Mikel Arteta has spoken about the ‘unity and spirit’ inside the Arsenal group in the aftermath of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contentious departure.
The attacker left the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday by mutual consent following a difficult final 18 months.
The significant decline in form was apparently attributed to the forward’s tense relationship with Arsenal boss Arteta, and Aubameyang seems to corroborate this following his transfer to Barcelona. When asked whether he had a beef with the Spaniard, he responded: “Yeah, I think it was just with him. I can’t say much, he wasn’t happy, I stayed calm and that’s it.”
Arsenal have been practicing in Dubai since Aubameyang’s departure, and in an interview with the club’s official website, Arteta appeared to throw a subtle dig at Aubameyang by declaring that the group is presently unified:
“We had a break of two weeks and thought of the best way to maximize it, and felt the best way was to stay together for a week or so in a different environment, but with clear objectives for this week. Not only physically but mentally, it’s been a tough season and a tough few years. We wanted to take this opportunity to get a few things from it.
“The first thing, the training camp in these conditions is beautiful. We want to keep improving the efficiency of our game model and it’s a beautiful place to do it. The second one is to set clear objectives for what we want to do at the end of the season. We have 17 games to finish, how we are going to do it and what we want to achieve in those games.
“The third one was about building the unity and the spirit that is in the group and that has to be maintained. There’s no better way to do it not only with the players but as well with the families because they are a big part of what we do and we need them on board to keep pushing every day.”