I don’t believe in being a dictator, says Arteta
LONDON - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said that he has not tried to establish his authority through a “dictatorial” approach and that “respect and commitment” from the players is non-negotiable if he is to stay at the club.
His comments came after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was removed as captain last week following a disciplinary breach.
The Gabon striker, who signed a new three-year contract with the club last year, was dropped ahead of this month’s 2-0 win over West Ham United after he returned late from a trip abroad.
“I do not establish my authority by being dictatorial or ruthless,” Arteta said on Thursday ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League trip to Norwich.
“I just ask for one thing – respect and commitment. At this level, if I don’t get that, I’ll pack my bags and go somewhere else because that’s the minimum I can ask for.
“To be successful, you have to be passionate about something and, if you want to represent a club of this size, that is the minimum standard you have to bring.
“I am not going to ask anybody to put the ball into the top corner every time they hit it, but I will ask them to do the right things every single day for this club.”
Besides the scrutiny on Aubameyang, much of the talk at Arsenal this week has been about 22-year-old striker Eddie Nketiah.
Arteta reiterated that the Englishman’s good form means he deserves to feature more regularly during the Premier League’s busy festive schedule, as doubts remain over Aubameyang’s involvement.
Nketiah’s hat-trick helped Arsenal thump League One side Sunderland 5-1 on Tuesday and storm into the League Cup semi-finals, with Aubameyang dropped for a third straight match in all competitions.
Arteta, whose side are fourth in the standings, said: “With the way he’s training and performing, he deserves more minutes regardless of what happens with any other player.”
Nketiah’s contract at Arsenal runs out in June and Arteta added the Gunners were “trying really hard” to get him to extend the deal.
Calum Chambers is the latest Arsenal player to be hit by Covid-19, while Takehiro Tomiyasu, who came off early on against Leeds last weekend with a muscle issue, is a doubt for today. REUTERS
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