Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang keen to ‘move on’ from Arsenal disciplinary controversy last week

The Gabon forward was dropped for the victory over Tottenham last week but returned against Olympiacos on Thursday

Sam Blitz
Friday 19 March 2021 10:28 GMT
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<p>Aubameyang was dropped for the derby win over Tottenham last week</p>

Aubameyang was dropped for the derby win over Tottenham last week

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has broken his silence on his disciplinary row with Arsenal, claiming that he wants to “move on” from the dispute that saw him dropped for last week’s north London derby win over Tottenham.

The Gunners captain was left out of the starting line-up for Sunday’s victory over Spurs due to a breach of pre-match protocol, with reports claiming the Gabon striker turned up late to a meeting before the Emirates Stadium clash.

Aubameyang returned to the Arsenal starting line-up for Thursday’s Europa League tie with Olympiacos and claimed the row between him and Mikel Arteta is now “done”.

The striker said in his pre-match programme notes for the Olympiacos game: “On my own situation, I have spoken with the boss and it’s all done now – we move on.”

The 31-year-old played the full 90 minutes and while Arsenal lost their Europa League last-16 second-leg with their Greek opponents 1-0, the result was enough to see the north Londoners reach the quarter-finals of the competition through a 3-2 aggregate win.

Aubameyang was guilty of missing a host of chances during the match, including two one-on-one opportunities where he failed to hit the target.

Arteta himself confirmed after the Olympiacos game that the situation with his captain has been resolved and the club want to move on from the situation.

When asked if last week’s events may have affected Aubameyang on Thursday, Arteta said: “I hope it doesn’t. We’ve moved on from that.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for Arsenal last week in the Premier League

“He started the game today (Thursday) and we expect him when he does play that he performs at the level that he can.”

The Gabon forward has 14 goals in 30 appearances this season but Arsenal are languishing in tenth place in the Premier League after another disappointing domestic campaign.

The Gunners’ chances of securing a spot in the Champions League next season lie predominantly with their success in the Europa League - a tournament victory would book a spot in the group stages of Europe’s premier club competition.

Arsenal were joined in the Europa League quarter-finals by Manchester United, who beat AC Milan on Thursday, but British rivals Tottenham and Rangers exited the competition after losses to Dinamo Zagreb and Slavia Prague respectively.

As well as United, Dinamo and Slavia, Arteta’s side could be faced with the last-eight challenge of AS Roma, Ajax, Granada or Villarreal - the latter being managed by former Gunners boss Unai Emery.

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