Alan Shearer claims the Arsenal dressing room has backed Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The former Gunners skipper was stripped of the armband earlier this month after a breach of the club’s disciplinary rules.
Aubameyang is currently unavailable for selection, but in his absence Arsenal have truly hit their stride.
In five matches without the forward, they have won all five, scoring 19 goals in the process.
On Boxing Day they hit Norwich City for five, strengthening their grip on a place in the top four of the Premier League.
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And Shearer believes the response to Aubameyang’s withdrawal shows they agree with his decision.
“It was a big, brave decision from Arteta to do what he did because with the personality, who Aubameyang was with the captaincy on him, the salary that he’s on,” Shearer said on Match of the Day.
“But he has to show discipline because he’s got a young team who he’s trying to send a message to. They now know that they can’t mess around, they can’t be late for training or whatever the situation is.
“And the players agree with the decision that Arteta made because you can tell by their performances.
“Arteta needed his players to back him up in terms of giving him the goals and the performances, and they’ve done that in style.”
The return to form has helped Arsenal to turnaround their goal difference to now stand at +9, having started the season with three heavy defeats on the spin.
And the Arsenal boss stated that their dramatic turnaround has been sparked by a better process helping the forwards.
Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
“Yes obviously the start was difficult, but we are scoring more goals because we are getting into those positions in much better condition,” Arteta explained. “Every process is done much much better, and I guess better positioning and chances to the strikers. At the moment they are being really effective.
“The direction the team is taking, and how we are growing the understanding between players. Obviously they’ve been playing now for a few months together.
“The unity that we show in general, and the support that we are getting in every ground from our supporters is very much linked with the way we can transmit the way we want to play. So I am really pleased with that as well.”