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EPL: ‘No shame’ – Aubameyang opens up on Arteta’s accusations, painful Arsenal exit

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Former Arsenal captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has finally broken his silence on his contentious exit from the Gunners, revealing that manager Mikel Arteta accused him of “putting a knife in his back.”

The decision to banish the Gabonese, who was pivotal in winning the FA Cup for Arteta, remains one of the most decisive actions taken by the Arsenal coach.

Aubameyang had been given a new long-term contract and the captaincy just 18 months before his departure to Barcelona, following the termination of his contract.

After being used as a late substitute in a loss to Everton, Aubameyang was left out of the squad for the subsequent game against Southampton.

Arteta didn’t explain the reason for his absence, but it was linked to Aubameyang returning late from visiting his sick mother, thus breaching COVID-19 protocols.

Reflecting on the incident in an interview with @Colininterview, Aubameyang recounted:

“It was during the COVID period and we were playing, I think, Everton.

“My season wasn’t great, we were struggling in the league and the day before the coach told us: ‘Look, it doesn’t matter if we win or not, you have a day off. But if you want to leave, you notify yourself before the match because you have to follow the health safety rules.

“My mother a few months before had a stroke, it was going to be Christmas time so I went to see the coach and I said to him: ‘Coach, I’m coming to see you because I’d like to leave, I’m going to go pick up my mother to bring her back for the holidays.’ He tells me no problem.

“He knew very well what had happened, the day it happened he had already given me permission to go see her. So he gives me authorisation and tells me to check with the doc about the return in relation to Covid.

“I’m going home to Laval, normally I was supposed to leave on the free day and return in the evening rather than the morning of training. My mother had exams to do, I couldn’t leave in the evening so I left the next morning on training day. Once I got there, I had to take my test but in fact I should have done it the day before since I was coming from another country.

“I arrive, the coach finishes his meeting and then he grabs me and he completely tears into me, he shouts at me like I’m crazy, he says: ‘You put a knife in my back.

“You can’t do that to me given the times we’re going through.’ At that moment I tell myself that I’m not going to answer him because it’s going to end angrily. I didn’t go partying. He knows very well the reason for my departure so at that moment I don’t understand why he is lecturing me like this.

“The days pass and the doctor tells me: ‘Look, he doesn’t want you to be with the group anymore, but you will be able to come and train but separately.’ I say to myself ok… And then afterwards, he calls me and we have a meeting so he can explain to me that one, he’s taking away the captain’s armband, and two, I’m not training any more with the group.

“It affects a man, it was difficult. How to get out? Often we say that we have to talk about it, there’s no shame in that.”

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