Granit Xhaka looses Arsenal captaincy to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as confirmed by boss Unai Emery. This decision has come after the Swiss’ outburst at the Emirates in a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace last month.
Not a day goes by at the Emirates without some new revelation, rumour or story of division and now that Xhaka has been virtually cast aside in the short term alongside Mustafi, the media is in need of a new scapegoat or victim that they can blame the North London club’s woes on.
Of course Xhaka provided a flurry and feast of headlines, especially when he was stripped of the captaincy, so whoever took the armband was likely to either be applauded or embroiled in some new controversy.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang assumed the armband, which in truth has been something of a poisoned chalice for many years and he walked straight into a hubbub over his relationship with Troopz, a AFTV fandit (a cross between a fan and a pundit)
Arsenal have had a turbulent relationship with AFTV and are known to disapprove of their coverage and opinions. For anyone unfamiliar with AFTV, it’s a supporter’s YouTube channel with a respectable following.
In an earlier spat, Arsenal ensured that the company had to change its name from Arsenal TV to an abbreviated format because the board didn’t want anyone to think it was associated with the club.
Having seen it on the odd occasion, I can understand why but it does have an audience for its emotional rants and limited terrace analysis.
“The Gabon star had invited AFTV regular Troopz into his executive box.”
“The pair were pictured together on October 24, the night Arsenal beat Vitoria Guimaraes 3-2 in the Europa League at the Emirates – a game Aubameyang was rested for.”
So, not exactly something that brings the player into disrepute or breaks any stipulations within his contract, but apparently the club has told Aubameyang to cool his association with Troopz, the urban Homie who’s notoriety is based on his incoherent rants after every Arsenal game.
However, the AFTV star corrected the rumours that he had been personally invited to players box by saying that the story was a complete fabrication:
“Aubameyang’s box is two doors along. Is that my problem? He come to the game. He gave me a shirt to give to my son because obviously you know my kids idolise him. He’s just doing what any player would do to a fan.”
“The picture was taken in his box but I wasn’t invited to the box. We went in the box because there was a lot of attention on both of us.”
“I just arrived in Gabon and hear a lot of bulls***.”
“I talk with who I want, whenever I want, and if somebody’s not happy with…you already know”
It’s unlikely that this will be blown out of all proportion or that it will lead to any sort of conflict between the club and the player. Lets hope not, there’s been enough discord and as Arsenal look for stability, the last thing they need is another off field distraction.