Mikel Arteta has refused to reveal what Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s “disciplinary breach” was that kept him out of Arsenal’s win over Southampton.
Aubameyang was left out of Arsenal’s squad that faced the Saints in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking before the game, Arteta revealed that this was due to a “disciplinary breach”. Ex-Spurs boss Tim Sherwood subsequently labelled Aubameyang an “absolute disgrace”.
Arsenal fared well without their captain. Alexandre Lacazette and Martin Odegaard netted in the first half.
Arteta’s side are now just a point behind fourth-placed West Ham, who have a game in hand. The Hammers face Sean Dyche’s Burnley on Sunday.
As quoted by BBC Sport, in relation to Aubameyang’s absence, Arteta said that he “cannot share” what happens in the dressing room:
“I’m very pleased. After a difficult period, we had two defeats where I don’t think we deserved to lose the games but we did.
“We started the game a little bit nervy, you could tell that we were carrying that feeling still, but we finished strong.”
On the first goal: “It was [a ‘piece of art’] – that’s our identity, the way we want to play, it’s not possible to score all the goals like that. But that’s the direction we want to take.
“I am very happy. It’s a contribution from the whole game, what is required in every moment and then the execution and that’s what we’ve been lacking a little bit, because the intention is there, it’s just doing it more consistently.
“You could see that the team wanted to keep attacking, hit the post twice, a goal disallowed.”
On Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: “He had a disciplinary breach, that applies to everybody. That’s a non-negotiable and when that happens he’s out of the team.”
“Whatever happens in the dressing room, I cannot share. I am sorry. I’m telling you the reason, I cannot lie, it was that, this is where I stand. From my side, I will never [say what the breach was.]”
Odegaard said post-match that Arsenal overcame a “shaky” start to beat the Saints:
“We dominated from the start, it was a little shaky in the beginning, we lost the ball in some stupid areas, but the second half was brilliant and we deserved the win.”
On the first goal: “It was a brilliant goal, played out from the back, we’ve been practicing this movement, it’s good to see that it played out well. We practice these things every day in training. We saw that it world in a game, it’s a good feeling.
“We’ve been doing these things for a long time. We just need to be more clinical in the box, to finish better. If we can manage that then it will be good.”
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