Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta breaks silence after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang criticism with defiant message | The Sun
ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta has hit back at criticism levelled at him by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The ex-Arsenal ace was seen in a viral video blasting the Arsenal manager over his coaching abilities.
Shortly after his move to Barcelona from The Gunners, Aubameyang was filmed saying: "Big characters and big players…he (Arteta) can't deal with it.
"He needs some young players who don't say anything. They listen."
However, it seems to have left Arteta unfazed with the Spaniard aiming a thinly veiled dig towards the Gabon international.
"People are free to discuss what they want," Arteta said ahead of Arsenal's game against Bodo/Glimt.
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"I have never been in a better dressing room (than this season) – more enjoyable, more hard-working, a better relationship between staff and players and it is an absolute pleasure as a coach to be a part of this group."
Aubameyang, now at Chelsea, was frozen out of the Arsenal squad after a "disciplinary issue" which saw him simultaneously stripped of his captaincy.
In Arsenal's behind-the-scenes All or Nothing series, it was revealed Arteta had a dossier on Aubameyang's indiscretions.
He said: "I have everything documented, with the dates, the times, the conversations, how it happened, why it happened . . . because if one day it’s needed."
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"(Aubameyang) has been late, apart from all the (other) issues, many times."
Since the video was leaked Aubameyang tried to cool tensions, saying: "Aware there is a video out that was recorded just after I arrived at Barca.
"At the time I still had a lot of bad feelings in me – Arsenal are doing great things this season and I wish all my old guys well, just not on November 6."
Arsenal currently sit top of the league after an impressive start to the season which has seen them beat rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
New forward Gabriel Jesus has been a key component to ensuring this run has continued.
However, the Brazilian, who has five goals to his name this season, was absent from training earlier this week.
In explaining his absence, Arteta said: "We thought that, obviously, with everything that he's been through in the last few weeks that it was better that he stayed at home.
"What we are thinking is how we are going to win the game, that is it.
"How we win every three games, in different conditions, in different contexts, in different weather and in different competitions and that is the only way that we are approaching the game."
Part of their reasoning behind this may also be in relation to the plastic pitch their Norwegian adversaries use.
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Last season Jose Mourinho's Roma fell victim to the unfamiliar turf and saw themselves humiliated with a 6-1 defeat.
Arteta has also been in the press this week defending Gabriel Magalhaes amid an FA probe following their 3-2 victory over Liverpool when an on-pitch row between the defender and Jordan Henderson ensued.
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