Another day, another mess. Just when we thought we were through the Great Captaincy Debacle of the last couple weeks, here’s David Ornstein’s latest column to remind us that nope, the sewer just keeps on flowin’.
After Xhaka was stripped of his captaincy, Unai Emery turned to one of the people that was named co-captain earlier in the year, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, to wear the armband. This seemed like a perfect choice - Auba scores goals for fun, seems to really enjoy his time at Arsenal, and the fans love him.
The problem is, you know who else loves him? AFTV. If you’re not familiar, What used to be known as Arsenal Fan TV is basically the raw, unfiltered id of the Arsenal fanbase, a hot take machine of limited analysis and maximized volume that has been the unofficial “voice of the Arsenal fan” for quite a while now. Even by recent standards, they’re probably the most negative source of Arsenal coverage; they mostly just bitch about how bad everything is, all the time. They’re a one-way sports talk radio call in show, and in a lot of ways they represent the most toxic parts of the Arsenal fan community.
What does this have to do with the Arsenal captaincy? Well, it turns out the new captain is pals with one of AFTV’s talking heads, and Auba has hosted this person in his box at the Emirates several times now. This, understandably, has not made the club happy, and according to Ornstein, some of the players don’t like it either.
Is this a dealbreaker for Auba’s captaincy? Probably not, and most likely it’s just a fuss over not much. But Auba palling around with AFTV types is probably not the PR that either he or the club needs right now, particularly as Auba is on the verge of deciding whether to stay in London or not.
What does Aubameyang himself have to say about all this? Let’s go to the Instagrams!
Auba’s basically calling out Ornstein here, I think, saying that what Ornstein reported is false, which is another fun layer to this tuna fish, peanut butter, and beets cake that we’re being asked to accept as delicious by an Arsenal team whose wheels are falling off at a pretty alarming rate at this point.
Is this whole mini-drama going to destroy the club? No. It’s just another symptom of a very large disease running rampant at the club right now, one that would appear to be even deeper than who the manager is. Nobody seems happy right now, and I’m not sure anything other than a 10 game winning streak will make things better. It’s going to be a long rest of the season.