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Arteta defends Aubameyang after Carragher & Neville criticism

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Mikel Arteta has defended Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after fierce criticism from Sky Sports duo Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher last month, insisting ‘they can comment sometimes without knowing all the details’.

The punditry pair were brutal in their assessment of Arsenal’s recent form last month and labelled the Gunners ’embarrassing’ after their 3-0 Premier League defeat by Liverpool at the Emirates.

Former Manchester United defender Neville said he felt ‘really uncomfortable’ after commentating on that game and said ‘I sat around for a few minutes with Martin Tyler and was like “what was that”.

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He also accused Arsenal’s attackers of acting ‘like a little mafia’ and said ‘there was a disconnect between them and the manager. Like the manager looked like he had enough of them.’

Carragher also tore into Arsenal’s attacking players, suggesting that the Gunners could find themselves with another ‘Mesut Ozil situation’ in Aubameyang.

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He said: ‘Aubameyang, and he’s the superstar but I think his performances this season have been lazy at times.

‘He’s a player who if he doesn’t score then he doesn’t bring anything to this team. I’ve watched him four or five times this season thinking they need more from him.’

But Arteta defended his captain on Wednesday morning, insisting Neville and Carragher’s comments were missing some context.

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Speaking ahead of his side’s Europa League semi-final second leg againt Villarreal, Arteta said: ‘They (Carragher and Neville) are all the time free to talk.

‘My job and responsibility is to protect our players and to get the maximum out of it.

‘They can comment sometimes without knowing all the details.’

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