Mikel Arteta does not feel ‘disrespected’ by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

By Sean Taylor, PA
·2-min read

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists he feels no disrespect towards him from his players.

Following the Gunners’ 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Sunday, former Manchester United captain Roy Keane criticised match-winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for calling Arteta by his first name in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.

Keane, 49, a pundit in the studio that afternoon, was not impressed with how Aubameyang addressed his manager, saying: “He didn’t show him respect when he called him by his name, Mikel.

“He’s the manager, the boss, the gaffer. That’s respect. Not Mikel, he’s not his mate.”

Asked about those comments during his press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League game against Molde, Arteta insisted he was not offended.

Roy Keane, right, working for Sky Sports
Roy Keane, right, working for Sky Sports (Dave Thompson/NMC Pool/PA)

“I was told that Roy mentioned that, but I don’t think it particularly. I give the players the choice, some call me boss or coach, it depends,” said the Arsenal manager.

“I shared a dressing room with some of them so there has been that change, but I don’t feel any disrespect. Although, I understand Roy and why he was saying that.

“It is something that was a bit of a concern before I joined, but not now. Both parties have to understand respect and go about the relationship in the right way and the players have made it really easy for me.

“In the end, we are part of the same thing and it has not been something that has been difficult to manage.”

Arsenal are top of Group B after winning both Europa League matches so far, but Norwegian club Molde are also on six points having done the same.

Mikel Arteta, left, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrate the win over Manchester United
Mikel Arteta, left, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrate the win over Manchester United (Phil Noble/PA)

Arteta made 11 changes against Dundalk last week and has said there will be changes again on Thursday as the Gunners attempt to balance the demands of the current schedule, with matches coming thick and fast.

Asked if his team will be able to compete as they would like to in every competition this season, the Gunners boss said: “That’s a tough question to answer.

“I think now we have the numbers to do that. I think we can rotate players. I think we have enough players in the squad to be able to maintain a really competitive squad.

“We’re playing every three or four days at the moment and you start to get injuries, suspensions and whatever comes is going to get more and more complicated.

“This is our obligation, to try to compete in every competition and we’re going to be trying to do that until the end. Obviously, the circumstances will dictate how well we can do that.”