Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang reveals what happened in 'crazy' Mikel Arteta and Arsenal split

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was frozen out by Mikel Arteta. (Image: Getty Images.)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang revealed that Mikel Arteta accused him of ‘putting a knife in his back’ following the controversy that led to the striker’s departure from Arsenal.

The ex-Gunners skipper, who once heroically secured FA Cup victory for the team and subsequently signed a lucrative new contract, found himself ousted from the squad just 18 months later. He was dropped for a match against Southampton in December 2021, marking the beginning of the end of his time at the Emirates.

His contract was eventually terminated, paving the way for a move to Barcelona, but not without a period of tension with Arteta. The fallout occurred after Aubameyang had been granted permission by Arteta to visit his ill mother abroad.

Speaking to Colinterview the striker, now with Marseille after a stint with Chelsea, recounted the events: “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.”

Aubameyang opened up further about his rocky relationship with Arteta, recalling a moment of confrontation where the Spaniard accused him of backstabbing.

Mikel Arteta giving instructions to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Image: PA.)

He explained: “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.”

Defending himself, Aubameyang added, “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. I go home and the doctor calls me and says ‘Tomorrow, the coach doesn’t want you to be there’.”

Ahead of the upcoming transfer window, Aubameyang found himself out of the first-team picture completely and was stripped of the captain’s armband.

He explained: “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.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1905407/Arsenal-news-Aubamayeng-Arteta-split-interview