Martin Keown insists Mikel Arteta is RIGHT to drop Arsenal captain Aubameyang in Slavia Prague clash


Martin Keown insists Mikel Arteta was RIGHT to make ‘big statement’ of dropping Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Slavia Prague clash after the striker’s anonymous display in miserable Liverpool defeat

  • Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped on Thursday night
  • Willian started ahead of the star for the Europa League clash with Slavia Prague 
  • The Gunners striker put in a poor performance against Liverpool at the weekend
  • Martin Keown believes Mikel Arteta sent the right message by benching him  

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta sent a crucial message to his players by dropping captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Thursday night, according to Martin Keown.

The Gunners striker was a key lowlight in what Keown described as ‘the most disappointing performance under Arteta’, as Liverpool brushed aside a lacklustre Arsenal on Saturday. 

Willian came in to replace Aubameyang for the Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague, and the Invincibles defender believes Arteta made the right call. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was benched by Mikel Arteta for Arsenals' Slavia Prague clash

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was benched by Mikel Arteta for Arsenals’ Slavia Prague clash 

The striker had a miserable game against Liverpool and was one of the worst performers

The striker had a miserable game against Liverpool and was one of the worst performers 

‘It’s a big statement,’ Keown said on BT Sport punditry duty.  

‘Recently he left him out for being late for training. Now it’s for his performance, and that’s more important to me. 

‘It sets a bigger example and the players know that nobody is exempt from being chopped from the side if the captain is being dropped. I think that’s right.

Martin Keown believes Mikel Arteta sent a message to his players by dropping the skipper

Martin Keown believes Mikel Arteta sent a message to his players by dropping the skipper

‘We know his mother has not been well so we don’t want to be critical but when you step onto the pitch you have to be professional and he’s fallen some way short of the performances he’s capable of. 

 ‘There’s now opportunities for someone else.’ 

Aubameyang missed the North London Derby last month to be with his mother during a spell of ill health, revealing she was ‘much better’ as he returned to the side.  

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