Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has once again fallen foul of the strict disciplinary code put in place at Arsenal by manager Mikel Arteta.
The fact that it isn’t the first time means that the Spaniard is perfectly justified in removing the Arsenal captaincy from the 32-year-old Gabonese.
Any suggestion of an overreaction from the manager is misplaced at best, because players have had the upper hand at clubs for far too long now.
It’s about time that those running the ship are backed to the hilt rather than having their power whipped from under them because the team will theoretically be better off with their best players playing, regardless of their transgressions.
As a senior professional at the club and the captain until this latest debacle, Aubameyang has a duty to his employers, his manager and his team-mates to lead by example.
Not to believe that the rules don’t necessarily apply to him or that they can be bent accordingly.
Some quotes in a BBC Sport report illustrate how difficult the situation has been for Arteta, who has decided to drop Aubameyang from Thursday’s game with West Ham.
“We have made this decision that unfortunately is a really tough one,” Arteta said.
“If I had to choose I wouldn’t like to be sitting here talking about it, but we had to do it.
“When we have to make that decision, it’s because it’s the right one to defend the interests of the football club.”
Notwithstanding the human element of the situation, the Spaniard has potentially dug a hole for himself with his reasoning on why he has stopped the striker from playing against West Ham.
“He needs a bit of time to heal,” BBC Sport quoted him as saying.
As excuses go, it’s a pretty pathetic and condescending one.
Arsenal are generally a better team with him in it than without, and having already missed one game and been stripped of the captaincy, that should be enough of a punishment for now.
Similarly, if Arteta felt that the team could be stronger for the West Ham fixture with Aubameyang not starting, that’s his prerogative.
But make that clear.