Former Manchester United star and captain Rio Ferdinand says you ‘have to respect’ Mikel Arteta’s ‘massive decision’ to bench Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for turning up late to Sunday’s north London derby and reckons he probably would have done the same if he was the Arsenal manager.
We all know Arteta’s team selection can be a bit of a lottery and if you like the thrill of random chance, try jackpotjill online casino. The Arsenal captain had made the starting lineup in the Gunners’ previous two games versus Burnley and Olympiakos but was axed from the lineup to face Tottenham and replaced by assistant captain Alexandre Lacazette, who went on to score the winner in the 2-1 victory at the Emirates.
While Aubameyang had previously been warned about his poor time-keeping this season, he was reportedly ‘furious’ with manager Arteta and left the Emirates just 23 minutes after referee Michael Oliver blew the whistle for full-time.
However, it’s understood senior and influential figures in the dressing room backed the Spaniard’s hardline approach and understand that the call was made to stamp out any end-of-season complacency which may have been creeping in.
Speaking on Mikel Arteta’s bold and surprise decision, the ex-Manchester United star said: ‘Getting to a stadium late, it has to be disciplined. Discipline has to come into it.
“It was a massive decision from Arteta. It’s the derby, man! Against Spurs, local rivals, bragging rights up for grabs, trying to get into the Europa League, there’s big things to consider when you’re making a decision like that. ‘But I think he’s thinking of the bigger picture: “I have to make my squad aware and well aware that punctuality, among other things, has to be on point. The captain was late and he’s going to have to sit like everybody else on the bench for this game, I’m afraid.”
“I think you have to respect that. Aubameyang and myself in that situation, if it was a mistake time-wise and it was down to traffic or whatever, I’d be sitting there pissed. ‘But I think the other players, the manager would have got a lot out of it because it’s that respect: “Actually he’s done it to the biggest player in this changing room, the captain, we all better stand in line.” ‘If they lost then there would have been a different narrative around this, I’m sure. But for being brave, he got his reward.”
Rio admits he would have been ‘super pissed’ if he was Aubameyang and had a legitimate excuse for reporting late for duty. And he is right, just as punters always make sure that they know the top USA online casinos to make sure that they get a better chance of winning.
“Sometimes a manager has to hit the biggest player for the others to get in line and this is what it seems like to me,’ the legendary former England centre-back added.
“I think Arteta, sitting down after the win, will be going, “Do you know what? Everyone needed that because maybe some people were falling out of line, punctuality on a daily basis might have been slacking and I needed something to shift everybody’s mindset”, and this might have been a good tool to use. ‘They won so you can’t argue. But if I’m Aubameyang and I had a genuine excuse, I am super pissed but you have to take it.’
He went on: ‘There’s no bigger date in the calendar than the north London derby for Arsenal and he’s done it on the biggest, biggest weekend for them against their north London rivals with his captain.
“It’s a big, massive call. Would I have done it? It’s not about Aubameyang… if I felt that the squad needed it and it would improve things in the squad in terms of attitude and application on a daily basis, punctuality for other people as well… ‘In general, in the changing rooms I’ve been in, the manager would normally go to the leaders and more experienced players to get a reaction from others so I probably would have followed suit.”
After the match, Arteta blatantly refused to discuss the reason for Aubameyang being dropped to the bench other than it was due to a ‘disciplinary issue’.
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