Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has broken his silence on the decision to remove "uncommitted" Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as club captain.
The 32-year-old found himself in hot water ahead of the Gunners' 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, when his manager revealed that he had reported back late from a short trip to France.
Scroll through the gallery below to see some Arsenal players who could replace Aubameyang as club captain
In a pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal's derby with David Moyes' Hammers, Arteta broke his silence on the decision to take the armband off the striker, citing the forward's attitude and commitment, or lack thereof, as a big reason for doing so.
"The decision that we have taken as a club is very clear," the 39-year-old head coach said, per The Express.
"It is because we believe that he has failed to be committed at the level that we all expect and agreed. It is as simple as that.
"What I expect from any person in this football club, that is representing this badge, is passion and that he gives absolutely 100%, that he puts the club in front of any personal interests and is able to do anything to fulfil the badge we have on the chest.
"Apart from that, you can listen to individuals and you can understand different cultures, but that commitment and passion has to be there.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't."
Arteta also explained that it was a decision he did not take lightly.
"I feel really sad. I wouldn't like to be in this position – not with him but with any player to make this kind of decision," the Spaniard added.
"Because at the end, the fulfilment of a coach is when you are trying to help a player to become a better person, to be happy, to be fulfilled as a player and to enjoy on that pitch, and at the moment, with that decision, Auba is not going to be able to do that.
"For me, it is just sadness.
"But as well at the end, you have to defend the collective and the club, and in order to do that you have to make all the decisions that you think are going to help the club."
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