Former Italian international Antonio Cassano has hit out at Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the wake of criticisms levied at Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta after a video revealed the level of frustration felt by the Gabonese international after his move away from north London.
Aubameyang left the Emirates in February after a rapidly deteriorating relationship with the Spanish tactician came to a head which culminated in a move to Barcelona under Xavi.
The 33-year-old eluded to the fact that he felt Arteta did not work well when he was recorded saying “Big characters and big players... he can’t deal with it. He needs some young players who don’t say anything.”
Though the Gabonese captain has since clarified those statements in the aftermath of the leak, stating “At the time I still had a lot of bad feelings in me -- Arsenal are doing great things this season and I wish all my old guys well,” there has been considerable backlash from certain corners of the football world given the notion that Aubameyang has had disciplinary issues at a number of clubs over the years.
For Cassano, a player who himself struggled when it came to authority during an 18-year career that included stints with AS Roma, Real Madrid, UC Sampdoria, AC Milan, and Inter Milan after first breaking into the first team set up with boyhood club SSC Bari, Aubameyang’s claims are “madness.”
“Now Aubameyang is speaking as well. He dares to say that Arteta doesn’t know how to handle champions. Does Aubameyang consider himself a champion? But he doesn’t know how to trap the ball.”
“When Arteta took Arsenal, in a general disaster, there were many players among that & he was there too. Try to play football instead of talking about Arteta, who is first in the most important league in the world. For me, it’s madness.”
Thus far, Arteta has been proven to be on the right side of history in the wake of severing the good terms that once existed between the pair when he first replaced Unai Emery at Arsenal which ultimately led to Aubameyang moving on.
Arsenal is currently topping the Premier League this season and has posted very credible wins against fellow top-six rivals Tottenham and Liverpool in back-to-back league performances in the last two weeks, and in the immediate wake of Aubameyang being dropped from the XI before moving on last season, the Gunners already looked a better side.
Now, with a core of youngsters leading the charge and the addition of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, the club has never been in better shape to push for serious honors on all fronts, justifying Arteta’s handling of the situation and putting him in pole position to have the last laugh.