Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has named his captain for Wednesday evening’s Premier League game against West Ham at the Emirates after omitting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of Arsenal’s 20-man squad for the game against West Ham on Wednesday, as expected.
The Gabon international was omitted for the Premier League clash at the Emirates after a disciplinary breach.
Aubameyang was also stripped of the captaincy, with Alexandre Lacazette captaining Mikel Arteta’s side against the Hammers.
Manager Arteta is yet to formally confirm his next skipper, with Lacazette, Aaron Ramsdale and Kieran Tierney all in the running.
But the Spaniard’s team selection against West Ham suggests Lacazette will be captain until further notice.
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That could prove problematic in the long run, as the Frenchman is out of contract at the end of the season and looks set to leave.
“The decision that we have taken as a club is very clear,” said Arteta when asked about his decision to strip Aubameyang of the captaincy.
“It is because we believe that he has failed to be committed at the level that we all expect and agreed. It is as simple as that.
“What I expect from any person in this football club, that is representing this badge, is passion and that he gives absolutely 100 percent.
“That he puts the club in front of any personal interests and is able to do anything to fulfil the badge we have on the chest.
“Apart from that, you can listen to individuals and you can understand different cultures, but that commitment and passion has to be there.
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I feel really sad. I wouldn’t like to be in this position – not with him but with any player to make this kind of decision.
“Because at the end, the fulfilment of a coach is when you are trying to help a player to become a better person.
“To be happy to be fulfilled as a player and to enjoy on that pitch and at the moment with that decision Auba is not going to be able to do that. For me it is just sadness.
“But as well at the end you have to defend the collective and the club and in order to do that you have to make all the decisions that you think are going to help the club.”
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On when Aubameyang could return to the team, Arteta added: “We need a bit of time. It needs a bit of time to heal.
“For now he’s not involved in the squad. Obviously, it is a really unpleasant situation and it is not the moment to make any rash decision.”
Former Tottenham striker and Arsenal fan Darren Bent believes Arteta should give Ramsdale the captaincy, despite only joining the club four months ago.
“I’d probably say Ramsdale,” said Bent. “If Tierney could guarantee that he’s going to play every single week, then yeah.
“But other than him it’s got to be Ramsdale as he’s the only player who’s going to play every single week. When I think about Arsenal captain, I think Ramsdale has that presence that others don’t.”