Mikel Arteta’s reign at Arsenal seems to have been punctuated by off-field issues, and now Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brother, Willy, has given him another headache.
It’s clear that the Spaniard has his own way of doing things, and he’s strong enough to be able to deal with any matters arising – as we’ve seen by the way in which he’s handled the Matteo Guendouzi situation.
The ‘will he, won’t he’ contract signing situation with Aubameyang has festered for a while now, but it’s the striker being played out of his favoured position that has ruffled his sibling’s feathers.
“I like Mikel, he’s a good coach,” Willy Aubameyang said after Arsenal’s match against Leicester, cited by the Daily Mirror.
“He’s good but I don’t like when he puts my brother on the left, I don’t like this. I like when he plays striker.”
Arteta was measured in his response.
“We know he (Aubameyang) can play as a No.9, but at the moment the balance of the team is better like this,” he said, cited by the Daily Mirror.
“[…] He is a team player. And you can ask him to play anywhere and he’s happy to take it.
“Obviously he would prefer to play somewhere all the time, but he’s happy and you see the effort he puts in every game.”
Frankly, why Willy Aubameyang feels the need to offer an opinion on something that doesn’t concern him is baffling.
Arteta appears to have always had the good of the collective in mind. The ‘team before I’ mentality.
If that means that the Gabonese has to play out on the wing occasionally, so be it.
It’s time players and their families/representatives realised that for a hefty weekly pay cheque, they’re at the behest of the club and not the other way around.