Arsenal didn’t even need captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the north London derby after all.
Mikel Arteta named Aubameyang on the bench for the visit of Spurs before revealing that it was for ‘disciplinary reasons'.
It later emerged that the striker had turned up late for the match and was subsequently dropped. It wasn’t his first offence, either.
The Athletic report that “earlier this season he was disciplined for missing a COVID-19 test before a European trip while in February he was ‘reminded of his responsibilities’ by the club for breaching COVID-19 regulations to get a tattoo.”
"He was going to start the game. We had a disciplinary issue. We have drawn the line and we move on - he is on the bench,” Arteta told Sky Sports before the game.
"Obviously we keep that internal. We have a process that we have to respect for every game.
"It's a decision made after evaluating everything, and who Auba is and what’s he done and that’s it.”
Aubameyang was an unused substitute and he watched his side triumph 2-1 thanks to goals from Martin Odegaard and an Alexandre Lacazette penalty.
Images before the match show Aubameyang’s holographic chrome-wrapped Ferrari stuck in traffic in Muswell Hill before the game.
He was then told he would start on the bench after his late arrival to the stadium.
During the match, he was sent out to warm-up more than once but was never introduced. At the final whistle, he headed straight down the tunnel while the rest of the player celebrated their victory.
Then, according to The Athletic, he left the stadium while many of his other teammates were completing their warm-down on the pitch.
The report says: “As Mikel Arteta and Jose Mourinho conducted their post-match interviews, dissecting Arsenal’s 2-1 derby win, the sound of a Ferrari engine echoed around the Emirates Stadium arena. It was 6.46pm, just 23 minutes after the full-time whistle had blown to confirm Arsenal’s victory. Last one in, but first one out, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was leaving.”
They also add that it’s “unclear” whether Aubameyang had been granted permission to leave or whether he was aware.
Either way, Arteta will be hoping to move on from this incident as soon as possible and have Aubameyang back in his starting line-up.