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  • 18 Jan 2020

Once they said 'Not Mikel' but Arteta's refined character will help him deal with Aubameyang, Xhaka and Ozil - The Athletic

When Mikel Arteta returned to the dressing room after Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, he was greeted with the disconsolate figure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It was there that the Arsenal captain expressed his regret and disappointment over the ill-timed lunge that saw him dismissed.

Arteta will understand how Aubameyang felt better than most. In 2013, the Spaniard was Arsenal captain on this ground in a match in which he too scored before being sent off.

Arteta’s immediate priority will be navigating the next three games, including another London derby against Chelsea, without Aubameyang. Arsenal’s talismanic forward scored his 14th league goal against Palace, a tally that accounts for 48 per cent of Arsenal’s total in the competition.

Once he’s given some thought to that considerable problem, he might turn his focus to lifting Aubameyang. The Gabon striker, usually so ebullient, was clearly devastated by the first straight red of his...

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