Arsenal

Granit Xhaka gives public lesson to Aubameyang to fit Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal title bid mentality

Football.London

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Granit Xhaka has spoken publicly about his recent trip away from London Colney as he travelled to accept an award given for being Switzerland’s footballer of the year. Xhaka has been an example of how to act and behave under Mikel Arteta after the Arsenal manager initially had to convince the midfielder to stay.

Xhaka has had his history of issues at Arsenal. His infamous incident against Crystal Palace was the culmination of a number of events that had been heightened by the abuse he and his family had received online.

His then-teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could not have been more appreciated at the time and in Arteta’s first half-season in charge would elevate his profile by almost single-handedly winning the FA Cup with goals against Manchester City and Chelsea.

READ MORE: Arsenal have already signed their £45m Bukayo Saka competitor as Edu aims to fortify title bid

However, fast-forward 18 months and it all changed as Arteta announced to his Arsenal squad that Aubameyang had been stripped of the captaincy. The Spaniard provided context but not too much reasoning, at least not in this broadcasted exchange with the team.

“I have to announce something. Following the last disciplinary issue that we had with Auba, and the consequences that I decided to take not to involve him in the game, I thought carefully – myself and the club – what was the next step,” Arteta said.

“We have decided as a club that he is no longer our captain, so you should know that. The other decision is that, for now, he’s not involved in the squad. I will make decisions further along the line.

“The club and myself we are not going to accept any behaviour like this, and what we are building goes completely against any behaviour like that.

“So if we are going to have any meaning in changing our culture – and making sure we become a different club and team – we have to stand to those words, clearly, in every action, with anybody. This is the message that I have to send you.”

football.londondetailed the entire inside story of Aubameyang’s fall from grace at the club and the events that led to his eventual departure. It peaked with a late return to the squad after an agreed period of absence to travel to France to see his mother.

Xhaka revealed details of trip to his homeland after starting and performing brilliantly in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Manchester United. In the space of just over 24 hours Xhaka made sure he was back in north London and ready to train ahead of a huge game against Manchester City on Friday in the FA Cup.

“Of course, I got permission from the coach,” Xhaka explained. “I very much appreciate this consent.

“Not every coach does that, because on Friday we’re already playing again in the cup at Man City. It definitely shows his appreciation.
“But I’m not going to party anyway. Nothing is going on in Switzerland on a Monday evening (laughs).

“I proudly accepted the invitation and from Tuesday I’ll be focusing on training and the next game again.”

Xhaka is a player who is part of Arteta’s leadership group with Gabriel Jesus and club captain Martin Odegaard. Aubameyang as captain was involved in multiple discipline breaches and Xhaka has shown publicly and certainly internally how a captain-type should act without even shouldering the armband – perh…

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