Mikel Arteta’s cold 17-word Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang statement

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta clearly did not wish to talk about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Tuesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final with Sunderland.

It was the third straight game that Aubameyang has missed, after the striker was stripped of his captaincy earlier this month.

Arteta made the decision to remove Aubameyang as captain to “defend the interests” of Arsenal after his “latest disciplinary breach”, as reported by BBC Sport on December 14.

Aubameyang is reported to have returned to the club late following a trip abroad that had not been authorised by the club.

The decision to strip Aubameyang of the Arsenal armband caused quite a stir among fans and pundits. It has been a keen topic of conversation over the past week, but Arteta did not wish to add many more words to the debate when he was quizzed about his ex-skipper on Tuesday night.

In fact, Arteta used just 17 words to flat-bat a question about Aubameyang’s continued absence an hour or so before the Sunderland game.

When asked on Sky Sports if Aubameyang’s absence was because he was still being punished, Arteta hit back with cold straight face.

He said: “Just we continue on the same way as we decided. For tonight’s game again he’s not selected.”

Arteta on Aubameyang:

“Just we continue on the same way as we decided. For tonight’s game again he’s not selected.”

— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 21, 2021

A week is a long time in football, so they say. But seven days appear to have done little to heal Arteta’s seemingly strained relationship with his star striker.

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