Mikel Arteta insists his treatment of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang does NOT make him a dictator

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Mikel Arteta insists he is no dictator amid accusations that he was too strict with players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Sportsmail columnist Martin Keown still questions whether the Arsenal boss was right to exile the striker last year over breaches of discipline.

‘Maybe the player could have been forgiven,’ Keown said yesterday. ‘You have these ideas of how you want to live a perfect life, and then you look around and you see that players have flaws.’ Rather than trying to be ‘righteous and virtuous’, Keown believes managers should make allowances for ‘young players who make mistakes’.

The fallout between Arteta and Aubameyang was laid bare on Amazon’s All or Nothing this week. The 33-year-old was stripped of the captaincy and then paid to leave, with Arteta keeping a ‘catalogue’ of his ‘misdemeanours’.

Arteta spoke about having ‘non-negotiable’ values but insists he does give players leeway. Indeed, he is happy to have ‘chaos’ — provided it is organised.

‘You cannot treat everybody the same,’ Arteta said. ‘They all have different needs. They need to release energy in different ways and we are here to understand that and try to facilitate that.

But they also need to understand there are moments to do that. Not everybody can turn up at the time and the day that they want. That’s chaos. If it’s an organised chaos I’m happy for that because I’ve been a player.

When you need to go and get lost in a mountain for two days, go. When you need to spend time with your family, go. No problem.’

But Arteta then seemed to take a thinly-veiled dig at Aubameyang, who was banished after returning late from a trip abroad. ‘But we should at least know if you’re going to be coming in or not,’ he added.

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