Let’s take a short look at what has been going on in the last day or two that involves Arsenal.
Aubameyang red card appeal denied
As you probably know, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent off in the 1-1 draw away to Crystal Palace on Saturday as VAR overruled the initial decision of referee Paul Tierney and turned his yellow card into red for a rather reckless tackle on Max Meyer which forced the Palace winger out of the game. In case you still haven’t seen it, or you want to take another look to make up your mind about it, you can do so here.
As it was a direct red card, the Gunners’ forward was slapped with a three-match ban, against which the club had filed an appeal. However, the appeal was rejected and Aubameyang will now miss the games against Sheffield United on Saturday and Chelsea on Tuesday next week, both in the Premier League, as well as Bournemouth in the FA Cup on Monday, January 27th.
It’ll certainly be a blow for Arsenal not to have their arguably best player available for these matches, but it will likely be an opportunity for 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli to show his quality further.
Arsenal to lose head of sports medicine
According to The Athletic, Arsenal will lose the services of Gary O’Driscoll, the club’s head of sports medicine. The club have placed an ad for the job on their official website, with the date of closing for the applications set before the end of January. As the report claims, O’Driscoll is set to replace Andy Massey at Liverpool, with Massey ready to start in a similar role with FIFA in March.
Technical director Edu is expected to get personally involved in the selection process for a potential replacement for O’Driscoll, being keen on overseeing the whole performance team.
Arteta rubbishes John Stones reports
Arsenal are on the lookout for defensive reinforcements this month by all accounts, and one of the names that have popped up in the media in that respect is Manchester City’s John Stones.
To be perfectly honest, the report never made much sense. Yes, Arteta coached the 25-year-old centre-back at his previous job as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, but the Premier League champions paid a lot of money for Stones and Guardiola sees him (when fit) as a part of his best partnership in the heart of defence alongside Aymeric Laporte. Any idea of prizing him away from the Etihad would have been unrealistic, to say the least, and that the story apparently originated from The Sun shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
Be that as it may, Arteta was asked about it and his reply was very clear.
“No, no truth at all”, he said.