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‘Aubameyang wouldn't be the captain if I was manager’ - Merson wants Arsenal to get new leader

9:42 AM GMT 14/12/2021
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal
The former England player feels the 32-year-old striker does not deserve another chance to lead the Gunners after his latest disciplinary issues

Former England international Paul Merson has claimed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not have a chance to be the Arsenal captain if he was the club’s manager.

The 32-year-old Gabon international is facing uncertainty at the North London club after he missed the team’s 3-0 Premier League win against Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

After the game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirmed Aubameyang was not considered against the Saints because of a “disciplinarily breach.”

The decision to drop the former Borrusia Dortmund captain came after he had been benched in the 2-1 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park.

Merson, who managed 327 appearances and scored 78 goals for the Gunners, has stated the reason Aubameyang does not deserve to keep the captain’s armband after his latest disciplinary issues.

“This is not the first time this has happened with Aubameyang,” Merson said as quoted by SkySports.

“He turned up late for a meeting before and got left out of the side to face Tottenham Hotspur. He’s the example. There are a lot of young players in that team who will look up to him.

“He wouldn’t be the captain if I was manager. Absolutely no chance. Once, yes. Twice, no. It’s an honour to be captain of Arsenal and for me, something's got to change now.

“Somebody else has got to be the captain of Arsenal.

“I didn't really get it in the first place if I'm being honest. But it does show you that he sets an example, and the youngsters look up to him. That's why he was made captain.

“If you are the manager, of course, you'd be disappointed. He's been made captain of Arsenal Football Club. It's a big thing and not just a run-of-the-mill thing. And with all the promising young kids at the club, he needs to set the example.”

Merson has further termed the current situation between Arteta and Aubameyang as a major problem for Arsenal.

“This is not going to be a problem for Aubameyang because he's got an unbelievable contract at the club,” Merson continued.

“However, it’s a major problem for Arsenal. Who’s going to take him on those wages? Absolutely nobody in the whole wide world. And there's his age too. If he was 27, they’d be queuing up around the corner for him, but not now at the age of 32.

“It’s a big problem for Arsenal and Arteta.”

On whether Arteta should consider the skipper for the game against West Ham United, Merson said: “It’s a fair play from the manager but I'm not sure about him being involved against West Ham on Wednesday.

“I don’t get that at all. Fair play to Arteta for what he's done and how he's handled it so far, but for me, they won the game easily, so why bring him back in?

“There are a lot of young kids at Arsenal. They've got a young squad. He's the captain, he's on big wages and he needs to lead by example. This has happened too many times.

“How many times do you see Arsenal play well and Aubameyang doesn't play well?

“He does set the tone. A couple of weeks ago they played well against Newcastle and he started it all off. He worked his socks off and they follow him.

“I don’t see how you can change the team after the Southampton win. They dismantled Southampton with some very good goals so for me, you keep the same team with Aubameyang may be coming back on the bench.”