Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hit back at criticism from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by insisting his current squad is more “hard-working” than in previous years.
Aubameyang left the club for Barcelona in February after Arteta had dropped his then-captain for returning late from an agreed break.
He returned to the Premier League with Chelsea last month and a video emerged in recent days of the Gabon forward slating Arteta’s management skills.
“To manage big characters or big players, he (Arteta) can’t deal with it,” Aubameyang was recorded as saying in an interview with A Jewellers. “He (Arteta) needs some young players, they don’t say anything, they listen.”
Since the video was first shared, Aubameyang took to social media to explain his comments, writing part of a tweet which read: “Aware there is a video out that was recorded just after I arrived at Barca. At the time I still had a lot of bad feelings in me – Arsenal are doing great things this season and I wish all my old guys well, just not on November 6.”
Ahead of their Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt, Arteta responded to Aubameyang’s comments, saying: “People are free to discuss what they want.
“I have never been in a better dressing room (than this season) – more enjoyable, more hard-working, a better relationship between staff and players and it is an absolute pleasure as a coach to be a part of this group.”