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Football Reporting


Mikel Arteta details fresh talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over Arsenal punishment

Mikel Arteta insists Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has reacted “really positively” after being dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Gunners boss Arteta revealed he had further talks with the Arsenal striker after Aubameyang was dropped after reporting up late for the North London derby on Sunday.

Arsenal captain Aubameyang, 31, could now even start against Olympiacos in the Europa League on Thursday night despite being left annoyed by his omission which he blamed on heavy traffic while driving to the Emirates.

Arteta said: “We talked, everything is resolved and we moved on.

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“He reacted really positively that’s why I said that this is over, that we move forward in a positive way and there is no more comment to make on that.

“He trained really well the last two days he was smiling as usual, as we always expect from Auba. It’s all good.”

Mikel Arteta has held talks with his striker
Mikel Arteta has held productive talks with his striker

Aubameyang was punished as it was not the first time he had turned up late and Arteta spoke publicly as he wanted to underline his authority and standards he expects from his squad.

The very public punishment may have been the reason that Aubameyang was upset and left the Emirates sharply on Sunday, not even taking part in the post-match warm down on the pitch with the other substitutes.

But Arsenal midfielder Mohammed Elneny insisted the rest of the squad have the utmost respect for their captain.

Elneny said: “We are happy with Auba, he’s always there for us, he’s our captain and outside of the pitch he is one of the best players we have.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped at the weekend
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped at the weekend

“He is always happy, an amazing player and gives us amazing energy. I don’t know what’s happening really but it’s finished now.”

Elneny was also determined to finish the job against Olympiacos having gone out against the Greek side last year.

Arsenal now have the Europa League as their last chance of a passport back into the Champions League for next season.

Elneny added: “It was amazing to be part of that build-up, a big European trophy and then so disappointing so we will work even harder to make sure we do it this time.

“We must focus the game like it’s 0-0, we play at home and make sure that we finish the job and go through.”

Arsenal (probable): Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Elneny, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe; Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

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