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Arsenal’s Aubameyang must keep focus despite losing captaincy – Gallas

10:45 GMT 15/12/2021
Aubameyang Arteta
The Gabon striker was relieved of his privilege at the club owing to a disciplinary breach and will miss the fixture against West Ham United

Former Arsenal captain William Gallas has urged Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay focused and work hard to regain his best form after being stripped of the club's captaincy on Tuesday.

The Gabon international lost the armband after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta accused him of a “disciplinary breach” that saw him miss the 3-0 Premier League victory against Southampton at Emirates Stadium.

Before the Saints game, Aubameyang had also sat on the bench as the Gunners suffered a 2-1 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park.

The former French defender, who also captained Arsenal during the Arsene Wenger reign before he was also stripped of the captaincy, has addressed the former Borussia Dortmund forward on how he should respond to Arteta's latest decision.

“Yeah. It was not easy to accept that. I didn’t accept it at the beginning, because it was not for the right reason. It’s difficult for me,” Gallas said as quoted by Football London.

“That’s why it was difficult for me to accept it. But you have to say, 'OK. The club and the coach, took that decision, and I have to find everything to refocus myself,' and that is what I did.

“When I lost the captaincy, the next match was away against Manchester City, and I was not in the squad. It was hard to understand. The next game was at home; I think it was in the FA Cup. You have to be very strong in your mind to be on the pitch to do your job, and I did it very well.”

Gallas continued: “[Aubameyang must] keep focused, work hard and get back to your best level.”

A statement on Arsenal’s official website confirmed the decision by stating: “Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday's match against West Ham United.

“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.”

On his part, Arteta said: “The decision that we have taken as a club is very clear. It is because we believe that he has failed to be committed at the level that we all expect and agreed.

“That commitment and passion has to be there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.”