Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is said to have dropped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the bench for the north London derby because of his lateness.
The Gunners hosted Jose Mourinho’s in-form Tottenham side on Sunday looking to close the gap between the sides to just four points following an indifferent run of form.
However, supporters were hit with a huge shock before kick-off as captain Aubameyang was left on the bench following a ‘disciplinary issue’ that was mentioned by Arteta.
Despite the Spaniard saying that he would not be offering any further details, it appears as though it was a matter of punctuality.
The Athletic have reported that Aubameyang reported late for their crunch derby, with Arteta not in a forgiving mood for the forward.
The report adds that it's not the first time that Aubameyang has reported late during the current campaign – leading to his place on the bench.
Arteta said of Aubameyang on Sky Sports: "He was going to start the game, we had a disciplinary issue, we've drawn the line and we move on. He is on the bench.”
When asked to elaborate, he said: “No. Obviously we keep that internally. We have a process that we have to respect every game – and that’s it.”
And continuing when asked if he considered dropping Aubameyang from the squad altogether: "It’s a decision we made after evaluating everything and what he’s done – and that’s it.”
He added: "We have got other players that we have played after changing the team recently quite a lot. They are players that are willing to play and deserve their chance.”
Before adding of their derby clash: “It’s a massive game. I wish we had our fans here, it would be completely different. But we are still willing to beat them.
“We know what it means for everybody, what it means for the league table and what it means for our fans. So we are going to do everything we can to win the game.
“There are a lot of games and in this league you see a lot of weird results and when you get a good run of four or five wins in a row you have a real chance.
“We have to achieve that if we want to be for the last three or four games fighting for Europe.”
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