It’s been an awkward few days for Mikel Arteta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal football club.
Ever since the Spaniard let it be known that the club captain had fallen foul of the disciplinary code in place, things have seemingly gone from bad to worse.
So much so that the Gabonese has been stripped of the captaincy and hasn’t been considered for selection since.
With a trip to Leeds still going ahead this weekend, Arteta was asked in his pre-match press conference if Aubameyang was available for selection now, and the answer was a blunt “he isn’t.”
Arteta offered exactly the same response when asked if the striker actually still had a future at the club.
What that does is evidence the manager playing hardball again, just as he did with Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil.
It shows a real strength of character that will stand Arteta in good stead as he continues to try and get Arsenal back to where they belong.