Mikel Arteta reveals what he told Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after fiasco with Gabon squad

Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Mikel Arteta says it was a shock to see what Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went through with the Gabon squad on international duty, but has dismissed the issue and will not look to block his captain playing for his country in future.

The 31-year-old was travelling with his international teammates to play Gambia at the weekend and uploaded a number of pictures to Instagram of the squad sleeping on the floor of Banjul International Airport as they were not allowed into Gambia.

The Gabon squad were eventually able to leave the airport six hours after arriving and get on the team bus at 6am, playing and losing to Gambia the same day.

Gabon manager Patrice Neveu predicted that the unfortunate situation would mean the end of Aubameyang’s international career.

Arsenal called Pierre-Emerick. After seeing him in those conditions, it’s over,’ he told Canal Plus. ‘They won’t let him come again, and it will be the same for players from other clubs.

‘It’s understandable. They are high level players and when they come on international duty, they need to have a minimum of comfort.’

However, Arteta has seemingly been more understanding about the situation than Neveu believed, telling his striker to take the positives from the experience and move on.

The Spaniard also said the Gabon boss was wrong in his assumption that the Gunners would block future call-ups for Aubameyang.

‘No [he’s not right],’ Arteta said. ‘Obviously it was a shock to see a full squad sleeping the way they were doing.

Aubameyang
Aubameyang with his sleeping teammates (Picture: Instagram)

‘I always believe that everybody’s trying to do their best and the Gabon national team are trying to organise things the best possible way. Sometimes unpredictable things happen and it was an experience.

‘I said to Auba: “Take it as an experience. I’m sure for many months or years you haven’t slept on the floor, take it from there and just make sure when you’re in your bed, you know how good it is, how comfortable is it and how lucky you are”.

‘You cannot change it, you cannot rewind it so take it the way it is and move on. I hope that the next time it doesn’t happen and that our players have the rest that they need.’

Aubameyang is fit and available for Arsenal’s trip to Leeds United on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League as they look to improve their recent record of three defeats in their last four league games.

MORE : Paul Merson claims Arsenal summer signing Willian looks ‘lost’ under Mikel Arteta

MORE : Arsenal provide Thomas Partey injury update ahead of Leeds United clash

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

No comments