Mikel Arteta met with the press ahead of Arsenal’s crunch tie with West Ham United, and shortly after the club announced that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had been stripped of his captaincy.

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Arsenal away shirt 2021-22
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Arsenal away shirt 2021-22

Before the game against Southampton at the weekend, Mikel Arteta said that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ban ‘starts today’ in a comment that seemed to be missed by many.

I initially thought he said it was just for the one game, but having re-watched the clip, I see that I was wrong:

In addition to being ruled out of the squad for the West Ham game as his internal ban continues, Aubameyang has also been stripped of the captaincy, keeping the Arsenal captain’s curse alive and well.

Arteta would not be drawn on how many infractions Aubameyang has collected, nor would he give any further details about, well, any of it, really:

“I don’t have much more to say, I think it’s a really clear statement from the club,” Arteta said.

“It’s a decision that we have made following the incident, the last incident that we had with the player. And this is where we stand.

“I don’t mind you asking [how many incidents], but I cannot go any further on that. As you can believe when we have to make that decision, obviously, because it’s the the right one to defend the interests of the football club.

“Yes [I told him personally], we did it in combination with the club. Having a personal conversation with myself and face to face with the player.”

Asked about the choice for the club’s next captain, Arteta said, “Well, we have the leadership group. And within that we have different players that are nominated.

“Laca was captain in the last game, we have Granit as well, who has been Captain as well. So we will follow that, obviously, is a really unpleasant situation and is not the moment to make any rash decision.

“The leadership group is really strong. It’s the one that communicates with with myself, the coaching staff and with the club in a really clear and strong was, and we’re gonna continue like that.

“That’s one of the decisions that we made to make that group a bit better. And, and try to educate them and try to get the right feedback all the time and build that trust and a strong culture around the club and is working really well, so we’ll continue to that.