Football

Paul Merson hails ‘the best bit of management’ Mikel Arteta will ever do


Arteta right in his treatment of the captain, says Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Paul Merson believes Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will serve as the best piece of management in his career.

Aubameyang was dropped from the Arsenal XI for last Sunday’s north London derby with Tottenham after he arrived late for the squad’s meet-up before the game

He remained on the bench as the Gunners sealed a 2-1 win over their arch-rivals before returning to the team for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Olympiacos.

Merson believes the manager’s decision will have earned the respect of everyone in the Gunners dressing room – and set the right example for the club’s young stars who will not dare repeat the skipper’s actions.

‘I thought what he did in leaving Aubameyang on the bench for the north London derby after being late for a team meeting was absolutely brilliant.’ Merson wrote for The Star.

Saka and Smith Rowe ‘will never be late’ after Arteta’s actions (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s the best bit of management he will ever do in his whole career.

‘Arteta has to think of the future of the club – and the future of the club is players like Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

‘If they are sitting in that meeting and Aubameyang strolls in late and you let him play in the game, you’re opening the door for them to do it too.

‘Now they know. Now, they will never be late. Because Arteta has stamped his authority on it.

‘He will have earned the respect of all his players doing that – even people like David Luiz and Granit Xhaka who have been around the block.’


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