The Gunners striker was a key lowlight in what Keown described as ‘the most disappointing performance under Arteta’, as Liverpool brushed aside a lacklustre Arsenal on Saturday.
Willian came in to replace Aubameyang for the Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague, and the Invincibles defender believes Arteta made the right call.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was benched by Mikel Arteta for Arsenals’ Slavia Prague clash
The striker had a miserable game against Liverpool and was one of the worst performers
‘It’s a big statement,’ Keown said on BT Sport punditry duty.
‘Recently he left him out for being late for training. Now it’s for his performance, and that’s more important to me.
‘It sets a bigger example and the players know that nobody is exempt from being chopped from the side if the captain is being dropped. I think that’s right.
Martin Keown believes Mikel Arteta sent a message to his players by dropping the skipper
‘We know his mother has not been well so we don’t want to be critical but when you step onto the pitch you have to be professional and he’s fallen some way short of the performances he’s capable of.
‘There’s now opportunities for someone else.’
Aubameyang missed the North London Derby last month to be with his mother during a spell of ill health, revealing she was ‘much better’ as he returned to the side.