Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta delighted with Arsenal’s ‘total unity’ in West Ham win

Mikel Arteta delighted with Arsenal's 'total unity' in West Ham win

Mikel Arteta has praised Arsenal’s ability to come together and comfortably see off West Ham on Wednesday following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s removal as club captain.

The Gabon striker, who was again left out of the matchday squad for the 2-0 victory, had his commitment to the team questioned by Arteta, who demanded that all his players show respect for themselves, the club and the fans at all times.

Banishing the captain could have obviously had disasterous knock-on effects for Arsenal, but the Gunners looked at ease as they sauntered to a routine 2-0 victory over a West Ham side who simply could not match them.

“They showed exactly what I expect from them,” Arteta said of his players after the game (via BBC Sport). “They showed total unity with the team. We are building a project and building a project without the people is impossible.

“They were fully focused. They wanted to show how strong we are as a team. The performance, the attitude and the commitment they showed today is exactly what we are as a club.

“I’m really pleased with the performance, the quality, the energy, the passion and the crowd. We had some really good moments.

“It was a really difficult team to play against. They have a lot of solutions and are a threat in many, many ways. I think we controlled them pretty well.

“It was a big game for us to obviously have the capacity to go above them and move fourth. It was a statement. We had been pretty strong at home, so we needed to put a good performance in against a good team and I think we did that.”

In Aubameyang’s absence, it was strike partner Alexandre Lacazette who wore the captain’s armband, and Arteta was full of praise for the Frenchman.

“[Lacazette] has taken it with pride and commitment and I’m really happy with how he played,” Arteta said.

“You see how he acts with the younger players. He’s not a selfish player.”

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