Mikael Silvestre gives verdict on Arsenal stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of captaincy

Arteta reflects on 'unpleasant situation' as Aubameyang stripped of Arsenal captaincy

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Arsenal taking the captaincy off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a ‘pity’, Mikael Silvestre has told Express Sport. The Gabon international recently had the role stripped from him by Mikel Arteta after returning late from a trip abroad. Now, the Gunners are poised to rotate the honour within a leadership group at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal gave Aubameyang the captaincy back in November 2019 after taking it away from Granit Xhaka.

Xhaka had fallen out with fans following a disappointing draw to Crystal Palace, confronting them as they jeered his name.

Aubameyang was the right choice at the time, especially given his status as Arsenal’s undisputed talisman.

He led them to FA Cup glory in 2020, with the Gunners beating Manchester City and then Chelsea on their way to the prize.

However, since then, Aubameyang has struggled to live up to expectations.

He signed a new contract with the club shortly after his FA Cup heroics but while he bagged 22 Premier League goals from 36 appearances that year, he only managed 10 from 29 games last term.

Aubameyang has been off the boil this season, too, with just four league goals to his name from 14 outings.

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And to make matters worse, he was recently stripped of the captaincy after returning late from a trip abroad to see his mother.

Silvestre feels sympathy for the 32-year-old, who he insists has been a ‘good captain’ for the club over the past two years.

But he feels Aubameyang must now knuckle down to try and win Arteta round, with the Frenchman adamant the work put in on the training ground is key.

“You’ve got to be on time,” said Silvestre, speaking exclusively to Express Sport via Freebets.com.

“It’s not good. Especially when you are a leader and forget the captaincy if you’re 30 years old and you’re leading by example, the main man, with Lacazette you need to be there way before training starts.

“I mean we’re talking about him visiting his mother, that’s different circumstances.

“In general, the older you get the more training you’re going to need, preparation and treatment stuff like that.

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“Especially with the pace of the game. It’s crazy.

“The time you dedicate to your professional, for prevention it’s very important.

“You’re not supposed to come late, that’s for sure.

“To come to the point when you’re stripped of the captaincy, that line has been crossed several times.

“And unless you are a FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, you have to pay the price right?

“It’s not good for Arsenal at the moment, for the management and for Auba also it’s a difficult moment that’s for sure.

“You don’t want to be in that moment when you’re pointing fingers. I would hope the positives will be out of this little drama that will hopefully benefit the team.

“Auba is a very good guy. It’s a pity this is happening, really, he went through a lot injured really last season.

“And since he’s been at Arsenal I would say in general he’s been a good captain.”

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While it’s been a rough season for Arsenal, several youngsters have risen to the fore this season.

Bukayo Saka has bounced back from his Euro 2020 final heartache, scoring three goals and clocking up four assists from 18 outings.

Emile Smith Rowe has arguably been the pick of the bunch, with the 21-year-old managing nine goal involvements.

And Gabriel Martinelli has been in fine form in recent weeks, too, scoring twice in a 4-1 hammering of Leeds on Saturday.

Silvestre has liked what he’s seen from Arsenal’s young players, believing their academy work deserves the plaudits.

“You’ve got to remember with Arsenal they have to fight with Chelsea for the best players in London,” he continued.

“Saka is now an established player, he’s playing for England. Smith-Rowe, doing very well.

“Martinelli isn’t even performing at his peak, he’s come later and he’s going to get even better in the future.

“Martinelli I’d say he’s playing like he’s English, not even Brazilian. Direct, scoring goals, he’s doing well.”

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