suddenly becomes a hot topic. Then half the fan base starts trashing the player, frequently with vicious personal attacks and/or wildly exaggerated pronouncements about the player’s footballing ability.

        It is an ugly pattern and it is a relatively new development for Arsenal. This doesn’t seem to be a recurring problem at any of the other premier league clubs—why does it keep happening at arsenal?

      2. I see where you’re coming from – it leaves a bitter taste, but I wonder if we’re underestimating just how big the change in ‘media’ has been. We all take ubiquitous social media madness for granted now, but it’s really a very recent phenomenon – it has radically upended our expectations of and relationships with clubs and players, and I’m sure it requires a very different approach to ‘messaging’ from the clubs. If they retain a respectful silence, but the media conversation is dominated by agent leaks, analysis of instagram posts and grudging ex-players, who is really being helped, big picture?

        The club appear to be playing a very straight bat here, and speaking with one voice, which is an achievement in these stormy media times.

    2. giroud bounced back after getting caught with that instagram model. auba can bounce back too, if he’s properly managed. arteta would do well to take a page from the wenger playbook and give auba some time off. wenger often did that for henry, giving him a day or 2 off just to relax. if i were arteta, i’d tell auba to take the family to mallaorca or somewhere for the rest of the week and don’t think about football. i’d have him come back on monday morning, rested and reset, focused on doing what he does best…putting the ball in the net. there’s nothing cool about being a captain but there is about being a goal scorer. let auba be cool again.

      the team will benefit as well. like i’ve always said, auba is a great player but a crap center forward. lacazette is miles better and the team will play better with laca leading the line, just like they always have. look no further than the game on saturday and how many actions lacazette did in the attacking phase of the game. aubameyang simply isn’t that kinetic. arsenal will play better and i would not be surprised to see them beat west ham, especially at home and with ramsdale in goal. we’ll see.

      1. What kind of message are you sending to a (young) squad of players when you give the guy a week or two off – during the busiest part of the season – as reward for not coming back to training at the agreed to time? I don’t agree with that idea at all… the Athletic story is that he was allowed to leave to attend personal business, provided that he got back in time for Friday training and cover off all of the Covid protocols. I think that’s a pretty reasonable thing for a club to provide the player and ask for in return. He can’t be rewarded for messing up. Get back into training, be ready for the next game.

          1. Agree, Tim. And this is where he is constrained. He’s an employee of the club, and he has got to be very careful about what he says publicly. It’s very much him alone against the corporate might of Arsenal. What he says has got to be said under legal advice. His punishment could be made harsher. Mikel smartly committed to banning him for the West Ham game. I can see the leadership group brokering a comeback of sorts, provided that things dont go totally belly up between him and the club. I personally think that this feels like the end, and he’ll be shopped in January. And if that happens, he wont sit on his money and watch his value drop.

            But whether Auba goes in 1, 7 or 19 months he’s got to make sure they pay his money. His handlers are going to counsel him not to say anything to imperil his contract, because Arsenal would be looking for cause to terminate it if they could.

            Reading reactions to this here and elsewhere, I dont think a lot of people realise what a drastic step the club took. Few are stopping to ask whether the response was proportionate. In that respect, it does not line up with the reporting by Ornstein and others — but there’s surely more. Whatever the circumstances, it’s a shame that we’re having another messy breakup with another player who has served us well.

        1. you give him a break because aubameyang is not playing well and, clearly, needs a break. auba’s still a part of the team and they need him scoring again. it’s not a reward for missing training, it’s a refresher for a player struggling to play anywhere near his best, and now it’s affecting his off-field life.

          yes, the team comes first but you also have to consider the individual. it’s like if a person is suffering from some sort of mental health disorder, you have to know how to manage that person. besides, there’s going to be a huge residual affect from him losing the captaincy. i talked about it in the previous thread. these are called human factors. you can hold someone to the same standard but you don’t treat everyone the same. a good manager would pay attention to the needs of the individuals as well as the team.

          even if you remove the compassionate component, aubameyang is a resource. its’ the manager’s job to maximize that very valuable and very expensive resource to get the most out of it. this is why these “non-negotiables” were foolish to announce. you lose the latitude to exercise discretion or make exceptions when they’re needed. unfortunately, we have a manager who seems set on doing things a certain way in theory and when he has struggles, he reverts to his hardline non-negotiables.

    3. Now that you mention it, yeah, most good/great strikers ARE a little weird. That said, I think the complaint (at least for me anyway) is not so much the fact that he’s stripped of the captaincy, but that it’s been made very public.

      I read somewhere that he was in France to take care of his mom and that his trip was okay-ed by the club. However, when he was expected to come back I believe Wednesday night, he came back Thursday morning instead. He thought that getting his Covid test done back in France was good enough, but apparently had to take another one in UK and that made him miss training. I might be completely wrong here, and I’ll try to find the original source I read it from, but if it’s anywhere close to being true, then this is some really really ugly business indeed. Not a fan.

  2. I get it. I always used to feel like we were a club that showed class and had strong ethics. It is getting harder and harder to feel that way. Isn’t made any easier with the on field product.

  3. I would agree with your sentiment about the club moving away from the values that attracted me, but, for me, this isn’t an instance of that. If your Captain doesn’t follow the rules, there should be consequences like anyone else. If your Captain isn’t following the rules, he isn’t behaving like a Captain by setting a good example. I don’t know how you strip the captaincy without publicly making a statement about it. All they’ve really gone into is that he broke the rules and we all know this isn’t the first time. Perhaps there are several other issues to which we aren’t privy. They haven’t said much about it or other incidents so I don’t see it as dragging him through the mud. The statement and Arteta have been pretty direct and not revealed much. At some level, you have to answer questions about why Auba is on the bench, isn’t the Captain, and not even in the match day squad tomorrow. I’d prefer that over telling me he has a back problem.

    1. Yes, I am not sure what are Arteta’s options here. If he kept it quiet, and just give some unbelievable reason, Arsenal and the team will be getting a lot more damaging speculation from the press and fanbase.

      I would also add that if Auba is not showing leadership, its up to the manager to draw a line in the sand and take on that mantle himself. Make the hard choice – he mentioned this being a difficult choice, and make it as quick and direct as possible.

      I don’t see this as him dragging a player’s name through the mud. Arteta just doesn’t have a simpler and more palatable way to dismiss a misbehaving and irresponsible captain.

      It’s unpleasant, but I remember Wenger-era post-Henry captaincy issues as more damaging to squad discipline, unity and form. And Wenger would do the same. Like what he did with Gallas.

  4. Completely agree with you. It’s possible that Arteta was waiting for Auba to be out of form before going after him. There would be a part of the fanbase who will be on Arteta’s side (or at least not on Auba’s side). May be the directive is from someone higher up to get rid of Auba. It might be far fetched but with this, not impossible.

  5. It’s not the same club as when I started following it around 1990. But few clubs are…there’s been too much change in the business.
    That said, unless there’s things we’re not aware of(certainly possible), this both isn’t a great look, and also isn’t good in terms of hoping to still get some scoring return from Auba. Feels like we’re headed to another Ozil situation. The amount of money we’ve squandered between Ozil, Auba and Pepe is staggering. Enough to have afforded Haaland.

  6. I’m not a huge Arteta booster here, but in fairness, was he supposed to tell a white lie about why Aubameyang was being sat out for the game against Southampton? He was injured or ill or something, like what Wenger did for Ozil or Walcott or others he was having issues with? It would be hard to do when Auba’s posting a picture of getting a tattoo the day he was supposed to be back in training.

    Arteta chose to be blunt about the reason because, had it got out that Auba was actually being punished for not coming back when agreed, that would have created a worse story. I can understand too why Arteta wouldn’t want to elaborate on it. The way the team played on Saturday would seem to indicate that there wasn’t any resentment of the decision, they understood.

    Keep in mind too, I’m sure how they’ve handled it is not just Arteta; it’s Edu, Venkatesham, Garlick and maybe a few more. They will have public relations consultants all over this.

    I have no way of knowing, but I would guess they offered Auba a chance to make a public statement and acknowledge that he slipped up to put an end to the issue and he probably chose not to, so they had to take away his captaincy. Captains should not be your best player nor your most popular player, they should be the player that the club wants to set an example for the rest of the team.

    I appreciate what he did for us in the past, but his game was built on being lightning fast and there hasn’t been an evolution like we’ve seen with Ronaldo or other strikers that substitute guile and poaching for declining speed and athleticism. If this is the end of Auba I’ll be sorry for how it went down, but I thought we’re going to get a massive overhaul of the attack this summer anyway (Lacazette, Pepe and Nketiah out), might as well make it a complete overhaul.

    1. “This is an internal issue”

      I’d also like to see him go after the rat in the dressing room who is leaking all the details to the Athletic. Remember how that was one of the non-negotiables last season?

      Almost as if he’s ok with leaks if they make him look good.

      1. Agree he should be going after the “rat”. I would suppose that the only guy with a motive to leak to the press would be Auba or his agent though. Coming back 12 hours late from an overseas trip and getting smeared publicly does seem petty.

        I speculate that this latest is the most recent in some repeated offences.

        1. Aubameyang spoke to David Ornstein and told him he’s been late to practice a lot over the years, that he returned from France 12 hours late, and that he broke covid rules? Would be a weird thing to do in my opinion.

          1. More like news about his dismissal from the captaincy was already out in the public. Rather than risk speculation that the reasons for dismissal was something serious, the Auba camp came out with the truth. In totality, flying in late during covid isn’t that big a deal.

            There could be any number of ameliorating reasons why a guy turns up late, especially when it concerns his sick mother. I would sympathise with that.

            Unfortunately, he is captain and he has to be held to a stricter standard.

            I would be surprised if Arteta was the leak himself. It’s pretty much a career ender for a manager, while a player could just blame his agent.

            Anyway, speculation.

  7. Sorry Tim. I really disagree here.

    I think Arteta has made it 100% clear that he hates this kind of BS with players creating drama. After the NLD incident last year, I guarantee Arteta let Auba know this wouldn’t fly again – that there would be major consequences.

    It seems like you’re only focusing on Arteta here. Turn it around for a minute. Shouldn’t a 32 year old team captain who’s already p!ssed off the manager once (very badly) know that discipline is a hot button issue for the coach? Should he not recognize that flouting the rules a second time would create a BIG issue? This isn’t just about Arteta. How many more times should this be ok? At some point, it becomes a farce, just like Ozil’s back flare ups for away games. I think a manager has to put his foot down or it becomes a threat to the culture among a team of very young players.

    I don’t believe for a second Arteta acted rashly or without justification. I don’t think he brings this type of distraction on the club lightly. He knows that he’s going to be without his top goal scorer. No manager relishes that situation. Don’t love Arteta, but I completely understand him taking a stand.

    1. I get where you are coming from that Arteta may have made it clear and maybe Auba has been late too many times. BUT I really think you and others are looking at the punishment and saying its justified because of examples, discipline, the group etc. as if football is something different from a real world employee, employer relationship.

      From all the reporting he went to see his Mum and got special dispensation to do so. I’m sorry but if I needed to miss work specifically to see my mum and work agreed there is something wrong with her physically or mentally. If I get there and she asks me to stay another night with her I stay and I think a whole lot of you guys who are taking a hard line stay as well.

      Now work can tell me I’ve broken my agreement to be back by a certain time and maybe give me a slap on the wrist but I and my co-workers would be rightly pissed off if serious disciplinary action is taken for this instance of lateness. The only message that would send to the group, no matter how young, is these people don’t care about you and these are not the employers to work for.

      If you think I’m wrong, please explain to me how an employer like that would make you more likely to want to work for them or how this action would help group morale.

  8. By the reported facts of this matter — he agreed to return by Wednesday night but came back on Thursday morning — the club’s reaction seems harsh. There HAS to be more. Has to be. But what is that “more?” Might be wise to wait, and sift the facts dispassionately. Dispassionately, I said… not a chance, is there?

    On the basis that I don’t know all of facts, Im going to give the club some leeway. And Auba by his recent play deserves to be benched. Where I part company with them is taking this messily public. But this is what Arteta’s Arsenal does. To lay the table for dropping Bernd Leno, they commissioned an analytical piece that trashed his play… on arsenal.com, their own website. It later taken down.This is who they are.

    I agree with Josh’s point about striker captains, but you want a less messy change. Auba became captain by seniority default, after Xhaka had a cuss-filled, shirt-throwing public meltdown on the field. It was expediency, not any considered succession plan. You can simultaneously hold the views that he wasn’t the best choice of captain, that it kind of fell to him, and that his replacement as captain could have been handled better.

    These two measured comments from a podcaster not hostile to Arteta, sum it up for me.

    1. “It does feels like turning a potentially minor issue into a bigger one at a busy time when we have more important things to worry about. But we don’t know what the mood around this issue was in the dressing room. It may have required a further response”.

    2. “The last consideration is whether this means we’ve just lost auba for the next 18 months. Whatever you think of him, he’s still usable and probably still our best option up front. Losing him entirely would be a bad outcome, regardless of whether that’s entirely his fault or now”


    Know what it feels like? The time to bump Auba was now. He will be shopped in January. Let’s hope our Auba-less strike force stays injury-free over the festive period, because it does not look like he’ll kick a ball for us again. Which does not help our short term prospects. Poor as he has been, the alternatives have been worse.

    It’s a mess. Arsenal is a mess

  9. Hi Tim, I agree with you on most things but I do think the club have it right with Auba. He broke the rules and this isn’t the first time. What would it say to the young players in the squad if a senior player could break the rules with impunity?

    I’m genuinely sorry that this is how it’s turned out because I’ve always been an Auba fan (and God, do we need his goals) but I can’t see many other ways this could have turned out. Hopefully something will be sorted so he can come back into the team (Carling Cup maybe?).

    I know what you mean about this not being the Arsenal you fell in love with; I guess one of the reasons I’m OK with this because I realised it wasn’t the same years ago.

      1. Tim, how would you have done it? If he’s not in the squad questions would have been asked and saying he’s ill doesn’t really sit right with everything that’s happening over here right now. I guess they could have gone down the injury route but part of me likes it that the club has been open about this.

        1. I already told you. You don’t have to say it’s an injury.

          I would say that it’s an internal matter being handled by the club.

          I would drop him and quietly make other people the captain. Then in the summer I would announce a new, permanent captain.

          This isn’t hard.

          1. This is the same Arteta who publicly went on a witch hunt to find the rat in the dressing room after a leak last year. “That goes completely against what I expect from each other, the privacy and the confidentiality that we need, and there will be consequences.”

            The same guy who said that things that happen on the training ground stay on the training ground and that he doesn’t speak about these issues.

            And now there are huge leaks, including leaks about how this is habitual with Auba, and they are tarring him with COVID as well (saying he broke COVID protocols), plus the manager is publicly detailing stuff that happened on the training ground.

            It’s kind of maddening that people are accepting this from Arsenal and Arteta.

          2. Oh FFS it was a question Tim, what did he say about what happened on the training ground? Honestly, I just checked the transcript from today and I’m not sure if I missed something?

            I literally only want to know what you are referring to.

          3. Greg

            the training ground thing was when it was leaked that Luiz and Ceballos had a bit of a bust up in training. Arteta could have refused to confirm or deny, he could have also said it’s nothing major or out of the ordinary, instead he used the opportunity to show how ‘strong’ he is in dealing with anyone destroying ‘team’ culture.

            Frankly it’s more like a cult than a culture at the moment.

          4. Tim you mentioned the leaks and then you said “plus the manager is publicly detailing all this stuff that happened on the training ground”

            I don’t know what he has detailed. All I have heard is him confirm the basic facts, say it’s very sad and it hurts and then stonewall further questions like always. If I missed something, then fine.

            Shard, I don’t get it sorry, he did not reveal any of that Ceballos / Luiz incident, that was leaked. When asked directly about it he didn’t lie, but he also did not give any detail, said it was not a problem, no discipline required and was angry instead with the person in the squad who leaked this stuff because it undermined their teammates.

        2. they didn’t have to say a mumbling word on the issue, they didn’t have to bench him, and they didn’t have to strip him of the captaincy.

          if they were just going to bench him for a game then don’t say anything about it and if asked arteta can say “for this game, after considering all factors including the opponent, how our training and preparations went this week, and the upcoming schedule i decided this was the most appropriate lineup for this game.” not a lie, doesn’t drag auba.

          for me they should have just benched him for the next game and made him run a series of full-field suicides one day in practice while the rest of the team drank some iced tea.

  10. I’m always intrigued by people who are willing to accept whatever Arteta says as gospel truth.

    Also, since I’m not British, what’s this obsession with how a captain should act? This is a country that elected a clown as a prime minister.

    Ozil, Gueindozi, Ozil, and now Auba? That tells me something. Arteta and his supporters are interested in showing the ‘culture’ has changed over playing a pleading football and winning. They’d rather be eighth and teach lesson some players than win. People can’t imagine freedom.

  11. Looking at things from a distance it seems internal conflict is now a repeating pattern. Some people love conflict. Benitez is said to thrive on it.

    The message from the club is about changing the culture and setting higher standards. It shouldn’t take upwards of two years to fix that. You’re a pretty weak leader if you can’t fix that sooner.

    Arteta has gambled and rightfully should continue to be measured on the job he does. Nothing’s changed. It’s up to him how (if) he uses his resources.

    The communication by press release is where I take issue. It’s such a low tactic. It’s the kind of crap we see daily from politicians who want to avoid scrutiny. I can’t think of it happening anywhere before. Beyond banter.

  12. I understand Tim’s reaction here. It’s a change from how this would have been handled in the past.

    I was surprised and disappointed at the fact the club put out a statement, like Tim I thought it was unnecessary. It felt like the club was making a big deal of it on purpose. But perhaps they thought there was no other option than to tackle it head on, perhaps they knew Arteta wasn’t going to lie about it if he was asked.

    When Arteta did come on for the scheduled presser half an hour later, he was his usual stonewall self and stated several times that he would not talk further about it.

    It’s consistent with what happened last time when Auba was benched for the NLD, Arteta confirmed it was disciplinary but refused to say what for, or to give out any further information.
    When asked the question he said, “he was going to start the game but we had a disciplinary issue. We have drawn the line and we move on. We keep it internal.” That’s it.

    After the game he expanded a little but only a little, and importantly what he said backed Auba and also stressed his own view on keeping it internal: “He is an incredible guy and one of the most important players in the team. He is our captain and these things happen. We have lots going on in our lives and people finding it hard with the restrictions. I will never tell anything that happens in the dressing room.”

    I’d be surprised if it was Arteta leaking to the Athletic. I think that comes from higher up.

    1. Actually, the more I think about it, the more the Athletic seem to have a direct line to Auba.

      Rampant speculation.

      1. That’s my read too. What choice does he have? I think youre also right about Orny’s sources being above Mikel’s pay grade.

  13. Seeing folks saying that the alternative to how Arsenal handled this issue was lying to the media. It’s not that simple. An intentional decision not to reveal something isn’t lying. Many people get time off work for deeply personal stuff. They do not return and broadcast to the office that they had a hemorrhoid removed.

    Can I do some pretend crisis management for a few minutes? Yes, crisis. Arteta’s pre-match statement lit a media fire that is unhelpful to the club. If the highly paid PR people at Arsenal are doing their jobs properly, they’ll have gamed this out.

    Q: Why is Auba not in the squad to face Southampton?
    A: Auba has been dealing with personal issues, and we’re giving him some time off to resolve them.

    (That covers you on stories about taking his sick mom to and from France)

    Q: What are the personal issues?
    A: It is an internal matter; between the player and club

    That meets the needs of the snatched questions before kickoff Youre not reading the transcript of War and Peace. After the game…

    Q: Can you elaborate on the personal issues that Auba is dealing with?
    A: It is an internal matter; between the player and club

    Q: Can you tell us when Auba is returning? Will he be in the squad against West Ham in midweek?
    A: No, he wont

    Q: How long will he be absent?
    A: We cant say at this moment.

    Q: Why?
    A: It is an internal matter; between the player and club

    If the follow-up question is whether it is of a disciplinary nature, the truthful answer (never lie) depends on when player and coach had a chat — prior to Saturday — on the ramifications. The when of the decision to remove him is not clear from the reporting.

    At this point, if you’re managing the presscon well, youve contained (at least for the while), and the question of the captaincy does not yet arise.

    The thing that precipitated speculation about the captaincy before the club acted was the manager revealing the breach of discipline, and of his “non-negotiables”. He did not need to do that. The question of who is captain isnt urgent. We doled out the armband like toffee in the past 3 years. In fact, it isnt going to be resolved for some time, and is going to be shared by committee.

    He could even quip that “we are very together and vocal as a dressing room; everyone is a leader, regardless of who wears the armband on the day”

    If the captaincy question is not present and urgent, why did Arteta intentionally reveal the breach? I think (and this is the only speculation in this comment) he sensed an opportunity to make a clean break in January.

    I hardly agree with Piers Morgan on anything, but on this point I do — Arteta did not have to publicly humiliate Aubameyang. It serves no useful purpose, except to show the rest of the squad the size of your balls.

    1. Maybe it’s just the agreement with the squad – here are the rules, if you break them you get dropped. If you get dropped for discipline, we won’t say what you did but we aren’t going to lie about it. As long as everyone understand the deal, it’s fair.

      I don’t have a problem with any of that. Making that announcement today hit me wrong though, it went a bit above and beyond.

  14. It’s only a matter of time before the players rebel against this Manager. What purpose does publicly humiliating your captain serve? Very disappointing….

    1. Anyone who even hints at rebellion will be dropped and if he continues, will have his reputation destroyed. More likely dissenting players will settle for being sold/run down their contracts, while those that carry on, like Saka for example, will wait for a big bid from one of the top clubs and then push for a move. ESR wasn’t exactly quick to sign that contract extension either.

  15. There’s a straw that broke the camel’s back element in this. This isn’t about one incident. There have likely been several, including the NLD. At some point, you get fed up and draw a line. If as speculated above, the club discovered that Auba’s people leaked to the Athletic, then you turn up the heat and strip him of his armband in a very public way. Not saying I’m an ITK, but this is what it sounds like to me.

    I don’t think they should tolerate repeated violations of the rules from any player, especially the captain. It’s wrong to do it once. It’s more wrong because he’s setting a bad example for younger players. It’s especially wrong to do it twice. It’s egregious if you then leak to the media afterwards. If that’s what went down, the club have every right to come down hard.

    1. Fair point re: leaks and all. Maybe.

      Kos was sad. What a magnificent servant. Can’t believe some fans boo him.

  16. I’ve felt the way you’re feeling about this club, ever since I saw how the club treated Laurent Koscielny.

  17. Thanks for the post Tim

    We are all speculating about what happened but none of us really has any idea. The one thing I do know for sure is that its much more difficult to keep internal politics and discipline issues out of the media spotlight in todays environment where anything and everything and everyone is on line. It was different for most of the Wenger era. For the most part I suspect leaks are unavoidable and when you get competing leaks and rampant speculation it becomes more of a distraction. I completely agree with everyone who says you can’t just ignore disciplinary problems and just sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I also agree the team captain has to be held to a higher standard. I certainly see Tim’s point about just saying no comment and we will handle it internally to the media but I can also see the idea of the club making a statement because they know there will be leaks and competing stories so what is the point of stonewalling. I don’t know which approach is right but there is no way that a club can handle it without it becoming a mess. Its a lose/lose situation however the club handles it.

  18. This is all so ugly. And the reasons given hardly seem enough to justify stripping him of the captaincy. Xhaka flipped off the fans and somehow is the first name on the team sheet again. Gallas had a meltdown on the pitch (although, in 2021 hindsight, he probably needed help more than punishment).

    Auba should never have been made captain, but this is too harsh.

    Who is captain material in this squad? Gabriel is #1 for me, albeit a bit young. Hard as rocks, vocal, clearly popular. Nobody else is close, but after that probably Ramsdale. Tierney doesn’t seem the leader type to me. Tomiyasu one day perhaps. Haven’t seen enough of Lokonga to tell, but he has form.

    Guendouzi in five years, if we ever get him back???

    I’ve seen suggestions that Saka be made captain. That’d be a perfect way to break him.

    1. Ramsdale, 1000%. He’s going to be here for the next 15 years. The timing sucks tho, guy been with the club for only 4 months. Tierney hurt too often and Gabriel will be off to Real or PSG in 3 or 4 years. Odegaard maybe. Laca for remainder of this season tho.

  19. You all can put all the analysis you want on it or say what is right or not. But at the end of the day the optics is what we get judged by.

    We are having to many ugly break up with servants who really served us well. And even those who did not too.

    If Arshavin can break up with Arsenal in a nice way or Nasri why can’t anyone else. But our break ups are getting ugly by the day.

    Before Wenger left the last crisis I could think of from the top of my head was the Gallas crisis.

    Every player crisis we had was handled so well by the club that it felt like it was more of the players fault than the club. Nasri, Adebayor, RVP, Arshavin etc

    But now it really feels different.

    We’ve been playing so much bad football this season and coupled with these bad break up we are looking like the old westham republic.

    Some if my best players have left this club and it seems like they never existed. Some one mentioned Laurent koscielny earlier he was so right. What about Cazorla a player we connected very well with?

    FFS I remember when the likes of Edu and Gilberto left this club, it was some sort of celebration.

    Bring our Arsenal Back. It is so tearful.

  20. Something popped up in my Facebook memories today from Arsenal Media — something I shared 3 years ago today. It’s Mesut Ozil surprising a young Arsenal fan who idolised him. The poor lad was in shock… in a good way. Other photos surfaced from the Arsenal Foundation, of Ozil, Sokratis and others doing big charity and fundraising work on behalf of the club at Christmas time in December 2018.

    Today we have Arsenal fans who wont leave him in peace at Fener… wrongly suggesting that he’s a bust there, when, currently, he is anything but. He’s not a former player who served us well for a time… he’s now a loser, some pariah figure that a section of the fan base delights in disdaining, all because they cant bring themselves to be even mildly critical of anything that this club does.

    Reading social media, this is how Im seeing Aubameyang being portrayed. It was so different when his goals were firing us to the FA Cup, Mikel’s only trophy.

    How fickle we gooners are. We deserve this regime.

  21. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Regarding Auba’s transgressions, I’m blatantly using the points highlighted by Dan Critchlow ( @afcDW ) in his thread ( https://twitter.com/afcDW/status/1470761167727599621 ), and listing them here:

    1. Missed a pre-EL covid test. Result: Fined, resolved internally.

    2. Breached covid regulations to get a tattoo. Result: warned, resolved internally.

    3. Reported late for NLD. Result: Dropped from the starting eleven, first public punishment.

    4. Latest fiasco. Result: Dropped, and stripped of captaincy.

    And as Dan has mentioned, these are the four infringements that we know of. I’m guessing the covid-related absence for the season opener might have been another breach (Auba’s wife posted pictures on social media of a family birthday party just days before the his positive test). Also, it seems the tardiness in reporting for the NLD was not the first instance where Auba failed to keep time.

    Going back, in my opinion, the Ozil and Guendouzi situations were largely dealt internally. But a small, but very vocal part of the fanbase turned toxic as a result, and has been ever since. The lack of a concrete reason for their absence led to the media hounding the manager at every press conference for the whole season.

    When Auba missed a few games last season because of his mother’s health, nasty and unfounded rumours of Auba cheating on his wife were all over the timeline. Next, when Auba was out because of malaria and Arteta didn’t specify any concrete reason, the fanbase was up in arms over the supposed treatment meted out to Auba. There was also the same furore when Auba (and Laca) missed the first game of the season, with fans calling for the manager’s head. It was only later that we found out the reason for their absence was because of covid.

    Personally, having experienced rampant, wild, and untrue speculation when fans have been kept in the dark in the previous cases, I welcome the tiny bit of transparency this time (and yes, I know we still don’t know the full story regarding the latest infraction).

    1. Well at least we can discount the Athletic as being solely an Auba mouthpiece now.

      Here’s the thing. Arsenal may want to make this about Auba and his indiscretions but I’m not interested in playing that game. Auba isn’t even my favourite player, I don’t like how he displays his personality.. mind I’m not saying I dislike it, it’s just not my thing. And sure, I always contended he was likely to be a bit of a difficult character. Emery clearly decided to pander to him. Xhaka, a team leader and then captain, basically said so. But for all of that, Auba remained a popular dressing room figure by all accounts, and our most lethal goalscorer.

      Arteta and Arsenal meanwhile also have a pattern of behaviour. Ozil is the clearest example on account of a similar profile, but there’s others dealt in various ways like Guendouzi, Saliba, and AMN. May even be more. So Auba may have violated this sacred team structure but who is it sacred to, and what is it delivering? Results? Quality football? Goals? Making Auba the villain, and really that is what Arsenal Football Club is doing, is a convenient addition to their pattern of passing the buck. Broken culture being fixed or some such meaningless slogan. Convenient also that he was going to be out for afcon anyway. Meanwhile this allows more chest thumping talk of culture change. It’s a distraction and I am convinced it’s why this course of action was chosen, regardless of Aubameyang’s disciplinary issues.

      Oh and anyone who believes he’d have taken the same decision if Auba were banging in the goals is a sucker. Not even Arteta is that stupid. He’s very focused on self preservation.

      1. Critchlow couldn’t be any more specific than if he worked in Arsenal HR.

        Look, club and player and briefing against each other. I can understand the player’s POV — he’s getting hammered in public, Arsenal FC initiated the public stuff, and they have more power in this situation. It’s sad. Arsenal briefing against its own employee. This is what we’ve come to.

        Glad you mentioned AFCON, which starts in early Jan. Its imminence means that the club could have bought itself time on the captaincy issue, which — let me repeat — is not going to be properly resolved until the summer.

  22. A very interesting discussion, and I completely agree with those (including Tim) who say that this was an internal issue that should’ve been dealt with internally, and with more discretion while preserving club’s, manager’s, and player’s dignity. There’s an old Russian saying “Не выноси сор из избы” that basically means just that – don’t take “trash” out of the house, i.e. deal with whatever is going on in your family internally. There’s no need for the whole world to know exactly what happened in this case. There’s no need to drag Auba through the mud so to speak. Absolutely disgusting on so many different levels, and I’m appalled at how this was handled. Shame on Arteta, and shame on Arsenal FC. P.S. Completely agree Shard on that if Auba was banging in goals left and right, it would’ve been handled differently. Also, not a single mention about Willian and his trip to Dubai last season? Didn’t he also break some rules and was late coming back? As far as I remember he was not disciplined at all, and started the next game. Double standards by Mr. Arteta? I’d say so…

  23. Let the Spin Wars begin anew!

    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, a bunch of people on computers are plotting to influence how you think about a high profile bust up between a player and his employer. This secret order of faceless keyboard warriors will stop at nothing to get their way. What actually happened is irrlelevant: A victoribus historia scribitur. The battle for the hearts and minds of Arsenal supporters everywhere has begun!

    Stay tuned for next week’s sequel:

    Episode MMCCDVIII: Auba Strikes Back.

    1. A bit of history between the coaches. Arteta was Moyes’ captain at Everton, and was a bit sore when he left for Arsenal. Didnt want to sell… Mikel wanted the move. The rest is history. Arteta went on to captain us, and I liked him a lot as our #8, player and skipper. I wonder who wants to win this one more badly.

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