That came in the wake of the Gabon international returning late from a pre-arranged trip to see his mother, but new footage from Amazon Prime Video’s fly-on-the-wall documentary, ‘All or Nothing: Arsenal’, has revealed the extent of the problems with Aubameyang.
Speaking to Arsenal’s media, communications & community affairs director after a press conference, Arteta says: “That’s why I have everything documented, with the dates, the times, the conversations, how it happened, why it happened… because if one day, if one day it’s needed.
“[Aubameyang] has been late, apart from all the [other] issues, many times. The club has got a tradition. When you get paid that much money…”
Later on, footage shows Arsenal’s technical director, Edu, and the director of football operations, Richard Garlick, calling a club lawyer after Aubameyang has been told to train away from the main group.
The lawyer tells them they are “quite on a back foot” and asks if it was just about Aubameyang returning late from France.
“Mikel has got a file,” explains Garlick. “It’s a catalogue of misdemeanours that he has had, which has culminated in this.”
The documentary also shows the moment Arteta tells the squad that Aubameyang has lost the captaincy and will not be playing with them.
“The club and myself, we are not going to accept any behaviour like this,” says Arteta.
“And what we are building goes completely against any behaviour like that. So if we have to have any meaning for changing our culture and making sure that we become a different club and team, we have to stand to those words, clearly in every action with anybody.
“This is the message that I have to send you. I don’t like the timing but I had to clear that up with you guys.”
Arteta reveals in an interview during the documentary that he was “extremely happy” when Aubameyang signed a new contract, worth £350,000-a-week, back in 2020.
The Spaniard adds he didn’t want the relationship to end this way, but it had to after “non-negotiables” were broken.
“At the end, rules and discipline brings clarity, because at the end you cannot measure trust,” says Arteta. “When you look at the eyes of that player and you believe that’s gone, and that’s a really difficult point to get something back from it.
When I look in his eyes and I saw and I felt what I felt, that that level of trust was gone.
“My memories of Auba are all the exceptional moments. I didn’t want to finish like that because, first of all, I think Auba deserves something better and the club as well. But it could not be, in my opinion, any other way.”
Asked when was the moment he knew Aubameyang couldn’t be part of the team, Arteta said: “When I looked in his eyes and I saw and I felt what I felt, that that level of trust was gone. That day.
“It is a really difficult decision to make in the middle of the season and with the most important player at the club, and then with the impact not having that player could have on the performances of the team.
“But, if you put all these ingredients together and still the decision is clear, then you have to make it.”