It has been a positive week for the Gunners – as fans saw their side beat Olympiacos in the Europa League, putting them in a great position for tonight’s clash at the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta's side went on to take all three points in an entertaining North London derby, where Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty put the game beyond Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham. Three very important points for the Arsenal side in the Premier League.
While the celebrations in the red half of North London erupted following the full-time whistle, some Arsenal fans were left confused by one particular aspect of the derby.
Arteta’s squad selection raised eyebrows within the Arsenal fanbase, as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of the side. The Arsenal manager explained the decision was made in response to a “disciplinary issue” – something that had happened in the build-up to the game.
Arteta would not elaborate on the matter, however Sky Sports suggested that the Gunners captain was late – which is a "breach of matchday protocol."
Arteta's Iron Fist
With the Spanish coach taking such strong action when dealing with players such as Matteo Guendouzi, it would not be a surprise to Gunners fans if Arteta didn’t take to Aubameyang’s actions on Sunday kindly.
The Gabonese striker is undoubtedly one of Arsenal’s most important players – while this year he may not have hit the heights of last season, the 31-year-old has registered 14 goals in all competitions so far – a more than worthy contribution to an Arsenal side that have struggled for goals at times this season.
With Arsenal fans knowing how much Aubameyang is capable of, they may have a right to feel frustrated should Arteta choose to omit the captain for the second leg of the tie.
However, the manager insists that the issue with Aubameyang is now behind them as he looks to consolidate his side’s aggregate lead this evening.
This claim was supported when pictures of Aubameyang laughing and joking with his teammates were released yesterday – laying to rest any reports that the striker was throwing a tantrum following the incident.
As the Gunners' head into tonight’s clash in the Europa League, all eyes will be on Arteta’s team selection as he looks to help his side progress into the quarter-finals.