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Arteta holds ‘really positive’ talks with Aubameyang after dropping captain | Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has drawn a line under the disciplinary situation that saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped for Arsenal’s win over Spurs on Sunday, but says there are no guarantees the captain will return to his starting lineup straight away.

Aubameyang had to watch the derby from the bench after what was described as a “breach of pre-match protocol”, understood to entail arriving at the Emirates later than appointed. His replacement, Alexandre Lacazette, scored the winning penalty. Arteta explained that the pair had discussed the matter and that the issue had been laid to rest.

“We talked, everything has been resolved in a really positive way so we move forward,” he said, although he refused to say whether Aubameyang will face Olympiakos at home on Thursday.

“No, everybody has to obviously perform at the highest level to earn their place in the team,” he said. “There is no exception there and we will try to put a really competitive team out to try to win again.”

Arsenal hold a commanding 3-1 lead over the Greek champions from last week’s Europa League last 16 first leg but will take nothing for granted given the same opponents turned around a 1-0 home deficit to win on away goals when they met in last season’s last 32. “Absolutely not,” Arteta said when asked whether the tie was virtually over.

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Sunday’s Premier League match at West Ham brings a hectic domestic schedule to a pause for two weeks, although a number of Arsenal players may be in action as many as three times during the ensuing international break. Arteta was bullish about the prospect of resting players.

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“If anything, they will have to adapt to what we want,” he said of the national federations. “We’re not going to do it the opposite way around because we are the ones that have to look after our players here every day. We’re the ones who pay our players.”

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