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Mikel Arteta responds to critics over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang feud: ‘I’m no dictator’

Mikel Arteta has insisted he is not trying to establish his authority by being a “dictator” at Arsenal, saying he simply demands “respect and commitment” from all players amid Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ongoing absence from the side.

Aubameyang, who has been stripped of the club captaincy for repeated disciplinary breaches, is just the latest player to fall foul of Arteta’s demands in north London, with Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi also being ostracised in previous seasons.

Arteta said he would quit as Arsenal manager if he did not receive the commitment he expects from his players as he continues in his attempts to improve the club’s culture behind the scenes.

“I do not establish my authority by being dictatorial or ruthless,” said Arteta. “I just ask for one thing: respect and commitment. At this level, if I don’t get that, I will pack my bags and go somewhere else because that is the minimum I can ask for.

“I am going to expect that from everybody who works for the club. First of all from myself, and the day I don’t do that I will walk through that door and go and do something else. It as clear as that.

“To be successful you have to be passionate about something and want to represent a club of this size, with its history. That is the minimum standard you have to bring. I am not going to ask anybody to put the ball in the top corner every time they hit it, but I will ask them to do the right things every single day for this club.”

Aubameyang is not expected to make his return to the first-team for Arsenal’s match against Norwich City this weekend, with the striker likely to remain away from the side until he leaves for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.

His absence could present more opportunities for Eddie Nketiah, who scored a hat-trick in the League Cup victory over Sunderland in midweek. Nketiah is yet to commit to a new contract at Arsenal, though, and his future remains uncertain ahead of the January transfer window.

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